The Apalachicola Towns on the eve of the Trail of Tears

by Dale Cox

Econchattimico’s town on the Chattahoochee River as drawn by Francis, comte de Castelnau, in 1838.

The Trail of Tears for the last towns of Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole Indians of Jackson County took place in 1834-1838.

The residents of these communities had been concentrated by then on two reservations. Tocktoethla (“River Junction”), the town of Econchattimico, was on a reserve north of Sneads along the Chattahoochee River. The towns of Choconicla and Attapulgus, headed by John Yellowhair and Tustenuggee Hadjo respectively, lay on a second reserve just east of Sneads along the Apalachicola River.

A census of these communities was taken in May 1833 following the signing of the Treaty of Pope’s Store, a final document negotiated with the chiefs to clear the way for their ultimate removal to new lands west of the Mississippi. The moment was humbling for chiefs like Econchattimico, Vacapachasie (“Mulatto King”) and Emathlochee, who had resisted U.S. troops during the First Seminole War. All three witnessed the enormous suffering of their people in this last fight to preserve their lands. By 1833 it was evident that the United States would soon force them west and some decided to go ahead on their own with the Calhoun County chief John Blunt who was preparing to leave for the Trinity River in Texas.

The census of 1833 provides an interesting look at Jackson County’s remaining Native American population as it existed by that time.

Please note that the names are spelled as they were written down by the census taker in 1833. He attempted to spell them phonetically and they do not always match modern spellings, which still range a bit.

 

Census of Tocktoethla (Econchattimico’s Town)

The site of Econchattimico’s Reserve as it appears today.

This community was on a reservation covering four square miles that lay along the west bank of the Chattahoochee River (today’s Lake Seminole). Its southern border was near today’s intersection of River Road and Butler Road, 6.2 miles north of Sneads. Its northern border was about one mile north of the intersection of River Road and Welcome Church Road. Much of the reserve was flooded by the creation of Lake Seminole in 1958, including the site of Tocktoethla, but perhaps 25% of its original lands remain above water level. The area around Arnold Landing on the Apalachee Wildlife Management Area is a good place to see it.

Econchattimico, the principal chief of Tocktoethla, helped lead the fight against U.S. forces during the First Seminole War. As a result, his original town of Ekanachatte – at present day Neals Landing in Jackson County – was destroyed and more than 100 of his followers taken prisoner. When the war ended, he resettled at Tocktoethla which was one mile north of the southern border of the reservation. The reserve itself was established in 1823 by the Treaty of Moultrie Creek.

Name Age Status Wives Children
Conchattimico [Econchattimico] 60 Head Chief 2 wives
Coosa Hatchee Tustenuggee 40 War Chief 1 wife 2 children
Hepia Tustenugge 40 Second Chief 1 wife 2 children
Okillas Neha 40 Second Chief
Capixta Tustenugge 40 Second Chief 1 wife 2 children
Fulma Hajo (Billy) 35 Second Chief 1 wife 2 children
Lathlapixciao or Joe Miller 23 Second Chief 1 wife 1 child
Tommyahola 50 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Luppe Mico 40 Warrior
Occoskee 35 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Conippenathla 45 Warrior 1 wife 3 children
Noccooselee 30 Warrior 1 wife 1 child
Charlee Hajo 30 Warrior 1 wife 1 child
Tustenukyjule 40 Warrior
Wacceholata 30 Warrior
Eficnathla 50 Warrior 3 children
Tallaficcico 40 Warrior 1 wife 3 children
Emithlichee 30 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Opithleyola 30 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Coosa 20 Warrior 1 wife 1 child
Chemastee 25 Warrior 1 wife 1 child
Nealoccochee 30 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Shogan 30 Warrior 1 wife
Talmasee 25 Warrior
Oakmulgee 30 Warrior 1 wife
Oakmulgee 2 40 Warrior 1 wife 1 child
Neaficcico 25 Warrior
George 30 Warrior 1 wife
Tommy Tustenuggo 40 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Ohowa 25 Warrior
Melowee 30 Warrior 1 wife
Huckelusty 35 Warrior 1 wife
Micco Poilga 30 Warrior
Ohoyathla 25 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Cotcheficcico 35 Warrior 1 wife
Ochusee Hajo 35 Warrior
Emathla 35 Warrior 1 wife 2 children
Allatichee 30 Warrior
Ficcico 35 Warrior 1 child
Chonchattee 40 Warrior
Metahakee 18 Warrior
Nomithliga 23 Warrior
Foos Hajo 25 Warrior 1 wife 1 child
Possac Hajo 50 Warrior
Succaluthchee 25 Warrior
Sopinee 25 Warrior 1 wife
Sampea 20 Warrior
Jno. Blue, or Gen. Jno. Silly (or John Bird?) 15 Young Warrior
Johnny (John Bird? Note: John Bird was a known member) 13 Young Warrior
Samhootchee 14 Young Warrior 1 child
Pimpooitchee 35 Warrior 1 child
Tomochee 24 Warrior 1 child
Maichee 14 Young Warrior
Chalkoo 13 Young Warrior
Laboola 15 Young Warrior 1 child
Holomagachee 20 Warrior
Scarholochee 12 Male Child
Harry 13 Male Child
Sammy 10 Male Child
Chattochee 11 Male Child
Senatchee 12 Male Child
Unidentified Black Warrior (Free)
Unidentified Black Warrior (Free)
Unidentified Black Warrior (Free)
Unidentified Black Warrior (Free)
Unidentified Black Warrior (Free)
Unidentified Black Warrior (Free)
Unidentified Elderly Woman
Unidentified Elderly Woman
Unidentified Elderly Woman
Unidentified Elderly Woman
Unidentified Elderly Woman
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”
Unidentified “Slave”

Total of Tocktoethla: 172

 

The reserve assigned to Yellow Hair and Vacapachasie (Mulatto King) can be seen in this 1839 diagram. The dotted line illustrates its outline.

Census of Choconicla (Yellowhair’s Town)

Choconicla or Yellowhair’s Town was on a second reservation established by the Treaty of Moultrie Creek in 1823 for the chief’s father, Old Yellow Hair, and the Black Seminole leader Vacapachasie (“Mulatto King”). The town and reservation were on the west side of the Apalachicola River south of US 90, east of Gulf Power Road and north of Gadsden Trail and the former Gulf Power plant. The county boat ramp at the end of Gadsden Trail is at the southern end of the reservation and is a good place to view the site.

The leadership of Choconicla was a controversial matter. The reservation was set aside equally for John Yellowhair’s father and Vacapachasie, but the two chiefs did not get along. Old Yellow Hair sided with the United States during the First Seminole War, while Vacapachasie and many of the warriors fought against the American army. Vacapachasie assumed full leadership after Old Yellow Hair’s death, but U.S. Indian Agents found John Yellowhair more in line with their thinking and broke the old Black Seminole chief from his post and elevated the younger Yellowhair.

Name Age Status Wives Children
John Yellow Hair or Nocose Ahola [John Yellowhair] 20 Head Chief 1
Yohola Heyo 30 Second Chief 1
Conipehola 20 Second Chief 1 4
Tallassee Mathla 20 Second Chief 1 1
Lathla Hola 30 Second Chief 1 3
Vaccupachassie or Cowdriver [“Mulatto King”] 70 Second Chief 1 1
Cotcha Hajochee 30 Second Chief 1 2
Coosa Hajo 27 Second Chief 1
Conip Hajo 25 Second Chief 1 1
Tustenuky Cochochinickee 30 Second Chief 1 1
Yaholatehee, or Factor 50 Warrior 1
Citchosee 30 Warrior 1 1
Nocosa Chopca 35 Warrior 1
Nocosa Hajo 35 Warrior
Hichita Mathla 35 Warrior
Nocoshoochie 35 Warrior
Chowastia 50 Warrior 1
Yahaja 25 Warrior 1
Charley 20 Warrior 1 2
Fushajo 30 Warrior
Chatto Hajo 26 Warrior 1 2
Isaac 15 Warrior
Insapa 35 Warrior 1
Insapa Hajo 25 Warrior 1
John Attaway 25 Warrior
Micochee 45 Warrior 2
Assahe 20 Warrior
Sampson 50 Warrior 1 4
Lewis 14 Warrior
Jacob his son 14 Warrior
Untulla 50 Warrior
Amattaha 45 Warrior 1 2
Siaboska 25 Warrior 1
Tony 25 Warrior 1
Hietska 13? Young Warrior
Tommy 14 Young Warrior
Clemmy 12 Young Warrior
Charley 13 Young Warrior
Tepiga, Tigertail’s nephew 12 Young Warrior
Sucky 13 Young Warrior
Parney 14 Young Warrior
Murkay, orphan 13 Young Warrior
Mahoneesehay 13 Young Warrior
Aischasehy, Walker’s son 10 Young Warrior
Davy 13 Young Warrior
Poty 11 Young Warrior
Totoliga, widow of Heatuga, late head chief  Elderly Widow
Wisey Young Male
Attun Young Male
Tustalle Young Male
Sunday Young Male
Josiah Young Male
Weeky Young Male
Tohole Young Male
Conappee Young Male
Ben Young Male
Unknown Black Warrior
Unknown Black Warrior
Unknown Black Warrior
Unknown Black Warrior
Unknown “Slave”
Unknown Elderly Widow
Unknown Elderly Widow
Unknown Elderly Widow
Unknown Elderly Widow
Unknown Elderly Widow

Total of Choconicla:   115

 

Census of Attapulgus or Emathlochee’s Town

Members of one of the Apalachicola bands paddle downstream to Vacapachasie’s Reserve in this drawing by the Comte de Castelnau.

Attapulgus was a little known and short-lived town that lay near Choconicla on the Yellow Hair/Vacapuchassie (“Mulatto King”) reservation. This town was in present-day Decatur County, Georgia, when the First Seminole War erupted in 1817. Led by Emathlochee, the Attapulgus warriors went to help their friends at nearby Fowltown when that village was attacked by U.S. troops on November 21-23, 1817. The people of Attapulgus fled down the Little River into today’s Gadsden County, Florida, after the American raids. They lived there until the signing of the Treaty of Paynes Landing in 1832, under which their town site was given to the Fowltown chief Neamathla in exchange for the site of his town at Tallahassee. Forced from their homes a second time in 15 years, the Attapulgus people moved across the Apalachicola River into Jackson County and resettled on the reservation near Choconicla.

It is interesting to note that Emathlochee, the principal chief and war leader of the community during the First Seminole War, was still alive in 1833. He is shown on the town census at “Emathlachee.” His rank had been reduced to warrior, however, and Tustenuggee Hadjo was now the head chief.

Name Age Status Wives Children
Tustenuggo Hajo [Tustenuggee Hadjo] 35 Head Chief 2 2
Paos Tustenuggy 50 Second Chief
Yatta Hajo 30 Second Chief 1 1
Contalamathla 35 Second Chief 1
Echo Emalathca 40 Second Chief 1 1
Tuseki Hajo 30 Second Chief 1
Cotchaluthu 50 Warrior 1 1
Pocheese 15 Young Warrior
Lemalitchu Tustanuggee 15 Young Warrior
Peivathla 30 Warrior 1 1
Leochee 15 Young Warrior
Lioffeca 18 Young Warrior
Loafchinca 14 Young Warrior
Halatca 14 Young Warrior
Chebana 14 Young Warrior
Toney 25 Warrior 1
Natta 20 Warrior
Wilsey 14 Warrior
Chepanee 14 Young Warrior
Tommy 20 Warrior 1
Tinca 30 Warrior 1
Op Relago
Allegee
Phillip
Lepothka
Osika 25 Warrior 1 1
Pumaka
Aunocha 21 Warrior 1
Nocosoochokinechee 30 Warrior 1 1
Sammy 14 Young Warrior
Punta
Muttathlega 1
Istochee 87 Warrior
Chefuiar Hajo 35 Warrior 1 2
Occathla
Stimmut Lathlagee 18 Warrior
Oawithlaga 15 Warrior
Cotchetia 25 Warrior
Jayaka 25 Warrior
Semissa 25 Warrior 1 1
Nittia 10  Young Male
Jimmessa 8  Young Male
Infotata 20 Warrior 1
Tachifea 16 Warrior
Wakiga 30 Warrior 1
Emathlachee [Emathlochee] 35 Warrior 1 1
Toby 22 Warrior
Johung 30 Warrior 1
Simkanie 35 Warrior 1 2
Sammy 30 Warrior 1
Yatta Hajo 35 Warrior 1
Totcheleg  Young Male
Chefranee  Young Male
Hathee  Young Male
Unknown Elderly Woman
Unknown Elderly Woman
Unknown Elderly Woman
Unknown Elderly Woman
Unknown Elderly Woman
Unknown Elderly Woman
Unknown Elderly Woman

 

Total of Attapulgus: 87

 

Jackson County’s Total Recorded Native American Population in 1833:        374

Note: These population do not include young warriors and young males sent to study at the Choctaw Indian Academy in Kentucky. Several young men were sent there by the chiefs so they could learn reading, writing and mathematics.

 

[Source: Commissary General of Subsistence, “Correspondence on the subject of the Emigration of Indians, between the 30th November, 1831, and 27th December, 1833, with abstracts of expenditures by disbursing agents, in the Removal and Subsistence of Indians, &c. &c.,” U.S. Senate Document 512, Volume IV, Washington, D.C., 1835.]