Many small Native American groups lived in the area from pre-historic through the colonial period. They once roamed the wetlands, fished the estuaries, and camped along our riverbanks. These former residents left behind shell middens, pottery shards, and their words upon our landscape: Wimbee, Combahee, Huspah, Yamasee, Pocotaligo, Sadkeche, Coosawhatchie, etc. The BDC features resources related to Native Americans of the South Carolina coastal plain. There is a separate BDC WordPress post about our materials relating to the Yamasee War.

List compiled by Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA, Beaufort District Collections Manager, Beaufort County Library. The Beaufort District Collection is the special local history collection and archives unit of the Beaufort County Library.

Latest update: 21 October 2022; Created: 27 January 2011

Websites and Materials Available Online

StudySC is a website that provides online content to support South Carolina-specific curriculum standards.  StudySC, created by the South Carolina State Library, makes available a student-friendly environment arranged by grade level and by subject area where students can find the information they need fast.

indians76

This site is loaded with South Carolina-specific web resources for K-12 homework help, projects, and more. StudySC will also provide teachers with lesson plans and other content to support classroom activities. There are many interesting topics explored on the StudySC website.

The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology has posted its Faculty and Staff Publications into the University of South Carolina’s Scholar Commons. Many of the publications concern pre-historic times.

Native American Secrets Lie Buried in Huge Shell Mounds” by Murray Carpenter, New York Times, 19 October 2017.

Rethinking Shell Middens” by David Malakoff, American Archaeology Magazine, Summer 2018, as posted on the Archaeological Conservancy website.

A visit to the Spanish Mount Shell Midden on Edisto Island

355.009 MIN Minority Military Service: South Carolina/Georgia 1775-1783, 1997. (BDC)  Available online on the Daughters of the American Revolution website as a PDFForgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War.” Describes the involvement of the Catawba nation in the American Revolution.

970.4 CHI Native American Life at A.D. 1650: Curricula Materials for Teachers by Chicora Foundation, 1996. (BDC only or PDF). General history of South Carolina’s Native Americans.

975.7 CHI Curricula Materials for the First South Carolinians: The Life and Times of Native Peoples in the Palmetto State, 2000. (BDC only or as PDF.)  General history of South Carolina’s Native Americans.

975.7 HAC Indians, Slaves, and Freedmen in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina: Curricula Materials for Teachers by Debi Hacker and Michael Trinkley, 1993. (BDC only or as PDF.) General history of Pee Dee region Native Americans.

SC 975.7 HIS “An Account of the Breaking Out of the Yamassee War, in South Carolina extracted from the Boston News, of the 13 th of June, 1715,” Historical Collections of South Carolina; embracing many rare and valuable pamphlets, and other documents, relating to the History of that State, from its first discovery to its independence, in the year 1776. Compiled, with various notes, and an introduction, by B. R. Carroll. In two volumes. Vol. ii. New York: Published by Harper & Brothers, 1836, pp. 569 -572. (BDC) http://bit.ly/1O53EDJ

Items You Can Check Out from a SCLENDS Library:

An Archaeological Context for the South Carolina Woodland Period by Michael Trinkley, 1990.

Archaeological Data Recovery at 38BU833: A St. Catherines and Savannah Shell Midden Site, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina by Michael Trinkley, 1992.

Arrowheads and Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Surface Collector and Amateur Archaeologist by C. G. Yeager, 1986.

Archaeology in South Carolina: Exploring the Hidden Heritage of the Palmetto State edited by Adam King, 2016. [Also available as an e-book through the Beaufort County Library’s Hoopla Streaming service.]

Carolina Stories. Finding Clovis [DVD] by Alejandro Baez and Steve Folks, 2008. This film takes viewers on an archaeological adventure at the Topper dig site in Allendale County South Carolina. Famous for Clovis and pre-Clovis artifacts, there is recent evidence that may support the theory that a comet suddenly wiped out the Clovis culture 13,000 years ago.

Catawba Indians: The People of the River by Douglas Summers Brown,1966. Documents the history of the only federally recognized Native American Indian tribe in South Carolina.

Entries on Yamassee and Yamassee War in Colonial America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, vol. 4, edited by James Ciment (Sharpe Reference, 2006), pp. 918 – 920.

Circle of Inheritance: A History of Colonial South Carolina [DVD] by Anne Blythe Meriwether et. al., 2006. This SCETV television program looks at the prehistoric and colonial history of South Carolina and includes a student activities guide.

A Colonial Complex: South Carolina’s Frontiers in the Era of the Yamasee War 1680-1730 by Steven J. Oatis, 2004.  Explains the Yamasee War and other Native American/European conflicts through frontier expansion efforts.

Discovering South Carolina’s Rock Art by Tommy Charles, 2010. [Also available as an e-book through the Beaufort County Library’s Hoopla Streaming service.]

Down & Dirty: Archaeology of the South Carolina Lowcountry by M. Patrick Hendrix, 2006.  Photographs, descriptions, and analysis of archaeological dig sites in or close to the historic Beaufort District.

The Earliest South Carolinians: The Paleoindian Occupation of South Carolina by Albert C. Goodyear and Tommy Charles, 1990.

Early Human Life on the Southeastern Coastal Plain by Albert C. Goodyear and Christopher R. Moore, 2018. This book is a compilation of several major archaeological research projects ranging from Pre-Clovis through Early Archaic manifestations covering the Coastal Plain of the Southeastern United States.

Expeditions with Patrick McMillan: Shell rings: a 4000 year-old mystery [DVD] by Patrick McMillan and Richard Porcher, 2006.

First Peoples [DVD] by Tim Lambert, 2015. 200,000 years ago we took our first steps in Africa. Today there are seven billion of us living across the planet. How did our ancestors spread from continent to continent? This is a global detective story, featuring the latest archaeological discoveries and genetic research. On each continent, we track down the earliest members of our species, Homo sapiens. Who were these First Peoples? What drove them to the ends of the earth? [Also available as an e-book through the Beaufort County Library’s Hoopla Streaming service.]

The Georgia and South Carolina Expeditions of Clarence Bloomfield Moore by Lewis H. Larson in 1998 is a facsimile edition of the works by Moore orginally published in the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1897 and 1898.

Indian Arrowheads and Spearheads in the Carolinas: A Field Guide by Bert W. Bierer, 1974. Contains photographs and descriptions of found Native American tools.

Indians’ revenge : including a history of the Yemassee Indian War : 1715-1728 by William McIntosh, III, 2010, c2009.

Is There a Future for Shell Midden Research? by Michael Trinkley, 1993.

Native American Prehistory of the Middle Savannah River Valley: A Synthesis of Archaeological Investigations on the Savannah River site, Aiken and Barnwell Counties, South Carolina by Kenneth E. Sassaman, 1990.

Preserving Paradise: The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program.  [DVD] Beaufort, SC: The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program, 2006.

Red Carolinians by Chapman J. Milling, 1969.  (BDC, HHI) A general history of Indian life and colonial contact with European settlers in South Carolina. Specifically, the chapters on the Yamassee, the Tuscarora War, and the Yamassee War are historically significant to the Beaufort District.

Rediscovering Dr. Henry Woodward’s Carolina Frontier, 1665-1686 by Jeff Fulgham, 2018.

Sea Island Secrets, A Journey Through Time: 4000 years of History Uncovered in the South Carolina Lowcountry by Chester B. DePratter and R. Gibbes McDowell, 2011.

They Were Here: Ice Age Humans in South Carolina [DVD] by Steve Folks, Al Goodyear, and Jim Welch, 2002. It was a time when our climate was cooler and the plants and animals were much different than today. A time when great ice sheets covered the northern areas of what was to become the United States. A time when early humans were coming to ancient chert quarries in what is now Allendale County, South Carolina. This documentary covers the careful study and analysis of artifacts leading to evidence of a time 15 to 20,000 years ago.

The Yamasee Indians : From Florida to South Carolina edited by Denise I. Bossy, 2018. This anthology includes the latest research from archaeologists of South Carolina and Florida and historians of the Native South, Spanish Florida, and British Carolina addresses elusive questions about Yamasee identity, political and social networks, and the fate of the group.

The Yamasee War : a study of culture, economy, and conflict in the colonial South by William L. Ramsay, c2008.

Come to the BDC Research Room to Access These Items:

SC B BULL Inseparable Loyalty: A Biography of William Bull by Geraldine M. Meroney, 1991.  Addresses Native American Indian land and treaty issues in South Carolina first through the eyes of young William Bull in the Yamassee War and later through the eyes of South Carolina Lieutenant Governor William Bull.

SC B GLEN  James Glen: From Scottish Provost to Royal Governor of South Carolina by W. Stitt Robinson, 1996.  Includes information regarding the communications between the South Carolina colonial government and the South Carolina Native Americans. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 016.3058 LOW Lowcountry South Carolina Ethnohistory: A Guide to Indian and Afro-American Sources by Alexander Moore, 1986.  A bibliography of materials for researchers of South Carolina Native Americans.

SC 333.72579 PRE [DVD] Preserving Paradise: The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program. Beaufort, SC: The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program, 2006.

SC 355.009 MIN Minority Military Service: South Carolina/Georgia 1775-1783, 1997. (BDC)  Available online on the Daughters of the American Revolution website as “Forgotten Patriots” database: http://www.dar.org/library/fp.cfm. Describes the involvement of the Catawba nation in the American Revolution.

SC 508.757 SAI  [DVD] The Saint Helena Marshes… “A Journey Through Time.” (BDC only)

SC 508.75799 EXP Expeditions with Patrick McMillan: Shell rings: a 4000 year-old mystery [DVD] by Patrick McMillan and Richard Porcher, 2006.

SC 508.75799 SEA Sea Island Secrets, A Journey Through Time: 4000 years of History Uncovered in the South Carolina Lowcountry by Chester B. DePratter and R. Gibbes McDowell, 2011.

SC 929 SOU South Carolina Indians, Indian Traders, and Other Ethnic Connections Beginning in 1670 edited by Theresa M. Hicks, 1998. A valuable resource for tracing South Carolina family lineage through Native American Indian tribes. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 930. 1 ARC 2016 Archaeology in South Carolina: Exploring the Hidden Heritage of the Palmetto State edited by Adam King, 2016. This book contains an overview of the fascinating archaeological research currently ongoing in the Palmetto state featuring essays by twenty scholars studying South Carolina s past through archaeological research. The scholarly contributions are enhanced by more than one hundred black and white and thirty-eight color images of some of the most important and interesting sites and artifacts found in the state. [Also available as an e-book through the Beaufort County Library’s Hoopla Streaming service.]

SC 970.00476 BLU The Catawba Indian Nation of the Carolinas by Thomas J. Blumer, 2004.  [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 970.00476 YAM 2018 The Yamasee Indians: From Florida to South Carolina edited by Denise I.  Bossy, 2018.

SC 970.1 JAC Indians of the Southern Colonial Frontier by Wilbur R. Jacobs, 1954. (BDC only) Includes information regarding the communications between the South Carolina colonial government and the South Carolina Native Americans. Includes “the Edmond Atkin Report of 1755” and “the Plan for Imperial Indian Control.”

SC 970.4 CHI Native American Life at A.D. 1650: Curricula Materials for Teachers by Chicora Foundation, 1996. (BDC only or PDF). General history of South Carolina’s Native Americans.

SC 970.457 ALD John Stuart and the Southern Colonial Frontier by John Richard Alden,  1944.  Describes colonial South Carolina’s political dealings with Native Americans through “southern superintendent of Indian affairs,” John Stuart. Also describes the policies and actions of South Carolina Royal Governor James Glen and Imperial Indian Superintendent Edmond Atkin (among others), who handled Native American affairs before Stuart.

SC 970.457 BIE Indian Arrowheads and Spearheads in the Carolinas: A Field Guide by Bert W. Bierer, 1974. Contains photographs and descriptions of found Native American tools.

SC 970.457 BIE South Carolina Indian Lore by Bert W. Bierer, 1972. Contains countless maps, photographs, and illustrations of Native American life in coastal South Carolina. References to Beaufort District include shell mound and burial mound locations, trade paths, and discovered artifacts. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 970.457 BRO Catawba Indians: The People of the River by Douglas Summers Brown,1966. Documents the history of the only federally recognized Native American Indian tribe in South Carolina. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 970.457 MIL Red Carolinians by Chapman J. Milling, 1969.  A general history of Indian life and colonial contact with European settlers in South Carolina. Specifically, the chapters on the Yamassee, the Tuscarora War, and the Yamassee War are historically significant to the Beaufort District. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 970.457 MOO Certain Aboriginal Mounds of the Coast of South Carolina by Clarence B. Moore, 1898. This volume is quite fragile but contains beautiful illustrations from his expeditions. A more recent facsimile of this material was published as The Georgia and South Carolina Expeditions of Clarence Bloomfield Moore by Lewis H. Larson in 1998 and is available through SCLENDS.

SC 970.457 WAD Indians of the South Carolina Lowcountry 1562-1751 by Gene Waddell, 1980. Specific statistical information regarding the Native American populations of South Carolina. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 975.01 EAR 2018 Early Human Life on the Southeastern Coastal Plain by Albert C. Goodyear and Christopher R. Moore, 2018. This book is a compilation of several major archaeological research projects ranging from Pre-Clovis through Early Archaic manifestations covering the Coastal Plain of the Southeastern United States.

SC 975.7 ADA Archaeological Testing at 38BU861, a Middle Woodland Shell Midden on Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina by Natalie Adams, 1993.

SC 975.7 CHI Curricula Materials for the First South Carolinians: The Life and Times of Native Peoples in the Palmetto State, 2000. (BDC only or as PDF.)  General history of South Carolina’s Native Americans.

SC 975.7 HAC Indians, Slaves, and Freedmen in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina: Curricula Materials for Teachers by Debi Hacker and Michael Trinkley, 1993. (BDC only or as PDF.) General history of Pee Dee region Native Americans.

SC 975.7 HIS “An Account of the Breaking Out of the Yamassee War, in South Carolina extracted from the Boston News, of the 13 th of June, 1715,” Historical Collections of South Carolina; embracing many rare and valuable pamphlets, and other documents, relating to the History of that State, from its first discovery to its independence, in the year 1776. Compiled, with various notes, and an introduction, by B. R. Carroll. In two volumes. Vol. ii. New York: Published by Harper & Brothers, 1836, pp. 569 -572. (BDC) http://bit.ly/1O53EDJ

SC 975.7 So “The Mystery of the lost Yamassee Prince,” by Frank J. Klingberg, South Carolina Historical Magazine (Vol. 63:1, January 1962), pp. 18 – 32.  An intriguing tale of a Yamassee prince, nicknamed “Prince George,” who was taken to England to train as an Anglican minister in 1714, but whose final fate seems lost in the mists of history.

SC 975.701 CAR Carolina Stories. Finding Clovis [DVD] by Alejandro Baez and Steve Folks, 2008. This film takes viewers on an archaeological adventure at the Topper dig site in Allendale County South Carolina. Famous for Clovis and pre-Clovis artifacts, there is recent evidence that may support the theory that a comet suddenly wiped out the Clovis culture 13,000 years ago.

SC 975.701 THE They Were Here: Ice Age Humans in South Carolina [DVD] by Steve Folks, Al Goodyear, and Jim Welch, 2002. It was a time when our climate was cooler and the plants and animals were much different than today. A time when great ice sheets covered the northern areas of what was to become the United States. A time when early humans were coming to ancient chert quarries in what is now Allendale County, South Carolina. This documentary covers the careful study and analysis of artifacts leading to evidence of a time 15 to 20,000 years ago.

SC 975.702 CIR Circle of Inheritance: A History of Colonial South Carolina [DVD] by Anne Blythe Meriwether et. al., 2006. The “Native Land, Native People” segment focuses on South Carolina’s prehistory, visiting a Paleo-Indian dig in Allendale, petroglyphs near Table Rock, and a Catawba Town Council house.

SC 975.702 FUL 2018 Rediscovering Dr. Henry Woodward’s Carolina Frontier, 1665-1686 by Jeff Fulgham, 2018. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 975.702 MCI Indians’ Revenge : Including a History of the Yemassee Indian War : 1715-1728 by William McIntosh, III, 2010, c2009. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 975.702 OAT A Colonial Complex: South Carolina’s Frontiers in the Era of the Yamasee War 1680-1730 by Steven J. Oatis, 2004.  Explains the Yamasee War and other Native American/European conflicts through frontier expansion efforts.

SC 975.799 CHI Archaeological Data Recovery at 38BU833: A St. Catherines and Savannah Shell Midden Site, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina by Michael Trinkley, 1992. [Other SCLENDS has copies that can be checked out]

SC 975.799 GRE The Search for Altamaha: The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of an Early 18thCentury Yamasee Indian Town by William Green, 1992. Examines historical records and archaeological finds to describe the distinct culture of Yamasee Indians in South Carolina.

SC 975.799 MCK Migration and Settlement Among the Yamasee of South Carolina by David A. McKivergan, 1991.  Describes the migration of Yamasee Native Americans supported by archaeological evidence. Contains maps and archaeological dig reports.

SC 975.799 SOU 2000 Archaeological Investigations of Middens 2 and 8 at 38BU19 on Callawassie Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina: Final Report by Bobby Southerlin, 2000.

SC 975.799 SOU Return of the Yamasee: Archaeological Data Recovery at Chechesy Old Field, Beaufort County, SC, 2001. Archaeological report of known Yamasee history, found objects and artifacts, and soil samples.

Vertical Files in the BDC:

Allendale Paleoindian Expedition

Daws Island

Indian Mounds

Indian Traders

Native Americans

Yamasee (Native American Tribe)

Yamasee War, S.C., 1715-1717

Beaufort County Historical Society Papers

The Beaufort County Historical Society has placed some of the papers presented during its meetings for the public to use in the Beaufort District Collection, Beaufort County Library. The papers are present in one or more formats. Copies of some of the papers are held in typescript folders, on 16mm microfilm, and/or as hardbound copies.

#14. “John Barnwell and the Tuscaroras” by Rebecca DesChamps McDowell. Presented before the Beaufort County Historical Society on June 29, 1954.

#59. “The Yamassee War in the Beaufort and Port Royal Area, 1601-1715” by Larry Ivers. Presented before the Beaufort County Historical Society, no date.

Note: The Beaufort District Collection (BDC) exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of the South Carolina lowcountry wedged between the Combahee (pronounced “kum-bee”) and Savannah Rivers.

Contact the Beaufort District Collection at 843-255-6446 or e-mail bdc@bcgov.net for additional information about local history and archives relating to the people, places, and themes of the history, Gullah culture, and natural environment of Beaufort County, Jasper County and Hampton County, South Carolina.

Please check the Beaufort County Library (SC) system’s homepage for terms of access to the Beaufort District Collection and current hours of operation and locations.