Creeks and Southerners


Creeks and Southerners

Biculturalism on the Early American Frontier

Andrew K. Frank

Indians of the Southeast Series

202 pages


July 2005


$49.95 Add to Cart

May 2015


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eBook (PDF)
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July 2005


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About the Book

Creeks and Southerners examines the families created by the hundreds of intermarriages between Creek Indian women and European American men in the southeastern United States during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Called “Indian countrymen” at the time, these intermarried white men moved into their wives’ villages in what is now Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. By doing so, they obtained new homes, familial obligations, occupations, and identities. At the same time, however, they maintained many of their ties to white American society and as a result entered the historical record in large numbers.
Creeks and Southerners studies the ways in which many children of these relationships lived both as Creek Indians and white Southerners. By carefully altering their physical appearances, choosing appropriate clothing, learning multiple languages, embracing maternal and paternal kinsmen and kinswomen, and balancing their loyalties, the children of intermarriages found ways to bridge what seemed to be an unbridgeable divide. Many became prominent Creek political leaders and warriors, played central roles in the lucrative deerskin trade, built inns and taverns to cater to the needs of European American travelers, frequently moved between colonial American and Native communities, and served both European American and Creek officials as interpreters, assistants, and travel escorts. The fortunes of these bicultural children reflect the changing nature of Creek-white relations, which became less flexible and increasingly contentious throughout the nineteenth century as both Creeks and Americans accepted a more rigid biological concept of race, forcing their bicultural children to choose between identities.

Author Bio

Andrew K. Frank is the Allen Morris Associate Professor of History at Florida State University.  He is the author or editor of eight books, including The Routledge Historical Atlas of the American South.


“While Frank skillfully contextualizes his story within Creek and colonial history, his focus is on the people who, like Cornell, were Creeks and white southerners. . . . Elegantly written, impeccably organized, and deeply researched in English and Spanish sources, Creeks and Southerners is a welcome addition to the booming field of pre-removal Creek history.”—Kathleen DuVal, Western Historical Quarterly

"An interesting source for studying the effects of early biculturalism."—Denver Westerners Roundup

"Creeks and Southerners is a sophisticated, well-written account of Creek society in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Frank draws on . . . many fascinating frontier characters [relating them] to the larger forces forging a new social landscape around them."—Gregory A. Waselkov, Alabama Review

"Frank has significantly expanded our knowledge about how the endurance of clan and village life in one southeastern Indian society shaped intercultural relations over a long span of time."—Daniel H. Usner, Jr., American Historical Review

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