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Notes On Creek History

To offer a history of the Creek tribe from its discovery down to our epoch to the readers does not lie within the scope of this volume, and for want of sufficient documents illustrating the earlier periods it could be presented in a fragmentary manner only. But a few notes on the subject, especially on the Oglethorpe treaties, will be of interest to the reader. In the year following their departure from the West Indies (1540), the troops led by H. de Soto traversed a portion of the Creek territory, taken in its extent as known to us from the end of the eighteenth century. De Soto’s presence is proved by the mention of Creek tribes bearing Creek name’s in the reports of his three chroniclers. The most circumstantial report in topography is that of the Knight of Elvas. He states that de Soto’s army usually marched five to six leagues a day in peopled countries, but when passing through deserted lands proceeded faster. From Chiaha H. de Soto reached Coste in seven days. From Tali, probably contiguous to Coste, he marched for six days, through many towns, to Coca, arriving there July 26th, 1540. Leaving this town after a stay of twenty-five days, he reached Tallimuchase on the same day, Ytava on the next, and had to remain there; six days, on account of a freshet in the river. Having crossed the river he reached Ullibahali town, fortified by a wooden wall, and on the next day stopped at a town subject to the lord of Ullibahali, to reach Toasi the day after. Then he traversed the Tallise...

List Of Creek Towns

In this alphabetic list of ancient Creek towns and villages I have included all the names of inhabited places which I have found recorded before the emigration of the people to the Indian Territory. The description of their sites is chiefly taken from Hawkins “Sketch” one of the most instructive books which we possess on the Creeks in their earlier homes. Some of these town names are still existing in Alabama and Georgia, although the site has not infrequently changed. I have interspersed into the list a few names of the larger rivers. The etymologies added to the names contain the opinions of the Creek delegates visiting Washington every year, and they seldom differed among each other on any name. The local names are written according to my scientific system of phonetics, the only change introduced being that of the palatal tch for ch. Ábi’hka, one of the oldest among the Upper Creek towns; the oldest chiefs were in the habit of naming the Creek nation after it. Hawkins speaks of Abikúdshi only, not of Abi’hka. It certainly lay somewhere near the Upper Coosa River, where some old maps have it. Emanuel Bowen, “A new map of Georgia,” has only “Abacouse,” and this in the wrong place, below Kusa and above Great Talasse, on the western side of Coosa River. A town Abi’hka now exists in the Indian Territory. The name of the ancient town was pronounced Abi’hka, Apiχka and written Obika, Abeka, Abeicas, Abecka, Beicas, Becaes, etc.; its people are called Apiχkanági. Some writers have identified them with the Kusa and also with the Conshacs, e. g. du...

The Creek Settlements

The towns and villages of the Creeks were in the eighteenth century built along the banks of rivers and their smaller tributaries, often in places subject to inundation during large freshets, which occurred once in about fifteen years. The smallest of them contained from twenty to thirty cabins, some of the larger ones up to two hundred, and in 1832 Tukabatchi, then the largest of all the Creek settlements, harbored 386 families. Many towns appeared rather compactly built, although they were composed of irregular clusters of four to eight houses standing together; each of these clusters contained a gens (“clan or family of relations,” C. Swan), eating and living in common. The huts and cabins of the Lower Creeks resembled, from a distance, clusters of newly-burned brick kilns, from the high color of the clay.1 It will be found appropriate to distinguish between Creek towns and villages. By towns is indicated the settlements which had a public square, by villages those which had none. The square occupied the central part of the town, and was reserved for the celebration of festivals, especially the annual busk or fast (púskita), for the meetings of chiefs, headmen and “beloved men,” and for the performance of daily dances. Upon this central area stood the “great house,” tchúka láko, the council-house, and attached to it was a play-ground, called by traders the “chunkey-yard.” Descriptions of these places will be given below. Another thoroughgoing distinction in the settlements of the Creek nation was that of the red or war towns and the white or peace towns. Red Towns The red or kipáya towns, to which...

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