Friday, October 3, 2014
Ekun Duts ke Proof!
EKUN DUTS KE
I set out to prove the location of the Native American village of Ekundutske. This is how I proved the location of the village.
There are records that claim Ekundutske was a village in what is now Montgomery County located in Alabama. It was said that this was a theory and the exact location of the village was unknown. This publication was in 1920.
How did I get started with this task of locating the village here it being 2014 nearly 100 years after the last known claim to where the village was located? I was looking at an old Alabama Geological map of Clay County in 1926 and saw that a ridge ran through our property that I had never seen named before called Sandutskee Ridge. To me this sounded like a Native American name. I asked a man that I knew who claimed to know the Creek Indian language about this word and he responded that it meant “boundary line” or “dividing line”. He said it should be spelled differently. Immediately, I knew why it was called Ekundutske because I had recently mapped out the watershed on our property dividing the Coosa River and the Tallapoosa River. This was the dividing line the Native Americans had referred to. They used the waterways for travel and this line was important to them. I then started doing research on this village. This is how I found the article about the thought that the village was in Montgomery County.
Ekun was the native language and to the Europeans it sounded in their language like San. That is how it ended up Sandutskee Ridge.
I was visiting with a friend and told him about my findings and he owned property near the railroad track and at this point on the railroad it was called Dutskee. This point is at the highest elevation on the track between Birmingham, Alabama and Manchester, Georgia. My friend responded that he had always wondered why this place was called Dutske.
In 1831, the removal of the Native Americans was taking place ”The Trail of Tears”. There were Congressional Records being recorded about this removal. They listed all the villages with the Heads of Households and how many was in each family as they were rounded up to make this horrible journey to Oklahoma. These records showed that after the village of Ekundutske was recorded that the next village recorded was Hillabee. These people at Ekundutske were probably part of the Hillabee Clan. Many of the recorded names are similar. Because these two villages were recorded back to back made me know the village was here and that a village in Montgomery County would not just get inserted at this point because other villages recorded were also in this area.
I knew where the village of Ekundutske was and now I had to try to prove it. I used the internet that was not available in 1920 but was now at my fingertips. My proof came in the way of a newspaper printed in 1839 and 1840 in Washington D.C. The newspaper was the Washington Globe. The paper had listed the property being given to the people to make this a part of the new America as the Old World was passing away. The paper listed the village name and it gave the section, township and range of this property. And now you guessed it, it was all in Clay County Alabama on the dividing line of the Coosa River and the Tallapoosa River Watershed. The Native American Village of Ekun duts ke has been found!
These people probably fought in Talladega against Andrew Jackson alongside the other Hillabees in 1813 as General Jackson headed to Horseshoe Bend. They were trying to make peace with General Jackson after the Battle of Talladega but General White coming down from Tennessee to meet General Jackson did not get the communication and this village was probably part of the Hillabee Massacre that General White was responsible for. This was a sad day because the Native Americans came out in peace and the soldiers started shooting them down.
Old-timers here in Clay County tell of a place that they used to find cannon balls and this place is located on the dividing line.