Why the Tuscaroras Risked Their Lives to Help Their Lewiston Neighbors
When the British attacked Lewiston, the Tuscaroras could have quietly left town without anyone knowing. They certainly were not under any obligation to defend the area and no one expected them to stand against an overwhelming force composed largely of their Iroquois blood brothers, the Mohawks.
However, there were two primary reasons they intervened to save their Lewiston neighbors:
1) There was a long standing bond of friendship with the white citizens of Lewiston. As neighbors, the Lewistonians and Tuscaroras trusted each other and traded and did business together.
2) The Tuscaroras never forgot what the British did to them in 1713. In the early 18th Century, the Tuscaroras lived in North Carolina, before being driven from their homeland by the British in the Tuscarora War at Ft. Neoheroka, North Carolina, March 1713. The British and their native allies burned the fort and hundreds of Tuscarora men, women and children perished in the blaze. Almost two hundred more were killed outside of the fort and approximately four hundred Tuscaroras were taken captive and sold into slavery. The defeat of the Tuscaroras, once the most powerful native nation in the Carolinas, allowed the British to open up the frontier in the Carolinas to further expansion by European settlers. Most of the surviving Tuscaroras moved north and settled near Lewiston, becoming the sixth nation of the Iroquois Confederacy.