The Emigration of the Creek Indians is reported in Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate
The Creeks had begun to emigrate in larger numbers in 1829 largely due to the expiration of the annuities that had been paid their nation. In 1820, the Creeks were being paid 25,000, but 22,000 was set to expire in 1829. The Creeks that did emigrate settled in the area of Muskogee County, Oklahoma. In typical U.S. style, 300 US troops were positioned near the peaceful emigrants (Phoenix).
By 1829, the number of Creeks that had already emigrated west of the Mississippi was about 1400. Of this once mighty nation there were only about 15,000 left in the South. The Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate believed that the Creeks had a greater disposition to emigrate, than among the Cherokees; and it is possible that the whole tribe will at length consent to remove. Sadly, though, many Creeks had sought to become civilized' as they had been told by the United States, and many had even become wealthy slave and plantation owners. Many Creeks had to leave behind this civilization' to go and live again in primitive settings. In fact, the Phoenix said that their progress towards civilization will be greatly retarded' by such a move.
Civilizing the Indians had been the Governments alleged motives in all Indian affairs and such a policy of removal went directly against their supposed benevolent attitude towards the Indian nations. R.S. Cotterill wrote that, Federal Indian management in the South may fairly be said to have come to an end with the year 1825; after that it was no longer management, but force. The only remaining problem was as to the time of removal.' For the Creeks this time of removal came ever closer with the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Soon the Creeks Trail of Tears' occurred and by 1837 almost all the Creek Nation had moved or been forced to move west of the Mississippi (Cotterill).
- New Echota, GA. Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate, April 22, 1829.
- R.S. Cotterill, "Federal Indian Management in the South 1789-1825," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 3 (1933): 333-352.