Margaret George Brown, Catawba Elder (1837 – 1922)

Margaret George Brown

Margaret George Brown, a Catawba Elder was one of the last person in South Carolina to raise her children to speak the Catawba language.

(July 4, 1837 – August 9, 1922) Margaret lived on the Catawba Indian Nation reservation near Rock Hill her entire life. Her status as one of the last speakers of the Catawba language led her to become an invaluable source of information for numerous linguist and anthropologist.

She was the Daughter of Anthony George and Rebecca Marsh George. Margaret’s son, Samuel Taylor Blue, was the chief of the Catawba tribe from 1931 to 1959 and was considered the last Native American Indian speaker of the Catawba language.

Margaret was known as a master potter, making pots and pipes with tools inherited from her mother and grandmother. She would trade her pots for cornmeal, flour and food. Margaret used innovative methods to sell her pottery, bartering from door-to-door in a covered wagon and meeting trains at Catawba Junction to sell to the passengers.

She is buried at the Catawba Indian Nation Cemetery, Rock Hill, York County, South Carolina, USA

SOURCE: Based on materials from The South Carolina Historical Society

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