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 10 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. 11

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. 12

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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. 13 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. 4 It is also in those of 1761, 6 and 1832 14 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.


Topics:
History, Kealedji,

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

Citations:
  1. Also on plate 3.[]
  2. Gatschet, Creek Mig. Leg., I, p. 133.[]
  3. Plate 5; also Hamilton, Col. Mobile, p. 190.[]
  4. Miss. Prov. Arch., I, p. 95.[][]
  5. MSS., Ayer Lib.[]
  6. Ga. Col. Docs., VIII, p. 523.[][]
  7. Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., IX, p. 169.[]
  8. Bartram, Travels, p. 462.[]
  9. Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, v, p. 262.[]
  10. The Lib. Cong. MS. has ” 20 ” in each of these places.[][]
  11. In his ” Letters” he says this village consisted of “6 habitations and a small town house.” – Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., IX, p. 34.[]
  12. Ga. Hist. Soc. Colls., III, pp. 48-49.[]
  13. Senate Doc. 512, 23d Cong., 1st sess., IV, pp. 327-330.[]
  14. Senate Doc. 512, 23d Cong., 1st sess., IV, pp. 278-280[]

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