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Biographies Unit Biographies

Tomochichi 1642?–1739
The Creek Chief who Helped Georgia Survive

If it was not for a Creek Indian leader named Tomochichi, a map of the United States might look very different today. Tomochichi was the chief of a Creek village in present-day Georgia. Little is known about his early life, but in order to become a chief, Tomochichi must have been a great hunter and warrior.

In 1733, James Oglethorpe founded the city of Savannah near Tomochichi's village. Oglethorpe planned to start an English colony called Georgia. Tomochichi wanted to be friendly with his new neighbors. He welcomed them and gave them permission to settle there.

Soon, Tomochichi was trading with the settlers. In exchange for giving them much-needed food, the Creeks received cloth and useful metal tools from the settlers. Tomochichi also helped the colonists to defend their colony against Spanish soldiers to the south. Without his help, it is doubtful that Georgia could have survived.

When he was in his 90s, Tomochichi went to England with his friend Oglethorpe. There, he met the English royal family. By the time Tomochichi died a few years later, Georgia had grown stronger, thanks to his friendship and help.

Comprehension Check

Name one way that Tomochichi helped the Georgia settlers.

Critical Thinking

Why do you think Tomochichi went to England with Oglethorpe?