The Second Creek War


The Second Creek War

Interethnic Conflict and Collusion on a Collapsing Frontier

John T. Ellisor

Indians of the Southeast Series

512 pages
7 maps


November 2010


$50.00 Add to Cart

March 2020


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eBook (EPUB)
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March 2020


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eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2010


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Historians have traditionally viewed the “Creek War of 1836” as a minor police action centered on rounding up the Creek Indians for removal to Indian Territory. Using extensive archival research, John T. Ellisor demonstrates that, in fact, the Second Creek War was neither brief nor small. Indeed, armed conflict continued long after “peace” was declared and the majority of Creeks had been sent west.
Ellisor’s study also broadly illuminates southern society just prior to the Indian removals, a time when many blacks, whites, and Natives lived in close proximity in the Old Southwest. In the Creek country, also called New Alabama, these ethnic groups began to develop a pluralistic society. When the 1830s cotton boom placed a premium on Creek land, however, dispossession of the Natives became an economic priority. Dispossessed and impoverished, some Creeks rose in armed revolt both to resist removal west and to drive the oppressors from their ancient homeland. Yet the resulting Second Creek War, which raged over three states, was fueled not only by Native determination but also by economic competition and was intensified not least by the massive government-sponsored land grab that constituted Indian removal. Because these circumstances also created fissures throughout southern society, both whites and blacks found it in their best interests to help the Creek insurgents. This first book-length examination of the Second Creek War shows how interethnic collusion and conflict characterized southern society during the 1830s.

Author Bio

John T. Ellisor is an assistant professor of history at Columbus State University.


"Ellisor has made a valuable contribution to Creek and southern history so that we will now know of the Second Creek War."—Julie Anne Sweet, Journal of American History

"Ellisor places a local conflict on a global stage. . . . An exceptional work, an easy read for both laymen and experienced scholars, and one that is a must for any scholar of the Creek, the American South, or Indian removal."—Jeff Washburn, Southern Historian

"For too long, the Second Creek War has awaited serious scholarly attention. On the basis of exhaustive research, formidable attention to detail, and sophisticated interpretation, the first monograph on this conflict is likely to be the last for years to come."—John W. Hall, Tennessee Historical Quarterly

"With lucid prose and convincing arguments, Ellisor recovers the difficulties that troubled both Creeks and White Americans only twenty years prior to the American Civil War. . . . The Second Creek War's substantive contribution to the evolving field of southern Native American history joins those of Claudio Saunt, Robbie Ethridge, Andrew Frank, and Cynthia Cumfer, among others. Like theirs, Ellisor's work deserves high praise."—Thomas Chase Hagood, Florida Historical Quarterly

"Ellisor's book should appeal to all those interested in Alabama history, for it provides a revealing new look at the complexity of the antebellum society and of Indian removal."—Christina Snyder, Alabama Review

"Ellisor's complex approach offers historians of the early American Republic much to consider as they look to expand their understanding of the United States within the larger global processes of the nineteenth century."—Daniel Flaherty, Historian

"Ellisor's book sheds new light on a very misunderstood period of our nation's history, an era that has been unfairly forgotten in many American textbooks."—Al Hemingway, Military Heritage

Table of Contents

List of Maps

Introduction: The Second Creek War?

1. Creek Politics and Confinement in New Alabama

2. The Cusseta Treaty of 1832

3. Commodifying the Creek Domain

4. Resistance

5. Rebellion

6. The Federal Response

7. Flight through Southern Georgia

8. Recriminations

9. The War Revives in New Alabama

10. Seeking Refuge in West Florida

Epilogue: The Legacy of the Second Creek War




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