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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Treaty pushes Creeks out of Georgia

Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Treaty pushes Creeks out of Georgia

Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Treaty pushes Creeks out of Georgia

Roger Allen


      In 1770, Augusta-based Creek Indian traders informed the Royal Governor of Georgia's staff that the Creek Indian "Head Men" were anxious to settle their outstanding debts that had accrued since 1761 by giving up a large portion of their tribal hunting grounds.
      Eventually, a formal treaty was signed by Governor Lyman Hall at Augusta on May 31, 1783 which stated that "By this treaty the parties agree to forget all differences-that all debts due by the Indians be paid, and all property taken during the war be restored."
      After the signing of a number of unsatisfactory treaties with the state of Georgia, the United States federal government stepped into the controlling role with the signing of the Coleraine Treaty.
       Federal Commissioners Benjamin Hawkins, George Clymer, and Andrew Pickens and some 400 of the "Kings, Chiefs, and Warriors of the Cherokee Nation of Indians" agreed the federal government's authority superseded that of state governments when dealing with Native American matters.
      The next major treaty, called "A treaty of Limits between the United States and the Creek Nation of Indians," was signed at Fort Wilkinson on the Oconee River on June 16, 1802 by United States Brigadier General James Wilkinson and 40 chiefs and warriors of the Creek Nation.
       This treaty unveiled the intention of the Georgians to extinguish of the Indian title to lands within the state "as early as the same can be peaceably obtained upon reasonable terms."
       The final treaty concerning Indian lands within the current boundaries of the state of Georgia was the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which accomplished two very goals. First, it signaled the end of the Creek War. Secondly, it punished the Creeks for being English allies as they were required to surrender 23 million acres.
      This treaty, unfortunately, caused an even greater rift between the Lower and Upper Creek tribal leaders. This disagreement came to a head when Lower Creek Chief William McIntosh signed a treaty with his cousin, Georgia Governor George Troup, that surrendered all Creek lands east of the Chattahoochee River.
      In response, the Creek National Council ordered McIntosh to be executed and all of his plantations to be burned. They then sent a delegation led by their spokesman Chief Opothleyahola to Washington City to sign the 1826 Washington Treaty.
      The Washington Treaty began the process of relocating the Creeks from their former Georgia lands into the Mississippi Territory. The only Creek lands in Georgia now consisted of a small Indian Reservation along the Alabama and Georgia state lines.
      This land was taken with the signing of the Wetumpka Treaty on November 15, 1827. By 1830, the Creek Nation in Georgia no longer existed, and what Creek Indians were living in the state were doing so without authorization.

       Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at rwasr1953@gmail.com

 

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