The transfer of Native Americans from lands east of the Mississippi River to what is now the state of Oklahoma is one of the most tragic episodes in American history. For years, it was believed that they would never be able to acquire the habit of work. However, this view has been proven wrong. Many are able to provide for their families and even have a surplus of food to purchase foreign clothing, furniture, and luxury goods.
They have appealed to the United States Congress for justice and protection of their rights, freedoms, and lives. The US has a duty to uphold the treaties it has signed with Native American tribes and must treat them as equals. Unfortunately, many were forced out of their homes and camped in military forts and posts across the country. In Georgia, they were not allowed to take anything with them except the clothes they were wearing.
Houses were looted and people were stripped of all their possessions. The journey to new lands was long and difficult. People felt sick when they left their homes and many died along the way. Some Pee Dee fought for the South in the Civil War and many still trace their heritage back to those soldiers.
The combined tribes have remained in the same area of South Carolina since the mid-18th century and call themselves Kusso-Natchez. The Chicora were traditionally a coastal Native American tribe that lived near Pawley's Island, South Carolina. It is important to analyze the rise of indigenous leaders in the Presbyterian Church among Nez Perce and Dakota Indians during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Relations between Native Americans and whites were generally friendly until 1759 when two chiefs were sentenced to death for killing a white man.
Settlers began arriving in what are now Marlboro, Marion, and Dillon counties around 1730s and were able to live with Pee Dees with little trouble. In 1840, the Catawba sold all their land to South Carolina which agreed to obtain new territory for them in North Carolina. The Pee Dees had no legal defense as South Carolina had already changed their status from Indians to mulattos, Croats, or free people of color. While it is usually assumed that Native Americans were victims of federal policy during the Trail of Tears, recent studies such as Grant Foreman's works show that many chose to move west before the Expulsion Act was passed.
Isaac McCoy was a Baptist missionary who was an active defender of an Indian state where Native Americans could protect themselves and follow their own lifestyle. The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian was created by Congress in 1989 as part of the Smithsonian Institution. Most members of the Pee Dee Indian Nation now live near Cheraw and McColl in South Carolina while Santee tribe is one of the most unique tribes in South Carolina due to its limited population. Both Anglo-Americans who moved to Indian territory to trade and married Indian women had descendants who are still alive today.
Unfortunately, indigenous population in South Carolina and across US declined significantly after Europeans arrived. The first treaties signed by US agents and representatives of indigenous tribes guaranteed peace and integrity of Indian territories mainly for fur trade purposes.