“So Warlike a Disposition”

Mary Elizabeth Fitts

in Fit for War

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2017 | ISBN: 9781683400059
Published online January 2018 | e-ISBN: 9781683400295 | DOI:
“So Warlike a Disposition”

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This chapter examines how interactions with Carolina influenced Catawba militarism. In the early eighteenth century, Catawba warriors began to serve as ethnic soldiers, auxiliaries for the English colonies. These exploits provided an important venue for men to achieve notoriety, but triggered cycles of retaliation with other American Indian polities. To facilitate their military operations, defend their homes, and access the main trading path, the Catawba clustered their towns near Nation Ford. This military orientation contributed to the geopolitical persistence of the Catawba Nation, but also led to a precarious state of affairs. The ways in which Catawba men, women, and children experienced these conditions are considered, along with evidence for an episode of food insecurity in the 1750s. Militarism also encouraged the incorporation of refugees into Catawba communities, but little is known about how this process actually took place. The concepts of coalescence and ethnogenesis are used to frame questions later addressed through the examination of archaeological data in chapters 6 and 7.

Keywords: Catawba militarism; Auxiliaries; Ethnic soldiers; Coalescence; Ethnogenesis

Chapter.  13273 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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