Muskogee Indian Tribe, History
Muskogee. Meaning unknown, but perhaps
originally from Shawnee and having reference to swampy ground. To this
tribe the name Creeks was ordinarily applied. Also called:
Ani'-Gu'sa, by the Cherokee, meaning "Coosa people," after an ancient
and famous town on Coosa River.
Ku-ű'sha, by the Wyandot.
Ochesee, by the
Sko'-ki han-ya, by the Biloxi.
The Muskogee language constitutes one division of the
Muskhogean tongues proper, that which I call Northern.
From the earliest times of which we have any record these
people seem to have had towns all the way from the Atlantic coast of Georgia and
the neighborhood of Savannah River to central Alabama. (See also Florida,
Subdivisions and Villages
It is difficult to separate major divisions of the Muskogee from towns and
towns from villages, but there were certainly several distinct Muskogee
tribes at a very early period. The following sub-divisional classification
is perhaps as good as any:
Abihka (in St. Clair, Calhoun, and Talladega Counties)
Abihka-in-the-west, a late branch of Abihka in the western part of the
Abihkutci, on Tallassee Hatchee Creek, Talladega County, on the right bank
5 miles from Coosa River.
Kan-tcati, on or near Chocolocko, or Choccolocco, Creek and probably not
from the present "Conchardee."
Kayomalgi, possibly settled by Shawnee or Chickasaw, probably near Sylacauga,
Lun-ham-ga, location unknown.
Talladega, on Talladega Creek, Talladega County.
Tcahki lako, on Choccolocco Creek in Talladega or Calhoun County.
(1) on the upper Ocmulgee River,
(2) on the Chattahoochee,
(3) on the Tallapoosa in Tallapoosa County,
(4) on the south side of the
Tallapoosa in Macon County, and
(5) on the north side near Calebee Creek
in Elmore County.
Abihkutci, a division of Okfuskee, which apparently came into existence
the Creeks had removed to Oklahoma.
Atcinaulga, on the west bank of Tallapoosa River in Randolph County.
Big Tulsa, on the east bank of Tallapoosa River at the mouth of Ufaubee
in Tallapoosa County.
Chatukchufaula, possibly identical with the last, on Nafape Creek or
Chuleocwhooatlee, on the left bank of Tallapoosa River, 11 miles below
in Tallapoosa County.
Holitaiga, on Chattahoochee River in Troup County, Ga.
Imukfa, on Emaufaw
Creek in Tallapoosa County
Ipisagi, on Sandy Creek in Tallapoosa County.
Kohamutkikatsa, location unknown.
Little Tulsa, on the 'east side of Coosa River, 3 miles above the falls,
Lutcapoga, perhaps near Loachapoka in Lee County, or on the upper
Nafape, on a creek of the same name flowing into Ufaubee
(1) at the mouth of Hillabee Creek,
(2) at the mouth of
Sand Creek, both in Tallapoosa County.
(1) on Chattahoochee River in Troup County, Ga.;
(2) on the
Tallapoosa in Tallapoosa County, Ala.;
(3) another town of the name or an
earlier location of the first somewhere near the lower Tallapoosa.
Coosa, near the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers
Otciapofa, on the east side of the Coosa River in Elmore
County, just below
Saoga-hatchee, on Saogahatchee Creek, in Tallapoosa or Lee County.
Suka-ispoga, on the west bank of Tallapoosa River below the mouth of
Hillibee Creek, in Tallapoosa County.
Tallassehasee, on Tallassee Hatchee Creek in Talladega County.
Tcahkilako, On Chattahoochee River near Franklin, Heard County, Ga.
Tcatoksofka, seemingly a later name of the main Okfuskee town.
25 miles east northeast of the mouth of Upatoie Creek, probably
near Chewacla Station, Lee County.
Tculakonini, on Chattahoochee River in Troup Count Ga.
Tohtogagi, on the west bank of Tallapoosa River, probably in Randolph
Tukabahchee Tallahassee, later called Talmutcasi, on the west side of Tallapoosa River in Tallapoosa County. Ga.
Chattahoochee River in Heard County, Ga. later moved to
Tallapoosa, settled on the left bank 11 miles above Okfuskee, Tallapoosa
County, and renamed Nuyaka.
Tulsa Canadian, a branch of Tulsa on the Canadian River, Okla.
Tulsa Little River, a branch of Tulsa near Holdenvillle, Oka.
Early location on the upper Ocmulgee,
later on the west bank of Chattahoochee River in Russell County, Ala.
opposite Columbus, Ga.
Coweta Tallahassee, later Likatcka or Broken Arrow, probably a
former location of the bulk of the tribe, on the west bank of the
Chattahoochee River in Russell County, Ala.
Katca tastanagi's Town "at Cho-lose-pare-kari."
Settlements on "Hallewokke Y oaxarhatchee."
Settlements on "Toosilkstorkee Hatchee."
Settlements on "Warkeeche Hatchee."
Wetumpka, branch of the last on the main fork of Big Uchee Creek 12 miles
northwest from the mother town, Coweta Tallahassee.
A branch among the Seminole called Kan-tcatiFlorida, Chowok ohatchee."
A branch village of Eufaula hopai on a creek called Chowokolohatchee
Eufaulahatchee or Eufaula Old Town, on
Talladega Creek, also called Eufaula
Creek, 15 miles from its mouth.
Lower Eufaula or Eufaula hopai,
above the mouth of Pataula Creek, in Clay County, Ga.
Upper Eufaula, on the right bank of Tallapoosa River 5 miles below Okfuskee, in Tallapoosa County, at one time separated into Big Eufaula and Little
At the junction of Hillabee and Bear
Creeks, Tallapoosa County
Anetechapko, 10 miles above Hillibi on a branch Hillabee Creek
Etcuseislaiga, on the left hank of Hillabee
Creek, 4 miles below Hilibi.
Kitcopataki, location unknown
Lanutciabala, on the northwest branch of Hillabee Creek, probably in
Little Hilibi, location unknown.
Oktahasasi, on a creek of the mane 2 miles below Hilibi.
On the north bank of Tallapoosa Ruver
in Elmore County
Lapiako, on the south side of Tallapoosa in Montgomery County nearly
Best-known location on the east bank
of Chattahoochee River, at the junction of Upatoie Creek
in Chattahoochee County, Ga.
Apatai, in the forks of Upatoie and Pine Knob Creeks in Muskogee County,
Salenojuh, on Flint River 8 miles below Aupiogee Creek (?).
Settlements bearing the same name (Kasihta).
Settlements on Chowockeleehatchee Creek, Ala.
Settlements on Little Uchee Creek, Ala.
Settlements on "Tolarnulkar Hatchee."
Sicharlitcha, location unknown.
Tallassee Town, on Opillikee Hatchee, perhaps in Schley or Macon Counties,
Tuckabatchee Harjo's Town, on Osenubba Hatchee, a west branch of the
Tuskehenehaw Chooley's Town, near West Point, Troup County, Ga.
Asilanabi, on Yellow Leaf Creek in Shelby County.
Lalogalga, or Fish Pond, on a branch of Elkhatchee Creek, 14 miles up, in
Tallapoosa or Coosa County.
(1) on the east side of the lower Coosa in Elmore County;
in the southeastern part of Coosa County, on a creek bearing their name,
which flowed into Kialaga Creek.
Potcas hatchee, probably a branch of this on the upper
Creek in Clay or Coosa County.
Tcahki lako, on Chattahoochee River.
Tulsa hatchee, location uncertain.
Pakan Tallahassee, on Hatchet Creek, Coosa County.
The Pakana who settled near Fort Toulouse at the junction of Coosa and
Tallapoosa Rivers and afterward moved to Louisiana, living on Calcasieu
River for a while.
In the sharp angle made where Tallapoosa River turns west in
Only one small out village is mentioned, Wihili, location unknown.
Wakokai on the middle course
of Hatchet Creek in Coosa County
Sakapadai, probably on Sacapartoy, a branch of Hatchet Creek, Coosa
Tukpafka, on Hatchet Creek, Coosa County.
Wiogufki, on Weogufka
Creek in Coosa County.
Besides the Muskogee tribes noted above, there were the
Fus-hatchee. Not a major division; on the north bank of Tallapoosa River
in Elmore County, 2 miles below Holiwahali. They may have been related to
Kan-hatki. Not a major division; just below Kolomi on the north bank of
Tallapoosa River in Elmore County. Possibly related to the Holiwahali.
Kealedji. Not a primary division; perhaps a branch of Tukabahchee;
(1) on the Ocmull-ee,
(2) on Kialaga Creek in Elmore County or
Tallapoosa County, having one branch Hatcheetcaba, west of Kealedji,
probably in Elmore County.
Kolomi. Probably not a major division; location
(1) on the Ocmulgee,
on the middle Chattahoochee in Russell County, Ala.,
(3) on the north side
of the lower Tallapoosa in Elmore County. They may have been related to
Wiwohka. Not a primary division but a late town; location
(1) near the mouth of Hatchet Creek in Coosa County,
(2) on Weeks Creek in
In addition to the above there were a number of towns and villages which
cannot be classified, or only with extreme doubt. They are as follows:
Acpactaniche, on the headwaters of Coosa River, perhaps meant for Pakana.
Alkehatchee, an Upper Creek town.
Atchasapa, on Tallapoosa River not far below Tulsa, possibly forHatcheechubba.
Aucheucaula, in the northwestern part of Coosa County.
Auhoba, below Autauga. (See Alabama.)
Breed Camp, an Upper Creek town, probably meant for the Chickasaw
settlement of Ooe-asa.
Cauwaoulau, a Lower Creek village in Russell County west of Uchee Post
Office and south of the old Federal road.
Chachane, the Lower Creek town farthest downstream.
Chanahunrege, between the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers in or near Coosa
Chananagi, placed by Brannon (1909) "in Bullock County, just south
of the Central of Georgia Railroad near Suspension."
Chichoufkee, an Upper Creek town in Elmore County, east of Coosa River and
near Wiwoka Creek.
Chinnaby's Fort, at Ten Islands in the Coosa River.
Chiscalage, in or near Coosa County, perhaps a body of Yuchi.
Cholocco Litabixee, in the Horseshoe Bend of Tallapoosa River.
just below White Oak Creek, south of Alabama River.
Cohatchie, in the southwestern part of Talladega County on the bank of
Conaliga, in the western part of Russell County or the eastern part of
Macon, somewhere near the present Warrior Stand.
Cooccohapofe, on Chattahoochee River.
Cotohautustenuggee, on the right bank of Upatoie Creek, Muscogee County,
Ga. Cow Towns, location uncertain.
Donnally's Town, on the Flint or the Chattahoochee River.
Ekun-duts-ke, probably on the south bank of Line Creek in Montgomery
Emarhe, location uncertain.
Eto-husse-wakkes, on Chattahoochee River, 3 miles above Fort Gaines.
Fife's Village, an Upper Creek village a few miles east of Talladega, Ala.
Fin'halui, a Lower Creek settlement, perhaps the Yuchi settlement of High
Log. Habiquache, given by the Popple Map as on the west side of Coosa
Hkan atchaka, "Holy Ground," in Lowndes County, 2˝ miles due north of
Hall, just below the mouth of Holy Ground Creek on the Old Sprott
Istapoga, in Talladega County near the influx of Estaboga
Creek into Choc
colocco Creek, about 10 miles from Coosa River.
Kehatches, somewhere above the bend of Tallapoosa River and between it and
Keroff, apparently on the upper Coosa.
Litafatchi, at the head of Canoe Creek in St. Clair County.
Lustuhatchee, above the second cataract of Tallapoosa River.
Melton's Village, in Marshall County, Ala., on Town Creek, at the site of
present "Old Village Ford."
Ninnipaskulgee, near Tukabahchee.
Nipky, probably a Lower Creek town.
Oakchinawa Village, in Talladega County, on both sides of Salt Creek, near
the point where it flows into Big Shoal Creek.
Old Osonee Town, on Cahawba River in Shelby County.
Pinthlocco Creek in Coosa County.
Oti palm, on the west bank of Coosa River, just below the junction of
Canoe Creek. (See Chinnaby's Fort.)
Oti tutcina, probably between Coosa and Opillako or Pakan Tallahassee and
on Coosa River.
Pea Creek, perhaps an out settlement of Tukabahchee, location unknown.
Pin Huti, somewhere near Dadeville in Tallapoosa County.
Rabbit Town, possibly a nickname, location unknown.
Satapo, on Tennessee River.
Talipsehogy, an Upper Creek settlement.
Talishatchie Town, in Calhoun County east of a branch of Tallasehatchee
Creek, 3 miles southwest of Jacksonville.
Tallapoosa, said to be within a day's journey of Fort Toulouse at the
the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers and probably on the river of that name.
Talwa Hadjo, on Cahawba River.
Tohowogly, perhaps intended for Sawokli, 8 to 10 miles below the falls of
Turkey Creek, in Jefferson County, on Turkey Creek north of Trussville,
Uncuaula, in the western part of Coosa County on Coosa River.
Wallhal, an Upper Creek town given on the Purcell map, perhaps intended
Eufaula, or an independent town on Wallahatchee Creek, Elmore County.
Weyolla, a town so entered on the Popple Map, between the Coosa and
but near the former; probably a distorted form of the name of some
Muskogee tradition points to the northwest for the origin
of the nation. In the spring of 1540, De Soto passed through some
settlements and a "province" called Chisi, Ichisi, and Achese, in southern Georgia, which
may have been occupied by Muskogee because they are known to
Hitchiti-speaking people as Ochesce. Somewhat later he entered
Cofitachequi, probably either the later Kasihta, or Coweta, and the same
summer he entered Coosa and passed through the country of the Upper
Creeks. Companions of De Luna visited Coosa again in 1559 and assisted it
in its wars with a neighboring tribe to the West, the Napochi.
Cofitachequi was visited later by Juan Pardo and other Spanish explorers
and some of Pardo's companions penetrated as far as Coosa. It is probable
that part if not all of the province of Guale on the Georgia coast was at
that time occupied by Muskogee, and relations between the Guale Indians
and the Spaniards continued intimate from 1565 onward. Soon afterward the
Spaniards also encountered the Creeks of Chattahoochee River.
At what time
the confederacy of which the Muskogee were the most important part was
established is unknown but the nucleus probably existed in De Soto's time.
At any rate it was in a flourishing condition in 1670 when South Carolina
was colonized and probably continued to grow more rapidly than before
owing to the accession of Creek tribes displaced by the Whites or other
tribes whom the Whites had displaced. Before 1715 a large body were living
on Ocmulgee River but following on the Yamasee outbreak of that year they
withdrew to the Chattahoochee from which they had moved previously to be near the
English trading posts. Occupying, as they did a central position between the
English, Spanish, and French colonies, the favor of the Creeks was a
matter of concern to these nations, and they played a more important part
than any other American Indians in the colonial history of the Gulf
For a considerable period they were allied with the English, and
they were largely instrumental in destroying the former Indian inhabitants
of Florida and breaking up the missions which had been established there.
Finding the territory thus vacated very agreeable and one abounding particularly game,
they presently began to settle in it permanently, after it was ceded to Great
Britain in 1763. The first of the true Muskogee to emigrate to Florida,
except for a small band of Coweta, were some Eufaula Indians, and the
Muskogee do not seem to have constituted
the dominant element until after the Creek-American war 1813-14.
In the last decades of the eighteenth century, the internal organization
of the Confederacy was almost revolutionized by Alexander
McGillivray, the son of a Scotch trader, who set up a virtual dictatorship and
raised the Confederacy to a high position of influence by his skill in
playing off one European nation against another. After his death friction
developed between the factions favorable to and those opposed to the
Whites. Inspired by the Shawnee chief,
Tecumseh, a large part of the Upper
Creeks broke out into open hostilities in 1813, but nearly all of the
Lower Creeks and some of the most prominent Upper Creek towns refused to
join with them and a large force from the Lower Creeks under William MacIntosh and Timpoochee Barnard, the Yuchi chief, actively aided the
The war was ended by Andrew Jackson's victory at Horseshoe Bend
on the Tallapoosa River, March 27, 1814. One immediate result of this war
was to double or triple the number of Seminole in Florida, owing to the
multitude of Creeks who wished to escape from their old country. From this
time on friction between the pro-White and anti-White
Creek factions increased. When the inducing Indians to emigrate,
the friction increased still more and culminated in 1825 when the Georgia
commissioners had induced William MacIntosh, leader of the pro-American faction, and some other chiefs to affix
their signatures to a treaty ceding all that was then left of the Creek
lands. For this act formal sentence of death was passed upon MacIntosh,
and he was shot by a band of Indians sent to his house for that purpose
May 1, 1825. However, the leaders of the Confederacy finally agreed to the
removal, which took place between 1836 and 1840, the Lower Creeks settling
in the upper part of their new lands and the Upper Creeks in the lower
part. The former factional troubles kept the relations between these two
sections strained for some years, but they were finally adjusted and in
course of time an elective government with a chief, second chief, and a
representative assembly of two houses was established, which continued
until the nation was incorporated into the State of Oklahoma.
Except where an attempt is made to give the population by
towns, it is usually impossible to separate the Muskogee from other peoples of
the Confederacy. Correct estimates of all Creeks are also rendered difficult
because they were taking in smaller tribes from time to time and giving off
colonists to Florida and Louisiana. In 1702 Iberville placed the whole number of
Creek and Alabama families at 2,000. In 1708 South Carolina officials estimated
about 2,000 warriors. In 1715 something approaching a census was taken of the
tribes in their vicinity by the government of South Carolina and a total of
1,869 men and a population of 6,522 was returned for the Creeks, exclusive of
the Alabama, Yuchi, Shawnee, Apalachicola, and Yamasee. A town by town
enumeration made by the Spaniards in 1738 shows 1,660 warriors; a French
estimate of 1750, 905; another of 1760, 2,620; a North Carolina estimate of
1760, 2,000 warriors; an English estimate of 1761, 1,385; one of about 3,000 the
same year; an American estimate of 1792, 2,850; and finally the census taken in
1832-33 just before the emigration of the Creeks to their new lands across the
Mississippi, showed a total of 17,939 in the true Muskogee towns. Besides these
more careful statements, we have a number of general estimates of warriors in
the eighteenth century ranging from 1,250 up to between 5,000 and 6,000. This
last was by Alexander McGillivray and is nearest that shown by the census of
1832-33. It would seem either that the earlier estimates were uniformly too low
or that the Confederacy increased rapidly during the latter part of the
eighteenth century and the first part of the nineteenth. After the removal
estimates returned by the Indian Office and from other sources ranged between
20,000 and 25,000. When a new census was taken in 1857, however, less than
15,000 were returned, and there was a slow falling off until 1919 when there
were about 12,000. It must be noted that the census of 1910 returned only 6,945,
a figure which can be reconciled with that of the United States Indian Office
only on the supposition that it is supposed to cover only Indians of full or
nearly full blood. The report of the United States Indian Office for 1923 gives
11,952 Creeks by blood. Regarding the later population it must be remembered
that it has become more and more diluted. The United States Census of 1930 gave
9,083 but included the Alabama and Koasati Indians of Texas and Louisiana and
individuals scattered through more than 13 other States outside of Oklahoma,
where 8,760 lived. These "general estimates" include the incorporated tribes.
Connection in which they have become noted
In the form Muskhogean, the name of this tribe was adopted by
Powell (1891) for that group of languages to which the speech of the Muskogee
belongs. In the form Muscogee it has been given to a county in western Georgia,
and to a railroad junction in it, and to a post-village in Escambia County, Fla.
In the form Muskogee it is the name of the capital of Muskogee County, Okla.,
the third largest city in that state. The political organization of which they
constituted the nucleus and the dominant element represents the most successful
attempt north of Mexico at the formation of a super state except that made by
the Iroquois/a>, and the part they played in the early history
of our Gulf region was greater than that of any other, not even excepting
the Cherokee. They were one of the principal mound-building tribes to
survive into modern times and were unsurpassed in the elaborate character
of their ceremonials (except possibly by the
Natchez)), while their prowess
in war was proven by the great contest which
they waged with the United States Government in 1813-14, and the
still more remarkable struggle which their Seminole relatives and
descendants maintained in Florida in 1835-1842. Their great war
speaker, Hopohithli-yahola, was probably surpassed in native greatness by no chief in this area except the Choctaw Pushmataha. (See
Notes About the Book:
Source: The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton, 1953, Bureau of
American Ethnology, Bulletin 145, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing
has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual