Tomochichi Facts

Tomochichi Facts
Tomochichi was the head chief of the Yamacraw Indians beginning in 1728. He is most notable in Georgia's history for helping the English establish a settlement in Savannah, and for his contributions to the success of Georgia's colony. While a lot is known about his early life, it is known that he created the Yamacraw tribe after the Yamasee and Creek Native American tribes disagreed over their relationships with the Spanish and English settlers. Tomochichi established his tribe on the edge of the Savannah River. As the English settlers and traders began to arrive, Tomochichi proved to be invaluable, and is considered to be an important historic figure in Georgia's establishment as a colony.
Interesting Tomochichi Facts:
It is believed that Tomochichi was born in 1644, in the area of present-day Savannah, Georgia.
Tomochichi was a Creek Indian but later established his own tribe.
Tomochichi found it necessary to create his tribe the Yamacraw because the Creek and Yamasee Indians in his area could not agree on how to deal with the incoming settlers.
Tomochichi believed that it would be a good idea to establish good relations with the English settlers, and along with 200 other Native Americans from the Creek and Yamasee tribes, he started the Yamacraw tribe.
Tomochichi established his Yamacraw tribe in 1729 along the Savannah, hoping to take advantage of English traders in the region.
Tomochichi had already dealt with English settlers, and chose to develop a good relationship that would benefit both groups.
General James Oglethorpe and his group of settlers arrived in the area in 1733.
Oglethorpe's interpreter was Mary Musgrove. Her father was English and her mother was Creek.
Mary Musgrove was the interpreter between Tomochichi and Oglethorpe.
Tomochichi helped the English establish Savannah, Georgia. He worked as a mediator and gave a lot of assistance to ensure their success.
Tomochichi (along with some family members and Creek tribesman) traveled to England with Oglethorpe, to act as mediator on behalf of his tribe. He made demands for fair trade and education.
Tomochichi returned to Georgia, and he reassured his tribe that the intentions of the English were honorable.
When Tomochichi requested Christian education for the Yamacraw tribe, Benjamin Ingham helped him to establish a school.
The school opened at Irene, in 1736, and Tomochichi is credited with being a major part in its establishment.
In 1736 Tomochichi helped Oglethorpe determine Georgia's southern boundaries. He also mediated relations between the English and Spanish and helped to keep the peace while the boundaries were being established.
Tomochichi became ill in 1739, and died on October 5th, 1739, in his village.
Nobody knows Tomochichi's exact age, but if he was indeed born in 1644 he would have been in his mid-90s.
Because of Tomochichi's important contributions to the establishment of the colony of Georgia, he received a military funeral in traditional English style.
Tomochichi's gravesite was marked with a 'Pyramid of Stone'. In the 1880s the original grave stones were replaced with a large granite boulder, along with a copper plate to commemorate the Yamacraw chief.


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