The Lower Creek Native American tribe led by chief William McIntosh ceded the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government with the Treaty of Indian Springs today in 1825. Now WE know em

Lower Creek chief William McIntosh

Lower Creek chief William McIntosh

There are two Treaties of Indian Springs with the Creek Indians. The first treaty was signed January 8, 1821. In it, the Lower Creek ceded land to the state of Georgia in return for cash payments totaling $200,000 over a period of 14 years.

The second treaty was signed at the Indian Springs Hotel on February 12, 1825 and ratified March 7, 1825.

It was negotiated by Lower Creek chief William McIntosh and his first cousin, Georgia Governor George Troup. Under this treaty the Lower Creek surrendered all of their lands east of the Chattahoochee, including the sacred Ocmulgee Old Fields, and accepted relocation west of the Mississippi River to an equivalent parcel of land along the Arkansas River. In compensation for the move to unimproved land, and to aid in obtaining supplies, the Creek nation would receive $200,000 paid in decreasing installments over a period of years. A controversial article provided additional payments to McIntosh for the lands granted to him in 1821.

1870hotel

The treaty was popular with Georgians, who re-elected Governor Troupe in the state’s first popular election in 1825. It was signed by only six chiefs, and the Creek National Council denounced it, ordering the execution of McIntosh and the other Muscogee signatories, as it was a capital crime to alienate tribal land. On April 29, the Upper Creek chief Menawa took 200 warriors to attack McIntosh at his plantation at Lokchau Talofau. They killed him and another signatory, and set fire to the house.

The second Treaty of Indian Springs was ratified by the U.S. Congress by one vote, but a delegation from the Creek National Council, led by Chief Opothleyahola, traveled to Washington with a petition to John Quincy Adams to have it revoked. They negotiated the 1826 Treaty of Washington, in which the Muscogee surrendered most of the lands sought by Georgia under more generous terms, retaining a small piece of land on the Georgia-Alabama border and the Ocmulgee Old Fields. They were not required to move west.

George Troup refused to recognize the new treaty, and ordered the Creek lands surveyed for a land lottery. He began forcibly evicting the Lower Creek.

John Quincy Adams threatened federal intervention, but backed down after Troup mobilized Georgia militia.

Today the area around the spring is protected as Indian Springs State Park between Jackson and Flovilla in Butts County, Georgia.

Now WE know em

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