The Creek Indians originated in the southeastern portion of the United States. They are also known by the name “Muscogee” and this is the name they use to refer to themselves today. The Creek Indians are closely related to the Seminole Indians.
It is said that the Creeks descended from the “mound builders” of Mississippi. The Creek Indians were a fairly loose group and never did form one single tribe. The Creek Indians lived in their own groups throughout Georgia and Alabama and each had their own language. The Indians that lived along the Okmulgee River were dubbed “Creek Indians: by traders and the name was then applied to all of the Indians living in that region. This would explain why the Creek Indians prefer to go by their original name, Muscogee, as it differentiates them from other Indian tribes.
The Creeks were undecided about whose side to take in the American Revolutionary War. The “Upper Creek Indians” decided to ally themselves with the British, while the “Lower Creeks” chose to remain neutral.
The Creek War -- which started as a civil war among the different Creek tribes -- soon became entangled with the War of 1812. The Creek War of 1813-1814 became known as the Red Stick War. The term “red sticks” was given to the Upper Creek Indians who fought to resist settlement by the whites. The Lower Creek Indians became allies with the American settlers and fought violently against the Upper Creek Indians.
In 1813 the Upper Creek Indians fought against Americans and their Indian brothers and massacre ensued. The Red Sticks had killed nearly 250 people and took over the fort. In 1814 the Red Sticks were defeated by General Andrew Jackson’s militia. Later that year, the Creeks were forced to sign a treaty which gave their land to the United States. Sadly, even the Lower Creek Indians who had fought with Jackson were blamed for allowing their “brothers” to rise up against the United States.
Joseph Paige © 2006