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Works of Art Inspire New Poarch Creek Indian Coins

Three works of art inspired the designs for the 2005 coins issued by the Poarch Creek Nation of Indians, sculpted by Alex Shagin. The first silver dollar is based on an 1836 painting by George Catlin that was a gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Catlin found Tchow-ee-pu-o-kaw of particular interest because her dress did not reflect the colorful Creek dress of the 1830s, which was based on European fashion, but seemed to hark back to earlier times. Her necklace of silver disks may have been a trade item.

Tchow-ee-pu-o-kaw Painting by George Catlin
Tchow-ee-pu-o-kaw 2005 Poarch Creek Indian Coin

The second silver dollar issued by the Creek Indians features Chief Menawa, as originally painted by Charles Bird King when Menawa visited Washington, D.C. in 1826 to protest the Treaty of Indian Springs. King was employed by the U.S. War Department to paint the Indian delegates visiting Washington, D.C. Sadly this, along with most of Byrd’s original oil paintings, were lost in a fire at the Smithsonian Institution. But fortunately, a copper plate was engraved based on the original painting for McKenney & Hall’s Indian Tribes of North America, Rice & Hart, Philadelphia, published in1858.

Chief Menawa Painting by Charles Bird King

Menawa, also known as Great Warrior, was a military leader of the people. Like many of the Creek leaders of his era, he was of mixed Scottish and American Indian ancestry. He was born about 1765 at the village of Oakfuskee located on or near the Tallapoosa River.
During the Creek War he was one of the principle leaders of the "Red Sticks" or Upper Creeks, who went to war against the United States during the War of 1812. Menewa was second in command at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend at the end of the Creek War. He was wounded seven time during the battle, but he escaped and survived his wounds.

Chief Menawa 2005 Poarch Creek Indian Coin

Menawa was a member of the Creek National Council that went to Washington in 1826 to oppose this treaty. The Creek leaders signed the Treaty of Washington (1826), which nullified the Treaty of Indian Springs. In this new treaty, the Creek ceeded land to Georgia—in compensation they received an immediate payment of $217,660 and a perpetual annuity of $20,000. Menewa died during the general removal of the Creek. His burial place is unknown

The 2005 Five Dollar gold coin issued by the Sovereign Nation of Poarch Creek Indians features Chief Hopothle Mico and George Washington, commemorating their meeting in New York in 1790. Mico was called the “Talassee King of the Creeks” by artist John Trumbull, who sketched him from life. Perhaps he is the same man, identified as “Tallessee Mico,” who made his x mark on June 29, 1796 on a Treaty With The Creeks: A treaty of peace and friendship made and concluded between the President of the United States of America, on the one Part, and Behalf of the said States, area the undersigned Kings, Chiefs and Warriors of the Creek Nation of Indians, on the Part of the said Nation.

Hopothle Mico Sketch by John Trumbull
Chief Hopothle Mico and George Washington Five Dollar gold 2005 Poarch Creek Indian Coin

Editions of the these 2005 Poarch Creek Indian coins are limited to 20,000 each of the Brilliant Uncirculated Tchow-ee-pu-o-kaw and Chief Menawa Silver Dollars issued at $19.95, 10,000 each of the Proof Silver Dollars at $39.95, and 2,500 of the Proof Chief Hopothle Mico and George Washington Five Dollar gold coins at $195. They are available from PandaAmerica, 3460 Torrance Blvd., Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90503; for credit card orders call (800) 472-6327. Add $5.50 per order for shipping. Limited quantities of the first year of issue 2004 Poarch Creek Indian coins are still available.

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