CHIEF THOMAS "TWO FEATHERS" LEWIS
( Dancer with Red Crooked Sky / Actor Cast in the "New World" Film)
The Chowanoke Indian Nation is a Native American Indian Tribe that descends from both the Meherrin, and the Chowanoke Indians granted reservation lands in the Parker's Ferry area of Hertford, and Gates counties in North Carolina. These same lands were at various points, occupied by both tribes. Our tribal base counties consist of Gates, Hertford, Perquimans, Chowan, Pasquatank, and Bertie.
This sub-group is first described in 1781 by Thomas Jefferson who wrote the book "Notes on the State of Virginia". In Chapter 11, Jefferson states, " The Powhatan Confederacy then would consist of about 8,000 inhabitants, which was one for every square mile: being about twentieth part of our present population in the same territory, and in the hundredth of that of the British islands. Besides these, were the Nottoways, living on the Nottoway river, the Meherrins and Tuteloes on the Meherrin river, who were connected with the Indians of Carolina, probably the Chowanocs."
Although the Meherrin are considered to be Iroquoian, and the Chowanoke Algonquin, the remnants of both groups, due to proximity, forged land and family bonds. Those bonds continue to exist today. As a great portion of our tribe descends from families of the historical Meherrin Tribe of Nick Major, Mister Thomas, and Tut-sech Basqueat. In addition to being direct lineal descendants of known Chowanoke Chief men, John Robbins, James Bennett, Thomas Hiter (Hoyter), and John Reading.
The Meherrin and Chowanoke people, since the reservational periods, formed communities in Hertford and Gates Counties with their own churches and schools. With Pleasant Plains Church, and an Indian school in Sarum, Gates County being among them. The people collectively incorporated certain lifestyles of the encroaching settlers in an effort to survive, such as owning land, and farming amongst their non-native neighbors. And we are still here today. The Meherrin-Chowanoke people are a Nation that derived from 2 Historic Tribes, the Meherrin, and the Chowanoke.
The Chowanoke Indian Nation is one of the very few, non-federally recognized Indian Tribes in the United States, whose members are direct descendants of a "collective" group of specific persons documented in governmental records identified as a tribe. This includes governmental accounts, tribal references, tribal land sales, and court records. It should also be noted that the tribe is currently pursuing, or as we prefer to say, "formally" re-establishing our Nation to Nation relationship with the Federal Government.
We have had a long and "known" history in State Indian Affairs, and have forged many bonds and relationships. We have survived many obstacles to remain in existence today. Due to our continued research, the sake of our children, and an acknowledgement of our history, we are, The Chowanoke Indian Nation.
A partial list of the Meherrin-Chowanoke Nation's core surnames are : Robbins, Hoyter (Hiter), Beasley, Bennett, Hunter, Reid, Weaver, Butler, Hall, Flood, Eure, Cross, Boone, Bowser, Manley, Greene, and Smith. Additional surnames are Pugh, Pierce, Chavis, Lewis, James, Nickens, Collins, and Melton.
**** Simply having one of these surnames does not mean that an individual is of Meherrin-Chowanoke descendant************
DOUGLAS PATTERSON SENATOR-ELECT ERIKA SMITH-INGRAM CHIEF THOMAS LEWIS
Chowanoke Tribal Leadership recently met with NC Senator-Elect Erica
Smith-Ingram to discuss tribal initiatives and community projects.
RECENT POLITICAL CHANGES IN OUR TRIBAL COUNTIES
Please go to the Tribal Council News page for more information!!!