The Tuscarora War

Indians, Settlers, and the Fight for the Carolina Colonies

By David La Vere

272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 4 halftones, 4 maps, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2990-2
    Published: August 2016
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-1091-7
    Published: October 2013

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Awards & distinctions

A 2015 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

At dawn on September 22, 1711, more than 500 Tuscarora, Core, Neuse, Pamlico, Weetock, Machapunga, and Bear River Indian warriors swept down on the unsuspecting European settlers living along the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers of North Carolina. Over the following days, they destroyed hundreds of farms, killed at least 140 men, women, and children, and took about 40 captives. So began the Tuscarora War, North Carolina's bloodiest colonial war and surely one of its most brutal. In his gripping account, David La Vere examines the war through the lens of key players in the conflict, reveals the events that led to it, and traces its far-reaching consequences.

La Vere details the innovative fortifications produced by the Tuscaroras, chronicles the colony's new practice of enslaving all captives and selling them out of country, and shows how both sides drew support from forces far outside the colony's borders. In these ways and others, La Vere concludes, this merciless war pointed a new direction in the development of the future state of North Carolina.

About the Author

David La Vere is professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and author of Looting Spiro Mounds: An American King Tut’s Tomb, among other books.
For more information about David La Vere, visit the Author Page.


"Writing engagingly and accessibly, La Vere conveys a great amount of ethnohistorical detail to adult readers. This important work fills a significant niche in the literature on Colonial America."--Library Journal Starred Review

La Vere does a remarkable job of re-creating a vanished 300-year-old world. . . . [and] gives his narrative a human face and the force of tragedy."--Wilmington Star-News

“This book will be valuable to students of the colonial, military, and Native American history of the South.”--The North Carolina Historical Review

“This beautifully written and accessible work represents the best current study of the Tuscarora War. . . . Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”--Choice

“La Vere’s volume will become the place to go for those interested in learning about this little-studied but important war.”--Journal of American History

“A fascinating window into the complex world of colonial America.”--Journal of American Culture