Identifies town site locations and clarifies entries from the earliest documents and maps of explorers in Alabama.
This encyclopedic work is a listing of 398 ancient towns recorded within the present boundaries of the state of Alabama, containing basic information on each village's ethnic affiliation, time period, geographic location, descriptions, and (if any) movements. While publications dating back to 1901 have attempted to compile such a listing, none until now has so exhaustively harvested the 214 historic maps drawn between 1544, when Hernando de Soto's entourage first came through the southeastern territory, and 1846, when Indian removal to the Oklahoma Territory was complete. Wright combines the map data with a keen awareness of both previously published information and archival sources, such as colonial town lists, census information, and travel narratives.
The towns are listed alphabetically, and the text of each entry develops chronologically. While only a few of these towns have been accurately located by archaeologists, this volume provides a wealth of information for the future study of cultural geography, southeastern archaeology, and ethnohistory. It will be an enduring reference source for many years to come.
ALIBAMA TOWN (Alibama)
The Alibama consisted of several towns—Mucclassa, Tawasa, Tomopa, Koarsati (Knight 1981, 27:48). Pickett ( 1962:81) adds Ecanchati, Pawokti, and Autauga. The Alibama Town can also be added. Many maps show the Alibama as a group, but one map, 1796 Thomas and Andrews, locates the "Alabama Town"on the east bank of the Coosa just below Wetumpka.
Swanton ( 1970a:209) wrote that the Tuskegee at the Alabama forks may have been known as the "Alabama Town"; however, this is unlikely, as Major W. Blue, a removal agent, wrote in July 1835 that Coosada, Alabama Town, and Tuskegee were ready to emigrate and they all lived adjoining each other in Macon County (ASP, Military Affairs 1861,6:731).
On 6 July 1838, some twenty-seven towns, including "Alibama" (NA M234 R225), attended the Creek council held in Indian Territory. Thomas Bibb, brother to Alabama territorial govenor William Wyatt Bibb, and others, including Nashville investors, founded the town of Alabama in 1817 at Ten Mile Bluff in Montgomery County (Moser 1980-94, 4:131). The town soon disappeared into history.
Retired from Redstone Arsenal (U.S. Army Missile Command) in Huntsville, Alabama, Amos J. Wright Jr. (deceased) has been an avocational archaeologist since 1965. He is author of several research articles and The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders of the Old Southwest Frontier, 1716 to 1815. Vernon J. Knight Jr.is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at The University of Alabama and a coeditor of Archaeology of the Moundville Chiefdom.