Treaty Of Cusseta Is Signed
Although the Creeks had been forced from Georgia, with many Lower Creeks moving to the Indian Territory, there were still about 20,000 Upper Creeks living in Alabama.
However, the state moved to abolish tribal governments and extend state laws over the Creeks. Opothle Yohola appealed to the administration of President Andrew Jackson for protection from Alabama; when none was forthcoming, the Treaty of Cusseta was signed on March 24, 1832, which divided up Creek lands into individual allotments. Creeks could either sell their allotments and received funds to remove to the west, or stay in Alabama and submit to state laws. Land speculators and squatters began to defraud Creeks out of their allotments, and violence broke out, leading to the so-called "Creek War of 1836." Secretary of War Lewis Cass dispatched General Winfield Scott to end the violence by forcibly removing the Creeks to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.
The Treaty of Cusseta was one of several with the "Five Civilized Tribes", facilitated by the Indian Removal Act, that led to the deportation of native peoples in the South to the west. Between 1814 and 1830, Creek lands had been gradually ceded to the United States through treaties such as the Treaty of Fort Jackson and the Treaty of Washington (1826) until Creek territory was constrained to a strip in east central Alabama along the Georgia border.
Although treaty stipulations prohibited settlement of Creek lands, squatters moving into the territory were common and caused significant friction with tribe members. Tensions eventually resulted in a party of Creek warriors attacking and burning the town of Roanoke, Georgia. In response, federal officials met with Creek leaders in the Creek village of Cusseta (Kasihta) on the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. (Cusseta was sited on the current location of Lawson Army Airfield in Fort Benning.) The Creeks were compelled to agree to federal terms as outlined in the Treaty of Cusseta. The treaty was later signed in Washington, D.C..