Who were the first people to live in West Virginia?
Though some Native American tribes lived for centuries in the American West, as the white man pushed westward, always wanting more land and resources, they pushed the American Indians out of their way, further populating the West with various tribes.
Some experts estimate that about 11,000 Native American descendents live in West Virginia. One of those is Wayne Appleton, the member of the Appalachian American Indian Association. Appleton, also known today as Chief Grey Owl, has Cherokee roots on his father’s side and Mohawk on his mother’s side.
The ancestors of living Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago, possibly much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples, societies and cultures subsequently developed.
To achieve his purpose, Jackson encouraged Congress to adopt the Removal Act of 1830. The Act established a process whereby the President could grant land west of the Mississippi River to Indian tribes that agreed to give up their homelands.
Pioneers and settlers moved out west for different reasons. Some of them wanted to claim free land for ranching and farming from the government through the Homestead Act. Others came to California during the gold rush to strike it rich. Even others, such as the Mormons, moved west to avoid persecution.
The names of the West Virginia tribes included the the Cherokee, Iroquois, Manahoac, Meherrin, Monacan, Nottaway, Occaneechi, Saponi and Shawnee.
The white settlement of present-day West Virginia probably began with the first German settlers at Mecklenburg (present-day Shepherdstown) in 1727, despite earlier claims that Morgan Morgan had been the first.
1607 – The settlement of Jamestown is founded. 1669 – John Lederer visits the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the first European to enter West Virginia. 1671 – Explorers Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam travel into the Appalachian Mountains and find Kanawha Falls.
Indian population originated in 3 migration waves from Africa, Iran & Asia. The Indian population originated from three separate waves of migration from Africa, Iran and Central Asia over a period of 50,000 years, scientists have found using genetic evidence from people alive in the subcontinent today.
American Indians – Native Americans The term “Indian,” in reference to the original inhabitants of the American continent, is said to derive from Christopher Columbus, a 15th century boat-person. Some say he used the term because he was convinced he had arrived in “the Indies” (Asia), his intended destination.
List of unrecognized groups claiming to be American Indian tribes
Among the relocated tribes were the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole. The Choctaw relocation began in 1830; the Chickasaw relocation was in 1837; the Creek were removed by force in 1836 following negotiations that started in 1832; and the Seminole removal triggered a 7-year war that ended in 1843.
Initially, white colonists viewed Native Americans as helpful and friendly. The Native Americans resented and resisted the colonists’ attempts to change them. Their refusal to conform to European culture angered the colonists and hostilities soon broke out between the two groups.