Tomochichi (ca. 1644-1739)
From the GHS Print Collection
The help Tomochichi’s provided the young Georgia colony cannot be overstated. Though little is known of his young life, Tomochichi met General James Oglethorpe and half-Creek translator Mary Musgrove in 1733. Tomochichi and Oglethorpe crafted an agreement that allowed Oglethorpe to establish Savannah and allowed Tomochichi to benefit from trade with the colonists.
Along with helping Oglethorpe establish the new English settlement, Tomochichi also accompanied the general to England along with members of Tomochichi’s family and Lower Creek tribesmen. Tomochichi proved to be an efficient spokesman for his people, and upon his return to Savannah convinced Lower Creek Chieftains to ally themselves with the English.
Tomochichi continued working with Oglethorpe when an illness forced him to stay home while Oglethorpe traveled deep into Indian territory. Tomochichi also oversaw the development of an Indian school, helped by a friend of John and Charles Wesley named Benjamin Ingham. When Tomochichi died in his late nineties, he was given an English military funeral. His final resting place was moved in the early 1800s, and a granite boulder replaced the stone pyramid over his graver. A copper plate was added in 1899 during a dedication ceremony. Most recently, the Georgia Historical Commission placed a marker in Wright Square, detailing Tomochichi’s many accomplishments.
Charles C. Jones Jr., Historical Sketch of Tomo-Chi-Chi, Mico of the Yamacraws (Albany, N.Y.: J. Munsell, 1868).
Helen Todd, Tomochichi: Indian Friend of the Georgia Colony (Atlanta: Cherokee Publishing, 1977).
From the GHS Collection:
Main Collection: Negotiating for Georgia : British-Creek relations in the trustee era, 1733-1752 / Julie Anne Sweet, E99.C9 S94 2005; Tombo-Chiqui, or, The American savage : a dramatic entertainment in three acts, PR3348.C65 T6 1758x; Tomo-chi-chi / by Sara Gordon Harrell, E99.C9 T653; Tomo-chi-chi : gentle warrior / Sara H. Banks ; illustrated by Catharine E. Varnedoe, F289.T6560 B35 1992; Tomochichi Indian friend of the Georgia Colony / by Helen Todd, F289 .T6560; Antiquities of the southern Indians, particularly of the Georgia tribes by Charles C. Jones, Jr. E78.G3 J6 1972.
Manuscript Collection: Chekilli speech, 1735, MS 143; Gentleman's Magazine and Thomas Lediard articles on Georgia history, 1732-1734, MS 1038
Rare: Dedication of the memorial to Tomochichi ; Laying the corner stone of the Whitefield Memorial Chapel at Bethesda / two addressess by Walter Glasco Charlton, F294.S2 C475 1917; Historical sketch of Tomo-chi-chi, mico of the Yamacraws / by Charles C. Jones, Jr, F289.T6560 J65 1868; Antiquities of the southern Indians, particularly of the Georgia tribes by Charles C. Jones, Jr. E78.G3 J6 1873.