April 7th, 1712

Enslaved People Revolt in New York City

In 1712, New York City had a large enslaved population and the city's whites feared the threat of rebellion. Enslaved people in New York City suffered many of the same brutal punishments and methods of control faced by their counterparts toiling on Southern plantations. The labor demands of urban life required enslaved people to move frequently throughout the city to complete tasks. This brought greater freedom of movement and communication for the enslaved, which they used to organize a rebellion against their harsh living conditions and lack of autonomy.

Organizers from several ethnic groups, including the Akans of West Africa, who viewed the colonial master-servant relationship as a violation of Akan tradition; the Caromantees and Paw-Paws, also of West Africa, who rejected the brutality of slavery; Spanish-speaking Native Americans who viewed themselves as free people who had been illegally enslaved; and Creoles, who joined in protest of their status and harsh treatment, came together to plan a revolt.

On April 7, 1712, the coalition set fire to a building in the center of the city. Armed with hatchets, knives, and guns, the rebels attacked whites as they arrived at the fire, killing nine and injuring seven. Colonial Governor Robert Hunter dispatched troops to quell the rebellion. The troops arrested some rebels and captured others who fled into the woods. Six of the revolt's organizers reportedly committed suicide, twenty-one accused rebels were convicted and executed, and thirteen were acquitted and returned to bondage.


March 1st, 1713

Massacre of Tuscarora Indians at Fort Nooherooka, North Carolina

From March 1-23, 1713, a battle raged between European colonists and Tuscarora Indians in modern-day Greene County, North Carolina. It became the decisive battle in the Tuscarora War, culminating in the destruction of the final Tuscarora stronghold at Fort Nooherooka on March 20-23. More than 950 Tuscarora men, women, and children were killed or captured and sold into slavery.

Before European settlers arrived, the Tuscarora were a powerful tribe in what is now eastern North Carolina. They hunted, fished, and farmed throughout the Neuse River Basin. By 1650, the Tuscarora had established a thriving fur trade with their new white neighbors. In the early 1700s, however, encroachment on their fertile lands and mistreatment by settlers provoked a violent response. The Tuscarora raided white settlements, stirring fear and chaos among the new arrivals.

From 1711-1713, successive expeditions of whites and non-Tuscarora Indians fought the Tuscarora along the Neuse River. In 1712, a militia defeated the Tuscarora at Fort Narhantes near New Bern, killing or taking hostage nearly 400 people. At Fort Nooherooka, the Tuscarora built an elaborate structure to protect against the impending onslaught. After days of fighting, a militia lit the fort on fire. Hundreds burned inside; others were scalped or captured while attempting to flee.

Many surviving Tuscarora fled to New York, where they joined the Iroquois-led Five Nations. Some migrated to different parts of North Carolina. Though less well-known than Little Big Horn or Wounded Knee, the Tuscarora Massacre was one of the worst assaults against Native Americans in United States history.