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Southeastern Native American Tribes (Special Collections): Creek

This research guide identifies Special Collections materials related to Cherokee, Chocktaw, Creek, Seminole, and Chickasaw Native Americans from 1782 to 2011.

Introduction

Prior to 1550, the Creek people occupied most of what are now the states of Georgia and Alabama. Incursions by white settlers and the Cherokee gradually pushed the Creek southward, and relations between the three groups were consistently strained. In 1813, the Creek avenged a settler attack on one of their villages by attacking Fort Mims and killing its occupants. Andrew Jackson led the military campaign that defeated them and forced them to cede approximately a third of their land to the U.S. government as part of the peace settlement. In 1825, Georgia Governor George Troup convinced Creek Chief William McIntosh to cede land to Georgia and then began forcing the Creek to leave. Although President John Quincy Adams negotiated a treaty with the Creek that would have allowed them to stay, Troup refused to honor it. In 1832, tribal government in Alabama was abolished and Creek land was divided into allotments, leading to the Creek War of 1836. Secretary of War Lewis Cass dispatched General Winfield Scott to resolve the conflict by removing the remaining Creek to Indian Territory. Today, most Creek live in Oklahoma, although there are a few small settlements remaining in Alabama and Florida.

Digital Resources

Manuscripts

Asbury Ansley Letter, 1836 May 29 (MS.3180)
Ansley writes of a raid by the Creek Indians, who were heading towards Stewart County. 

John Cocke Letter, 1813 September 6 (MS.0731)
John Cocke orders Colonel Ewen Allison to repel what Cocke fears is a forthcoming attack by the Creek.

John Sevier Letter, 1792 October 30 (MS.3231)
Sevier's letter describes the region's escalating hostilities with the Creek and Cherokee nations.

Receipt of Bounty for the Return of Stolen Horses, 1797-1798 (MS.2390)
This receipt contains a list of items given to two Cherokee Indians in exchange for the return of ten horses stolen from the Creek Nations.

Rare Books

 Chief McGillivray of the Creeks
Chief McGillivray of the Creeks

Charges against Creek Agent Since January 1, 1826. 1828 (E99.C9U558 1828) Diplomat in Warpaint: Chief Alexander McGillivray of the Creeks. 1968 (E99.C9O7)
Making an Indian People: Creek Formation in the Colonial Southeast, 1590-1735. 2001 (E99 .C9 H35 2001a)
A Memorandum of the Creek Indian War. 1986 (E83.813.G46 1986)
A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians. 1884-1888 (E99.C9G26)
Mr. Barringer, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, Made the Following Report ... 1845 (E99.C9U525 1848)

 

Special Collections Contact Information

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Special Collections
Contact:
1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4480
special@utk.edu

We are open Monday-Friday: 9AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM by appointment only. Go to Visiting Special Collections for more information on how to request materials or make an appointment.
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