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Proof that historians altered the early history of the Southeast

Proof that historians altered the early history of the Southeast


Much of what students in the United States read today as the “official early history of the Southeast” is really modified history created as propaganda to justify British claims to all of North America,  Georgia’s claims to Native American territories or Cherokee claims that they had always lived in the southern Appalachians.  In an earlier issues of the People of One Fire, we showed readers the 1701 Map of North America by De L’Isle, which shows western North Carolina occupied by the Shawnee and Creek villages and then, the first official map of the State of Georgia, published in 1785, which labeled all of North Georgia, except what is now Rabun, Towns and northern Habersham Counties as “Upper Creeks of the Muskhogee Creek Nation.”  However, the fabrication of propagandized history began earlier in the 1700s, when Great Britain and France were competing for control of North America.  Early French exploration of the Southeast was left out of textbooks from then onward. The presence of a French fort and two Cusate-Creek villages on an island at the confluence of the Little Tennessee and Tennessee Rivers were erased.  This fort and the Creek villages were actually excavated by Smithsonian Institute archaeologists in 1885, but were first labeled “Cherokee” then within a couple of decades, forgotten.  Construction of a TVA dam destroyed the proto-Creek mounds and ruins of the French fort.

It should be explained that Spain, France and Great Britain used different names and boundaries for defining their territories in Southeastern North America.   Spain labeled all of the region south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River as “La Florida.”   France labeled the region south of the St. Marys River as Spanish Florida and north of the St. Mary’s River as being French Florida.  The St. Marys River today forms the boundary between the states of Florida and Georgia.  France never, ever claimed the St. Johns River, where the National Park Service built an inaccurate 1/12th scale model of Fort Caroline in 1961.  French Florida became known as Carolina – derived from Fort Caroline’s name.  However, when Great Britain began plans to colonize this region, the official explanation became that Carolina was the feminized form of King Charles II’s name.  Charles is the French form of the Swedish, English and German word, karl, which originally meant a man, who owned his land . . . as opposed to a serf, which was called a thrall in English and Swedish.

This 1649 Dutch map of New Netherland (Neiuw Nederland) and French Canada placed the Cherokees in Quebec, east of Lake Erie.


This 1687 map by Jacob Robyn of Carolina clearly labeled the Altamaha River as the May River.  The map stops at the St. Marys River.

The original history of the Southeast

Settlement of the British Empire by John Oldmixon (1708) is a fascinating “eyewitness” account of the early years of the British colonies in North America.   North and South Carolina were at that time one province, called Carolina.  Georgia had not been founded.  The Shawn  Nowhere in the book are the Cherokee Indians mentioned.  The words, “Creek Indians,” are not mentioned, but the individual provinces and major towns of the Creek Confederacy are.  Apparently, the Creek Confederacy was a much looser alliance at that time.

This official history places Fort Caroline and the May River in Carolina . . . thus on the coast of Georgia.  It states that French survivors of Fort Caroline converted many Apalache (Proto-Creeks) to Protestant Christianity.    This explains why the residents of Palachicola on the Savannah River told the Reverend John Wesley,  “We believe the same as you do,”  when he gave them a sermon . . . assuming that they were non-believers.   The text also states that English immigrants established a colony in Northeast Georgia in the 1620s.  Here is a verbatim excerpt from the book’s first chapter.

“The Kings of Homoloa, Seravatri, Almacam, Malica, and Castri, waited upon Ribaut, to congratulate his Arrival, and promis’d to conduct him to the Apalataean Mountains, which part Carolina from Virginia. The French conceiv’d great Hopes of this Settlement, but all vanish’d on the Arrival of the Spaniards, who with a Squadron of Ships and Land Forces, drove the French out of their Forts, kill’d Ribaut, and 600 Men, after having given them Conditions of life, and oblig’d Laudoner, with a few of his Countrymen who remain’d alive, to return to France.”

The French King took no notice of this Act of Violence committed on his Subjects, because they were Protestants; and indeed ’tis thought Coligny intended by this Settlement, to secure a Retreat for himself, and his Brethren of the Reform’d Religion, in case they were conquer’d in France.

Peter Melanda (Menendez) commanded the Spaniards, who dislodg’d the French, and so provok’d the Indians by his Cruelty and Injustice, that they were very ready to revenge themselves when Opportunity offer’d, as it did not long after; for Capt. De Gorgues,” a French Gentleman, at his own cost, fitted out three stout Ships, and with 280 Men sail’d to Carolina, where he took the Fort, and put all the Spaniards within it to the Sword. They had built two other Forts, which he easily reduc’d, and serv’d the Garrisons as he did that of Fort Charles. He demolish’d them, and was assisted by the Kings of Homoloa, and Seravatri.

The French travell’d into the Dominions of the great King of Apalacha,” near the Mountains, where they converted many Indians to Christianity. These Indians were more civil than those to the Northward, their King’s Dominions larger, and their Manners, in a great measure, resembled the Mexicans.

We do not find that Monsieur de Gorgues made any Settlement here; or that the Spaniards attempted to recover the Country; which from the Year 1567, lay deserted by all.  

In the Year 1622. Several English Families flying from the Massacre of the Indians in Virginia and New-England, were driven on these Coasts, and settled in the Province of Mallica, near the Head of the River of May, where they acted the Part of Missionaries among the Mallicans and Apalachites.

The King of the Country is said to have been baptiz’d; and in the Year 1653. Mr. Brigstock, an Englishman, went to Apalacha, where he was honourably entertain’d by his Countrymen, who were there before him; and from his Relation of the Country ours is taken.”

This version of the past will not be seen in history textbooks or Wikipedia . . . at least for now.


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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 myself have been so frustrated by the so called early history of the South as I started trying to learn more doing my Family genealogy. Much of what I have found out about my family and their lives in the past did Not jive with the history I was taught in school. The more I looked at ancient maps, read old books, read the Revolutionary pension statements of family members, and etc. I began to see how so much had been omitted or twisted over time. That is how I came across the People of One Fire sight years ago trying to seek out the truth of who I came from. I have been amazed and grateful by all of the research that has been done by all of the contributors and you Richard. Opening peoples’ eyes to the truths that are there and have been masked by so much (as you put it) Caca Del Toro and locked up by the purple gate keepers so No one knows the Real Truths to the past. I will keep reading and searching to learn more of my family’s past and the True history of these here mountains in East TN, SW VA, W NC, and N GA were my ancestors roamed from the 1600’s and before till this day. I started this quest for the truth because I was adopted in the 50’s and knew nothing at all. Thanks to People of One Fire and you Richard I have learned So Much and I look forward to learning More. The Truth Is Out There and you are working hard to find it and let others know. Thank you. I as well as many others Appreciate your immense body of work. I hope one day I may be able to shake your hand, Thank you, and tell you personally how much it has meant to me to learn about my family’s True past. Sincerely, Lou Campbell


    Thank you for this corrected and accurate information.


    Richard, the Kusa and the Yuchi /Tokah “People of the Sun” right by a French fort? As I suspected supported by the French and some Jews in the 17th century. You are right about the French and Jewish side of Southern History has yet to be fully explained regarding the Yamasee war. The French considered Georgia and Tennessee part of their territory. Both the Visigoths, Jews, Knight Templars, and the Vatican knew of the Americas for a long time before 1492. It would be interesting if anyone had done some research before they wrote our history books? Some of the Apalachee had converted to be Christians but some had not in 1653 according to Mr. Briggstock and that likely caused a split in the Kingdom of the Apalacha into two parts. The Chiska Native people once a powerful people of Western Tennessee and most likely part of the 15-16th century Apalacha Kingdom? Some clearly became the Cherokees Bird band.
    A maps information might be several years old by the time it got put on paper but it does indicate a small number of Para-Kusa had moved North for some reason west of the “Charake”, As far as the Cherokees living in Canada….the word “Chalaki” is found on maps back to the 15th century living by the “Allegany” mountains. “Mallicans” I have never heard of?

    • Mallicans were the people at the headwaters of the Savannah River. They called themselves the Ustanauli. Malikoa was a name given them by coastal tribes. I think by 1708, they probably had lost most of their population to diseases and slave raids.


    Hi, Richard,
    Looking at the Belgian map, I was immediately drawn to see more clearly the larger canoe. Can’t really read what is below it, but does it have the exact profile of a Chontal Mayan mechant boat…or, am I missing something? Just curious. Anyway, all the best, and keep these great articles coming.
    Take care,
    Ed Guidry

    • It is similar to a Chontal Maya canoe, but was probably made from birch bark rather than wooden planks.


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