Kealedji Tribe

According to native tradition this was a branch of Tukabahchee, but, if so, it must have separated at a very early date. Gatschet says that the name appears to refer to a warrior’s headdress, containing the words ika, his head, and a verb meaning to kill (iłäidshäs, I kill). 1 This seems probable. At any rate the name evidently is not old enough to be worn down much by age and suggests a comparatively recent origin for the group. This is also confirmed to a considerable extent by the absence of its name from the earliest documents. Probably it is the “Gowalege” placed on a southern affluent of the Ocmulgee on the Moll map of 1720, 2 and perhaps the “Calalek” of the De Crenay map, 3 since in the French census of 1760 we find a town “Kalalekis” 4 which looks like a misprinted form of the name of this town. In the Spanish list of Creek towns made up in 1738 the name is spelled “Caialeche” and in that of 1750 “Kalechy.” 5 It is certainly the “Coillegees near Oakchoy” of the census of 1761, the traders of which were Crook & Co. 6 In. 1797 the traders were John O’ Riley, an Irishman, and Townlay Bruce, of Maryland, formerly a clerk in the Indian Department, “removed for improper conduct.” 7 It is in the list of Bartram 8 and in that of Swan, 9 and is thus described by Hawkins:

Ki-a-li-jee; on the right side of Kialijee Creek, two and a hall miles below the junction with Hook-choie. This creek joins the right side of Tallapoosa, above the falls; all the rich flats of the creek are settled; the land about the town is poor and broken; the fields are on the narrow flats and in the bends of the creek; the broken land is gravelly or stony; the range for cattle, hogs, and horses is the poorest in the nation; the neighborhood of the town and the town itself has nothing to recommend it. The timber is pine, oak, and small hickory; the creek is fifteen 10 feet wide, and joins Tallapoosa fifteen 11 miles above Took-au-bat-che. They have two villages belonging to this town.

1st. Au-che-nau-hat-che; from au-che-nau cedar; and hat-che, a creek. They have a few settlements on this creek, and some fine, thriving peach trees; the land on the creek is broken, but good. 12

2d. Hat-che-chub-bau; from hat-che, a creek; and chub-bau, the middle, or halfway. This is in the pine forest, a poor, ill-chosen site, and there are but a few people. 13

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The last-mentioned settlement and the main town were burned by hostile Creeks in 1813. The name Kealedji occurs in the list of 1832. 14 After their removal west these people settled m the south-eastern part of the Creek Nation, where they still (1912) have a dance ground but no regular square.

Hatcheetcaba (Håtci tcåbå), the second village of Hawkins, appears as far back as the census of 1760. 15 It is also in those of 1761, 16 and 1832 17 but not in the lists of Bartram and Swan. It preserved its identity after removal to Oklahoma, where it maintained a dance ground, but it is not certain that it ever had a regular square.


History, Kealedji,

Swanton, John Reed. Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors. US Government Printing Office. 1902.

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