American Indian people originally from the
southeastern United States, also known by their original name Muscogee (or
Muskogee), the name they use to identify themselves today. Mvskoke is their
name in traditional spelling. Modern Muscogees live primarily in Oklahoma,
Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Their language, Mvskoke, is a member of the
Creek branch of the Muskogean language family. The Seminole are close kin to
the Muscogee and speak a Creek language as well. The Creeks are one of the
Five Civilized Tribes. Cusseta (Kasihta) and Coweta are the two principal
towns of the Creek Nation to this day. Traditionally the Cusseta and Coweta
bands are considered the earliest members of the Creek Nation.
Most of the work of art inspired
on the designs for Poarch Creek Nation of Indians coins are sculpted by Alex Shagin.
The second silver dollar issued by the Creek
Indians features Chief Menawa, as originally painted by Charles Bird King
when Menawa visited Washington, D.C. in 1826 to protest the Treaty of Indian
Springs. King was employed by the U.S. War Department to paint the Indian
delegates visiting Washington, D.C. Sadly this, along with most of Byrdís
original oil paintings, were lost in a fire at the Smithsonian Institution.
But fortunately, a copper plate was engraved based on the original painting
for McKenney & Hallís Indian Tribes of North America, Rice & Hart,
Philadelphia, published in 1858.
known as Great Warrior, was a military leader of the people. Like many of
the Creek leaders of his era, he was of mixed Scottish and American Indian
ancestry. He was born about 1765 at the village of Oakfuskee located on or
near the Tallapoosa River. During the Creek War he was one of the principle
leaders of the "Red Sticks" or Upper Creeks, who went to war against the
United States during the War of 1812. Menewa was second in command at the
Battle of Horseshoe Bend at the end of the Creek War. He was wounded seven
time during the battle, but he escaped and survived his wounds.
Menawa was a
member of the Creek National Council that went to Washington in 1826 to
oppose this treaty. The Creek leaders signed the Treaty of Washington
(1826), which nullified the Treaty of Indian Springs. In this new
treaty, the Creek ceded land to Georgia - in compensation they received
an immediate payment of $217,660 and a perpetual annuity of $20,000. Menewa died during the general removal of the Creek. His burial place is
On August 30,
1813, Red Sticks led by Red Eagle attacked the American outpost of Fort Mims
near Mobile, Alabama, where white Americans and their Indian allies had
gathered. The Red Sticks took the fort, and a bloody clash ensued, as
prisoners including women and children were killed. Nearly 250 people were
killed, spreading panic throughout the American southwestern frontier.
In response to the massacre at Fort Mims, Tennessee, Georgia, and the
Mississippi Territory sent armies deep into Creek country. Outnumbered and
poorly armed, the Red Sticks put up a desperate fight from their wilderness
strongholds. On March 27, 1814, General Andrew Jackson's Tennessee militia,
aided by the 39th U. S. Infantry Regiment and Cherokee and Creek allies,
finally crushed Red Stick resistance at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on the
Red Sticks had been crushed - altogether, about 3,000 Upper Creeks died in
the war the remnants of the Upper Creek resistance held out for several
months. In August 1814, exhausted and starving, they surrendered to Jackson
at Wetumpka (near the present city of Montgomery, Alabama). On August 9,
1814, the Creeks were forced to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ended
the conflict and required them to cede some 20 million acres (81,000 km≤) of
land - more than half of their ancestral territorial holdings to the United
States. Even those Creek who had fought alongside Jackson were compelled to
cede territory, because Jackson held them responsible for allowing the Red
Sticks to rise up. The state of Alabama was carved out of this domain and
was admitted to the United States in 1819.
Some of the
Creeks migrated to Florida in the aftermath of the war, where some of them
allied with the Seminoles and British against the Americans. They were
involved in both sides of the Seminole War in Florida.
Additional coins with various design featuring
Creek Indians chiefs are also available and produced by PandaAmerica [3460
Torrance Blvd., Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90503]: