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Hillabees were the last Creek tribe to leave Georgia

Hillabees were the last Creek tribe to leave Georgia

On May 5, 2016 People of One Fire wraps up its series on the Chattahoochee River in Metropolitan Atlanta with more big surprises.   We have already told you about Anneewakee probably originating in the Valley of Mexico and that for the last 50 years of its existence, Tuckabatchee was on the Chattahoochee River in Georgia, not in Alabama.  However, we have stumbled upon some well documented information in history books that some how didn’t make it into the anthropology books.  

The Hillabees, who originated on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina, moved back to the Chattahoochee River during the Red Stick War and stayed there until 1827.  By that time, about 22,000 Creeks in eastern Georgia had disassociated themselves from the Creek Confederacy.  However, the Hillabees stayed members of the confederacy and shared its fate.

The final article will offer convincing arguments that the remaining archaeological zones on the Chattahoochee River in Southwest Metro Atlanta should be (at a minimum) incorporated into a single National Historic District.   An ideal situation would be for them to be annexed to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service.  

See ya on the 5th!


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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.

1 Comment


    I often wondered about that. I once met a group of Cherokee on the Cartecay, River in Georgia. They had no representation from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian. There was a group of about 5 or 6 houses. I never saw them again, but I once talked with a Gilmer county deputy who knew of them and he said the owners of the settlement all died and some few heirs had moved away, but that was all he knew. We did not discuss land documents.


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