The Tuscarora War: Indians, Settlers, and the Fight for the Carolina Colonies

David La Vere (Author)


At dawn on September 22, 1711, more than 500 Tuscarora, Core, Neuse, Pamlico, Weetock, Machapunga, and Bear River Indian warriors swept down on the unsuspecting European settlers living along the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers of North Carolina. Over the following days, they destroyed hundreds of farms, killed at least 140 men, women, and children, and took about 40 captives. So began the Tuscarora War, North Carolina's bloodiest colonial war and surely one of its most brutal. In his gripping account, David La Vere examines the war through the lens of key players in the conflict, reveals the events that led to it, and traces its far-reaching consequences.
La Vere details the innovative fortifications produced by the Tuscaroras, chronicles the colony's new practice of enslaving all captives and selling them out of country, and shows how both sides drew support from forces far outside the colony's borders. In these ways and others, La Vere concludes, this merciless war pointed a new direction in the development of the future state of North Carolina.

Product Details

University of North Carolina Press
Publish Date
August 01, 2016
6.18 X 0.74 X 9.27 inches | 0.92 pounds
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About the Author

David La Vere is professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and author of Looting Spiro Mounds: An American King Tut's Tomb, among other books.


This book will be valuable to students of the colonial, military, and Native American history of the South.--The North Carolina Historical Review

This beautifully written and accessible work represents the best current study of the Tuscarora War. . . . Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.--Choice

A fascinating window into the complex world of colonial America.--Journal of American Culture

La Vere's strongest feature is his ability to bring to the surface the Indian voice, to where the reader is able to have a sense of the Indian perspective and the dilemmas they faced.--Southern Historian

Writing engagingly and accessibly, La Vere conveys a great amount of ethnohistorical detail to adult readers. This important work fills a significant niche in the literature on Colonial America.--Library Journal Starred Review

La Vere has filled a vacuum by providing a monograph focused solely on the Tuscarora War....His in-depth account of the struggle between the Carolinas, Virginia, and the native tribes during the conflict will be a valuable resource for early Americanists, Native American historians, and students of military history.--Michigan War Studies Review

A timely study of some of the central issues, conflicts, and personalities that helped reshape southeastern North America in the early eighteenth century.--Journal of Southern History

La Vere's volume will become the place to go for those interested in learning about this little-studied but important war.--Journal of American History

Engaging and entertaining as well as scholarly, there are more than a few surprises in this account of diplomacy, politics, and war in colonial North Carolina.--Army History

La Vere does a remarkable job of re-creating a vanished 300-year-old world. . . . [and] gives his narrative a human face and the force of tragedy.--Wilmington Star-News

An intriguing narrative account of the war. . . . La Vere . . . is a talented writer with a good instinct for dramatic development.--South Carolina Historical Magazine