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Catawba - One of the important eastern Siouan tribes.  At one time they were considered the most powerful tribe in the Carolinas.  While they were an agricultural people and friendly to the whites, in their early days they were constantly at war with the Iroquois, Shawnee, Delaware and other tribes of the Ohio Valley.

Two hundred years ago the Catawba numbered as many as 5,000 in North and South Carolina, but war and smallpox in time reduced their population to a few hundred.  Although they had assisted the Americans in the defense of South Carolina against the British in the Revolutionary War, years later they found themselves without a home in that state.  Their reservation there was almost wholly leased to whites in 1826 and in 1840 they sold the remainder of it.  When North Carolina refused to set apart any land for them , they returned to South Carolina where finally 800 acres were given them.  The few remaining live there today.

The Catawba gave their name to a variety of northern fox grape they utilized.  The name also has been preserved in a county and town in North Carolina, and places in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, as well as by an island in the Ohio River, and the Catawba River of the Carolinas.

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