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n. pl. Yamasee or Ya·ma·sees
A member of a Native American people formerly inhabiting parts of coastal Georgia and South Carolina. The Yamasee dispersed to other Native American groups after conflict with English colonists in the early 1700s.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This network of towns spread across the Southeast and applied to all Native groups, including the Creeks and the Yamasees. The Creeks, with their towns centered along the various rivers in modern-day Alabama, arranged themselves into what recent scholars call a confederacy: a loose collection of compatible towns as opposed to a tight, strict, organized nation with a unified policy.
In 1715 the Yamasees convinced some of their Creek kinsmen to go to war against South Carolinian traders in order to combat various trade abuses and mounting debt.
The decision to found a new town would strain political and personal ties with the Creeks and the Yamasees as well as require establishing new arrangements with other empires occupying the Southeast.
Although the Yamacraws consisted of both Creeks and Yamasees, Tomochichi chose to rekindle his Creek relations possibly because of his and his wife, Senauki's heritage but more likely because of the Creeks' strength and organization as well as their connections to other British traders and settlements.
In Coweta, he captured one fugitive, telling the residents, "The Negro is a Slave and tho he has Been Taken by the Yamasees and Lived among the Spanyards Yet that dos not make him free."(43) But when the slave escaped while being transported back to South Carolina, an Indian named Squire Mickeo "Imediatly assisted him with Cunnue and provissions sufficient to Carry him to Saint Mallagoes." An angry Fitch later accused, "Now there Sitts the Squire.
For Creeks, the emerging slave society on their northeastern border must have been an alarming development.(34) In 1711, some Creeks checked the power of South Carolina by concluding a peace treaty with the French in Mobile.(35) Then, in 1715-16, neighboring Indians, including the Creeks, joined together in the Yamasee War and nearly destroyed the colony.(36) The overture to the French and the uprising against the British may in fact have been responses to the rapid expansion of slavery that had occurred over the preceding few years.
our Indien Allyes [the Yamasees] are grown haughty of late.(38) The defeat of the Indian alliance in the Yamasee War led some Creek towns to move closer to the French and open up relations with their former Spanish enemies in Saint Augustine(38) Individual Creeks favored France, Britain, or Spain for a variety of reasons, but the relative presence or absence of plantation slavery in the southeastern colonies of these empires was certainly a significant consideration.
Haan, "The `Trade Do's Not Flourish as Formerly': The Ecological Origins of the Yamasee War of 1715," Ethnohistory 28 (1982): 341-58.
Dubcovsky's account brings into view the challenges, opportunities, and periodic violence that resulted from the protracted exchanges between, on the one hand, the numerous Indian nations of the region (the Timucua, the Apalachee, the Guale, the Yamasee, the Upper and Lower Creek, and the Cherokees), and, on the other, the competing imperial projects of three nations: of the Spanish (in La Florida), of the French (along the Mississippi), and of the English (in South Carolina and then Georgia).