Orange County, North Carolina historic information cache - Indian Towns - Adshusheer
 
Adshusheer
 
 
Although it is highly likely traders had been visiting the town for many years, the only description we have of Adshusheer is from European explorer John Lawson, who visited the Indian town in 1701 on his way from South Carolina to the coast of North Carolina.

He described the "Enoe" and "Shoccories" people as mixed with the "Nation of Adshusheer" in one village, which he called Adshusheer. According to Lawson, the leader of the three combined tribes was "Enoe Will" (who had been born a Shakori and whose main home was in Adshusheer), and that the Shakori were the principal tribe in the area by this point in time.

After visiting Achonechy (Occaneechi) Town, Lawson and his guides left "the Virginia Path, and striking more to the Eastward, for Ronoack" towards Adshusheer, which he described as about 14 miles from Occaneechi Town, over a "stony way." Once he reached the town, he described it as: "There runs a pretty Rivulet by this Town. Near the Plantation, I saw a prodigious overgrown Pine-Tree, having not seen any of that Sort of Timber for above 125 Miles..." and described the inhabitants as "...much addicted to a Sport they call Chenco, which is carry'd on with a Staff and a Bowl made of Stone, which they trundle upon a smooth Place, like a Bowling-Green, made for that Purpose..."

While there, Lawson noted that Enoe Will: "...bid me welcome when we came to his House, feasting us with hot Bread, and Bears-Oil; which is wholsome Food for Travellers." And other Indians brought Lawson's group two roosters, "...and pull'd their larger Feathers off, never plucking the lesser, but singeing them off. I took one of these Fowls in my Hand, to make it cleaner than the Indian had, pulling out his Guts and Liver, which I laid in a Bason; notwithstanding which, he kept such a Struggling for a considerable time, that I had much ado to hold him in my Hands. The Indians laugh'd at me, and told me, that Enoe-Will had taken a Cock of an Indian that was not at home, and the Fowl was design'd for another Use. I conjectur'd, that he was design'd for an Offering to their God, who, they say, hurts them, (which is the Devil.) In this Struggling, he bled afresh, and there issued out of his Body more Blood than commonly such Creatures afford. Notwithstanding all this, we cook'd him, and eat him; and if he was design'd for him, cheated the Devil. The Indians keep many Cocks, but seldom above one Hen, using very often such wicked Sacrifices, as I mistrusted this Fowl was design'd for." Enoe Will then "...brought some of his chief Men into his Cabin, and 2 of them having a Drum, and a Rattle, sung by us, as we lay in Bed, and struck up their Musick to serenade and welcome us to their Town. And tho' at last, we fell asleep, yet they continu'd their Consort till Morning."

The "Colonel Barnwell map," drawn circa 1725, shows a village site that likely corresponds with the site of Adshusheer, which by this time was apparently the "new" site of Occaneechi Town, or where the Occaneechi had moved to from their previous town located closer to present-day Hillsborough within the past 10 years.


An excerpt of the
An excerpt of the "Colonel Barnwell map" showing "Acconeechy Old Towns" (likely Adshusheer)


Like many/most other Indian towns in the area, Adshusheer was likely abandoned in the mid-1710s, likely owing to the anti-Tuscarora expedition led by Colonel James Moore that traveled through the area in 1712 and their alliance with "hostile" tribes during the Yamassee War in 1715-1717. Eventually, the Adshusheer people/those living in Adshusheer likely were incorporated into the Catawba and other local groups, moving to or being moved to present-day South Carolina and Virginia.

The site of Adshusheer is believed to be located southwest of Durham/east of Chapel Hill on New Hope Creek, as represented by North Carolina archaeological sites 31Or7 and 31Or13. Joffre Coe (beginning in the 1930s and 1940s) and other archaeologists have conducted archaeological work at these sites (as recently as 2006). According to UNC archaeologists, the site of Adshusheer's discovery would be a “watershed event in North Carolina Piedmont archaeology."
 
 
Sources:

John Lawson. A New Voyage to Carolina; Containing the Exact Description and Natural History of that Country. London, 1709. {Online version.}

James Mooney. The Siouan Tribes of the East. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin no. 22. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894. {Online version.}

Daniel L. Simpkins and Gary L. Petherick. Second Phase Investigations of Late Aboriginal Settlement Systems in the Eno, Haw, and Dan River Drainages, North Carolina. Research Laboratories of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1986. {Online version.}
 
 
[Created : 10 February 2013]
 
 

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