Tukabatchee

Located on a pronounced eastward bend in the Tallapoosa River about 20 miles east of downtown Montgomery, Tukabatchee was once the major Creek town in what has now become southern Alabama.  One legend says Tukabatchee is the birthplace of the Green Corn Ceremony, a harvest ritual practiced throughout Creek and Seminole society.  Tustanagee Thlucco (Big Warrior), principal chief of the Upper Creeks in the early 1800s, lived in Tukabatchee until his death in 1826.  Opothleyahola (Good Shouting Child) was born in Tukabatchee in 1798, and eventually rose to the position of Speaker of the Chiefs.  But Tukabatchee is most remembered for a famous visit.

Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa came to Tukabatchee in 1811 to convince the Creek Nation to join their pan-tribal campaign against encroaching European society.  Tecumseh's ideas met with some support, but the combination of Big Warrior and Benjamin Hawkins, Indian Affairs agent, was successful in keeping the Creek Nation out of Tecumseh's machinations.  Tukabatchee remained a thriving town until the Treaty of Cusseta ceded all Creek lands east of the Mississippi River to the U.S. government.

In 1929, the Alabama Anthropological Society commissioned a plaque to mark the spot of what they called Tukabahchi.  That stone can be seen below.  It current sits in from of City Hall in Tallassee, but presumably it was originally placed much closer to the actual site of the town.

Old Tukabahchi marker, Tallassee, Elmore County, Alabama

This stone placed at the Great Council Tree marks the site of Tukabahchi 1686-1836

Capital of the Upper Creek Indian Nation. Here were born Efau Haujo, great medal chief, and Opothleyaholo, Creek leaders. Big Warrior resided nearby. Here came Tecumseh in 1811 to arouse the natives against the white settlers and was successfully opposed by Col. Benjamin Hawkins, principal agent for Indian Affairs south of the Ohio River. Here in 1823 Lee Compere established a Baptist mission school.
— Placed May 13, 1929 by the Alabama Anthropological Society

Old Tukabahchi marker in from of City Hall, Tallassee, Elmore County, Alabama

The Alabama Historical Association placed a modern marker honoring Tukabatchee just west of its home bend in the Tallapoosa in 2011.  The reverse side of the marker contains the exact same message as the front, but this time written in Muskogee.

Tukabatchee historical marker, Elmore County, Alabama

Tukabatchee

On this bend of the Tallapoosa River, stretching out before you, lay one of the ancient towns of the Muscogee Creek People, called Tukabatchee. Tukabatchee is one of the original four mother towns of the old Creek Confederacy. Tukabatchee served as one of the Creek Confederacy capitals in the Upper Creek region on the Tallapoosa River. In the fall of 1811, Tecumseh of Creek and Shawnee ancestry came here to his mother’s town to persuade the Nation’s warriors to adopt his ideas of rejection of the presence of American intruders and return to traditional ways. Tecumseh’s visit to Tukabatchee represents the beginning of a series of events that resulted in the Creek War. Tecumseh addressed the nation gathered here and gave his war speech where he persuaded some Upper Creek warriors to take the war walk against the intruders. The Creek Confederacy was not totally unified in this nativistic movement which led to the Creeks fighting each other causing the Creek Civil War of 1813-1814.
— Alabama Historical Association - 2011

Tukabatcee historical marker reverse side written in Muskogee, Elmore County, Alabama

Setting of the Tukabatchee historical marker, looking in the direction of the former town, Elmore County, Alabama