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  1. Wikipedia has an entry on the 1656 Battle of Bloody Run, involving the Mahocks. One historian holds that the Mahocks were Siouan Manohoac, who were pushed down from further north: “It seems quite possible that this movement was occasioned by the Susquehanna Indians who, their great enemies the Iroquois being then at war with the Erie, were free to raid toward the south. Although Bushnell sought to identify them with the Massinacack, it is possible that the Mahock were the Manahoac driven down from the Rappahannock while the Nahyssan here mentioned were one of the Monacan tribes.”
That quote and all below is from:
Siouan Tribes and the Ohio Valley Author(s): John R. Swanton
Source: American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Jan. – Mar., 1943), pp. 49-66 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/662865 . Accessed: 24/12/2012 16:56
Full excerpt:
“The Virginia Siouans make their initial appearance in history in the writings of John Smith. He found two groups of Indians belonging in this category, the Monacan of James River above the falls and the Manahoac similarly situated upon the upper Rappahannock. The location of the towns of each of these groups was studied intensively by the late D. I. Bushnell, Jr.,13 but we need not concern ourselves particularly with the Manahoac.
Of the Monacan towns the first encountered in ascending the James would be Mowhemcho or Mowhemencho which Bushnell locates “in the extreme eastern part of the present Powhatan County, between Bernards Creek on the east and Jones Creek on the west.” This was later known as Monacan town or “Manakin Town,” and in it were probably concentrated the survivors of the lower towns of the group. The next settlement above, Massinacack, Bushnell conjectures to have lain at the mouth of Mohawk Creek, and the third, Rassawek, regarded in Smith’s time as “the chiefe habitation” of the Monacan, he places at the junction of the James and Rivanna.
Much farther inland were the Monahassanugh believed to have been located near the present Wingina in Nelson County and the Monasukapanough, conjecturally situated on the Rivanna above Charlottesville.14 As just noted, Mowhemcho appears later under the name of Monacan Town and may have housed remnants from the villages of Massinacack and Rassawek, though some of the inhabitants of all no doubt united with the remaining divisions. At any rate Monacan Town had an independent existence in approximately the same place as late as 1702.15 Monasukapanough has been identified, probably correctly, with the tribe later called Saponi.
In 1670 Lederer visited their settlement which he calls “Sapon, a village of the Nahys- sans,” at a site located by Mooney on Otter River, southwest of Lynchburg.16 Still later they moved to an island in Roanoke River, near the present Clarksville, thence to the Yadkin River near the site of Salisbury, thence east to a point in Bertie County, North Carolina, and then to the settlement of Virginia Siouan tribes assembled by Gov. Spotswood at Fort Christanna near the present Gholsonville, Virginia.
After 1722, Mooney thinks about 1740, these tribes moved north, stayed for a time near Shamokin, Pennsylvania, and finally reached New York where they were adopted by the Cayuga Indians and so admitted into the Iroquois Confederation.17 The Monahassanugh appear in later history in the shortened form of their name, Nahyssan, or by some related term. The next we hear of them is in the narrative of The Discovery of New Brittaine by Edward Blande and his com- panions. These explorers left Fort Henry (Petersburg) on August 27, 1650, and passed southward into the territory of the present State of North Carolina. They mention the “Nessoneicks” as a people on Blandina (Roanoke) River and refer to “the old fields of Manks Nessoneicks” twelve miles south-south-west of Fort Henry.18 “Manks” should probably read Tanks, since tanks means “little” in the Powhatan dialect and appears in the names of many tribes.
In 1654-56 we read that the Virginia colony was alarmed by the sudden appear- ance of 600-700 Indians near the falls of the James evidently intending to set- tle there. An expedition against them was organized consisting of about a hundred colonists and the same number of Powhatan Indians under their chief Totopotamoy and a bloody battle ensued in which the Powhatan chief and most of his men were killed and the whites forced to make a humiliating peace. These Indians, usually called Rechahecrians, were thought by Mooney to be Cherokee and by myself Yuchi, but Lederer calls them “Mahocks and Nahyssans,” and this is evidently the proper identification since the ter- ritories of the Cherokee and Yuchi were several hundred miles away.”19
It seems quite possible that this movement was occasioned by the Susquehanna Indians who, their great enemies the Iroquois being then at war with the Erie, were free to raid toward the south.
Although Bushnell sought to identify them with the Massinacack, it is possible that the Mahock were the Manahoac driven down from the Rappahannock while the Nahyssan here mentioned were one of the Monacan tribes. Instead, however, of being the people known to Smith as Monahassanugh, they may have been the Saponi who, like the Manahoac, were north of the James and thus more immediately exposed to inroads from the same quarter.
At any rate, as we have seen, Lederer in 1670 came to “Sapon, a village of the Nahyssans,” and we learn that its inhabitants “had been in continual hostility with the Christians for ten years before.” The chief of the Nahyssan did not live here but at a place not far distanct called Pintahae.20
Footnotes
11 John Lawson, History of Carolina (Raleigh, 1860), p. 279.
12 H. R. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, III, 293-296.
13 D. I. Bushnell, Jr., The Five Monacan Towns in Virginia, 1607 (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 82, No. 12); The Manahoac Tribes in Virginia, 1608 (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 94, No. 8).
14 Bushnell, The Five Monacan Towns in Virginia, pp. 9, 10, 12, 13, 17, Figs. 1 & 2.
15 Ibid., p. 9.
16 Alvord and Bidgood, op. cit., p. 152; Mooney in Bull. 30, Bureau of American Ethnology, art. Saponi; Bull. 22, p. 30.
17 Mooney, Bull. 22, pp. 37-53; Bull. 30, art. Saponi. See also Schaeffer’s discussion in The Tutelo Spirit Adoption Ceremony by Frank G. Speck and George Herzog (Harrisburg, 1942), p. xi.
18 Alvord and Bidgood, op. cit., pp. 126, 130.
19 E. D. Neill, Virginia Carolorum, p. 325; Bushnell, The Five Monacan Towns, p. 16; J. D. Burk, History of Virginia, Vol. II, pp. 104-107.
20 Alvord and Bidgood, p. 152.