The Yamasee Indians were part of the Muskhogean language group. Relations between the tribe and English settlers in that region were generally positive during the latter half of the 17th century.Not surprisingly, problems between the races developed. White fur traders acted on their displeasure by enslaving a number of Yamasee women and children to cover portions of the outstanding debt.In the spring of 1715, the Yamasee formed a confederation with other tribes and struck at the white settlements in South Carolina. Charleston also received large numbers of frightened settlers.At the height of the fighting, it appeared that the tribal confederation's overwhelming numerical superiority would end in the white settlements' complete destruction in the region. In a further stroke of good fortune, the besieged settlers also managed to gain support from Virginia — an event not assured in this age of intense colonial rivalries.The tide turned against the Yamasee, who were slowly pushed south through Georgia back into their ancestral lands in northern Florida. There, the tribe was virtually annihilated by protracted warfare with the Creeks, but some members were absorbed by the Seminole.The Yamasee War took a heavy toll in South Carolina. The warfare also brought a sharp change to the region's economy. Originally, farming had been the settlers' primary occupation, but the livestock supply had been so drastically depleted that many farms disappeared. In their absence, enterprising South Carolinians turned to the forests as a source of Naval Stores (tar, pitch and turpentine) and soon developed a lucrative trade with England. Later, the economy would develop rice and Indigo as its primary products.
See the Tuscarora War in North Carolina.
See also Significant Native American Leaders and Indian Wars Time Table.