Justice at last for the Catawbas.Legend has it that George Washington, after being elected the first U.S. President, came to South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures
Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15. and assured the Catawba Indians that their tribe could continue to hold the 144,000 acres granted them by the King of England Noun 1. King of England - the sovereign ruler of England
King of Great Britain
king, male monarch, Rex - a male sovereign; ruler of a kingdom in 1760 and reaffirmed in a 1763 treaty.
True or not, it didn't make any difference. In 1840, South Carolina dispossessed the Catawbas of their land in York, Chester, and Lancaster counties, promising money and a new reservation in South Carolina. The state never came through with either, but in 1843 put the Catawba reservation, ultimately whittled to 630 acres, "in trust."
For 150 years the Catawbas, originally one of the most powerful tribes in the Southeast, have been trying to get recompense RECOMPENSE. A reward for services; remuneration for goods or other property.
2. In maritime law there is a distinction between recompense and restitution. (q.v. from Federal and state governments.
On February 20, 1993, tribal members met in a prosperous suburb of Charlotte and voted 289-to-42 in favor of a long, painfully drawn document that after 150 years would end the tribe's exile.
It took years of negotiation and a lawsuit that is now thirteen years old to reach the settlement drafted among Federal and state representatives on one side and the tribe's representatives on the other. The tribe's biggest clout came from the location of its 144,000 acres.
The land lies less than twenty-five miles from Charlotte, whose rapidly expanding population is today around 400,000. The old Catawba reservation encompassed all of the nearby city of Rock Hill, clouding the title to every piece of real estate there.
"We were ready to file suit against 63,000 defendants, trespassers on Catawba land," says attorney Jay Bender, who represents the Catawbas.
There has been litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. on the Catawba claim since before the Civil War, but no one has pursued it as thoroughly and carefully as the tribe and its advocates are doing today.
Representatives John Spratt, Democrat of South Carolina, and State Senator Noun 1. state senator - a member of a state senate
senator - a member of a senate Wes Hayes, Democrat of York County York County may refer to one of several counties:
Spratt says he's still got a tough job ahead in pushing the settlement through Congress. Bender is more optimistic, though, pointing out that South Carolina's Republican Governor Carroll Campbell had already extracted support from the Bush Administration. "I can't imagine the Democrats would be less sensitive," Bender says. Bender and Don Miller of the Native American Rights In the United States, persons of Native American descent occupy a unique legal position. On the one hand, they are U.S. citizens and are entitled to the same legal rights and protections under the Constitution that all other U.S. citizens enjoy. Fund have been working on the Catawbas' case since the mid-1970s. They are elated by the settlement, as is Catawba Chief Gilbert Blue, who calls it, "the road to a better future."
Not all the Catawbas, of course, live on the reservation, which stretches along the cliffs of the Catawba River in eastern-most York County and looks more like a series of hardscrabble hard·scrab·ble
Earning a bare subsistence, as on the land; marginal: the sharecropper's hardscrabble life.
Barren or marginal farmland.
Adj. 1. farms than a community. Indeed, the 1990 census showed Catawba per capita income Noun 1. per capita income - the total national income divided by the number of people in the nation
income - the financial gain (earned or unearned) accruing over a given period of time as 35 per cent less than the York County per-capita income.
But the Catawbas have managed to preserve some of their culture and a bit of their language at a community center within the reservation. There, Catawba artisans still make and sell their beautiful, well-known pottery and the tribe holds ceremonial dances.
Chief Blue says that with the settlement money the tribe wants to create a replica of a 400-year-old Catawba village as a tourist attraction, and because of the settlement's tax advantages, also hopes to start an industrial park.
The Catawbas were rooted out of their reservation just about the same time that the Cherokees were forced onto the Trail of Tears Trail of Tears
Forced migration of the Cherokee Indians in 1838–39. In 1835, when gold was discovered on Cherokee land in Georgia, a small minority of Cherokee ceded all tribal land east of the Mississippi for $5 million. The U.S. .
Nothing can redeem the sordid past. But now, at least, there seems to be a bit of belated justice, assuming that Congress and the South Carolina legislature concur. Perhaps George Washington's spirit will hover over that vote.