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Amalgamated Chiefs ceded ancestral Lands to the U.S. Federal Government: The Creek Nation was once one of the largest and most powerful Indian groups in the Southeast. At their peak, the Creeks controlled millions of acres of land in the present-day states of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Much of this land, however, was lost or stolen as the federal government sought land for white settlement after the American Revolution. Creek lands were taken through cessions in treaties, through scams by land speculators, through outright theft by squatters, and also through clandestine arrangements between Creek headmen and federal agents. By 1836, most Creeks had relocated voluntarily or been forced to remove to Indian Territory, as the present-day state of Oklahoma was known at the time. This process of Indian removal has been inflicted upon all tribes like the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Iroquois, Pequot, Powhatan, and Miami. What isn’t generally discussed regarding the ceding of ancestral lands; the treaties are usually signed by the amalgamated mix-blood offspring of white European men and the black aboriginal Indian women; who used their European upbringing in order to gain support and rank within their respective tribes and position themselves as chiefs. They would then join these contractual agreements with the U.S. Federal Government and cede over the ancestral lands of their tribal nations and oversee the removal of these tribes into reservations of the Indian territories as designated. . Names of some of these Amalgamated Chiefs: William McIntosh, who was one of the most prominent chiefs of the Creek Nation, was a leader of the Lower Towns of the Creek who were adapting European-American ways and tools to incorporate into their culture. He became a planter who owned slaves and also had a ferry business. Earlier American historians attributed McIntosh’s achievements and influence to his mixed race Scots/European ancestry. On February 12, 1825, he signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, which ceded all the Lower Creek land in Georgia and a large tract in Alabama to the federal government. In return, McIntosh and his followers received $200,000 and land in present-day Oklahoma. Most Creeks were overwhelmingly opposed to the land cession, and the sale of land without the approval of the Creek National Council was punishable by death under Creek law. Thus, in May 1825 McIntosh was executed at one of his plantations on the Chattahoochee River. Alexander McGillivray was a Muscogee (Creek) leader. The son of a Muscogee mother and a Scottish father, he had skills no other Creek of his day had: he was not only literate but educated, and he knew the “white” world and merchandise trading well. These gave him prestige, especially with European-Americans, who were glad to finally find a Creek leader they could talk to and deal with. He used his role as link between the two worlds to his advantage, not always fairly, and became the richest Creek of his time. McGillivray’s status among the Creeks, who did not customarily have a single leader, was controversial and sometimes resented. His chief asset to insure he was seen as a leader was his ability to hand out gifts to the Creeks from both Britain and Spain. He was the most “Anglicized” of Creeks, and built solid houses, planted orchards, and ran a plantation (and owned about 60 slaves), which made him suspect. McGillivray and 29 other chiefs signed the Treaty of New York on behalf of the ‘Upper, Middle and Lower Creek and Seminole composing the Creek nation of Indians’. McGillivray was the only one who could sign his name: 196 and Lower Creeks were soon to complain that they had no representative present (none was invited), and that the Creek signers had no right to give away their lands. The first treaty negotiated after ratification of the U.S. Constitution, it established the Altamaha and Oconee rivers as the boundary between Creek lands and the United States. The Creeks “soon concluded that McGillivray had deceived them”. John Ross was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1828–1866, serving longer in this position than any other person. He was the son of a Cherokee mother and a Scottish father. His mother and maternal grandmother were of mixed Scots-Cherokee ancestry, since his maternal grandfather was another Scottish immigrant. After graduation, he was appointed an Indian agent in 1811. During the War of 1812, he served as adjutant of a Cherokee regiment under the command of Andrew Jackson. Though generally portrayed and described as the Moses of his people, as he influenced the Indian nation through the relocation to Indian Territory and the American Civil War; what isn’t usually talked about is his part in assignations and his conspiring for leadership within the tribe. Major Ridge was a Cherokee leader, a member of the tribal council, and a lawmaker. He led the Cherokee in alliances with General Andrew Jackson and the United States in the Creek and Seminole Wars. Along with Charles R. Hicks and James Vann, Ridge was part of the “Cherokee triumvirate,” a group of younger chiefs in the early nineteenth century Cherokee Nation who supported acculturation and other changes in how the people dealt with the United States. All were of mixed race and had some exposure to European-American culture, but identified as Cherokee. Ridge became a wealthy planter, slave owner and ferryman. Under increasing pressure for removal from the federal government, Ridge and others of the Treaty Party signed the controversial Treaty of New Echota of 1835. They believed removal was inevitable and tried to protect Cherokee rights. It required the Cherokee to cede their remaining lands in the Southeast to the US and relocate to the Indian Territory. John Ridge was from a prominent family of the Cherokee Nation, then located in present-day Georgia. He went to Cornwall, Connecticut to study at the Foreign Mission School. He met Sarah Bird Northup, of a Yankee New England family, and they married in 1824. Soon after their return to New Echota in 1825, Ridge was chosen for the Cherokee National Council and became a leader in the tribe. In the 1830s, he was part of the Treaty Party with his father Major Ridge and cousins Elias Boudinot and Stand Watie. Believing that Indian Removal was inevitable, they supported making a treaty with the United States government to protect Cherokee rights. The Ridges and Boudinot were both signatories to the Treaty of New Echota of 1835, by which they ceded Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi in exchange for lands in Indian Territory. The land cession was opposed by the majority of the tribe and the Principal Chief John Ross, but the treaty was ratified by the US Senate. Elias Boudinot was a writer, newspaper editor and leader of the Cherokee Nation. He was member of a prominent family and was born in and grew up in present-day Georgia. Born to parents of mixed Cherokee and European ancestry and educated at a missionary school in Connecticut, he became one of several leaders who believed that acculturation was critical to Cherokee survival; he was influential in the period of removal to Indian Territory. Stand Watie was a leader of the Cherokee Nation, and the only Native American to attain a general’s rank in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He commanded the Confederate Indian cavalry of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi, made up mostly of Cherokee, Muskogee and Seminole, and was the final Confederate general in the field to cease hostilities at war’s end. Prior to removal of the Cherokee to Indian Territory in the late 1830s, Watie and his older brother Elias Boudinot were among leaders who signed the Treaty of New Echota in 1835. The majority of the tribe opposed their action. John Thompson Drew was a mixed blood military and political leader of the Cherokee Nation. Born in 1796, there is little written about his life until he led a company of Cherokee emigrants from Georgia to Indian Territory. The Cherokee Encyclopedia states that he was a participant in the Battle of Claremore Mound in 1818. He is best known for joining the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War, when he raised, organized and led the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles. He moved his home from the Cherokee Nation to the Chickasaw Nation near the end of the war to escape intra-tribal bloodshed. Greenwood LeFlore was elected Principal Chief of the Choctaw in 1830 before removal. Before that, the nation was governed by three district chiefs and a council of chiefs. A wealthy and regionally influential Choctaw of mixed-race, who belonged to the Choctaw elite due to his mother’s rank, LeFlore had many connections in state and federal government. In 1830 LeFlore led other chiefs in signing the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, which ceded the remaining Choctaw lands in Mississippi to the US government and agreed to removal to Indian Territory. It also provided that Choctaw who chose to stay in Mississippi would have reserved lands, but the United States government failed to follow through on this provision. While many of the leaders realized removal was inevitable, others opposed the treaty and made death threats against LeFlore. He stayed in Mississippi, where he settled in Carroll County and accepted United States citizenship. He was elected to the state government as a legislator and senator in the 1840s. During the American Civil War, he sided with the Union. Holmes Colbert was a 19th-century leader of the Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Of mixed European and Chickasaw ancestry, Colbert was born to his mother’s Chickasaw clan and gained status through them, as the tribe was matrilineal. Educated in an American school, he also learned of European-American culture and contributed to his tribe. He helped write the Chickasaw Nation’s constitution in the 1850s after its removal to Indian Territory and reorganization of its government. Colbert served as the tribe’s delegate to Washington, DC after the American Civil War. The Chickasaw allied with the United States during the War of 1812. William Colbert served with General Andrew Jackson against the Red Sticks during the Creek Wars of 1813-14, a civil war within the nation which became part of that conflict. His brothers George and Levi also served. The brothers were prominent landowners and a political force within their clan and the Chickasaw Nation. George and Levi Colbert served as negotiators and interpreters in the 1820s-1830 during the tribe’s negotiations with the US government related to Indian Removal. Canaqueese was a Mohawk war chief and intercultural mediator who lived in the 17th century in the Mohawk Valley, an area of central present-day New York state, United States. He was of mixed race, with a Mohawk mother and Dutch father, brought up with and identifying as Mohawk. He was an important intermediary among the French, Dutch, the Algonquian-speaking Mahican (Mohican), and the Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk peoples. This was especially so during the Beaver Wars, which arose over competition for the lucrative fur trade. He participated in numerous attempts to reach a peace agreement between the Mohawk and the French based in Quebec (or New France). He was referred to by different names by representatives of the various national groups with whom he interacted. Canaqueese was his Mohawk name. Smits Jan was his Dutch name, one that he was probably given at baptism or while dealing with the Dutch in New Netherland. Smits Jon was an anglicized version of his Dutch name, given to him by the British after they conquered New Netherland in 1664 (renaming it as New York). “Flemish Bastard” was the name given to him by French Jesuit missionaries, who described him as “an execrable issue of sin, the monstrous offspring of a Dutch Heretic father and a pagan woman.” After the Dutch began to work with Canaqueese, they enlisted him as a courier, carrying letters from Fort Orange to Canada in 1653 to facilitate a peace agreement between the French and Mohawk during the First French–Iroquois War (ca. 1650–1667). #AmericanPharaoh #AmericanAutochthon #AboriginalAmerican #AmericanIndian #IndigeniousAmerican #AmaruMeru #AmaruMeruvian #TrueAmeruKhan



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