Eufaula Tribe

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The Eufaula tribe was an independent body as far back as history takes us. According to one of my informants they branched off from Kealedji, while another seemed to think that they originated from Hilibi. Practically no confidence can be placed in these opinions. Not even a plausible guess can be furnished by the living Indians regarding the origin of the name. It is an interesting commentary on the reliability of name interpretation that a story is told to account for the designation of this place, the point of which depends on its resemblance to the English “you fall.”

In Bartow County, Georgia, is a creek called Euharlee, corrupted from Cherokee Yuhali. According to the Cherokee, fide Mooney, this in turn is a corruption of the Creek tribal name Eufaula.1 There is every reason to credit this and to suppose that the Eufaula were once located in the neighborhood. Perhaps it was their seat before the Yamasee war, in 1715. As the Kasihta and Kawita were in this region there is no reason why the Eufaula may not have been there as well. Their next location known to us was on Talladega Creek, a few miles south of the present Talladega, Alabama. It was afterwards known as Eufaula Old Town, but Hawkins calls it “Eu-fau-lau-hat-che” (Eufaula Creek or River), and describes it as follows:

Eau-fau-lau-hat-che, is fifteen miles up that creek (Eufaula or Talladega], on a flat of half a mile, bordering on a branch. On the left side of the creek the land is rich and waving; on the right sides are steep hills sloping off waving, rich land; hickory, oak, poplar and walnut. It is well watered, and the whole a desirable limestone country; they have fine stocks of cattle, horses, and hogs.2

This description dates from a time long after the Eufaula settlements next to be considered had been made, but it is probable that its inhabitants were also Eufaulas, some who had remained behind after the removal of the bulk of the population. James Lesley was the trader stationed there in 1796. He died in the spring of 1799.3 Bartram and Swan mention this town, which they call Upper Eufaula, Swan describing it as “the Creek town farthest up Coosa River.”4

At a comparatively early date in the eighteenth century, as appears from the maps, particularly that of De Crenay,5 a large part of the Eufaula Indians moved southeast and settled on the middle course of the Tallapoosa. These are the “Lower Yufale” of Bartram, and the “Eu-fau-lau” of Hawkins.6 Swan mentions two settlements here, “Big Ufala” and “Little Ufala.”7 It is the Eufaula of the censuses of 1738, 1750, 1760, and 1761.8 The following is Hawkins’s description of this town:

Eu-fau-lau; on the right bank of Tallapoosa, five miles below Oc-fus-kee, on that side of the river, and but two in a direct line; the lands on the river are fit for culture; but the flats are narrow, joined to pine hills and reedy branches.

They have hogs and cattle, and the range is a good one; they have moss in the shoals of the river; there are belonging to this town, seventy gun men, and they have begun to settle out for the benefit of their stock. This season, some of the villagers have fenced their fields. They have some fine land on Hat-che-lus-te [Håtci låsti] and several settlements there, but no fences; this creek joins the right side of the river, two miles below the town. On Woc-cau E-hoo-te [Waka ihuti, "cow yard"], this year,1799, the villages, five families in all, have fenced their fields and they have promised the agent to use the plough the next season. On black creek, Co-no-fix-ico [Kono fiksiko; kono="skunk"] has one hundred cattle, and makes butter and cheese. John Townshend, the trader of the town, is an honest Englishman, who has resided many years in the nation, and raised a numerous family, who conduct themselves well. His daughters, who are married, conduct themselves well, have stocks of cattle, are attentive to them, make butter and cheese, and promise to raise cotton and learn to spin. The principal cattle holders are Conofixico, who has one hundred; Choc-lo Emautlau’s stock is on the decline, thirty; Will Geddis Taupixa Micco [Tapiksi miko; tapiksi="flat"], one hundred; Co Emautlau [Kowai imala; kowai=quail,] four hundred under careful management. John Townshend, one hundred and forty, and Sally, his daughter, fifty.9

This is the only Upper Creek town of the name represented in the census list of 1832,10 and the only one now recognized among the Creeks in Oklahoma. It is, and since the removal always has been, located in the extreme southeastern part of the nation near the modern town of Eufaula, Oklahoma, which bears its name.

A Eufaula settlement was also made among the Lower Creeks, and although this appears on very few maps before the end of the eighteenth century, we know that it antedates 1733, because it occurs on the De Crenay map of that year.11

November 20, 1752, Thomas Bosomworth visited the Eufaula town among the Lower Creeks in search of some horses which had been stolen from the English. He describes it as ”the Lowest in the Nation but two” and ”about forty five miles from the Cowetas, and as it is chiefly composed of Runagados from all other Towns of the Nation, it is reckoned one of the most unrully, as they all Command and none obey.”12

The name of this town appears in the census lists of 1760 and 1761,13 but it is wanting from the lists of Bartram and Swan. The official trader there in 1761 was James Cussings.14 Hawkins gives the following description:

Eu-fau-lau; is fifteen miles below Sau-woog-e-lo, on the left bank of the river, on a pine flat; the fields are on both sides of the river, on rich flats; below the town the land is good.

These people are very poor, but generally well behaved and very friendly to white people; they are not given to horse-stealing, have some stock, are attentive to it; they have some land fenced, and are preparing for more; they have spread out their settlements down the river; about eight miles below the town, counting on the river path, there is a little village on good land, O-ke-teyoc-en-ne.15 Some of the village is well fenced; they raise plenty of com and rice, and the range is a good one for stock.

From this village they have settlements down as low as the forks of the river; and they are generally on sites well chosen, some of them well cultivated; they raise plenty of corn and rice, and have cattle, horses, and hogs. Several of these Indians have Negroes, taken during the Revolutionary War, and where they are there is more industry and better farms. These Negroes were, many of them, given by the agents of Great Britain to the Indians, in payment for their services, and they generally call themselves ”King’s gifts.” The Negroes are all of them attentive and friendly to white people, particularly so to those in authority.16

Lower Eufaula appears again in the census rolls of 1832, which also mention a branch village on a creek called ”Chowokolohatches.”17 Among the Creeks in Oklahoma the town is known as “Yufā′la hopai′, “the far-away Eufaula” and it maintained its own square ground for some time after the emigration, but this has now been given up. Part of the Eufaula went to Florida in 1761 and made a settlement afterwards known as Tcuko tcati, ”Red house.”18

Footnotes

  1. 19th Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 547. 

  2. Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., III, pp. 42-43. 

  3. Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., IX, pp. 34, 169. 

  4. Bartram, Travels, p. 461; Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, v, p. 262. 

  5. Plate 5; Hamilton, Col. Mobile, p. 190. 

  6. Bartram, Travels, p. 461; Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., III, p. 25. 

  7. Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, v, p. 262. 

  8. MSS., Ayer Coll.; Miss. Prov. Arch. I, p. 95; Ga. Col. Docs, VIII, p. 523. 

  9. Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., III, p. 48; cf. Taitt in Mereness, Trav. Am. Col., p. 528. 

  10. Senate Doc. 512, 23d Cong., 1st sess., pp. 275-278. 

  11. Plate 5; Hamilton, Col. Mobile, p. 190. 

  12. Bosomworth’s MS. Journal, in S. C. Archives. 

  13. Miss. Prov. Arch., I, p. 96; Ga. Col. Docs., VIII, p. 522. 

  14. Miss. Prov. Arch., I, p. 96; Ga. Col. Docs., VIII, p. 522. 

  15. This was a branch of Sawokli; see p. 143. 

  16. Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., III, p. 66. 

  17. Senate Doc. 512, 23d Cong., 1st sess., IV, pp. 337-342, 378-379. 

  18. See p. 403. 



MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John Reed. Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors. US Government Printing Office. 1902. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 9 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/eufaula-tribe.htm - Last updated on Aug 31st, 2014


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