Fur Traders from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia explored the Carolina piedmont and struck an accord with the Catawba Indians as early as 1701. The Catawba Trading Path was established soon after. The path started on the James River in Virginia, ran to the southwest to Roanoke River and crossed into North Carolina. It then touched the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, passed through Charlotte, and crossed the Catawba River just north of present day Rock Hill at a shallow crossing that was to be called Nation Ford. The path then divided with one path ending in Augusta, Georgia, and the other ending in the northwest corner of South Carolina.
As the colonies grew in population and settlements, The Indians were encroached upon more and more. Chiefs presented their case at the signing of the Treaty of Augusta in 1763. This was a four-colony effort of Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to resolve Indian problems after the French and Indian War that recently ended. This treaty defined an area of land across North and South Carolina that included the present cities of Rock Hill, Fort Mill, and York. This area became known as the Catawba Indian Reservation.
King Haglar was the last well-known king to rule the Catawbas. One of the first permanent settlers in this area, Thomas Spratt, II, was given a large amount of land to live on by King Haglar. (Daniel Sturgis was another settler whose residence was located south of what is today the Celanese Plant.) King Haglar was shot and killed by an ambush of Shawnee Indians in 1763.
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