Extinct Tribes A

Extinct Tribes, Forgotten Names, or Alternate Names of North American Indians

An alphabetical list of extinct native american indian tribes of the United States starting with A.

Each tribal profile explains who they were, where they lived, how they lived, an account of first contact with Europeans, population if known, and a brief explanation of what happed to them.



A | B | C | D-E | F-G | H-J | K | L | MN | O | P-Q |  R-S |  T-V | W-Z 

Believed to be Extinct or Absorbed Into Other Tribes


Ababco – An eastern Algonquian tribe or sub-tribe, this group originally lived on the Choptank River in Maryland when first encountered by Europeans. They were first mentioned by by Thomas Bacon in his Laws of Maryland, published in 1765, as having been connected with the Hutsawap and Tequassimoe, as a distinct tribe; however, later historians believed them to be a division of the Choptank.

They were not mentioned in John Smith’s documents of his exploration of Chesapeake Bay in the early 1600’s. By 1837 the entire tribe had dwindled to a few individuals of mixed Indian and African blood.

Abittibi – A little known Algonkin band whose habitat has been the shores of Abittibi Lake, in Ontario, Canada. The first recorded notice of them is in the Jesuit Relations for 1640. In the Jesuit Relations of 1660, the Iroquois warred upon them and two other tribes of the same area.

French explorer Daniel Greysolon Sieur du Lhut included them in a list of nations living north of Lake Superior in 1684. They were estimated by Chanvignerie in 1736 to be 140 warriors living with the Tětes de Boule. He mentions as totems — the partridge and the eagle. They were reported by the Canadian Indian Office to number 450 in 1878, after which date they are not officially mentioned.

Accohanoc – A tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy, they formerly lived on the river of the same name, in Accomac and Northampton Counties of Virginia. They were described as having 40 warriors in 1608. Later, they became mixed with African-Americans and what was left of them were driven off during the Nat Turner insurrection in about 1833.

Achiligonan – A tribe or band, who, between 1640 and 1670, were living on the north shore of Lake Huron, about the mouth of French River and westward nearly to Sault Ste Marie. In 1670 they were attached to the mission at the Sault. In the Jesuit Relation of 1640 their position is given on the north shore of Lake Huron, at the mouth of French river.

The Amikwa are mentioned in the same connection as residing on this stream. In 1658 they appear to be placed farther north on the river, and it is stated that they trailed with the Cree. In 1670 they are said to have been attached to the mission of Sault Ste Marie, but only as going there to fish. It is probable that they were a Chippewa or a Nipissing band.

Acolapissa – Of Choctaw lineage this band formerly lived on Lake Ponchartrain, about the coast lagoons, and on the Mississippi River, in Louisiana. Early French writers derived the name from the Choctaw káklo pisa, meaning “those who listen and see.”  The name appears to have been used by an early author; to include several tribes — the Bayogoula, Mugniasha, and others. They were said to have had six or seven different villages, but, suffered severely from an epidemic about 1700.They later settled north of New Orleans and what was left of them were absorbed into the Houma tribe.

Acquintanacsnak – A tribe or sub-tribe which English explorer, Captain John Smith encountered living on the west bank of Patuxent River in present day St Mary’s County, Maryland. They lived near to and were allied with the Patuxent and Mattapanient tribes, and were described as having about 200 warriors within the three tribes. The principal village bore the tribal name and was situated at the mouth of a small creek.

Captain Smith described them as “the most civil to give entertainment.” Although they had a chief, it is doubtful whether they formed a distinct tribe and may have been a band or division of the Patuxent.

The name later dropped from documentation without indication of the extinction of the people, very likely because subsequent and more correct information showed that they were a division of another well-known tribe.

Acuera – Part of the Timucuan linguistic division of the Muskhogean family, the Acuera were located at the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River in Florida. They were first noted by Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto, in a letter written at Tampa Bay to the Civil Cabildo of Santiago de Cuba. De Soto described where they lived as being “a large town where with much convenience we might winter.”

Though the Spaniards did not pass through the village, while they were at Ocale, they sent to Acuera for corn. The name appears later in French explorer, René Goulaine de Laudonnière’s narrative of the second French expedition to Florida in 1564-65, as a tribe allied with the Utina.

Later, they were noted briefly in Spanish documents and in 1604, the an encounter between the tribe and Spanish troops. By 1655, there were two Acuera missions — San Luis and Santa Lucia, both of which had disappeared by 1680. The inland position of the Acuera is partly responsible for the few early descriptions of them.

Later, the tribe was probably gathered into the “Pueblo de Timucua,” which stood near St. Augustine, Florida in 1736, and was finally removed to the Mosquito Lagoon and Halifax River in Volusia County. The tribe is entirely extinct today.

Adai – Alternate name: Nateo. A tribe of the Caddo Confederacy, they spoke a dialect closely related to that of the Kadohadacho, Hainai, and Anadarko. The tribe-was first encountered in 1529 by Cabeza de Vaca, who called them Atayo, and said they were living inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Adshusheer – A tribe associated with the Eno and Shakori in North Carolina in 1701. They were thought to have been located near present-day Durham, North Carolina. The Adshusheer were probably absorbed by one of the tribes with which they were associated.

Affagoula – A small village of Indians, who were, in 1783, located on the Mississippi River 8 miles above Point Coupè in Louisiana.

Agawam (or Agawom) – A name of frequent occurrence in south New England; Long Island, New York; and at least three villages or tribes in Massachusetts. The most important of these villages was located near present-day Ipswich, Massachusetts. However, the site was sold by the chief in 1638. This band was part of the Pennacook Confederacy, and was almost extinct in 1658. However, as late as 1726 there were still three families living near Wigwam Hill.

The second tribe or band of that name had its chief town on Long hill, near Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield was sold in 1635 and the Indian town was in existence in 1675. This tribe was commonly classed with the Pacomtuc. The third was about Wareham, Massachusetts, the site of which was sold in 1655. It was probably subject to the Wampanoag, but joined in the plot against the English in 1621.

Ahantchuyuks (French Prairie Indians, Hanchiuke, Ahántchuyuk, Pudding River Indians) – A small tribe in Oregon, relatives of the Kalapuya. Like many other West Coast Indian tribes, the Ahantchuyuk Indians were relocated to the Siletz and Grand Ronde Reservations during the 1800’s, where they merged with other native peoples and their languages rapidly vanished. The Ahantchuyuk language is no longer spoken, but is believed to have been a Central Kalapuyan dialect. They are now known as the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon.

Ahwajiaway (Minetare,) In 1805, they numbered 200. In 1820 they were camped in S. W. Missouri 3 miles above the Mandans.

Ais or Ays  – A tribe who once inhabited the Atlantic Coast of Florida, the primarily lived in villages of what is now called the Indian River. Little is known of their language or origins. They were noted by Jonathan Dickinson, who’s party had been shipwrecked in 1696. By this time, they had had considerable contact with Europeans and regarded the Spanish as friends, but all others as enemies.

They did not survive much longer as, after 1700, settlers in Carolina started raiding the Ais to capture slaves. By 1743, when the Spanish established a mission among them, the Ais numbers had declined dramatically by slave raids and disease. They were gone from the area by 1760. Ais Moundbuilders

Ajoues or Ayouas (Towoha’ or Iowa Indians) – The Ajoues were once located on the site that is now Locust Grove, Iowa. They were almost wiped out by the Indian Wars with Fox nations. 1,100 lived South of the Missouri, and North of the Padoucas in 1760. In a message to Congress after the purchase of Louisiana, in 1803, President Jefferson states, “On the River Moingona or Riviere de Moine are the Ajoues, a nation originally from the Missouri.”

In Alcedo’s Spanish Geography, under the name of Ajoues, they are mentioned as a tribe of Louisiana, for whose government a garrison had been kept on the Missouri. In Nicholas J. Santoro’s Atlas of the Indian Tribes of North America and the Clash of Cultures, they are mentioned in Iowa.

Akonapi – A people mentioned in the ancient Walam Olum record of the Delawares (Brinton, Lenape Legends, 190, 231, 1885), with whom they fought during their migrations. Brinton, who identities them with the Akowini of the same tradition, thinks it probable that they lived immediately North of the Ohio River in Ohio or Indiana. He regards Akowini as “correspondent” with Sinako, and Towakon with Towako; the latter he identifies with the Ottawa, called by the Delawares Taway. If this identification is correct, it is likely that the Akonapi were the Sinago branch of the Ottawa.

Alabama or Alibamu – A Muskogean tribe of the southern United States, the tribe lived primarily within the state that now bears their name. They, along with other Muskogean speaking tribes, the Creek, Hitchiti, and Coushatta, formed the Creek Confederacy. They and the  closely allied Coushatta migrated from Alabama and Mississippi to  the Red River in Texas in 1764, under pressure from white settlers.

The two tribes merged and share reservation land. Although the Alabama tribe was terminated in the 1950s, it achieved federal recognition in 1987 as the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Today, Its 550 members have about 4,500 acres of reservation.

Alansar or Alannar or Fall Indians – According to the Canadians, the Fall Indians of Canada were located between the Saskatchewan River and South Branch.  Drake gives their location at the falls of the Kooskooskie River (Clearwater River) under the alternate name of Alannar or Alansar, at the headwaters of the Saskatchewan River and South Branch,with an estimated population of  2,000 in 1804. 

These Fall Indians should not be confused with the Atsina (Gros Ventre) on the Milk River of Montana, or the Clowewalla around the falls of the Willamette River in Oregon, who are also called Fall Indians, also according to Drake.

Alchedoma – A former Yuman tribe which were found living in eight villages in 1604 by  Juan de Onate  below the mouth of the Gila on the Colorado River. Later, they were living along the Colorado River in Arizona and California and were estimated to have numbered about 2,500 people. They were allegedly enemies with the Mohave tribe and were absorbed by the Maricopa Indians, whom they joined before fleeing the Colorado River from the Mohave.

Aliatan  –  A Ute name applied to many Shoshoni tribes, including the Shoshoni proper. To the Ute, it represented the language they spoke.In 1805 the Lewis and Clark journal noted there was one large tribe in the Rocky Mountains that was divided into three smaller sub-tribes. He called them the Aliatan and noted he got his information from the local Indians while he was staying with the Mandans. He named the Snake Indians and Shoshone Indians as two of the three Aliatan tribes.

Allakaweah – This tribe or band was first encountered by Lewis and Clark in 1805, who gave them the name Allakaweah, which meant “Paunch Indians.” Living on the Yellowstone and Bighorn Rivers in Montana, they were estimated to have number about 2,300 people. As this area was occupied by the Crow Indians at the time, they were thought to have been a band of that tribe.

Alliklik – The Alliklik belonged to the Californian group of the Shoshonean division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock, their closest relatives probably being the Serrano. They lived on the upper Santa Clara River in several villages, along with the Serrano, Vanyume, and Kitanemuk. The Alliklik numbered about 3,500 in 1770, but had been nearly extinct by the early 1900’s.

Alsea (Alsi, Alcea) – A Yaquina tribe formerly occupying a small territory at the mouth of Alsea River in western Oregon.Mooney (1928) estimates the number of Indians belonging to the Yakonan stock at 6,000 in 1780. The census of 1910 returned 29 Indians under this name, and that of 1930 only 9 under the entire Yakonan stock. They are now part of the Confederated Siletz Indians of Oregon.

Amacano – A tribe or band perhaps connected with the Yamasee which lived on the Apalachee Coast of Florida in 1674 with Chine and Caparaz tribes. At that time the three groups numbered about 300 people.

Amahami – According to tribal history, the Amahami had always lived along the upper Missouri River. Although they were culturally and linguistically similar to the Hidatsa, they were closer to the Mandan. They were recognized as a distinct tribe by Lewis and Clark in 1804, but had practically lost their identity 30 years later.

In Lewis and Clark’s time their village was at the mouth of Knife River in North Dakota and they were estimated to have about 50 warriors. Disease caused survivors to merge with the Hidatsa. Today, the Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan have merged to become the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold.

Amaseconti – A small division of the Abnaki tribe who formerly resided in Maine. They took part with the other Abnaki in the early Indian wars against the English and joined in the treaty made at Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1713. Some of them lingered in their old homes until about 1797, when the last family moved to St Francis, lower Canada, where they retained their distinctive name until 1809.

Amikwa – An Algonquian speaking tribe found by the French living on the north shore of Lake Huron, where they remained until about 1672. They were said to have been allies of the Nipissing tribe and once inhabited the shores of Lake Nipissing in Ontario, Canada. After disease and attacks by the Iroquois, the tribe was much reduced and moved to various locations including Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Anadarko – A tribe of the Caddo Confederacy, they were encountered by the Moscoso Expedition in 1542 living in villages scattered along Trinity and Brazos Rivers in Texas. A Spanish mission was established among the Anadarko early in the 18th century, but was soon abandoned. Disease and tribal wars forced them to the northeast and in 1812, about 200 of them were reported living on the Sabine River. They are now incorporated with the Caddo, many of whom live in western Oklahoma.

Ancient Puebloans – Often called, Anasazi, a Navajo word meaning “The Ancient Ones,” their decendants, including the Hopi, Zuni and the Puebloans, prefer the name Ancient Puebloans. These Indians lived from A.D. 1 to the 14th century in the Four Corners region of ColoradoNew MexicoUtah and Arizona. They were a highly cultured tribe, known mostly for their great creativity and their building of many of the ancient cliff-dwellings that can still be seen today.

Aondironon – A branch of the Neutral tribe whose territory bordered on that of the Huron in western Ontario, Canada. In 1648, owing to an alleged breach of neutrality, the chief town of this tribe was attacked by 300 Iroquois, mainly Seneca, who killed a large number of its inhabitants and carried away many others into captivity.

Apalachicola or Apalachikola – Plural of Apalachee. From at least A.D. 1000, a group of farming Indians who lived on that river in northwest Florida. Apalachikola merely means Apalachee People in the languages of the Gulf Coast. Apalache means “People bearing torches” in Itsate-Creek. They did not originally speak Muskogee.

They were probably related to the Apalache or Palache of the Georgia Mountains, but this is not certain.Prior to European contact, there were probably at least 50,000-60,000 Apalachees.They were removed to Red River in 1764.  Apalachees of Northwest Florida from Mission San Luis

Appomattoc or Apamatuks – A tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy who spoke the Algonquian language, they formerly lived on the lower Appomattox River in Virginia. They were first encountered English explorers in 1607 and the following year were described  as having 60 warriors. Their principal village, which bore the same name, was burned by the English in 1611. As the Appomattoc population dwindled, they were vulnerable to attack from traditional western enemy tribes.

In 1691, they petitioned to live among the English for protection. By 1705, they were described as having only about seven families and by 1722 they were extinct, having merged with other tribes.

Aquackanonk – A band of the Lenape Indians who lived on the Passaic River in northern New Jersey when first encountered. Their lands were acquired by Jacques Cortelyou, in 1676 who established a settlement of Dutch traders two years later. A township later took the name, but, by then the Indians were gone.

Aranama – A small agricultural tribe who formerly lived on and near the south coast of Texas. In 1822, however, they were living on the San Antonio River and were estimated to have numbered about 125 people. As a tribe the Aranama were extinct by 1843. 
Arendahronon – One of the four chief tribes of the Huron Indians, their names means “rock people.” Being located more to the east than the other Huron people, they claimed to be the first allies of the French, who founded among them the missions of St Jean Baptiste, St Joachim, and Ste. Elisabeth. In 1649, on the political destruction and expulsion of the Huron tribes by the Iroquois, the inhabitants of St Jean Baptiste submitted in a body to the Seneca, who adopted them.
Arkokisa – A people formerly living in villages chiefly along lower Trinity River in Texas. The Spanish presidio of San Agustin de Ahumada was founded among them in 1756, and several Mexican families settled there, but it was abandoned in 1772.
They were allied with the Aranama and the Attacapa, and were on friendly terms also with the Bidai, but their linguistic affinity is not known. They numbered about 80 men in 1760-70 and subsisted principally on shellfish and fruits.
In 1805 their principal town was on the west side of Colorado River of Texas, about 200 miles southwest of Nacogdoches. As more and more white settlers moved into their territory, their numbers were decimated by disease and their tribal relations broken up, causing them to scatter and disorganize.

Armouchiquois or Malecite (Marachite) – There is much confusion as to who these people were, but the name was given by the Abnaki Indians to the country of the Indians of the New England coast south of the Sacro River in Maine.

In 1605, when French explorer, Samuel de Champlain visited a  large native village at the mouth of the Saco River, his Etchemin guides called the people Armouchiquois and called the village Chouacoit. It was a large, permanent, palisaded settlement, and the area was filled with small native hamlets, all cultivating  corn, bean, and squash fields.

In 1607, Chouacoit was hit hard in a raid by the Souriquoi and their allies. Thus began a war that lasted until about 1615, apparently ending with disastrous losses for the Armouchiquois. In 1616, the village was hit hard by disease and most of its inhabitants took sick and died. By 1631, the village was gone.

In Joseph Williason’s History of Maine, published in 1832, he said they were the same as the Malecite tribe living on the  St. John’s River, but Champlain had earlier said that their language differed from the Micmac and the Etchimin bands which were also of the Malecite tribe. Some Frenchmen used the term to describe several tribes that the English included under the term “Massachusetts.”

In Francis Parkman’s book, Jesuits in North America, published in 1867, the term included the Algonquian tribes of New England, including the Mohegan, Pequot, Massachusett, Narraganset and others who were in in a chronic state of war with the tribes of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Arosaguntacook – Also called Androscoggin, Amoscoggin, and other variations, they were a tribe of the Abenaki Confederacy, who formerly lived in the Androscoggin River watershed, located in present-day southern Maine and northern New Hampshire.

Their primary village was located in in Androscoggin County, Maine in a village that bore the same name on Androscoggin River. Together with the Pigwacket, they formed the southern-most of the Abenaki tribes, and were therefore one the first in contact with the English colonists of New England. Living on the edge of the first English settlements in Maine, they took part in King Philip’s War in 1675.

They were later removed to St Francis, Canada, soon after the Abnaki defeat in the Battle of Pequawket at present day Fryeburg, Maine in 1725. It is assumed that by the 18th century, they had been absorbed by neighboring tribes.

Ascahcutoner – A tribe belonging to the Sioux-Osage family, they were also said to have been associated with the Teton Sioux.

Assegun – A tribe that originally occupied the region around Mackinaw and Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, they were later driven southward by the Anishinaabe and Ottawa into Lower Michigan. They were once thought to be connected to the Mascouten, but are now believed to have been a Siouan tribe. The name probably derives from Anishinaabe word meaning “Black Bass.”

Assuti – A small Nez Percé band formerly living on Assuti Creek in Idaho. They joined Chief Joseph in the Nez Perce War of 1877. The remnant Nez Perce from that war are now part of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
Atakapa (Attakapa, Attakapas, Attacapa) or Ishak – Pronounced “ee-SHAK,” Ishak  meant “The People.” A hunting and gathering tribe, they lived along the Gulf of Mexico, and the rivers valleys, lake shores, and coasts from Galveston Bay, Texas to Vermilion Bay, Louisiana. In the summer, families moved to the coast, where the women cultivated maize.
By 1719, they had obtained horses and hunted bison from horseback. After 1762, when Louisiana was transferred to Spain, little was written about them and epidemics of the late 18th century reduced their numbers considerably. Survivors joined the Caddo, Koasati, and other surrounding tribes, although some culturally distinct Atakapan people survived into the 20th century.
Today, many of their descendants have fought for recognition of the Atakapa-Ishak tribe, though because they share a mixed linage of African-American and Indian ancestry this has been difficult.
Atanumlema – A small Shahaptian tribe that is now part of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation  in Washington. They once spoke a a dialect closely related to the Yakima and Klikitat.
Atchatchakangouen – From their word meaning “crane,” these Indians were a principal division of the Miami. After hostilities with the Illinois Indians, they moved west of the Mississippi River, where they found more conflict when they were attacked by the Sioux. Moving once again, they briefly settled near the Jesuit mission at Green Bay, before making their way into Illinois and Indiana.
Atfaiati or Atfalati – Also known as the Tualatin, they were a band of the Kalapuya tribe that formerly inhabited the Tualatin Valley in  northwest Oregon. Though they had a hunter-gather lifestyle, they also had permanent villages they inhabited during the winter months. Little is known of their native customs.
White settlers began to invade their territory in the early 19th century, and by 1842, their population had been decreased by disease to only about 600. By 1848, it had shrunk to only about 60 people. In 1855, the government negotiated a treaty with the larger Kalapuya group that included the Atfalati tribe, which removed the Atfalati to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation at the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range where they lived with a variety of other tribes.
By the early 1900’s they had further dwindled to only about 20 people. This group of people are known today as the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon.
Atquanachuke – A tribe or band that resided in New Jersey in the early 17th century. They were said to have lived on the seacoast beyond the mountains northward from Chesapeake Bay, and spoke a language different from that of the Powhatan, Conestoga, Tocwogh, and Cuscarawaoc.
Aucocisco – The name of the territory about Casco Bay and Presumpscot River, in the area now included in Cumberland County, Maine. It was also sometimes applied to those Abenaki Indians by whom it was occupied. Since the section was settled at an early date by the whites, the name soon dropped out of use as applied to the Indians, or rather it was changed to “Casco,” but this was a mere local designation, not a tribal distinction, as the Indians referred to were Abenaki.
The name they called themselves is said to have been Uh-kos-is-co, meaning crane or heron. These birds still frequent the bay.They were also noted between the Saco and Androscoggin River in 1630.
Avavares – A former tribe of Texas, possibly Caddoan, which lived “behind” the Quintole toward the interior, and to which Cabeza de Vaca, in 1527-34, fled from the Mariames. Their language was different from that of the Mariames, although they understood them.
They bartered bones, which the Mariames ground and used for food, and also traded in bows. While staying with the Avavares, Cabeza de Vaca and his companion became noted for their successful treatment of the sick. The people seem to have been kindly disposed and different in habits from the coast tribes.

Possibly Extinct? Some May be Canadian tribes? Or Alternate Names?

ALICHE, Near Nacogdoches in 1805, then nearly extinct; spoke Caddo.

ALUGHQUAGA. On E. branch Susquehannah River; 150 in 1768; since extinct.

AMALISTES, (Algonkins,) once on St. Lawrence; 500 in 1760.

ANASAGUNTAKOOK, (Abenaki,) on sources Androscoggin, in Maine, till 1750.

ANDASTES, once on South shore Lake Erie, S. W. Seneca, who destroyed them in 1672.

APACHES, (Lapane,) between Rio del Norte and sources of Nuaces river; 3,500 in 1817.

APPALOUSA, aboriginal in the country of their name; but 40 men in 1805.

AQUANUSCHIONI, the name by which the Iroquois knew themselves.

ARAPAHAS, South side main Canada River; 4,000 in 1836, on Kanzas River.

ARRENAMUSE, On St. Antonio River, near its mouth, in Texas ; 120 in 1818.

ATENAS, in a village with the Faculli in 1836, west of the Rocky Mountains.

Atfalati – Alternate names: Falatah, Kalapuya, Tfalati, Wapato

ATHAPASCOW, about the shores of the great lake of their name. ATNAS, (Ojibewas,) next S. of the Athapascow, about lat. 57° N., in 1790.

ATTACAPAS, in a district of their name in Louisiana; but 50 men in 1805.

ATTAPULGAS, (Seminoles,) on Little r., a branch of Oloklikana, 1820, and 220 souls.

ATTIKAMIGUES, in N. of Canada, destroyed by pestilence in 1670.

Awaswas – Alternate name: Santa Cruz

AYAUAIS, 40 leagues up the Des Moines, S. E. side; 800 in 1805.

AYUTANS, 8,000 in 1820, S. W. the Missouri, near the Rocky Mountains.



Article Index:

Ababco tribe

The Ababco were an eastern Algonquian tribe or sub-tribe.

Alternate spelling: Ababeves, Abapco, Abaco, Babcoe, Abanvo

The Ababco originally lived on the Choptank River in Maryland when first encountered by Europeans. They were first mentioned by by Thomas Bacon in his Laws of Maryland, published in 1765, as having been connected with the Hutsawap and Tequassimoe, as a distinct tribe.

Later historians believed them to be a division of the Choptank tribe, which consisted of three divisions: the Ababco, Hutsawap, and Tequassimo. They were not mentioned in John Smith’s documents of his exploration of Chesapeake Bay in the early 1600’s. By 1837 the entire tribe had dwindled to a few individuals of mixed Indian and African blood.

Ababco was the name of one of the chiefs (werewances) of the Choptank Indians when the earliest white settlers arrived. He and his people lived in the area extending from Sandy Hill Point (west of Cambridge) to El Don (currently Bonnie Brook) including present-day Cambridge, the land for which the English paid 40 matchcoats to the Indians.

The name of their “king” soon began to be used by the settlers to indicate the band of people that he led and even his village (“King Ababco’s Town”).

When the whites arrived, the Ababco probably numbered about 1600 persons. Along with the other two chiefs of the Choptanks, Hatsawap and Tequissino, Ababco signed the first treaty with the settlers in 1669, and in 1671, signed the act granting the Choptank Reservation {McCallister}. In 1676, along with Hatsawap and Tequissino, Chief Ababco acted as a mediator between the English and the Nanticoke “emperor” Unnacokasimmon.

At the time of the signing of the treaty of 1669, the Choptanks were menaced by the Delawares (Minquas) who had formed an alliance with the remnants of the Wickamisses. Their principal enemies, however, were the Senecas (Northern Indians) who made prisoners of the Choptanks and carried them off, probably for adoption. In 1683, some fourteen Choptanks were returned to their homes on the intercession of the English, but others seem to have been retained. About this time a daughter of King Ababco was released.

In 1681, Chief Ababco was asked by the Nanticoke tyac to join him in a war on the English, an offer which he declined (Marye). After the death of Ababco, his son Netgughwoughton and Chief Tequissino were consulted by the English as to the election of an emperor of the Nanticokes (McCallister).

Their chief in 1701 was Winicaco, after whose death circa 1720, his people became more and more dissatisfied within the limits of their reservation. Some began to move away to new homes in greater forests with broad hunting grounds and more game, farther away from the whites who continuously invaded their reservation and “influenced their young people to adopt more vices than virtues” (Jones).

When all the Choptanks were living on their reservation, the distinctions between the bands rapidly began to disappear. All mention of the Tequissino as a separate group ceases after 1722, and the Hatsawap are not mentioned after 1727. In a deed of November 1726, the Ababco and Hatsawap were called “the 2 nations.”

After the death of her father, Chief Winicaco, Betty Cacoe became “queen,” and her name appears as such on a deed dated 1722 (McCallister). She was still queen in April 1727 when her name was given as Betty Carco over her “X” on a deed. Sadly, she is to be remembered as the leader who sold off much of what was left of the Choptank Indian Reservation.

Soon after the reservation had been granted to them, the Choptanks began selling it off in lots to settlers. From 1692 to 1720, most of the reserve had been sold in fourteen separate deals (Maryland Archives, McCallister). In 1719, an Indian named Tom Bishop complained to the Maryland Assembly on behalf of the Choptank Indians that the English “encroached greatly upon the lands of his people, so that they are now driven into a small narrow neck called Locust Neck.”  In 1755, the Choptanks were described as ”reduced to a small number, chiefly old, crippled, or sickly” (Speck).

Diseases of the Europeans brought to the Indians inadvertently and to which the Native Americans had little or no resistance probably were the major cause of Choptank deaths. Finally, as their lands dwindled, sustenance became difficult and many doubtless died of malnutrition which also left them more prone to disease. Aside from the “gifts” of the whites of tuberculosis, smallpox, and venereal diseases, chronic alcoholism also took its deadly toll.

When their neighbors, the Nanticokes, left for the north in 1744, some of the Choptanks probably left also, but most seem to have stayed. One reason the Choptanks lived on as long as they did in the area was the fur trade. Even when game became so scarce as to be impossible to trap or hunt, the Choptanks stayed on long past when their neighbors had left, probably because they got along with the settlers much better than did the Nanticokes.

In 1792, William Vans Murray submitted a few ethnological notes and a vocabulary which had been collected at Locust Neck Town to Thomas Jefferson. He stated that the tribe had dwindled to nine persons living in four genuine old wigwams thatched over with cedar bark. They were governed by a queen, Mrs. Mulberry. Winicaco, Chief Ababco’s son and their last chief, had died about 75 or 80 years before and his body was kept preserved in a mortuary house (Speck).

In 1801, Mary Mulberry died and her 20 acres were sold by the state. In 1856, a Maryland act states that the land set aside in 1799 for the Choptanks “has long since been deserted by them, and the race has become extinct.”

The land then “lay in an unimproved and dilapidated condition” and was sold. A small remnant was retained by the State and sold to the Dorchester County Board of Education on April 7, 1870 for the use of the public schools (McCallister).


Aberginian Indians

Aberginian is a collective term used by the early settlers on Massachusetts Bay for the tribes to the north. They were described in 1654 as consisting of the Massachusett, Wippanap, and Tarratine tribes.

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Native American Dreamcatcher Wall Clock The name may be a corruption of Abnaki, or a misspelling for “aborigines.” The Wippanap were evidently the Abenaki, while the Tarratine are the same Indians, or a part of them.

Acolapissa merged with the Houma

The Acolapissa disappeared as a separate tribe during 1765, and their subsequent history is identical with the Houma with whom they merged. The Houma remained in Ascension Parish until 1776 when they were overrun by settlement.

They sold their land to two French Creoles that year, but small groups of them remained in the vicinity until 1840. However, by 1785 the majority had moved southwest and concentrated in La Fourche and Terrebonne Parishes (Houma, Louisiana) about 25 miles from New Orleans.

Acuera Indians
Agna Dulce Indians, also known as the Freshwater Tribe
Beothuk Indians
Calusa Indians
Chimariko Tribe of California