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Coins

Item ID: 6822

Poarch Creek Indians 2006 Chief Tomochichi Silver Dollar Proof Coin
Price: $59.00
Chief Tomochichi (c. 1644-1739) is shown on the 2006 Proof Silver Dollar issued by the Poarch Creek Nation, along with his nephew Toonahowi, who later became his successor. Tomochichi contributed much to the establishment of peaceful relations between the native Georgia population and the new English settlers, led by General James Oglethorpe. About 1728 Tomochichi created his own tribe of the Yamacraws from an assortment of Creek and Yamasee Indians after the two nations disagreed over future relations with the English and the Spanish. His group, approximately two hundred people, settled on the bluffs of the Savannah River because the location was the resting place of his ancestors and had close proximity to English traders. When General James Oglethorpe and his fellow settlers reached the region in February 1733, they realized the need to negotiate fairly with the neighboring Indian tribes or risk the success of their enterprise. Among Oglethorpe's entourage was Mary Musgrove, daughter of a Creek mother and an English father, who served as interpreter between the general and the chief. Tomochichi had had previous contact with English colonists, making him unafraid yet cautious. The aging warrior had several different options available, but he decided to receive the new arrivals and to give them permission to establish Savannah in order to take advantage of trading and diplomatic connections. During the first five years of English settlement, Tomochichi provided invaluable assistance to the new colony. One year after Oglethorpe's arrival, the Indian chief accompanied him back to England along with a small delegation of family and Lower Creek tribesmen. There, Tomochichi expertly fulfilled the position as mediator for his people during numerous meetings with important English dignitaries. He politely followed English mannerisms in his public appearances while pushing for recognition and realization of the demands of his people for education and fair trade. Tomochichi died on October 5, 1739, when he was in his late nineties. His contributions to the colony of Georgia were celebrated with an English military funeral, and the grave site was commemorated with a marker of "a Pyramid of Stone" collected from the vicinity. He left his wife Senauki and his nephew Toonahowi in charge of his tribe.

 

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