Fort Mitchell and Creek Removal Historical

Fort Mitchell and Creek Removal Historical (HM1X6J)

Location: Fort Mitchell, AL 36856 Russell County
Country: United States of America

N 32° 20.65', W 85° 1.27'

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Inscription

—Creek Heritage Trail —

Fort Mitcheli served as a primary point of concentration for creeks being sent westward to Indian Territory before, during, and after the Second Creek War (1836-1837). By the terms of the 1832 Treaty of Washington, Creek heads of household and chiefs were given individual allotments of land which they could keep or sell. After a period of five years, if they had not sold they could remain on their land in hopes of becoming citizens of Alabama. Although the Creeks never signed a removal treaty as such, once they sold their land the federal government expected them to remove as soon as possible.
Speculators began to swindle the Creeks out of their lands almost before the ink was dry on the treaty, however. Illegal settlement on Creek lands became so rampant that in 1833 the federal government sent a lawyer named Francis Scott Key (author of the "Star Spangled Banner") to Fort Mitchell to investigate the disputes. Key failed to reach a viable settlement, however. In 1834, a group of 600 frustrated Creeks gathered here before embarking for the West voluntarily.
In 1836, many of the desperate remaining Creeks struck out against American settlements. In the Second Creek War that followed, the Creeks were defeated and afterwards for removed to Indian Territory in the west.
Between 1836 and 1838 approximately 20,000 Upper and Lower
Creeks were rounded up, imprisoned at locations such as Fort Mitchell, and sent westward. Removal of smaller groups continued until the 1840s. Thousands of Creek were marched overland from here to Montgomery, some in chains, where they boarded steamboats that took them to Mobile and from there up the Mississippi River to Arkansas. They made the final leg of the trip along the Arkansas River to indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). Thousands of Creeks perished during the journey or escaped and fled. Many committed suicide rather than leave their beloved homeland.

[Insert - First hand account]

U.S. Army Surgeon Jacob Rhett Motte witnessed the emotional removal of a party of 500 Creeks
from Fort Mitchell in 1836:


"It was a melancholy spectacle as these proud monarchs of the soil were marched off from their native land to a distant country, which to their anticipations presented all the horrors of the infernal regions. There were several who committed suicide rather than endure the sorrow of leaving the spot where rested the bones of their ancestors. One old fellow was found hanging by the neck the might before he was to leave Fort Mitchell for the far West, prefering the glorious uncertainty of another world, to the inglorious misery of being forced to a country of which he knew nothing, but dreaded every bad thing... A party of 500
who had been taken captive, and brought to Fort Mitchell, were necessarily sent off in chains. The men were handcuffed two together, and a long chain passing between the double file connected them all together. The women followed drowned in tears, and giving titterance to most distressing cries."


[Photo Captions]

{Left side Map}: Map showing the route of Creek Removal

{Top right}: Francis Scott Key
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

{Middle right}: The steamboat Monmouth, which sank in the Mississippi River in 1837 with hundreds of Creeks on board, bound for the Indian Territory.
Courtesy of Paul Bender

{Bottom right}: Reconstruction of Fort Gibson in Oklahoma, the endpoint of the "Trail of Tears" for thousands of Chattahoochee Valley Creeks
Courtesy of Fort Gibson Historic Site
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Details
HM NumberHM1X6J
Tags
Year Placed2014
Placed ByThe Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Russell County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 686225 N 3580305
Decimal Degrees32.34416667, -85.02116667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 20.65', W 85° 1.27'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 20' 39" N, 85° 1' 16.2" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)334
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 567-581 AL-165, Fort Mitchell AL 36856, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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