|Welcome to Florida's Hometown!
by Dale Cox
|Copyright 2009 by Dale Cox
All Rights Reserved
Less than 10 miles southeast of Two Egg is
the site of a little known reservation created
by the U.S. Government for a band of Lower
Econchattimico, a title that translates roughly
to "Red Ground King," was an elderly chief
who by the time of the 1823 signing of the
Treaty of Moultrie Creek had lived most of his
life on the lower Chattahoochee River. He
was the nephew of an important chief of the
18th century who had been known to the
whites as "the Bully," because of his skills as
a trader and business negotiator.
Of mixed Spanish and Creek ancestry, "the
Bully" was the leader of an important village
named Ekanachatte ("Red Ground") that
once stood at today's Neal's Landing Park in
northeastern Jackson County. A strong ally of
the British during the American Revolution,
"the Bully" was noted as one of the wealthiest
men in the Creek Nation. When he died at
some point prior to 1813, the leadership of
his village passed in the Creek way to the
oldest son of his oldest sister, his nephew
Just as had been the case with his uncle,
Econchattimico was strongly attached to the
English. When British forces arrived on the
Apalachicola River during the War of 1812,
he allied himself and his warriors with them.
He also took in many refugees who fled from
the Creek towns in Alabama as a result of
Andrew Jackson's victory in the Creek War of
Although he was not identified by name,
circumstantial evidence indicates that the
chief may have been one of the Creek and
Seminole leaders carried to New Orleans by
the British to witness their expected victory
over the American army defending the city.
Instead they saw the disastrous defeat of
their British allies by Andrew Jackson.
In 1817, Econchattimico joined yet another
war against the United States, the First
Seminole War of 1817-1818. His town at
Neal's Landing was attacked and destroyed
by two regiments of Creek warriors who had
volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army. Led by
Brigadier General William McIntosh, the
mixed-race war chief of Coweta, the U.S.
force attacked Ekanachatte on March 13,
1818. By the time the fighting was over, two
dozen of Econchattimico's warriors were
dead, 130 of his women and children had
been taken prisoner and his town was in
flames. The event is known today as the
Battle of Ekanachatte.
Econchattimico was among those who
escaped. He and a handful of his men were
hiding cattle on the Chipola River when the
town was attacked. They returned to find the
village in ashes and many of its residents
either dead or carried away.
After the First Seminole War ended later that
spring, Econchattimico moved the survivors
of his band downriver to a site just about nine
miles southeast of Two Egg. There, on the
hills on the west side of the Chattahoochee
River, they cleared fields and built new
homes. Slowly the band recovered from the
ravages of war. The new town was called
On September 16, 1823, the chief was one of
the Creek and Seminole leaders on hand at
Moultrie Creek near St. Augustine for talks
that led to the signing of the Treaty of Moultrie
Creek. The agreement established a reserve
for the old chief and his followers:
The site of Econchattimico's Town is now
covered by Lake Seminole.
...For Econchatimico, a reservation,
commencing on the Chattahoochee, one
mile below Econchatimico's house; thence
up said river, for four miles; thence one mile
west; thence southerly, to a point one mile
west of the beginning; thence east to the
beginning point. The United States promise
to guarantee the peaceable possession of
the said reservations...so long as they shall
continue to occupy, improve, or cultivate the
It took only 10 years for the United States to
break its promise to Econchattimico and his
people. In 1833, under the terms of the Treaty
of Pope's Store (an early name for today's
town of Sneads), the Indians were forced to
give up one square mile of their reservation.
The government secured their agreement by
promising to "permanently" deed them
ownership of the remaining three sections.
"Permanently," in this case, meant 5 years. In
1838, Econchattimico and his followers were
forcibly removed from their lands by a force of
soldiers led by Colonel Zachary Taylor, a
future president of the United States. The
population of the reservation at that time was
a mere 81 men, women and children.
A visiting French nobleman, the Comte de
Castlenau, saw Econchattimico not long
before his removal on the Trail of Tears and
described him as an old man, "bent with
age," who has been punished for adultery by
having his nose and both ears cropped.
The trip west to what is now Oklahoma was a
major ordeal for the Indians, almost all of
whom had lived their entire lives in what is
now Jackson County. Daniel Boyd, who
supervised their long journey, described
them as sick, cold and hungry:
They have suffered very much from sickness.
Six have died since we left Chattahoochee
and more than twenty are now upon the sick
list. The weather has been unusually cold for
the season, which has no doubt increased
the number of invalids.
The chief and his surviving followers reached
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, in January of 1839.
Twenty-two years later, many of the young
men who had taken part in the journey fought
for the Confederate Army, outraged that the
U.S. Government had still not paid them for
their stolen homes despite promises to do
Much of the site of Econchattimico's Reserva-
tion is now beneath Lake Seminole, but
some portions remain on dry land along the
northern edge of the Apalachee Wildlife
Management Area on River Road.