Yamasee (American Indians Ready Reference)
Little is known regarding the language and culture of the Yamasee tribe, which no longer exists as a distinct entity. The Yamasee spoke a Muskogean language, probably a dialect of Hitchiti. It is assumed by scholars that the Yamasee were culturally similar to the Creeks, another Muskogean people with whom the Yamasee had close relations. The Yamasee may have been the friendly Indians encountered by Hernando de Soto along the Altamaha river in eastern Georgia in 1540. Spanish expeditions to the same area one-half century later made contact with the Yamasee, who were reported as friendly to the Spanish.
In the 1680's, the Yamasee became disenchanted with Spanish efforts to enslave some of the Yamasee. The Yamasee moved north to the English colony of South Carolina; they became trading partners and military allies of the English. In the 1680's, South Carolina induced the Yamasee to attack the Spanish at Santa Catalina. The Yamasee assisted the South Carolinians in a war against the Apalachees of Florida in 1705. In the Tuscarora War of 1711-1713, the Yamasee provided most of the soldiers in the Carolinians’ successful war against the Tuscarora.
Following the Tuscarora War, relations between the Yamasee and Carolinians worsened. The Yamasee were angered by their growing dependence upon English trade goods, their indebtedness to English traders, English penetration of Indian lands, and the enslavement of some Yamasee by the English. Deteriorating...
(The entire section is 354 words.)
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