The Yamasee War 1715–17


Map Code: Ax01415

The Yamasee traded extensively with the South Carolinas colony, and acted as mercenaries for the colonists. Their core commodities were deerskins, and Indian slaves, who were sold to work on the colonial rice plantations. By 1715, depletion of deer stocks led to indebtedness to the colonists, who in reparation raids enslaved Yamasee women and children. This, coupled with increasing land encroachment, acted as a catalyst for war: the flashpoint was the ‘Pocataligo Massacre’ of a colonial deputation sent to parley. The uprising spread quickly to neighbouring tribes – the Ochese Creeks, Catawba and Cherokee. The Yamasee attacked Port Royal, while the Catawba moved on Charles Town. However, the colonists rallied, and their militias defeated the Catawba at the Battle of the Ponds and the Yamasee at Salkehatchie. The Cherokee then switched sides, allying with the colonists. By the war’s end (1717) the Yamasee were broken, most becoming refugees in Spanish Florida.

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