Coree Territory, Indian Villages, and Tuscarora War

1606 Hondius Map recorded the Cwareuuock territory 

 The Cwar, Core or Coree Indian tribe once occupied the "Core Sound" area. Their territory included land south of the Neuse River in then Craven County, from Craney (Harker's) Island west, including what is now Carteret County.

Cwareuuock shows an Algonquian ending -euuock,  which roughly translated  "people of" or "land of Cwar." (Blair A. Rudes, UNC Charlotte, The First Description of an Iroquoian People: Spaniards among the Tuscaroras before 1522)

"The Coree...had been greatly reduced in a war with another tribe before 1696, and were described by Archdale as having been a bloody and barbarous people. John Lawson refers to them as Coranine Indians, but in another place calls them Connamox and gives them two villages in 1701, Coranine and Raruta, with about 125 souls. They engaged in the Tuscarora War 1711-15, and in 1715 the remnants of the Coree and Machapunga were assigned a tract on Mattamuskeet Lake, Hyde County, NC." (O.M. McPherson - Indians of North Carolina 1915, Documenting the American South) 

Lawson's 1709 Map noted Coranine River and Coranine Sound near Topsail Inlet and Cape Lookout.
TWO VILLAGES: These Indians have been documented on maps as Coranine, Cwareuuock and Cwarewiock. In his 1965 thesis, Colonial Beaufort, historian Charles L. Paul noted, “Before white settlers entered the area, the Coree had two villages. One of these was located on the north side of the Straits of Core Sound which separates Harker's Island from the mainland, a location not more than seven miles east of the present site of Beaufort or more than eight miles north of Cape Lookout. The other village was located on the west side of Newport River, but the exact spot cannot be given...A deed, date 1725, describes the tract as follows: "a certain piece of land called ye Indian Town lying on ye west side of Newport River..."

According to Al Pate in The Coree Are Not Extinct - about five years before the Tuscarora War, the Coree had already begun to roam the coast “from the New River of Onslow…to Core Point and into their old homeland on the Pamlico south shore of Coree Tuck.”

Although the earliest settlers, Shackelford, Nelson and others, were relatively safe in their isolation in the Core Sound area, the circumstances of the time were not conducive to more settlement. For several years those south of the Albemarle and north of the Neuse River faced a period of not only political strife but conflict with the lower Tuscarora and Coree Indians. 

Al Pate described his Coree ancestors as a proud people who refused to return friendship “with every beating they took.” Pate wrote, “The Coree War is the Indian war that’s in the records, that history ignored and historians forgot.”

The Coree War described by Pate as “a canoe warfare and pitiful delaying action,” started about eight years before the Tuscarora War and lasted another two years after the Tuscarora headed north.

The Tuscarora, outraged over enslavement, land encroachment and the deceitful practices of the white intruders, were angered at being pushed off their land--the area of present-day New Bern. King Hancock and his braves, full of resentment and hatred, murdered Deputy Surveyor John Lawson and decided to declare war. 

In September of 1711, according to historian William Powell, King Hancock's warriors, joined by other tribes, including the Coree, "launched an all-out attack along the Neuse and Pamlico, including the town of Bath." The unsuspecting and untrained colonists, also weak from a poor drought-caused harvest, were stunned and frightened. Farnifold Green and others made out their wills.

In 1712 Governor Thomas Pollock appointed Farnifold Green to help supply the army in Bath County and to garrison a small militia in the Core Sound area. Two years later Green’s 1700-acre Neuse River plantation at Green's Creek (near present-day Oriental) was the site of a brutal massacre that ended in the death of forty-year-old Farnifold Green. According to a family historian, also killed were “his son Thomas, a white servant and two Negroes. Another son was shot through the shoulder but managed to escape.”  

With help from Colonel John “Tuscarora Jack” Barnwell, Colonel James Moore and their South Carolina troops, including Indians from other tribes, the Tuscarora were finally defeated at Nooherooka in early 1713. The majority of the Tuscarora survivors migrated north and became the sixth nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Coree, as noted by Pate, “grunted at the signing…and hunkered down in their hideaways, deep in the swamps…while their menfolk harried the Albemarle, the women and children of the Coree made their way to rich dry hammocks between the pocosins."

The continuation of the Coree War went on until February 11, 1715, when the colonial government finally returned “a piece of old Pamtico” to the few remaining Coree. However, with names like Core Banks and Core Sound, the Coree left their mark on land south of the Neuse.