MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

August 4, 2013

Growing season gave Green Peach War its name

In 1882, Creek leader Isparhecher was serving as a judge of the Okmulgee District and Sam Checote was principal chief. The two men belonged to opposite parties within Creek politics, and they frequently clashed with each other on national issues.

Accused of “sedition” by the Creek legislature, Isparhecher was impeached and removed from office. Embarrassed and outraged, he gathered about 350 followers and set up a camp near Nuyaka. He established a quasi government, declared himself chief, and created a lighthorse military division, issuing arms and munitions.

Pleasant Porter, who had been representing the Creek Nation in Washington, was called home to help quell this insurrection. Porter had military experience from the Civil War and had served as the commander of the Creek Lighthorsemen.

Citizens of Muskogee and the Three Forks region were naturally concerned about this conflict among the Creeks. It became known as the “Green Peach War” because it came to a head when the peaches were still green in the Creek Nation orchards.

Porter gathered a force of 700 men and worked to arrest Isparhecher’s followers. In March 1883, Porter was leaving Fort Gibson when he spotted one of the leaders of the insurrection, Sleeping Rabbit, with about 25 men. Porter quickly gathered a posse of Lighthorsemen and began to canvass the area around Muskogee. They eventually captured most of the men and took them to the fort.

Porter drove Isparhecher and most of his remaining followers out of the Creek Nation westward into the Sac and Fox Nation. Having no authority to pursue them outside the Creek Nation, the issue was turned over to the U.S. military.

Four companies of the 9th Cavalry, an African-American division, were called from Fort Sill and Fort Reno to Fort Gibson. Troopers from the 9th escorted prisoners taken from the Sac and Fox area to Fort Gibson. One company remained at Fort Gibson for a time to help maintain the peace.

Later that summer Gen. Clinton Fisk, who was serving as the head of the Board of Indian Commissioners, came to Muskogee to negotiate a peace treaty between the Isparhecher and Checote parties. It took a week for all of the parties to express their grievances and come to an agreement for ending the conflict. A treaty was signed and a service to commemorate the event took place at the Rock Church in Muskogee.

Both Isparhecher and Pleasant Porter would later serve as chief of the Creek Nation. Isparhecher was elected in 1895 at the beginning of negotiations with the Dawes Commission over the allotment treaty.

Porter was elected the principal chief of the Creek Nation in 1899 and re-elected in 1903. By this time, however, the position was mostly figurative with little real power, as the Dawes Commission and the Curtis Act had stripped the Indian tribes of their sovereignty.

Reach Jonita Mullins at jonita.mullins@gmail.com

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