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Historic Indian Towns in Alabama, 1540-1838

Amos J. Wright Jr, Vernon James Jr. Knight

Publication Year: 2003

Identifies town site locations and clarifies entries from the earliest documents and maps of explorers in Alabama.

This encyclopedic work is a listing of 398 ancient towns recorded within the present boundaries of the state of Alabama, containing basic information on each village's ethnic affiliation, time period, geographic location, descriptions, and (if any) movements. While publications dating back to 1901 have attempted to compile such a listing, none until now has so exhaustively harvested the 214 historic maps drawn between 1544, when Hernando de Soto's entourage first came through the southeastern territory, and 1846, when Indian removal to the Oklahoma Territory was complete. Wright combines the map data with a keen awareness of both previously published information and archival sources, such as colonial town lists, census information, and travel narratives.

The towns are listed alphabetically, and the text of each entry develops chronologically. While only a few of these towns have been accurately located by archaeologists, this volume provides a wealth of information for the future study of cultural geography, southeastern archaeology, and ethnohistory. It will be an enduring reference source for many years to come.


The Alibama consisted of several towns—Mucclassa, Tawasa, Tomopa, Koarsati (Knight 1981, 27:48). Pickett ([1851] 1962:81) adds Ecanchati, Pawokti, and Autauga. The Alibama Town can also be added. Many maps show the Alibama as a group, but one map, 1796 Thomas and Andrews, locates the "Alabama Town"on the east bank of the Coosa just below Wetumpka.

Swanton ([1922] 1970a:209) wrote that the Tuskegee at the Alabama forks may have been known as the "Alabama Town"; however, this is unlikely, as Major W. Blue, a removal agent, wrote in July 1835 that Coosada, Alabama Town, and Tuskegee were ready to emigrate and they all lived adjoining each other in Macon County (ASP, Military Affairs 1861,6:731).

On 6 July 1838, some twenty-seven towns, including "Alibama" (NA M234 R225), attended the Creek council held in Indian Territory. Thomas Bibb, brother to Alabama territorial govenor William Wyatt Bibb, and others, including Nashville investors, founded the town of Alabama in 1817 at Ten Mile Bluff in Montgomery County (Moser 1980-94, 4:131). The town soon disappeared into history.

Retired from Redstone Arsenal (U.S. Army Missile Command) in Huntsville, Alabama, Amos J. Wright Jr. (deceased) has been an avocational archaeologist since 1965. He is author of several research articles and The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders of the Old Southwest Frontier, 1716 to 1815. Vernon J. Knight Jr.is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at The University of Alabama and a coeditor of Archaeology of the Moundville Chiefdom.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Cover Page

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pp. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

This book has been in progress for many years. I have found reading and studying the old colonial script to be maddening and yet very rewarding. Colonial writing is often very clear and legible, but sometimes it is little more than chicken scratch. The asides and anecdotes can be fascinating, though some are not related to the subject matter being researched. ...

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pp. xi-xvi

In this work Amos J. Wright Jr. gives an extraordinarily informative and useful compilation of historic Indian towns lying within the present limits of the state of Alabama. In preparing this work, Wright builds on a foundation laid down by a number of distinguished scholars. ...

Maps Referenced

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pp. xvii-xviii


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pp. xix-xx

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Historic Indian Towns

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pp. 1-188

This Upper Creek town was first listed in the narratives in a 1725 census taken by the South Carolina trader Charlesworth Glover. “Abccoocky” was one of eight towns in the Abiehka district and had a population of 120. The Abiehka district was the northernmost group of the Upper Creeks (Salley 1931, 32:241–42). ...


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pp. 189-224


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pp. 225-239

E-ISBN-13: 9780817383879
E-ISBN-10: 0817383875
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817312527
Print-ISBN-10: 0817312528

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2003

OCLC Number: 608981563
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Historic Indian Towns in Alabama, 1540-1838