History of Alabama

Choctaw Native American Indian

Names of the Alabama Indian Tribes
Alabama is a state in the south-eastern U.S. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories  and homelands are located in the present day state of Alabama. The names of the Alabama tribes included the Alabama or Alibamu, Tunica - Biloxi, Cherokee Indians, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Koasati, Creek (Muskogee) and Yuchi.

Fast Facts about the History of Alabama Indians
The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Alabama resulted in the adoption of the Southeast culture.

  • Name of State: Alabama
  • Location: Alabama is a state in the south-eastern U.S.
  • Meaning of State name: From the Alibamu, the name of Muskogean tribe, meaning “those who clear land for
    agricultural purposes.”
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Alabama: Coastal plains, sandy valleys and hills
  • Culture adopted by Alabama Indians: Southeast Cultural Group
  • Languages: Muskogean
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter gatherers and hunter farmers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Asi Wattle and Daub houses

History Timeline of the Alabama Indians

  • 10,000 BC: The first indigenous people were of the Paleo-Indian culture who lived in caves or were Nomadic Hunters
  • 7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools
  • 2500 BC: Gulf Formational Period of the Southeast culture group with development of ceramics and pottery
  • 1000 AD: Woodland period with permanent houses and farming
  • 1300: Mississippian culture period of Mound builders
  • 1519: The Alabama Indians were originally from Mississippi and members of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy. The Alabama tribe first encountered Europeans when Alonso Alvarez de Pineda led an expedition to the region
  • 1528: Cabeza de Vaca visited Alabama
  • 1540: Hernando de Soto led a Spanish expedition to the area.
  • 1702: The first permanent European settlement was founded by the French at Fort Louis de la Mobile
  • 1763: Treaty of Paris - British gained control of Alabama
  • 1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution. Great Britain had to cede almost all the Alabama region to the US and Spain
  • 1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
  • 1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land
  • 1805: 1805 - 1806: (Choctaw) and northern (Chickasaw and Cherokee) Indian cessions open up land to white settlement
  • 1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence
  • 1813: Creek War (1813–1814) erupted in Alabama and Georgia. The Creek Indians were defeated by American forces led by Andrew Jackson at Talladega in 1813, at Emuckfau, in 1814, at Enotochopco in 1814 and finally at the Horseshoe Bend of the Tallapoosa River when 750 Creeks were killed or drowned, and 201 whites were killed or wounded.
  • 1830: Indian Removal Act
  • 1832: Department of Indian Affairs established
  • 1832: 1832-1839: Removal of the Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek Indians, known as the "Five Civilized Tribes" to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears
  • 1835: The Alabama gold rush
  • 1836: 1836 - 1837: The Second Creek War (Seminole War) in which Creek warriors were defeated at Hobdy's Bridge South Alabama
  • 1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War
  • 1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers
  • 1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
  • 1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers
  • 1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.
  • 1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History of Alabama Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Alabama had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history taking their toll on the Alabama Indians.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

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