Carolina - The Native Americans

The Eno Indians

The significance and meaning of the name Eno is unknown, but Speck suggests i'nare, "to dislike," whence, "mean," "comptemptible"; yeni'nare, "People disliked," Haynokes, synonym form, Yeardley (1645)

The Eno were probably of the Siouan linguistic stock, though, on account of certain peculiarities attributed to them, Mooney (1895) casts some doubt upon this. Their nearest relatives were the Shakori.

This small group lived primarily on the Eno River in the present Orange and Durham Counties (North Carolina). This tribe moved into the northern part of South Carolina around 1716 and perhaps united ultimately with the Catawba. At some prehistoric period they may lived on Enoree River in what is now South Carolina.

The only village name recorded, distinct from that of the tribe, is Adshusheer, a town which they shared with the Shakori. It is located by Mooney (1928) near the present Hillsboro, North Carolina. Lawson (1860) speaks in one place as if it were a tribe but, as there is no other mention of it, it is more likely that it was simply the name of the town which the Eno and Shakori occupied.

The Eno are first mentioned by Governor Yeardley of Virginia, who was told that they had valiantly resisted the northward advance of the Spaniards. From this it appears possible that they had formerly lived upon the Enoree River in South Carolina, which lay on the main trail from St. Helena to the Cheraw country at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains.

Lederer mentions them in 1671 and Lawson in 1701, when they and the Shakori were in the town of Adshusheer.

About 1714, together with the Shakori, Tutelo, Saponi, Occaneechi, and Keyauwee, they began to move toward the Virginia settlements.

In 1716, Governor Spotswood of Virginia proposed to settle the Eno, Cheraw, and Keyuawee at Eno Town, "on the very frontiers" of North Carolina, but the project was defeated by the latter province on the ground that all three tribes were then at war with South Carolina. From the records it is not clear whether this Eno Town was the old settlement or a new one nearer the Albemarle colonists. Owing to the defeat of this plan, the Eno moved into South Carolina. Presumably they finally united with the Catawba, among whom, Adair (1930) states, their dialect was still spoken in 1743.

Mooney (1928) estimates the combined Eno, Shakori, and Adshusheer at 1,500 in 1600.

In 1714, the Eno, Shakori, Tutelo, Saponi, Occaneechi, and Keyauwee totaled 750. There is no other record of their numbers.

In marked distinction from their neighbors, the Eno had taken to a trading life. Their name was given to Eno River in Orange and Durham Counties, NC, and perhaps to a place called Enno in the southwestern part of Wake County, NC, and to Enoree River in South Carolina, as also to a post village near the last mentioned.


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