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Footnote: William Bartram listed no Cherokee villages in Georgia

Footnote:  William Bartram listed no Cherokee villages in Georgia


William Bartram’s book provides a list of all 43 villages of the Cherokee Nation in 1776. None were in Georgia.  He described Echoe as being just north of the Georgia-North Carolina state line and the most southerly of the Middle Cherokee towns.  He said that a few miles farther south were many stacks of rocks.   He assumed that they were the graves of Cherokees killed in the Battle of Itsate Pass, but these may have actually been cairns from an much earlier era.   In another part of his book, he stated that before the First Anglo-Cherokee War,  Chote and Satico had been located on the headwaters of the Flint (Chattahoochee River) but that the towns had never been reoccupied after the war.

The village of Tugaloo was at that time located on the east (South Carolina) side of the Tugaloo River.  He said that at most, there were only about 100 Cherokee warriors in all of South Carolina.  Most of the Lower Cherokees, presumably those in Georgia also, had moved to the North Carolina Mountains after the First Anglo-Cherokee War.

Bartram spent the night at a farmstead in what is now Dillard, GA.  The man was white, while his wife was “light-skinned” mixed blood Cherokee.  There was no Cherokee village in the Dillard Valley.  About 12 miles farther south was the northern border of the Creek Nation.  The Creek town of Cusseta was on the border between the Cherokee and Creek territories.

Bartram also remarked that the Creek Country was much more densely populated than the Cherokee Country.  While at this time, there were perhaps 400-500 Cherokees in all of South Carolina,  one Uchee-Creek town alone on the Chattahoochee River had over 2,000 residents.

Meanwhile, the new Georgia State History textbook has 4 1/2 chapters on the Cherokees and 1/2 chapter on the Creeks . . . but that section mainly deals with the founding of Savannah.  Three of the Cherokee chapters tell the history of the Cherokees in Tennessee and North Carolina.

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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.



    I find all your posts fascinating Richard. I just can’t believe how stories have got distorted so much. I gather from your many comments people are grateful for all the research you are doing which is helping them understand their heritage. Thanks for sharing.

    • Well . . . one of these days, maybe I will have the funds to visit Greece and Crete. When I worked in Europe, neither Greece or Crete were included in a Eurorail Pass. After finishing my project in Sweden I was able to tour Europe for over three months with the rail pass and staying a Youth Hostels.


    Richard, You might be interested in the findings of symbols found on the back of some of the Easter island monuments. The “ring and the bar” also called the “shen” symbol by the Egyptians is very close to what has been found on the back of some of the monuments. The Easter island symbol for the bar or line item of the symbol is slightly curved. This symbol was used in the design of monuments in Caral, Peru going back to 3000 BC and made its way to Mexico, US, Spain, Egypt, and also to Easter island. The Mexah (Aztecs) also used this symbol in some artwork of one of the Toltec’s kings and some of his followers perhaps made their way to the Savannah river and built the ancient city in Georgia noted by Mr. Bartram in 1775. However, The Toltec’s are noted as arriving from the East in boats and most likely were already living in Georgia before 800-900 AD when new peoples started arriving (Itza (“I-am-ma” Maya) and founded new cities at that time. Richard do you have a time when the Apalachi artifacts, tools and artworks start in Georgia? Thanks again for your Articles.


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