James Hill


In 1792, Okillissa Chupka, the mekko or headman of the town of Coweta Hitchiti, sent a message to Spanish King Carlos IV. Decyring Spanish officials' recent intereference in Coweta diplomacy, he asserted that "the Land we live in is our own & we are determined to have whom we wish in it." Statements like Okillissa Chupka's are not rare or uncommon in the documentary record. Indigenous leaders maintained the right to control who entered, left, or resided in their territory. All too frequently, scholars of Florida history have ignored the sovereign claims of Indigenous polities. However, Okillissa Chupka was one of a chorus of Indigenous leaders that boldly asserted and physically enacted their territorial claims to Florida throughout the eighteenth century.

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