Richard Thornton

Why the History of the Era is Confusing

Many people of Creek descent, who are not professional historians, have written me over the past few months with questions about the Creeks during the English Colonial Period. They are totally confused by the conflicting information presented by web sites, books, tour guides and historical markers. The information seems to vary by state. I feel …

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Biltmore Mound, Asheville, North Carolina

During the 1980s American scholars suddenly became interested in Spain’s efforts to colonize the North America. For 200 years American history books had generally ignored the Spanish and French presence in North America prior to the English colonies winning their independence. Generations of students here were under the impression that no white man had set …

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Creeks became Creeks 1717-1755

This is the era when the Creeks became the Creeks. During the late 1600s the English colonial records described dealings with several Muskogean ethnic groups in South Carolina (which include the future states of Georgia and Alabama.) Their English names were the Oconee, Sawakee, the Cusabo, Soque, Hillabee, Pee Dee, Cusa, Santeetly, Ochese, Yamasee, Tamatly, …

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Basket House of the South Atlantic Coast

When the Spanish arrived on the coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, they observed small houses near the beaches which were woven like baskets. In, what is now South Carolina and Georgia, these “basket houses” were only used in the warm months as fishing camps. However, the Tequesta People living in the coastal areas …

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Apache Wickiup

During the late 1800s, certain bands of the Apache Indians of Arizona and New Mexico were able to tie down large numbers of United States and Mexican soldiers while living in the most primitive of dwellings – the wickiup. What is particularly interesting about their huts is that its appearance was probably identical to the …

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Adena Mounds of the Ohio River Valley

Around 1000 BC a stocky, broad headed people migrated into the Upper Ohio Valley. Their original home was probably in the Southeast since their physical appearance was identical to that of the peoples who built the platform village at Poverty Point, LA and the shell rings on Sapelo Island. (See previous articles on those locations.) …

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Glossary of Major Muskogean Ethnic Groups, 1550 AD

From Ancient Roots IV: Muskogean Architecture and Town Planning, by Richard Thornton, 2007 [box]Authors Note I started out with Swanton’s Indians of North America and pulled the names of the Muskogean tribes in the Southeast. I then updated what Swanton said to include information from archaeological studies in the sixty years since Swanton wrote his …

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