Welcome! We are the Wassamasaw Indian Nation of South Carolina. In the early 19th century, the US government believed that some tribes had become extinct, especially on the Southeast Coast and those without reservations. It did not have a separate census designation for Native Americans. Those who remained among the European-American communities were frequently listed as mulatto a term applied to Native American-white, Native American-African, and African-white mixed-race people, as well as tri-racial people.
In South Carolina, colonists were so concerned about the possible threat posed by Native American and the mixed African population that was arising, that they passed a new laws. In 1719, South Carolina decided who should be an "Indian" for tax purposes since American Indian slaves were taxed at a lesser rate than African slaves. The act stated: "And for preventing all doubts and scruples that may arise what ought to be rated on mustees, mulattoes, etc. all such slaves as are not entirely Indian shall be accounted as negro." This is an extremely significant passage because it clearly asserts that "mustees" and "mulattoes" were persons of part American Indian ancestry. A mustee was primarily part-African and American [Indian] and that a mulatto was usually part-European and American Indian. The act is also significant because it asserts that part-American Indians with or without African ancestry could be counted as Negroes, thus having an implication for all later slave censuses.