Thomas F. Meagher
Indian Pioneer History Interview
March 29, 1938
[vol. 108, pages 200-205]
Before the government enforced the removal of the confederated bands and tribes of the Muskogees
from their old home in Alabama, and drove the bands and tribes known as the confederated Creek from their homes in Georgia; they were a separate people and organization, and at hostile
opposition one to the other. The Creek Chief, McIntosh, having sold the birthright of his people, was
executed by the Muskogee Chief, Men-now-wee, and a band of Muskogee warriors.
When the Creeks arrived in the new reservation in the Indian Territory, they chose to settle along the Arkansas and Verdigris Rivers (1828-36). In the year of 1836, old Chief Opuithli Yahola arrived with 8000 Muskogees and he halted for a time below Ft. Gibson, until he found that McIntosh Creeks had settled the northern part of the new country, when he, desiring to be separate and distinct
from them, took or led his people down the Canadian River and established his headquarters at North Fork Town.
The Creeks had their head chief and government and so did the Mukogees. When the Civil War broke out, Opuithli Yahola said it was none of the affairs of the Muskogees, and tried to take a neutral stand, but this was not to be, for his old enemies, the McIntosh Creeks, seeing a great opportunity for revenge, at once joined the Texas Confederates and attacked Opuithli Yahola, who very ably defended his people in three running fights, and succeeded in reaching safe ground about
Leroy ("E-loy"), Kansas. 700 Muskogees are said to have perished form the hardships of this exodus. Old Indians said that they killed and ate their ponies for food and made shoes of the hides. The
Union finally equipped the Muskogees as white soldiers and they invaded the Indian Territory along with the Union soldiers and drove not only the Creeks, but the Texas and other Confederates at break-neck speed, across the river into Texas.
Reference is often made to the "Loyal Creeks". There were no loyal Creeks during the Civil War. The Muskogees only were loyal to the Union. It is the Muskogees who at the present time have a $600,000.00 "Lost Property" claim being considered by the Court of Claims, Opuithli Yahola's people.
Tribes of the Muskogee Confederacy
These are the town and tribes belonging to the Muskogee Confederacy, of which Shawnee-Tuckabatchi has always been the leading tribe. The Muskogees:
- Tukabatchi, (Kis-pu-go-tha-gi Shawnee).
- Ke-a-led-jis, (a sub-tribe of Tuckabatchi).
- Sawanogis, (a sub-tribe of Tuckabatchi).
- Cedar Creek people, (a sub-tribe of Tuckabatchi).
- Short Creek people, (a sub-tribe of Tuckabatchi).
- Fus-hatchees, (a sub-tribe of Tuckabatchi).
- Ki-mulgas, (a sub-tribe of Tuckabatchi).
- A-bih-kas, (ancient people).
- Ho-thli-wah-lie, (ancient people).
- Coosas, (ancient people, see De Soto).
- Ok-fus-kees, (descended from Coosas).
- Nu-ya-kas, (New Yorkers, descended from Ok-fus-kees).
- Hil-lub-ees, (ancient people, to whom came the Scotchman Robert Grierson, introducing cotton growing and spinning among the Indians).
- Thlap-thloccos, (this tribe was formed from the remnants of this Hopthli-wah-lis, A-tas-is, and others after the Red Stick (E-cha-te-jul-ges)war, in Alabama, 1813-14)
- A-tas-sees, (ancient people, many of them killed in the Red Stick War. "The War Clubs").
- Eu-fau-las, (ancient people of the Coosa River, Alabama).
- Wak-o-ka-is, (mother tribe of the We-o-guf-kee and also Tuk-paf-ka people from the Coosa River).
- Ok-cha-is, (an adopted tribe from the Tennessee).
- Pa-kan-Talla-has-sul-gees, (an adopted tribe from the Tennessee, who settled at the Old Peach Orchard in the Coosa county).
- We-woh-kas, (a tribe formed of the outlaws or fugitives of the other confederated tribes. They first got together at the Falls of the Coosa River in Alabama - they figured in both the Red Stick and Isparhecher wars.).
- Tal-a-sees, (ancient people of the Tallapoosa - De Soto).
- Tul-ma-chus-sees, (ancient people of the Coosa in the time of De Soto, akin to Ok-fuk-kees).
- Kan-hat-kis, (people of the white ground on Tallapoosa River, Alabama. Closely associated with the Shawnees and Fus-hat-chees. In 1797, Copinger, a white trader and grandfather of As-si Yahola, was living there).
- Nat-chees, (an adopted people from Natchez, Miss, 1730. The French almost exterminated them and they fled to the protection of the Chickasaws, Cherokees, and Muskogees. Absorbed by the A-bih-kas).
- Alabamas, (an adopted tribe of fighters and ball players).
- Qua-satees, (an adopted tribe, close kin to Alabamas).
- O-che-a-po-fas, (descended from Coosas - "We are the Koos-istagi").
Tribes of the Creek Confederacy
- Ka-sih-tas, (the original founders of the Creek Confederacy. De Soto was
entertained by these people on the banks of the Savannah River in 1540).
- Co-we-tas, (a brother to the Ka-sih-tas and leaders in the wars of the Creek Confederacy).
- Chicasaws, (a part of the Chicasaws were amalgamated with the Ka-sih-tas. They claim at one time they were one and the same tribe).
- Hit-chi-tis, (conquered and adopted. Speaking their own language for many years. Now speak Creek).
- Mik-ka-sukees, (same language and adoption as Hichiti, ran away and joined the Seminoles).
- Okmulgees, (a stinkard tribe akin to Hitchiti. The Perrymans came from this band).
- Chi-a-has, (it is said by some that these people were originally Cherokee. They at one time spoke the Hitchiti language, but now use the Creek and English).
- O-con-ees, (a brother tribe to the Chi-a-ha. They lost their identity as a tribe when they went to Florida and formed the very beginning of the Seminoles).
- Tus-ke-gees, (it is the tribe from which the noted old Sequoyah came. They came into the Cherokee county of Tennessee, part of them drifted south to the Creeks).
- Uchees, (these were a very restless and war-like people, creating a "hell-on-the-border" wherever they went. They threw a scare into Old Man John Smith of Jamestown fame. Next they disrespected the Holy Catholic religion at St. Augustine. They stole, plundered and murdered in the border English settlements of the Carolinas. The English declared extermination against them and they had to get out of their, so they moved the scene of their operations to the Creek country in Georgia, where they were whipped, captured and adopted as Creeks, but they have never been fully tamed. Although they have been Creek for 208 years, they yet speak their own peculiar tongue).