Southern Tribes on the East Side of the Mississippi, 1822

Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee

In these states reside the Cherokees (principally) the Choctaws and Chicasaws, of whom some remarks have been made under the head of Georgia, to which the reader is referred. These tribes, the two former particularly, have lately attracted an unusual share of the public attention, in consequence of the operations going forward among them for their civil and religious improvement. Of the state of these tribes, and of the measures devised and put in operation for their benefit, by the American Board of Commissioners, under the patronage of the Government, an account is given in the Appendix. 1


There are, in East Florida, about twelve hundred pure blooded Seminole Indians, and a number of Creeks and of other tribes, a mixed body, not numerous, scattered along the Northern border of this Territory, and on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, near Tampa Bay. Of these Indians, and of their country, &c. a particular account is given in the Appendix. 2 Before the wars of 1812 and since, these Indians with their negro slaves, lived in comfort, and many of them were wealthy in cattle and horses. But these wars have broken them up, destroyed great numbers of their bravest warriors and chiefs; also their villages and cattle, and thrown .them into a state, most distressing and pitiable. Efforts are making, with prospects of success, to collect all these Indians into one body, to make them comfortable, to educate and civilize them. They are willing and desirous to receive these blessings.


The Creeks and a part of the Cherokees reside in the Western parts of this State. An account of these tribes is given in the Appendix. 3 Overtures have heretofore been made to the Creeks to introduce among them Education Families, upon the plan of those established among the Cherokees and Choctaws. But their minds, irritated by the recent wars with them, on the part of the United States, were not at the time, in a proper frame to listen to these overtures. Lately, however, they have manifested more favorable dispositions in regard to this subject, and the General Convention of Baptists are directing their attention to them. Their numbers are such as will require more Education Families, to give instruction to all, than this Convention will be able to supply. This tribe, respectable in numbers and character, dwelling in the midst of us, and connected with several of the tribes West of the Mississippi, among whom, emigrants from this tribe are mingled, demand the special attention of the Government and of the Christian community. This tribe, with the three adjoining, the Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, are in situations and circumstances very favorable to be educated where they are, raised to the rank and privileges of citizens, and merged in the mass of the nation. On these tribes we hope the Government will make the experiment of the practicability of a complete civilization of Indians. The success of the institutions of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, now in operation among two of these tribes, the Cherokees and Choctaws, is in a high degree favorable to such an experiment.

South Carolina

When this State was first settled by the English, it was inhabited by twenty-eight tribes of Indians. The principal of these, were the Cherokees, Catawbas, Creeks, Chickasaws and Choctaws. The Cherokees inhabited the Western part of the State which they sold in 1777, and retired over the mountains, W. where they now reside. The Catawbas dwell on the river which bears this name, in the Northern border of the State, partly in North Carolina, lat. 34°. 49.’ N. on a Reservation of 144,000 acres, granted by the Proprietary Government, where there i» still a remnant of about four hundred and fifty souls, all that remain of the bravest, the most formidable, and generous enemies of the Six Nations. All the twenty-eight original tribes, excepting those above named have disappeared. 4


Nottaways, Pamunkies, and Mattaponies.

Of these tribes, twenty-seven of the former, and a still less number of the two latter, it seems are all that remain of those numerous tribes, who once constituted the formidable Powhatan confederacy.

The Nottaways possess 27,000 acres of excellent land, on the W. bank of the river which bears their name, a small portion of which only, is under cultivation. A woman of this tribe, about sixty years old, named Edie Turner, is its present reigning Queen. Though uneducated, she has good sense, easy and fluent in conversation, has a well furnished and comfortable cottage—has horses, cows, and other domestic animals, and manages her farming and other business with discretion and profit. This Queen, and two others, of the most aged of the tribe, are all who now speak the ancient, or Nottaway, or Powhatan language. This language is said to be evidently of Celtic origin, and in expression and harmony, is equal to either the Erse, Irish or Welsh. It has two genders, masculine and feminine, three degrees of comparison, and two articles. Its verbs are very irregular.

It would be easy, and of some importance, to preserve a specimen of this language. We do not know that they have ever been visited by missionaries, or favored with schools, or teachers in agriculture, or the mechanic arts.

Indian Tribes on the East Side of the Mississippi

Southern Indians on the east side of the Mississippi (a)PopulationLocation
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. 5,497
Nottaways, Pamunkiess, and Mattaponies27In Southampton manly, southeast part or Virginia; west side of Nottaway river,
Catawbas450On Catawba River, is South and North Carolina.
Seminoles and other remnants of tribes in Florida.5,000The places where those Indians dwell are stated in Captain Bell's letter, quoted in Appendix, page 303,
Seminoles (b)59,025
Micasukeys1,400110 miles north northeast from Fort St. Mark, on a Pond 14 Miles long, 2 or 3 wide; land fertile, and of a beautiful aspect.
Fowl towns30012 miles east of Fort Scott; land tolerable.
Oka-tiokinaus580Near Fort Gaines.
Uchees130Near the Mikasukey
Ehawho-ka-les150On Apalachicola, 12 miles below Ocheese Bluff.
Ocheeses220At the bluff of their name
Tamatles2207 miles above the Ocheeses.
Attapulgas220On Little river, a branch of the Okalokina, 15 miles above the Mikasukey Path
Telmocresses100West side of Chattahoochee, 15 miles above tho fork; good land.
Cheskitalowas580On the west side or Chattahoochee, 2 miles above the line.
Wekivas2504 miles above the Cheskitalowas.
Emussas202 miles above the Wekivas
Ufallahs67012 miles above Fort, Gaines.
Red Grounds1002 miles above the line,
Eto-husse-wakkes1003 miles above Fort Gaines.
Tatto-whe-hallys130Scattered among other towns dishonest,
Tallechasas15On the road from Okalokina to Miensukey.
Owassissas100On the eastern waters or St. Marks River.
Chehaws670On the Flint River, in the fork of Makulley creek.
Talle-whe-anas210East side of Flint River, not far from Chehaws.
Onkmnlges220East or Flint river, near the Tallewheanas
Creeks20,000Western part of Georgia and eastern part of Alabama.
Cherokee11,000Northwest corner of Georgia, northeast corner of Alabama, and southeast corner of Tennessee.
Choctaw25,000Western part of Mississippi and eastern part of Alabama.
Chickasaw3,625In the north part of Mississippi.
Sioux of the Decorah or Mississippi and St Peters River (c)

(a) I am indebted for the foregoing information to an anonymous article under the head of Petersburg, (Va.) March 17, 1820.
(b) From Captain Young’s manuscript journal, making a total for the southern Indians east of the Mississippi 65,122.
(c) The Sioux inhabiting the Mississippi and St. Peters are less than 5,000 souls.  Major O’Fallon.


Morse, Rev. Jedidiah. A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States on Indian Affairs, Printed by S. Converse, 1822.

Search Military Records - Fold3
  1. Appendix A[]
  2. Appendix Y.[]
  3. Appendix X.[]
  4. Appendix W.[]

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