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Bulloch History with Roger Allen: Bulloch area settlers come to terms with natives
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Roger Allen

Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at how Georgia and Bulloch County evolved from wilderness into a state and a county.

Five Points was the intersection of five different American Indian trails at which Indian chiefs from the region's different tribes would gather for tribal councils. Today, in Bulloch County, the intersections of Langston Chapel, Harville and Burkhalter roads mark that spot.

There were two different places in Bulloch County known as Indian bluffs, which overlooked the Ogeechee River. The first was at the junction of the borders of Bulloch, Effingham and Screven counties. The second, Sculls Bluff, sat 270 feet above the river and was known for its steep face that dropped sharply down to the riverbank. The eastern slope descended toward what is now Millen.

Gen. Oglethorpe crossed the Ogeechee at Sculls Bluff when he traveled the Mount Pleasant Indian Path to Coweta Town to treat with the Indians. Scull Creek eventually became part of the boundary between Bulloch and Emanuel counties.

The King's Road Indian trail trading route started at Savannah, proceeded south to the Altamaha River at Fort Barrington in Darien, and then wandered all the way down to Saint Marys.

At first an Indian trail, the Old Post Road built on it was used by both Spanish and British forces. The first mail service south of Savannah was established over this road in 1763. Later, it became a regular stagecoach route.

At Coleridge, Job Tyson maintained a tavern that was the only lodging between Darien and St. Marys. As such, his establishment became a regular stagecoach stop.

The Lower Creek Trading Path was one of two Indian trails that connected Georgia's Indian settlements to the main creek lands. It meandered from Augusta to Macon, then to Milledgeville, ending at Columbus on the Chattahoochee River.

The Mount Pleasant Indian path began at the Indian town of Tuckasseeking (or Tuckasee King) on the Savannah River. It crossed the Ogeechee River at Oliver, where it entered Bulloch County.

The path crossed the Ocmulgee River at Bell's Ferry on the Oconee River near "The Forks," the intersection of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers. Burkhalter Road, the first in this area, followed the Indian trail.

Oglethorpe and natives come to terms

In "The History of Georgia: Containing Brief Sketches of the Most Remarkable Events up to the Present Day, 1784" (1811), written by Hugh McCall, it is stated that on May 20, 1733, in what was to become Savannah, Oglethorpe signed a treaty with the headmen of the Lower Creeks.

According to documents of the Georgia Historical Society, the treaty gave title to the Colony of Georgia's Trustees "for all the lands between Savannah and Altamaha rivers, extending west to the extremity of the tide water, and including all the islands on the coast from Tybee to St Simons."

The headmen, however, kept for themselves "the islands of Ossabaw, Sapeloe and St Catherines, for the purposes of hunting, bathing, and fishing ... (and) the tract of land lying between Pipe-maker's bluff and Pallychuckola creek, above Yamacraw bluff ... for an encampment, when they came to visit their beloved friends at Savannah."

According to those documents, the colonists now possessed "all the lands on Savannah river as far as the Ogeechee, and all the lands along the seacoast as far as St John river and as high as the tide flowed."

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email Roger at



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