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Today in Georgia History
is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.

October 5

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Tomochichi

October 5, 1739 - Savannah

When James Oglethorpe and the English colonists arrived in Georgia in 1733, Tomochichi was here to greet them.  It was his artful diplomacy between the English settlers and the native population that ensured Georgia's peaceful beginnings. 

Tomochichi was chief of the Yamacraw tribe, which he created from a group of Creek and Yamasee natives. They settled on the bluff overlooking the Savannah River, where Tomochichi's ancestors were buried.

During Georgia's first five years, Tomochichi set up trade and diplomatic connections between the English and the Creeks. He traveled with Oglethorpe to England to lobby in person for fair trade and the rights of his people.  When he returned, he assured the Creeks that the Georgians would make good allies.

Tomochichi died in his late 90s and was buried beneath a pyramid of stones in what became Wright Square in Savannah.  One hundred and fifty years later, Savannah replaced the stones with the granite monument that now honors Tomochichi and serves as a reminder that the first Georgia colonists had no better friend than the great Yamacraw chieftain who died on October 5, 1739, Today in Georgia History.