Ethnohistoric Accounts of Animal Use

Among the many ethnohistoric accounts for the Piedmont area of North Carolina and Virginia are those of John Lederer, James Needham and Gabriel Arthur, Robert Fallam, Edward Bland, Abraham Wood (Alvord and Bidgood 1912), and John Lawson (Lefler 1967). With the exception of Lawson's account, however, none of these documents provides detailed information about hunting, fishing, and other subsistence activities of the historic North Carolina Indians. In A New Voyage to Carolina, John Lawson described his 1701 exploration of the region from Charleston, South Carolina, through the North Carolina Piedmont, to New Bern, North Carolina. In addition to presenting the scenes and events of his trip, Lawson also wrote a chapter detailing the "Vegetables," "Beasts," "Insects," "Birds," and "Fish" of North Carolina. Lawson's account thus provides a wealth of information on the use of faunal resources by North Carolina Indians.

During his winter journey, in addition to making direct contact with the Occaneechi in their town on the Eno River (Lefler 1967:61), Lawson encountered a number of other groups including the Eno, Keyauwee, Saponi, and Tutelo. Although he gives considerable attention to the ways in which the Piedmont (and also the coastal) Indians utilized faunal resources, he provides only scanty information about the ways in which the animals were procured (hunted, trapped, etc.).