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After exactly 200 years . . . we have returned!

After exactly 200 years . . . we have returned!

 

Photo Above: Once the rotten siding has been replaced, the “moon goddess” gray will be painted over with Sunnybrook Farm Yellow!

Prior to the 1790s,  Itsate (Hitchiti) was the most spoken language in Georgia . . .  not English or Muskogee!

During the American Revolution, the half-blood Tory,  Alexander McGillivray,  unilaterally disenfranchised the Creek tribal towns in Georgia, who had joined the Patriot Cause or remained neutral.  He surrounded himself with some Tory cronies and made himself Principal Chief of the Creek Confederacy.  They then moved the capital from Koweta on the Chattahoochee River to the Pro-British town of Pensacola in British West Florida. For the next twenty years, McGillivray waged an undeclared war against the Uchee, Itstate-Creek, Apalache-Creek, Elate-Creek and Anglo-American farmsteads in the western edge of South Carolina, plus Northeast and Middle Georgia.  Upper Creek war bands from what is now northeastern Alabama repeatedly launched raids against their fellow Creeks in these regions until 1796.  The horrific memories of this era were so deeply ingrained that I always thought that the Muskogees were the villainous enemies of the Uchee and Creek Peoples, until I was in my mid-20s.

In order to survive,  the Uchees and Creeks, being attacked by the Pro-British Creeks, joined forces with their non-Native neighbors.  They fought side by side behind the timber forts that were erected.  Creek provinces along the Oconee River even invited white families to live among them . . . granting large tracts of fertile farmland as an inducement. They also encouraged their offspring to marry the offspring of the new settlers . . . thus cementing familial and political ties.   In truth, there was very little difference in the lifestyles of the Natives and newcomers . . . except that the Creeks were more skilled farmers.   It was not a situation like in the Midwest or Great Plains, where agriculturalists from Europe confronted Native hunter-gatherers.  The two cultures merged and one result was is called now, Southern Cuisine.   It was really traditional Creek cuisine.   The Uchees and Creeks had been smoking turkeys, plus batter-frying fish and poultry for centuries.

Meanwhile, the Creek Confederacy became essentially the Muskogee Confederacy.  That is how it is labeled on the first map of the State of Georgia in 1785.  In a series of land cessions between 1784 and 1818,  the Muskogees gave away all the lands belonging to the Uchee, the Itsate and Georgia Upper Creeks, but very little of their own.

A myth was begun that the Uchee never existed and that the Hitchiti Creeks were a tiny, insignificant minority . . . not the majority.  In 1817 and 1818,  the Creeks and Cherokees gave away their remaining lands in Northeast Georgia.  It was a narrow corridor, running between what is now Rabun County and Fulton County, where Atlanta was soon founded.  The northern portion was occupied by Uchee, Soque and Elate, living on land assigned to the Cherokee Nation in 1784.  From Clarkesville southward, was the Creek part of the cession, even though most county histories in the region, now state that their county was part of “Great Cherokee Nation” for thousands of years.  The Uchee in the Cherokee portion were allowed to take allotments. The Soque declined their allotments, while the Creeks . . . considered dangerous because of the Red Stick War . . . were not offered allotments.  Many were able to stay anyway, because they were mixed-bloods, intermarried with white neighbors.  

The Red Stick War and the hostility of most Creeks to slavery are the primary reasons that many mixed blood Uchees and Creeks in Northeast Georgia and Upstate South Carolina began calling themselves “part-Cherokee” after the Trail of Tears.   Even as late as 1884, a book on the history of the Methodist Church in Georgia, stated, “The Creeks are savages.  They are so ignorant that they refuse to accept their natural inferiority to white men and that slavery of Africans was ordained by God.  It is good that Georgia is rid of them.

 

The house was surrounded with massive trees that could have fallen on it at any time.   Those violent May storms gave me the heebie-jeebies!  LOL

Update on the big move

There is a lot of work, plus expenditures, involved with fixing up a fixer upper, but my cost of living will be drastically less when the work is completed. This ultimate fixer upper was the only real house I could afford to buy.   Even most mobile homes were asking $20-30,000 more.  Rent has gotten so ridiculous in the United States since the Great Recession,  ownership of a modest house is by far less demanding on the budget. Nevertheless, I am putting in 18 hour days and don’t have much time for research or writing right now.

The house had several large trees that were about to fall on it.  That is why it had not sold earlier and then had been allowed to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance.  This past week, those trees were removed by the amazing men of McAllister Tree Removal Service . . . with with help of some very nifty machines.  The end product was those piles seen above of wood chips and shredded leaves.  Yes, that is the Etula Sacred Fire standard, implanted in one of the piles of wood chips!  We’re back home, folks. 

A very brave man, named Matt, at the top of a 90 feet tall cherry picker, is cutting off the limbs. Note the cable leading from the top of the tree down to the ground on the left. Jose'(center) is holding that cable. The cable prevented the treetop from falling on the street or power line, when Matt lopped it off. Then a derrick capable of reaching 130 feet, picked up the remainder of the tree trunk and laid it gently on the ground.  Most of the saw mills closed during the recession, so the tree service bought a saw mill.   However,  perhaps 85% of the trees are being shredded into mulch.   At right, you can see logs being fed into a chipper.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

16 Comments

  1. wrdwevr@comcast.net'

    Congratulations, Richard! A clear sign that “The good Lord is willing” and indeed “The Creeks are on the rise!”

    Reply
  2. chasjjr1@gmail.com'

    I had to do the same thing to some Leland cypress trees that could have fallen on my power lines. It was some Mexicans with their tree company that cut them for me for $400 bucks. I just finished remodelling my house built in 1939, when WW II started, remodelling rotted window sills and walls around the windows for $18,000. New vinyl windows from Lowe’s, new pressure treated studs on the inside. Yeah, all the dwellings and structures you build models of had to have clearings around them, so it’s still the same to this day. I recommend building some of the evergreen hardwood structures the NW indians built in Washington state, and some teepees, maybe send smoke signals to Creek spirits in the Winter.

    Reply
  3. scottandmolly@msn.com'

    I question the accuracy of your statement that Alexander McGillivray “moved the capital from Koweta on the Chattahoochee River to the Pro-British town of Pensacola in British West Florida”‘. The capital was moved to Little Tallassee, according to correspondence of American, British, Spanish and Creek agents and officials. British officials at Pensacola did not want the Creeks to visit, let alone settle, in or around Pensacola. The only time that British officials desired the Creeks to come to Pensacola was to receive their semi-annual distribution of “presents” and to help defend the city and fort from imminent Spanish military invasions. After Pensacola fell to the Spaniards, Spanish officials had the same sentiments concerning the Creeks as had the British – come only when you are invited.
    The Georgian Creeks who supported the Patriot cause or remained neutral were quickly betrayed by Georgian officials and citizens after the War of Independence. The Creeks were losing more and more of their land at the point of Georgian guns and the Creeks being duped to give-up land by signing treaties. Alexander McGillivray did his best, with Spanish support, to preserve Creek territory and sovereignty in Western Georgia and Alabama. Did McGillivray bring-about changes, some harmfully, in Creek customs and traditions? Yes, he did. But, McGillivray was proud being half-Creek and he sacrificed much in his efforts to preserve the dignity and sovereignty of his fellow Natives.

    Reply
    • McGillivray was not half blood. His mother had less Native genes than me. His father was a Scottish Tory. He destroyed the democratic organization of the Creek Confederacy by making it a pawn for British then Spanish interests. McGillivray made himself a one person government by manipulating people through gifts. If the center of Creek government had remained in Columbus, or better still, Macon, things would have gone much better for Creeks. We Georgia Creeks had already worked out an approach that would have kept the Creeks in the east and minimized bloodshed. There was absolutely no friction between my family and their white neighbors.

      Reply
    • Wrapscallionn@gmail.com'

      There were creek towns around Pensacola. Some were attacked in 1818 and driven off, a correspondence states ” the Chumuckla Indians came to trade at Pensacola ” around 1815, there are at least 5 maps showing Apalachee towns just west of Pensacola on Perdido bay,and river, and at least 2 maps,showing a town near where Century/ Bluff Springs, Florida on the upper Escambia River would be located later, with one of those,maps being an,official U.S. map from 1825. We were here, we are still here.

      Reply
      • The Georgia Creeks and Apalachicola towns moved down into that region after Great Britain defeated France and Spain in the Seven Years War. Those Apalachicola were probably the towns that were formerly clustered along the Etowah River. I am convinced that they composed the fourth occupation of Etowah Mounds, which Dr. Arthur Kelly identified, but the next generation of archaeologists erased.

        Reply
  4. markveale@hotmail.com'

    Richard, Congratulations on your Happy successful move!

    Reply
  5. markveale@hotmail.com'

    Richard, Now that someone has finally done some DNA research about those elongated skulls of ancient Peru (Para) and connected them to the Black Sea area… “The Maykop culture” has many connections to what eventfully was found in the Eastern U.S and South America. These people arrived from somewhere and bought an advanced Bronze age culture there:

    “stone-lined, topped with a kurgan (or tumulus).”…stone box sites

    “.. where the evidence for barrows is found, it is precisely in regions which later demonstrate the presence of non-Indo-European populations.”
    “Attributed to the Maykop culture are petroglyphs which have yet to be deciphered.”

    “The construction of artificial terrace complexes in the mountains is evidence of their sedentary living, high population density, and high levels of agricultural and technical skills.”

    “The most ancient bronze sword on record, dating from the second or third century of the 4th millennium BC.”

    ” it seems, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC by a “high culture” whose origin is still quite unclear.”

    Reply
  6. woodespryte@gmail.com'

    Congratulations on your new home. You were meant to be there. Sometimes Serendipitous moments can take a while to manifest. And Thank You for all the work you have done. I have learned so much since finding your website.

    Reply
    • You are quite welcome. It is like heaven to be away from the hordes of rats and drinking water that smells like a dead animal.

      Reply
  7. woolvinj@gmail.com'

    Congratulations Richard! Are those new puppies I see on the wood chip pile?

    Reply
  8. repterrie@gmail.com'

    Is this Alexander Hoboi Hili Miko Good Child McGillivray b. 1750-1793 you speak of? Son of Lachlan McGillivray b. 1719-1799 and Sehoy II “Hatali” Windclan Marchand b. 1722-1799.
    Lachlan and Sehoy II are my 9th great grandparents, which makes Alexander (above) a 9th great uncle. His sister Katherine Red Stick Fraser McGillivray married into the Red Sticks I believe. I have the entire family, piecing together like a jigsaw puzzle.

    Reply
  9. leewilson9972@gmail.com'

    SO happy for you, Richard!! Wonderful to be in that area!! Hope to see you in November!!

    Reply
    • Well, there is no excuse this time. You will be visiting the Nacoochee Valley and I live in the Nacoochee Valley.

      Reply
  10. debra.winchell@gmail.com'

    Thank you for uncovering and giving us an explanation for so people saying their family was Cherokee. I knew it couldn’t be true. I had thought possibly Cherokee was assumed due to lack of knowledge. It as a shame that so many people felt it was necessary to obscure the history of other peoples. I so appreciate your work. It could lead to the truth about my ancestors there. I wish someone was doing something similar in the post-contact Ohio area.

    Reply

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