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News Flash! Original copy of “The Migration Legend of the Creek People” Rediscovered

The Apalache Foundation received a momentous email from the United Kingdom this morning.   Incredibly significant documents, assumed lost for 280 years, have been rediscovered.  This achievement was made possible with the assistance of the staff at Clarence House, the residence of HRH Prince Charles.

The original documents sent by Governor James Edward Oglethorpe to King George I in June 1735 that describe a meeting with the leaders of the Creek Confederacy in Savannah, have been found near London.  The meeting established formal diplomatic and trade relations between Great Britain and the Creeks, but its significance is much, much more.  Governor Oglethorpe was presented with a bison calf velum that narrated the migration legend of the Kashita . . . written in the Apalache writing system.  The velum was read by Mikko Chikilili of Palachikola and translated to the assembled leaders of Georgia by Mary Musgrove.

Governor Oglethorpe informed the King that the Creeks were very different than any other tribe encountered in North America. He said that they were the descendants of a great civilization and should be treated as equals in all things by the British government. As proof that the Creeks were truly civilized,  Oglethorpe sent the king a sample of their writing system with an English translation.  It was a complete writing system that could convey past, present and future tenses.  The English translation is eight pages long.

Contemporary anthropologists have refused to classify the Muskogean mound builders as civilized because “they were illiterate.”   All history books state that Native Americans were illiterate until Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabary.  These documents will prove them the wrong.

The documents are currently being photographed in England in order to produce high resolution images for researchers in the Apalache Foundation.  More articles on this discovery will follow.

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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.



    Oral tradition of my elders stated that our ancestors, Apalachee Creek, could read and write.


    a whole lot of what has been covered up will be uncovered

    Truth will prevail

    Justice is eternal

    even the Language will be pure…


    Cannot wait! I have traced our bloodline from English and Creek. I visited London, England and was surprised to hear the phrases that I grew up with from My Howard kinsman. They stayed isolated in the woods and did not go on the trail of tears. They ranged sheep and cattle and lived in a community called Howard town.


    If any 18th-century Creek documents survive in England, the archivists there should contact the Muscogee Creek Cultural Center and Archives in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.


      Having read the article, I understand that the document is a British copy of a Muscogee Creek oral history.

      If the British care about scholarship or Native American history, they will share the information with qualified Muscogee Creek historians and archivists—of which there are quite a few—especially the Muscogee Creek Nation’s Tribal Historical Preservation Officer.


    As an iconologist who researches ancient cultural artifacts, the recovery of this “lost” doc sounds like it parallels – for Southeast native folk – the unearthing of the Rosetta Stone. Bravo. I am eager to see the repro-docs here ASAP. When will they go onto the site? And how can we get a copy of that 8-page English translation of Palachee writing? It sound phenomenal! Ocelot Warrior says: Thank you, Richard.


    Several years ago I saw the picture above. I sure would like to know who the Indian is that has his hand resting on hip. I got tickled when I saw this as my whole family rest their hands on their hips. I do that ,too. It is very comfortable. I believe that a lot of Indians of all tribes did know how to read or write in their own language. Europeans thought that Indians didn’t know how because it was not in their language. Many Europeans were illiterate. That’s why we have so many spellings of the same name.


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