Georgia Indian Tribes
After the English and Creeks
destroyed the Apalachee towns in Florida in 1704, they established a part of the
tribe in a village not far below the present Augusta. In 1715, when the Yamasee
war broke out, these Apalachee joined the hostile Indians and went to the
Chattahoochee to live near that faction of the Lower Creeks which was favorable
to Spain. Soon afterward, however, the English faction gained the ascendency
among the Creeks, and the Apalachee returned to Florida. (See
From Hitchiti "Apalachicoli" or Muskogee "Apalachicolo," signifying apparently
"People of the other side," with reference probably to the Apalachicola
River or some nearby stream. See
Some of these Indians lived at times in the southwest corner
of this State. (See Florida.)
From early times the Cherokee
occupied the northern and northeastern parts of Georgia, though from certain
place names it seems probable that they had been preceded in that territory by
Chiaha. Meaning unknown though it may contain a reference
to mountains or highlands. (Cf. Choctaw and Alabama tcaha, Hitchiti tcäihi,
A band of Chickasaw lived near
Augusta from about 1723 to the opening of the American Revolution, and later
they were for some time among the Lower Creeks. (See Mississippi and
A part, and perhaps a large part,
of the Indians who after-ward constituted the Creek Confederacy were living in
the sixteenth century in what the Spaniards called the province of Guale on the'
present Georgia coast. Some of them moved inland in consequence of difficulties
with the Whites, and in the latter half of the seventeenth century most of those
afterward known as Lower Creeks were upon Chattahoochee and Ocmulgee Rivers, the
latter river being then called Ocheese Creek, from the Hitchiti name given to
the Indians living on it. After the Yamasee War (1715) all assembled upon
Chattahoochee River and continued there, part on the Georgia side of the river,
part on the Alabama side, until they removed to the present Oklahoma early in
the nineteenth century. (See
Creek Confederacy and
Perhaps from Atcik-hata, a term formerly applied to all
of the Indians who spoke the Hitchiti language, and is said to refer to
the heap of white ashes piled up close to the ceremonial ground. Also
At-pasha-shliha, Koasati name, meaning "mean people."
Connections. The Hitchiti
belonged to the Muskhogean linguistic family and were considered the
mother town of the Atcik-hata group. (See
Location. The Hitchiti
are oftenest associated with a location in the present Chattahoochee
County, Ga., but at an earlier period were on the lower course of the
Ocmulgee River. (See also Florida and
Hihaje, location unknown.
Hitchitoochee, on Flint River below its junction with Kinchafoonee
Tuttallosag, on a creek of the same name, 20 miles west from
History. The Hitchiti are
identifiable with the Ocute of De Soto's chroniclers, who were on or near
the Ocmulgee River. Early English maps show their town on the site of the
present Macon, Ga., but after 1715 they moved to the Chattahoochee,
settling first in Henry County, Ala., but later at the site above
mentioned in Chattahoochee County, Ga. From this place they moved to
Oklahoma, where they gradually merged with the rest of the Indians of the
population of the Hitchiti is usually given in conjunction with that of
the other confederate tribes. The following separate estimates of the
effective male Hitchiti population are recorded: 1738, 60; 1750, 15; 1760,
50; 1761, 40; 1772, 90; in 1832 the entire population was 381.
Connection in which they have
become noted In early days, as above mentioned, the Hitchiti were
prominent as the leaders in that group of tribes or towns among the Lower
Creeks speaking a language distinct from Muskogee. Hichita, McIntosh
County, Okla., preserves the name.
One of the most important
divisions of the Muskogee, possibly identical with the Cofitachequi of the De Soto narratives. (See
Oconee belonged to the Muskhogean linguistic stock, and the Atcik-hata
group. (See Apalachicola.)
Location. Just below the
Rock Landing on Oconee River, Ga. (But see also
History. Early documents
reveal at least two bodies of Indians bearing the name Oconee and probably
related. One was on or near the coast of Georgia and seems later to have
moved into the Apalachee country and to have become fused with the
Apalachee tribe before the end of the seventeenth century. The other was
at the point above indicated, on Oconee River. About 1685 they were on
Chattahoochee River, whence they moved to the Rock Landing. A more
northerly location for at least part of the tribe may be indicated in the
name of a Cherokee town, though that may have been derived from a Cherokee
word as Mooney supposed. About 1716 they moved to the east bank of the
Chattahoochee in Stewart County, Ga., and a few years later part went to
the Alachua Plains, in the present Alachua County, Fla., where they became
the nucleus of the Seminole Nation and furnished the chief to that people
until the end of the Seminole war. Most of them were then taken to
Oklahoma, but they had already lost their identity.
Population. The following
estimates of effective Oconee men in the Creek Nation are preserved: 1738,
50; 1750, 30; 1760, 50; 1761, 50. In 1675 there were about 200 Indians at
the Apalachee Mission of San Francisco de Oconi.
Connection in which they have
become noted. The name Oconee is perpetuated in the Oconee River, the
town of Oconee, Oconee Mills, and Oconee Siding, all in Georgia, but not
necessarily in the name of Oconee County, S. C., which is of Cherokee
origin, although there may be some more remote relationship. There is a
place of the name in Shelby County, Ill.
Signifying in the Hitchiti language,
"where water boils up" and referring probably to the big springs in Butts
County, Ga., called Indian Springs. Also called:
Waiki łako, "Big Spring,"
Connections. The Okmulgee
belonged to the Muskhogean linguistic stock and the Atsik-hata group. (See
Apalachicola under Georgia.)
Location.—In the great bend of the Chattahoochee River, Russell County,
Ala.; earlier, about the present Macon, Ga. (See also
History. The Okmulgee
probably separated from the Hitchiti or one of their cognate towns when
these towns were on Okmulgee River and settled at the point above
indicated, where they became closely associated with the Chiaha and
Osochi. They went west with the other Creeks and reestablished themselves
in the most northeastern part of the allotted territory, where they
gradually lost their identity. Although small in numbers, they gave the
prominent Perryman family to the Creek Nation and its well-known head
chief, Pleasant Porter.
French census of about 1750 states that there were rather more than 20
effective men among the Okmulgee, and the British census of 1760 gives 30.
Young, quoted by Morse, estimates a total population of 220 in 1822. There
are few other enumerations separate from the general census of the Creeks.
Connection in which
they have become noted. The name of the city of Okmulgee and that of
Ocmulgee River were derived independently from the springs above
mentioned. The name Okmulgee given to the later capital of the Creek
Nation in what is now Oklahoma was, however, taken from the tribe under
consideration. It has now become a flourishing on city.
division of the Lower Creeks which lived for a time in
southwestern Georgia. (See
A division of the Creeks belonging to the
group of towns that spoke the Hitchiti language. (See Alabama.)
The name is possibly related to that of a
Creek clan with the Hitchiti plural ending, in which case it would refer
to "flying creatures," such as birds.
belonged to the Atsik-hata group in the Creek Confederation.
historic seats of the Tamathli were in southwestern Georgia and
neighboring parts of Florida.
History. It is believed
that we have our first mention of the Tamathli in the Toa or Toalli of the
De Soto narratives. When De Soto passed through Georgia in 1540, it is
believed that this tribe was living at Pine Island in Daugherty County.
They may have been connected with the Altamaha Yamasee living between
Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers whose name sometimes appears in the form Tama.
They afterward drifted into Florida and were established in a mission
called La Purificaci6n de la Tama on January 27, 1675, by Bishop Calderon
of Cuba, in the Apalachee country 1 league from San Luis. In a mission
list dated 1680 appears the name of another mission, Nuestra Senora de la
Candelaria de in Tama. The Tamathli suffered the same fate as the
Apalachee in general when the latter were at-tacked by Moore in 1704. At
least part of these Indians afterward moved to the neighborhood of St.
Augustine, where another mission was established for them, but this was
attacked by the Creeks on November 1, 1725, while mass was being
celebrated. Many Indians were killed and the remainder moved to other
missions. In 1738 we hear of a "Tamaxle nuevo," as the northernmost Lower
Creek settlement and a southern division called "Old Tamathle," and are
informed that "in the town of Tamasle in Apalachee [i. e., Old Tamathle]
there were some Catholic and pagan families." We hear again of these
Tamathli Indians from Benjamin Hawkins (1848), writing in 1799, who sets
them down as one of the tribes entering into the formation of the Florida
Seminole. A town of the same name also appears in the Cherokee country "on
Valley River, a few miles above Murphy, about the present Tomatola, in
Cherokee County, N. C." The name cannot be interpreted in Cherokee and
there may once have been a northern division of the Tamathli.
Population. The Spanish
census dated 1738 enters Old Tamathli, with 12 men, and New Tamathli with
26, but the latter probably was in the main a Sawokli settlement. The
French estimate of 1750 entered only the former town with 10 men. In
Young's enumeration of Seminole towns (in Morse, 1822) this is given a
total population of 220.
contact between the Timucua Indians and Georgia is
mentioned later in connection with the Osochi. When the
Spaniards first came in contact with them, the Timucua
occupied not merely northern and central Florida but
Cumberland Island and a part of the adjacent mainland.
The Timucua evidently withdrew from this territory as a
result of pressure exerted by northern Indians in the
latter part of the seventeenth century or the very
beginning of the eighteenth. (See Utina under
unknown, though it has been interpreted by Muskogee yamasi, "gentle."
but perhaps, as suggested by Speck (1909), from a native word meaning
"those far away," or "at a distance," though it is also possible that it
is a variant of Ochesee or O eese, which was applied by the Hitchiti and
their allies to Indians speaking languages different from their own.
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