The Creek


The Creek Essay, Research Paper

The name “Creek” came from the shortening of Ocheese Creek Indians a

name given by the English to the native people living along the Ocheese

Creek. In time, the name was given to all groups of the Native American

Confederacy. All tribes living in Georgia were known to be good hunters

and farmers so food was usually not a problem within the tribes. Foods

ranging from coastal varieties to fruits and berries. Farmers were noted to

be very good at their job. Corn, rice, and potatoes were few of the favorites,

because they had large fields in their villages. Before the middle of the 16th

century the Creek’s controlled almost all of Georgia. At that time the

Cherokee began to pressure them to move more inland. A tremendous

battle occurred at, Slaughter Gap in Lumpkin County in the late 1600’s.

After this battle the Creek traveled to line just south of the Etowah River. A

later battle in Cherokee County made the Creek south to the Chattahoochee

and Flint Rivers, and west to the Coosa (mostly in Alabama), hence the

terms Upper Creek and Lower Creek became common references to the now

separate tribes. Different sections of the tribe fought on either the British or

American sides. In November 1783, two minor chiefs (Tallassee and

Cusseta) ceded Creek land between the Tugaloo and Apalachee Rivers.

After the cession, relations between the state of Georgia and the Creek

Nation worsened and on April 2, 1786, the Creek Nation declared war.

Attacks against settlers on Creek land were carried out. In spite of two tries

at the treaty (Shoulderbone, 1786; New York, 1790) there was no peace on

the Georgia frontier until after the War of 1812. Although most of the

incidents were mainly minor, settlers on the boundary between the Creek

Nation and the state of Georgia were always afraid of a raid. Before the

beginning of the 18th Century, most of Georgia was home to Native

Americans belonging to a southeastern alliance known as the ‘Creek

Confederacy’. Today’s Creek Nation, also known as the ‘Muskogee’, were

the major tribe in that alliance. The confederacy was probably formed as a

defense against other bigger groups to the north. When a Creek town

reached a population of about 400-600 people they would split up, with

about half moving to a new, nearby site. The new town would build its

ceremonial center and create its own villages, But the town would

correspond with the old villages. This is how the confederacies were formed.

Creek legends tell of small, compact towns. By the 1700’s Creek towns

began to spread out. By the end of 1700’st was not rare for each town to

have outlying homes separated by a mile or more of crops. The Creek

brought in the plow and raised livestock. While most Creek still lived in

traditional wooden huts (not teepees) roofed with wood shingles or grass

some began to build log homes with chimneys. By the end of the century

Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins described the Creek towns as being “well

fenced with fine stocks of cattle, horses and hogs surrounded by fields of

corn, rice and potatoes.” The Creeks were intuited to be one of the five

civilized tribes. This was given to them from the Europeans. In conclusion,

the Indians I choose were sophisticated enough to be well known throughout

this region and all of North America. I chose the creeks because in the

book True Women by Janice Woods Windle, the creek people play a major

role in the story line so I thought it would be nice to find out about them. I

have found useful information on this tribe and it will help me know more

about not only this tribe but in Indians in general.


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