John Lawson, an Englishman, from late December through late February 1701, traveled from the English settlement at Charles Town in South Carolina to a plantation on the Pamlico River in North Carolina. He recorded numerous observations about plants, animals, the landscape and the people he encountered. Lawson passed through many Native American settlements, including towns of Esaw and Sugaree Indians located in the vicinity of the confluence of Sugar Creek and the Catawba River. ( mention these sites are located just off Hwy 521 just north of Indian Land approx. 5 miles from the Cultural Center.)( Brown1966:20) “Esaw and its its variations are corruptions of the Catawba word for iswa or eswa, meaning river. The river to them (Catawba) was Eswa-Taroa.. interpreted as 'the great river' . The name Ushery was a corruption of “iswa here” another name associated with the Catawba.
While among the Eswa the Eswas, Lawson and his companions spent one night at the house of the “Kadapau King.” This is the earliest English language reference to the Catawba Nation.
However, around 1553, Bandera, a member of Spanish Explorer/Solider, Juan Pardo, provides several references to a chief called “Orata Catapa”, whom Pardo met in somewhere in the vicinity of present-day Charlotte, North Carolina.
Another Catawba ruler mentioned in 1717 is King Willmannantaughkee.
King Hagler was the first Catawba ruler who make a speech before the SC governing officials trying to get liquor banned from the Catawba Nation in 1754.
Gilbert Blue was the first modern day chief to be elected to that position in 1976. He resigned that position in 2007.
Donald Rodgers was elected to this position in July of 2007. We also have serving on the Executive Committee, two women were officially to serve on the committee for the first time since European contact.
a (this info is taken from Prof. David Moore's book , Ceramics, Chronology, and Catawba Indians,2002.)