The eighteenth-century Creek Indians were a powerful multi-ethnic, multi-lingual society that controlled much of present-day Alabama. Through land cession treaties and a costly war (1813-1814) the Creek domain by 1825 had shrunk to about five million acres in east Alabama.
The purpose of this institute is to examine the forces that contributed to the disintegration of the Creek Nation in the east and the removal of the Creek Indians to present-day Oklahoma. Participants will get a better understanding of the complexities of Creek society and how the divisions within the Creek Nation ultimately led to their forced removal westward.
The institute begins with the First Creek War, caused by the expanding American frontier, the growing gap between rich and poor, and a reactionary religious movement, among other things. When Jackson defeated the Creeks at Horseshoe bend in 1814 he demanded a sizable tract of Creek land as a penalty. The period after the Creek War was one of relative calm. But, this was broken in 1825 when William McIntosh ceded all Creek land in Georgia and a large portion of Creek land in Alabama to the federal government in exchange for equal parts land in Oklahoma. This begins the removal period. Over the next decade the Creeks suffered from disease, starvation and the pressures brought on by American squatters.
Participants will learn about the voluntary removal period, the devastating 1832 Treaty of Washington, the land frauds, as well as the Second Creek War and removal. The process of removal will also be studied, including the experiences of the Creeks as they traveled west, the removal routes, and life in the west during the first year of resettlement.
The week will be highlighted with field trips to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Fort Toulouse National Historic Park, and a special tour of the extensive collection of Creek Indian artifacts and related, original documents housed at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Lead scholar: Christopher D. Haveman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, University of West Alabama
Location: Auburn Montgomery
Dates: July 22-27
Times: Program begins Sunday at 3 p.m. and concludes Friday at 12 p.m. Daily session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 9 p.m.
Format: Residential seminar. Lodging and all meals provided.
Meals: Continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
Lodging: Auburn Montgomery, high-security, single occupancy (one participant per room) dormitory. One bathroom shared between two participants.
CEUs: 45 contact hours
This institute is co-sponsored by the Alabama Department of Archives and History. For all questions concerning this program, contact Thomas Bryant: firstname.lastname@example.org, (205) 558-3997.