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Oconee Indians

Oconee Tribe – Significance unknown. Oconee Connections. The Oconee belonged to the Muskhogean linguistic stock, and the Atcik-hata group. (See Apalachicola) Oconee Location. Just below the Rock Landing on Oconee River, Georgia. (see also Florida.) Oconee 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, Georgia, and a few years later part went to the Alachua Plains, in the present Alachua County, Florida, 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. Oconee 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...

Oconee Tribe

In addition to two groups of Muskhogean people bearing this name1 it should be noticed that it was popularly applied by the whites to a Cherokee town, properly called Ukwû‛nû (or Ukwû‛nĭ), 2 but the similarity may be merely a coincidence. Of the two Creek groups mentioned one seems to be associated exclusively with the Florida tribes, while the second, when we first hear of it, was on the Georgia river which still bears its name. The first reference to either appears to be in a report of the Timucua missionary, Fareja, dated 1602. He mentions the “Ocony,” three days’ journey from San Pedro, among a number of tribes among which there were Christians or which desired missionaries.3 In a letter dated April 8, 1608, Ibarra speaks of “the chief of Ocone which marches on the province of Tama.”4 This might apply to either Oconee division. The mission lists of 1655 contain a station called Santiago de Ocone, described as an island and said to be 30 leagues from St. Augustine. As it was certainly not southward of the colonial capital it would seem to have been near the coast to the north, according to the distance given, in the neighborhood of Jekyl Island. At the very same time there was another Oconee mission among the Apalachee Indians called San Francisco de Apalache in the list of 1655; it is given in the list of 1680 as San Francisco de Oconi.5 This group probably remained with the rest of the Apalachee towns and followed their fortunes. The main body of the Oconee was located, when first known to Englishmen,...

The Late Slave Raiding Period 1705-1721

This is the period when Native Americans increasingly became the pawns of France and Great Britain in their struggle over North America. For a quarter of a century, France had formally claimed all lands within the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio River Basins, based on the explorations of LaSalle. With the founding of the first capital of the Province of Louisiana, Mobile, in 1702, France also claimed the basin of the Mobile-Alabama-Tallapoosa-Coosa-Etowah-Coosawattee River System. At the same time, France recognized the claim of the Kingdom of Spain to the Chattahoochee-Flint River System all the way to what is now the northeastern tip of Georgia. Unlike Great Britain, France thoroughly explored the major rivers in their claimed territories prior to establishing colonies. The Province of Louisiana extended eastward to the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thus, the French claimed all of what is now Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, western North Carolina, plus about a third of what is now Georgia. After the War of Spanish Succession ended, English, French and Spanish troops could not directly oppose each other (for awhile!) – but their respective Indian allies could. Neutral tribes were punished by being subject to slave raids from either the French or the English allies. The French in Louisiana used Native American slaves on plantations in the Mississippi Delta; sent surplus slaves to sugar plantations in the Caribbean, and also used them as forced laborers for public works throughout their colonies. Almost all the drainage canals that allowed the creation of the new provincial capital of New Orleans were dug Chitimacha slaves. The Chitimacha’s had initially been hospitable to the French,...

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