Focal Point for Creek-American Diplomacy
—Creek Heritage Trail —
During the tumultuous decades prior to the Removal of the Creeks from their ancestral homelands in the 1830s, the vicinity of the town of Coweta became an important location for interaction between the Creek Nation and the American government.
First Site of the Creek Agency
U.S. Superintendent of Indian Affairs Benjamin Hawkins lived among the Creeks for two decades. Appointed by President George Washington, Hawkins served as principal agent to the Creeks, and worked to teach them American agricultural practices and other cultural changes as part of the federal government's "plan of civilization." For most of his time among the Creeks, Hawkins lived at the official Creek Agency on the Flint River to the east. Between 1797 and 1799, however, he spent a great deal of his time along the Chattahoochee River at the towns of Coweta and Cusseta.
During the Creek War of 1813-14, the town of Coweta and most Lower Creek towns in the vicinity allied themselves with the United States and fought against their "Red Stick" kinsmen. The war began as a civil war among the Creeks over how to deal with foreign interference and grew to involve direct action against American military forces. In retaliation for Coweta's siding with the United States, Red Stick forces briefly laid siege
to the town in the summer of 1813. Georgia troops under the town once Floyd were sent to this area in part to relieve prior General John war was declared, but the siege was lifted to their arrival. Floyd's troops built Fort Mitchell nearby as a base of supply and from it launched two large raids into the heart of Creek territory.
The Asbury School and Mission
The South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church sent Reverend William Capers to this area in 1821 to establish a church and mission among the Creeks. The following year, "Asbury Manual Labor School" was established a short distance from the site of the town of Coweta. The school taught area Creek children until its closure in 1830.
The Creek Factory
In an effort to regulate trade with Native Americans, the United States government in the 1790s established a "factory system" in which trading houses (called factories because they were operated by "factors" serving as merchants) were to be located within Indian territories. The first Creek Factory" was located in coastal Georgia and moved two times before being established at Fort Mitchell in 1817. This factory stayed in operation until the abandonment of the system by federal authorities in 1819.
Meeting Place of the Creek National Council
Coweta and the closely associated town of Broken
Arrow, located about a mile to the south, served as primary meeting places for the Creek National Council for several decades. This annual gathering of Creek headmen and warriors and their families from all Creek towns was an important assembly in which both domestic and international affairs were discussed. Hundreds and at times thousands of near the s Creeks attended these meetings, which could last several weeks. In the late 1700s, these conferences increasingly focused on the uneasy relationship between the Creeks and the United States government.
Top left: Benjamin Hawkins Courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History
Bottom left: General John Floyd commanded U.S. forces in this area during the Creek War Courtesy of the Hargrett Library, University of Georgia
Top right: HCC historic marker for Asbury School and Mission
Middle right: Reconstruction of trading post at Fort Mitchell historic site
Bottom right: Field near the site of meeting place of the Creek National Council