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The Invention of the Creek Nation, 1670-1763
Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West. The Charles M. Edited by Peter H. Foreword by Bruce B. Mining and Society Series. Their involvement with colonial powers became more pronounced by the middle of the s, when traders from South Carolina began venturing directly to Creek villages. A brisk trade ensued, and colonial traders exchanged cloth, guns, and steel tools for deerskins and, notably, Indian slaves taken in warfare from other tribes. In , in order to facilitate trade with the South Carolinians, the Chattahoochee towns and allies from among the Tallapoosas and elsewhere moved and relocated their towns on the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers in central Georgia.
Hahn, Steven C. 1968–
At one such town—Ocmulgee—English traders built a permanent trading post that has been the subject of archaeological investigation. The years that the Creeks spent in central Georgia ca.
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Because of their ties to South Carolina traders, they became deeply immersed in the trade in deerskins and Indian slaves, as well as the conflicts with Britain's imperial rivals, Spain and France. Creek war parties played an important role in destroying Spanish Indian missions along the Georgia coast and in the Florida mission provinces among the Timucuas and Apalachees , whom the Creeks often enslaved or sold as slaves to the South Carolinians.
Having brought Spanish Florida to near ruin by , the Creeks began seeking slaves in such far-off places as the Florida Keys and the Choctaw settlements of Mississippi. English officials compelled Creek war parties to assist in their wars against Spanish and French outposts Queen Anne's War, —13 and against the rebellious Tuscarora tribe of North Carolina Tuscarora War, — By , the Creeks and other Indian nations found that their formerly beneficial relationship with South Carolina had ensnared them in a cycle of debt and warfare that compromised their economic well-being, if not their cultural and territorial integrity.
On Good Friday April 15, , the Yamasees, Creeks, and other allies launched a war against South Carolina, while at the same time seeking new alliances with the Spanish and French. By the end of the war the Creeks had settled upon a strategy by which they pledged to remain neutral in times of war between the three European powers. Established at a meeting in the Lower Creek town of Coweta in March , and devised by that town's chief, known to the English as the "Emperor" Brim , the policy of neutrality increased their political leverage by enabling them to defend their ancestral territory by "playing off" one European power against another.
Creek leaders, for example, welcomed the French and allowed them to build Fort Toulouse at a location near Wetumpka , Elmore County , while at the same time they maintained their economic relationship to traders in South Carolina and, later, Georgia. Neutrality became the distinguishing characteristic of Creek diplomacy for the remainder of the colonial era. Their neutral status, though precarious at times, enabled the Creeks to trade with Europeans with little disruption and may account for Creek population growth before the American Revolution.
The revolution, which played an integral role in stimulating the westward movement of Anglo-American settlers in the decades that followed, brought about revolutionary developments for the Creeks as well. At that time, the most influential Creek leader was Alexander McGillivray , the son of a Scottish trader and Creek mother.
McGillivray was instrumental in encouraging cooperation among the various Creek towns and courting the assistance of the Spanish in Florida to help the Creeks defend their land against the Americans. But U. The Creek economy likewise began to bear stronger resemblance to the plantation economies of the Lower South, as many Creeks often the bi-cultural sons of Scottish fathers and Creek mothers began introducing cotton and plantation slavery into the region.
In an effort to assimilate southeastern Indians, the U. Under the plan, the Creeks and other southeastern tribes were to receive instruction in commercial farming, animal husbandry, cloth spinning, and the principles of Christianity. Hawkins also attempted to centralize the Creek government by creating a police force, a Creek National Council and by encouraging the creation of written laws. William McIntosh Many Creeks accepted, if not embraced, the new order of things.
Creek leaders such as William McIntosh of the Coweta and Big Warrior of the Tuckabatchee benefited from the new economy and became close allies with Hawkins and other U. Creek traditionalists, in contrast, became increasingly defensive of their sovereignty and culture.
Their concerns reached new heights after white settlers began pouring into Alabama Territory along the newly constructed Federal Road , which connected Fort Mitchell , in present-day Russell County , with Mobile. In , a group of warriors belonging to this traditionalist group, inspired by local "prophets" such as Josiah Francis Creek name, Hilis Hadjo and the pan-Indian, nativist movement founded by Shawnee warrior Tecumseh who himself visited the Creeks in , began fighting back.
The Invention of the Creek Nation, - Steven C. Hahn - Google книги
The Creek War , also known as the Red Stick Revolt after the red war clubs carried by the Creek fighters, was partly a war against the U. After scoring early victories at places such as Ft. In the subsequent Treaty of Fort Jackson and Treaty of Indian Springs , the Creeks ceded all of their remaining lands in Georgia, causing the nation to relocate entirely into Alabama.
Only a small faction of Creek leaders, led by William McIntosh, signed the Indian Springs treaty, and many Creeks thus viewed it as fraudulent. Under Creek law, McIntosh's action was punishable by death, and the Creek National Council shortly thereafter executed McIntosh and three others who had signed the treaty. Opothle Yoholo In , the federal government passed the Indian Removal Act, which authorized the eventual removal of all the southeastern tribes to Indian Territory now Oklahoma. Although a few Creek leaders embraced removal as a means of self-preservation, the vast majority of Creeks opposed abandoning their ancestral homelands.
White squatters continued to infiltrate the Creeks' remaining homelands in Alabama, and the state government asserted its sovereignty in by extending its laws to unceded Creek territories. Creek leaders sent a delegation, headed by Tuckabatchee leader Opothle Yoholo , to Washington to defend their treaty rights and issue complaints against such actions, which authorities in Washington had done nothing to address.
While in Washington, the delegation sensed the futility of their attempts to avert removal and on March 24, , Creek delegates agreed to the Treaty of Cusseta , which set forth the conditions of their removal. On paper, the treaty included several incentives, such as land grants for leading chiefs and the promise of protection from white intruders, which might have encouraged a sizable number of Creeks to stay in Alabama or, at the very least, allow them to make advance preparations for removal.
The Invention of the Creek Nation, 1670-1763
But the defeat of an attempted Creek rebellion in during the Second Creek War brought immediate forced removal by the U. Opothle Yoholo led several thousand of his followers out west after a failed attempt at purchasing land in Mexico. A year later, 5, more Creeks departed. A few who accepted land allotments or evaded removal stayed behind. The majority of the Poarch Band's 2, members live in Escambia County, Alabama, on a acre reservation. They are the only federally recognized Indian tribe in Alabama and operate as a sovereign nation with their own system of government and bylaws.