Apalachicola Band of Creek Indians
This Tribe was established in the Additional Article of the 1823 Camp Moultrie Treaty. Federal Negotiators segregated 6 Friendly Creek Chiefs from the Seminole Indians of Florida and renamed them Apalachicola Band of Creek Indians after the river located alongside the 20 Square mile reservation granted to the tribe. Apalachicola Chiefs were: Neamathla, Econchati Micco, Mulatto King, Phillip Emarthla, John Blount and Cochrane (AKA)Tuski Hadjo. Chief Blount's reserve remains an active city in the Florida Panhandle after Chief Blount's Band removed to Texas in 1834. Chief Blount died shortly after after arrival leaving less than Forty survivors in an area that became Polk County, Texas. Apalachicola Band members remaining in Florida during the Second Seminole War were removed in 1839 to Arkansas Indian territory listed as Seminole. A Census of Five Apalachicola Towns was completed in May 1833 (Westcott Census).
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First Seminole War
June 2, 1818 | Division of the South, Fort Montgomery
American State Papers: Letter, from Major General Andrew jackson Letter to John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War. American State Papers; pp.707-708.
The Seminole war having terminated, I deem it politic and advisable to send to Washington John Blunt and his Indian comrades, who have acted as pilots to me during the late campaign. John Blunt is a Tuckabatchee Indian, has long been friendly to the United States, and in consequence of his opposition to the Red Stick party during the Creek war has drawn down upon himself their vengence during the late contest. His settlement being in an exposed situation on the Appalachicola river, he was early attacked by the Seminoles, his property destroyed, and his famly rifled from him; alone he excaped and fled to Fort Scott, where,joining the American standard, he has proved himself a most zealous friend and faithful pilot this period. In justice to him I am bound to state, that to his correct knowledge of the country and zealous attachment to the cause in which we were engaged, am I measurably indebted for the success of the present campaign. . . .
Removal from Florida to Texas
25 April 1834 | Vehlins District Tejas
Chief John Blount was the first Apalachicola Chief to agree to move West after enactment of the 1830 Indian Removal. Sam Houston, an old firend of Blount from the Creek Wars, encouraged Blount to bring his people to Texas for a brighter future. Chief Blount and his Second Chief, Davy or Osia Hadjo (Crazy Crow) took Houston's advice and encouragement from President Andrew Jackson to sign the October 11, 1832, Blount Band of Apalachicola Creek Indian Removal Treaty. They were ready for a brighter future in Texas, but not for the surprises along the way.
Delays in getting all the Apalachicola students home from the Choctaw Academy in Blue Springs, Kentucky delayed Blount's removal until March 1834. Removal was orderly with each household packed into canoes in a tidy line paddling down the Apalachicola River to Port St Joe embarcation point. Several days of delays at Port St Joe resulted in excessive deaths and desrtions increased fears and stress among those awaiting passage to New Orleans. Finally, the reduced membership embarked on the steamship headed for the Port of New Orleans. An expected stop in New Orleans to receive treaty money did lift lagging spirits a bit.
The Ship's captain had been ordered to lay anchor out side the port as trouble was expected. Thus, Blount and Davy encamped the Band on an off shore Island where they met Indian Agent Wiley Thompson and Interpreter Stephen Richards and went to the Bank of New Orleans. After authorizing the payment of Treaty money with promises to make outstanding annuities payments on arrival in Texas, Thompson and Richards made hasty departure leaving Blount and Davy to negotiate for supplies in their limited English. With the money in hand and a Texas future on the horison, Blount and Davy left the bank happy men.
Without warning, both were immediately arrested by the New Orleans High Sherrif who served warramts based on false charges brought by Attorney, William Beaty, of Georgia on behalf of Cochrane, by Coa Thlocco. a former member of Davy's Town. The allegation was that Blount and Davy were absconding with treaty funds but proved to be a high level conspiracy to defraud Blount and Davy of their money. On April 7, 1834. Blount and Davy were put in jail with a bond set at well above the money in hand. To gain their freedom, Chief Blount made up the difference by giving over two of his Negros, Cujo and Bob who in their early thirties were more valueable than the total of bail set.
Penniless, without supplies and discouraged by loss of memebers, Blount and Davy mustered the courage of the small Band to cross the Louisiana Plackmines on foot and enter the Gateway of Texas. In late April perhaps even the first days of May fewer than forty Band members reached the the present day site of Onalaska, Texas at the East Fork of the Trinity River. The journey ended here permanently for for Chief Blount.
By. Mary Sixwomen Blount, Principle Chief
April-May 1834 | Vehlins District Texas
Chiefs John Blount and Davy Elliott gave up their Florida Reservations for a Texas land certificate and chance to join Sam Houston in a Mexican War. American loyalty and Blount's service as Andrew Jackson's personal guide in the First Seminole War had earned him a choice of relocation to Spanish Texas or removal to Arkansas Indian Territory.
Choosing Texas motivated President Jackson to direct Colonel James Gadsden to purchase and personally present Chief Blount with a whale boat for the journey. Previous gifts, travel to Washington, a silver medal, and recognition for valuable services did little to ease fears of the Apalachcola Band emigrants. Many deserted prior to official departure and the promise of 263 emigrants was not met.
Unexpected trechery, hardships, and deaths before and after departure resulted in less than half those listed on Westcott's 1833 Removal Census reaching Texas. A dispirited Chief Blount (1773-1834) also died shortly after arrival. Elder tradition record the cause as a "broken heart". Medical doctors would likely diagnosis cholera contracted in the New Orleans Jail. None the less, in taking life's fourth walk, John Blount left behind a small leaderless band of relatives friendless and unfamiliar with Texas geography and the government imposed Apalachicola Band name. Gone, too, was Chief Blount's intimate knowledgte of political influence and military intrigues that had brought through the Gateway to Texas.
Blount's Band of landless survivors remained in Texas unknown as Apalachicola Band but well remembered by popular names, Pakana Muskogee, Muscogos, Seminole, and Blount Indians. Chief Blount's nephew, Billy and Blount's biological son John became Council appointed peace and war chief. A bitter disagreement soon divided the young chiefs when John's followers joined Chief Bowles in the Battle of Neches identified as Seminole warriors. Thereafter, an uneasy truce existed between the two cousins that never quite healed. The rest of this story will follow soon.
-----Mary Sixwomen Blount, Tribal Administrator/Historian