Unburied Hatchet: The Creek Struggle for Neutrality During the American Revolution


  • Jason Herbert Wichita State University


Creek tribe, American Revolution, Creek politics, United States government, British government, warfare


British General Archibald Campbell could not have been happy. Besieged on all sides in the South by Patriot and Spanish forces, he mustered little support from his native allies, the Creek Indians. When he engaged his enemy, few Creeks were present for battle. With the American Revolution rapidly drawing to a close, Campbell experienced the ambivalence of the Creek nation in late 1781. This was especially frustrating and disappointing for British goals of keeping at least the southernmost colonies. That England was not able to ever fully recruit what James Adair referred to as "the most powerful Indian nation we are acquainted with on this continent" may have lost them South Carolina, Georgia, and East and West Florida. As John Alden later wrote, "It was a happy circumstance for the Southern states, suffering as they did from Cherokee onslaughts that the belligerent Creeks never threw their full weight into the war on the Southern frontier."1