Chehaw Massacre remembered on bicentennial anniversary

Chehaw Massacre remembered on bicentennial anniversary
Chehaw Indians massacre happened 200 years ago (Source: WALB)
Ben Kirkland, Natural Resource Manager at Chehaw Park and Zoo, discusses the horrible event. (Source: WALB)
Ben Kirkland, Natural Resource Manager at Chehaw Park and Zoo, discusses the horrible event. (Source: WALB)
Chehaw Monument located on Private property in Leesburg, GA. (Source: WALB)
Chehaw Monument located on Private property in Leesburg, GA. (Source: WALB)

LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Monday marks the 200th anniversary of the infamous military massacre of the Chehaw Native Americans.

Historians say the Chehaw Native Americans were a friendly agriculture creek tribe that lived in South Georgia, who helped the early settlers that moved to Albany.

Chehaw Native Americans helped Andrew Jackson and his army on occasions on their route to Florida.

Unfortunately, due to some miscommunication and hatred by the Georgia militia, the tribe was wrongfully murdered on April 23, 1818.

The Georgia militia killed 24 Chehaw warriors and burned many members of the tribe to death.

Ben Kirkland, Natural Resource Manager at Chehaw Park and Zoo, believes this was one of the saddest events in South Georgia history.

"Unfortunately, it is a sad point in our history of once again the Native American people being poorly treated by colonists who mainly misunderstood and jumped to conclusions before they understood the realities of what had taken place."

Now 200 years later, the only thing left behind at the massacre site in Leesburg is a monument from 1912, which is on private property.

Even though this event isn't in our history books, the history of the Chehaw tribe lives on at Chehaw zoo every day.

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