Monday, December 5, 2016

Creek towns on the Chattahoochee (Part 4 of 4)

Northernmost section of the
Woodbine Map of 1814.
Click the image to enlarge.
This is the final part of a four part series on the newly discovered Woodbine Map of 1814.

The map was drawn by Capt. George Woodbine of Great Britain's Royal Marines. He arrived on the Apalachicola River in 1814 with weapons and other supplies for the Creek and Seminole Indians of the region. His instructions required him to make contact with as many of these groups as possible and to do so he set out up the river, mapping not only its bends, but also the villages, towns and camps that he encountered.

To read the previous parts in this series before continuing, please follow these links:




The final towns visited by Woodbine in June 1814 were the Lower Creek towns on the Chattahoochee River between today's cities of Columbia and Eufaula, Alabama. These were located on both sides of the river and surrounded by extensive fields, most occupying sites they had staked out in 1717-1718 following the Yamassee War.

This section of the map is its upper or northernmost part. At the bottom you will see Emussee Talofa, which was covered in the last part of this series.

Beginning at Cedar Creek, which is visible on the west or Alabama side of the river near the bottom of today's section, we will move north up the river to the top of the map.

The first villages encountered as we move north up the map from Cedar Creek are a series of small ones on both sides of the river where creeks enter from the east and the west nearly opposite to each other. The stream flowing in from the west is today's Abbie Creek in Henry County, Alabama, while the one joining the river from the east is Brickyard Creek in Early County, Georgia.

Continuing upriver, Amuckah Creek can be seen entering the river from the east. Now called Factory Creek, it is noted for its series of beautiful waterfalls. These powered an important manufacturing operation during the 19th century. The creek is located in Early County, Georgia.

The massive platform mound at Kolomoki Mounds is
more than 50-feet tall and over 1,000 years old.
The next named stream moving north was called Oakolomokee Creek by Woodbine. This name survives today as Kolomoki Creek. It rises near the massive prehistoric ceremonial complex at Kolomoki Mounds State Park just north of Blakely, Georgia.

This mounds were long abandoned by the time of Woodbine's visit. They date from the Woodland era, represented in this region by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island cultures. Some researchers believe that Kolomoki may have been the largest city north of Meso-America at its height. Its importance peaked and faded away more than 1,000 years ago.

Moving upstream from the mouth of Oakolomokee Creek a stream can be seen entering the river from the west. This is today's Beaverdam Branch in Henry County, Alabama.

Carving of Otis Mico (Onis Mico) at Fort Gaines.
He was the chief of Etohussewakkes in 1814.
Above Beaverdam Branch, several small village symbols are shown on both banks of the river. These are in the approximate site of the known town of Etohussewakkes, which was three miles south of today's Fort Gaines, Georgia. This town was still occupied by Lower Creeks when the U.S. Army established Fort Gaines two years later.

Continuing up the river a stream can be seen entering from the east. This is Cemochechobee Creek at present-day Fort Gaines. It would soon mark the southern limits of the Creek Nation as defined by the Treaty of Fort Jackson.

Upstream is a town called Oakete Ackanee by Woodbine and Okitiyakani by other writers. This was the second town of this name that he encountered. The other was lower down the river. Like some of the towns near the forks of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers discussed in the first part of this series, it was led by mestizo chiefs from the Perryman family and was a large town.

Fort Mitchell has been restored on its original site
in Russell County, Alabama.
Woodbine does not appear to have traveled above this town as he shows the river using dashed lines from this point north. This usually indicates a presumed or believed route for a river or road on old maps. This was likely a wise decision on his part as the Cowetas who exerted great power from this vicinity forward were strong allies of the United States. The U.S. Army post of Fort Mitchell also served as a barrier to any further advance up the Chattahoochee.

He did note the presence of the Euphalla or Eufaula tribe on the west side of the river near today's city of Eufaula, Alabama, and mentioned the large towns (Coweta and Cusseta) higher up in the area of today's Columbus, Georgia, and Phenix City, Alabama.

Capt. Woodbine turned back downstream from Okitiyakani and was back at Prospect Bluff on the lower Apalachicola River by mid-June 1814. The British soon began the construction of a fort there and would build a second - Nicolls' Outpost - at present-day Chattahoochee, Florida, before the end of the War of 1812. 

Here are all of the sections of the Woodbine Map of 1814, presented in order as they show the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers, beginning in the vicinity of Eufaula, Alabama, and continuing downstream to Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Vicinity of Columbia, Alabama to vicinity of Eufaula, Alabama

Just below Alabama State Line to vicinity of Columbia, Alabama

Alabama State Line to Chattahoochee, Florida

Chattahoochee to Apalachicola





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