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Georgia gave the Uchee (Euchee/Yuchi) Tribe a reservation in 1958!

Georgia gave the Uchee (Euchee/Yuchi) Tribe a reservation in 1958!


The Euchee Tribe of Oklahoma is currently a federally recognized division of the Muscogee-Creek Nation . . . although they have for many years sought to have separate federal recognition.  What this information means, however, is that the Oklahoma Euchee could immediately claim residence in Georgia as a federally recognized tribe AND build a casino in that reservation.  The current Muscogee-Creek Nation government did not exist before 1979!

This also means that any Uchee descendant, who is a citizen of Georgia and who was alive in 1958 or whose Uchee parents were alive in 1958, can automatically claim state recognition, without going through the formal process of a bill in the Georgia General Assembly.

The information from a Atlanta Journal-Constitution article was discovered in the archives of the Georgia State University Library.  The People of One Fire uses the word, Uchee, because that name and Ogeechee were used exclusively by the Uchee, who greeted the first colonists of South Carolina and Georgia.  Uchee and Ogeechee were also used exclusively in the colonial documents produced by officials in Georgia and the Carolinas . . . also later in Alabama. 

The Savannah and Ogeechee River Basins compose the original homeland of the Uchee, but most moved to the Chattahoochee River Valley near Columbus during the mid-1750s.   According to Uchee tradition their ancestors sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from the “Home of the Sun” and landed near the mouths of the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers . . . eons ago.


The Atlanta-Journal Constitution article states:

Marion Johnson. Roy Smith (Center) Presents Deed to 100 Acres to Yuchi Indians. Chief Samuel H. Brown [i.e. Samuel W. Brown] (left) and Council member Rufus George accept.” Caption is stamped “Jun 8 1958.” Chief Samuel Wayne Brown, known as the last of the hereditary Yuchi Indian chiefs, was also called Chief Yuchi Micco Fus Hucha yahola.

The dedication ceremony for the deeding of 100 acres to the Yuchi Indians was June 7, 1958. The land was around the Columbus, Georgia, area, and was a gift of the “people of Georgia” presented by the Columbus Museum of Arts and Crafts. The gift had been negotiated in October 1957, by Chief Samuel William Brown, Jr., who died in December 1957.


During the middle and late 20th century  Dr. Joseph B. Mahan (1921-1995) and Oklahoma Euchee Principal Chief, Samuel W. Brown, Sr. (1908-1990) worked closely together to develop an exceptional collection of Native American artifacts from the the Chattahoochee River Basin, which were put on exhibit at the Columbus Museum.  After their deaths,  no one in the Columbus Area picked up their torches.  The new management of the museum ultimately removed the artifacts from the exhibit space, boxed them up and gave them away.


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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.



    Wow! Truly a monumentally significant discovery! Kudos to the researcher! Does the research indicate who is currently in control of or occupying the reservation?

    Jimi Del Duca
    PhD Candidate in American Studies
    Montana State-Bozeman

  2. I’m the researcher, Jim! LOL Just got off the phone with a Uchee friend in Sapulpa, OK. She is going to find out where the deed is now.


    Wouldnt it be wierd and delightful if there was an exclusive gated community on the land? Just an evil and mirthful thought from an outsider.


    That is great news Mr. Thornton. Please pat yourself on the back for me. I’m quite sure this will delight quite a few folk who stand to deservingly gain from your research and documentation. WTG


    Hey Richard,
    Great article! Can you see the mess at the court house if that land has been sold and built on? A title company will have to pay out a large amount for that mistake! I ran across an article today about a site on the cost of Peru that has been occupied about 13,000 years.
    The people had more advanced hunting and fishing techniques that others at the time. Here’s the link to the paper
    Thanks to you and to all the Veterans out there have a great Memorial day!

    • Good grief Wayne . . . I read the article! . . . These were the most advanced people in the world in that time period. Thanks for telling me about it.


        Yes I need to read the paper. These people seemed to be way ahead of the game.
        Just trying to help spread the knowledge!


    Dr. Richard Thornton. I do believe that I heard you say that Lumpkin, Ga-Stewart County was inhabited by Cherokee-Hitchiti Creek-Yuchi Indians.

    Please Advise.

    • No, the Cherokees never lived in that part of Georgia. The Uchees (Yuchi) originally lived in the Savannah and Ogeechee River Basins, but moved to the portion of the Chattahoochee River near Columbus in the mid-1700s. Southwest Georgia was the last place that Hitchiti Creeks live in Georgia.


        Hi Richard, myself and another family researcher just came across some information about one of our ancestors that other distant kin had posted in reference to my Grt Grt Grandfather and his two siblings. It is in reference to their mother’s name. The name is Egwa Ni Ste Tsi. With some research I determined that Egwani supposedly translates to River in Cherokee and Ste Tsi translates to your daughter or literally your offspring. We are skeptical due to my Grt Grt Grandfather and his two siblings were born in SE Ga in Camden Co as far as I know. His father was born in old Barnwell Co near the Savannah River. These areas were predominantely Creek and Uchee. We wanted to ask if you could please breakdown these words to verify they are Cherokee. Any assistance you could give us on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Gavin.

        • Brian, I know very little Cherokee and therefore rely on Mary Rae for Cherokee translations. However, river is uweyá in Cherokee . . . not Egwa . . . and daughter is uwetsi ageyá. Barwell County was Uchee, while Camden County was Ogeechee (branch of the Uchee) and Creek. Chances are pretty much 100% that those people were not Cherokees and that there heritage was from a branch of the Uchee. There are no Uchee or Ogeechee dictionaries.


            Richard, thank you sir. We appreciate it.


    Hi Richard, You left a message on my blog. I am an archaeologist also a linguist of the Mycenaean Linear B script writings. Unfortunately I know nothing of the Bronze Age Aboriginal peoples in the British region. However, I do have some contacts who may be able to help but it may take a little time to get hold of them. I will surely contact you when and if I can.


    Dr. Thornton. Was Stewart County predominately Creeks and Uchees?

    Thanks for your last answer too Sir.


    Richard, I knew Dr. Mahan well. He gave me access to his files for a report I was writing while a student at Georgia Southwestern College in the early seventies. I gave him a Creek bowl from the Tallapoosa River in Alabama that I had in my collection for the museum in Columbus. Years later after Dr. Mahans death, when I visited the Native American collection at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, not to my surprise, the Creek bowl was not there. I guess it was in a box on a shelf, or maybe it had been given away. I guess priorities change, don’t they?

    • Dr. Mahan’s entire collection was given to the Laboratory of Archaeology, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Georgia . . . never to be seen by the public again.


    Richard, I’m wanting to get in contact with Uchee and Creek tribes. I live in Effingham County, GA and run a canoe/ kayak business and we promote the history of the area. We are looking to educate the public more on the original inhabitant and rise the native Americans to a higher level. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hey Brian!

      The Savannah River Band of Uchee is based in Allendale County, SC and Effingham County, GA. I prepared a history of the Uchee occupation of the Savannah River in preparation for the tribe applying for state and federal recognition. Most of the members are bi-racial or tri-racial, but their family genealogies are quite solid and include several very famous personalities from the 1700s, who married Uchee and Creek women in order to gain access to the Indian trade. Here is one of the websites of the band.

      The Euchee Tribe in Oklahoma is having a rough time. They have lost their offices and telephone, which were formerly provided by a county government. Contact Susan at the Sapulpa, Oklahoma Public Library. She is a card-carrying Euchee and is quite knowledgeable about their culture.

      I am the Historic Preservation Officer for the Coweta Creek Tribe of Georgia. I trace my Creek and Uchee ancestry to Palachicola, which was in Effingham County.


        I trace one of my ancestors to just north of Euchee Anna , Florida in Holmes county , where he was born in 1850. They didnt stay long after, before coming to the Poarch area near Atmore. Another , Lantern was born in the SC mountains before moving to northern Gwinnet County , before high-tailing it out of there before the Trail of Tears. More names , these i can not trace any further : Burnham , Stovall , and a Jeptha . I do know my Gibson ancestor , born 1850 in Holmes County , Florida , was a ” dominicker “( derogatory name , i know , sorry for using it. ) which means he was part Uchee.


    Is anyone here familiar with the Sizemore surname in the Euchee tribe? My ancestor, Arthur Sizemore, was accepted into the Creek Nation around 1813 and was mentioned by Benjamin Hawkins as a Mestiz.

    • Yes! When I did the research for the Savannah River Uchee Tribe, I ran across the names of many prominent Creek families in Oklahoma such as Sizemore, Berryhill, Berry, Barnard, Bone, etc. who were originally Uchee families. These mixed-blood Uchee had the advantage of being in close contact with English-speaking settlers for over a century. Relations between the Uchees and Creeks – and the British leaders in Savannah was excellent throughout the Colonial Period. There was lots of intermarriage between the races.


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