By Howard Thomas Foster II, Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund, Lisa D. O'Steen
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Additional resources for Archaeology of the Lower Muskogee Creek Indians, 1715-1836
The renowned botanist William Bartram, who traveled among and wrote about Creek Indians during the 1770s, was astute in his observations of plants used and grown by the Indians. He observed that the Creek people grew corn, rice, sweet potatoes, beans, squash, and watermelons (Waselkov and Braund 1995:165). Benjamin Hawkins noted a dependence on similar produce 20 years later, in 1796 (Foster 2003a:21). Some Indians had begun growing Europeanintroduced foods like rice, but the main diet for the majority of people came from native products such as corn and beans.
These plots were located in the river ®oodplains immediately adjacent to the town during the Historic Period. However, there is some evidence that some Southeastern Indians in the very late Historic Period (1800–1836) were abandoning river bottom settlements and “settling out” into the uplands for a variety of reasons (Waselkov 1997), but the degree of this change in settlement has not been quanti¤ed over space or time. For example, we do not know if this change was stimulated by individuals who began ranching in the late nineteenth century, by population growth, or by environmental variables, or if it was a normal shifting of population.
Since most 12 / Foster censuses did not enumerate all individuals, it is not possible to specify statistics on sex ratio over time. However, the 1832 Creek Indian census enumerated the number of males, females, and slaves in each household for every town and village in the Upper and Lower Creek region. While the Creek Indian economy and household structure may have changed over the eighteenth century (Ethridge 2003; Saunt 1999), the census is useful for its quantitative detail. While not as detailed as the 1832 censuses, a census in 1725 by Captain Glover also enumerated males, females, and children and is useful for comparison (Feest 1974).