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 • Escambia County
 • Alabama
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Chief Calvin W McGhee
Birth: 1903
Poarch
Escambia County
Alabama, USA
Death: 1970
Poarch
Escambia County
Alabama, USA

Chief Calvin W. McGhee named to Atmore Hall of Fame and the Alabama Hall of Fame

Chief Calvin W. McGhee (1903-1970) - Government leader

A poor dirt farmer, Calvin McGhee, in the 1940s, started the Poarch Creek Indians' movement for a better life. Chief McGhee's first recorded action was to protest the second-class status of the Creeks, especially in education. In l947, he demanded equal education from the Escambia County School Board for the Poarch tribe, and it was soon granted.

Later, Chief McGhee led the fight for proper recognition of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians by the Federal Government. This began in l962 with an ambitious lawsuit to get payment for lands taken from their Creek ancestors. Chief McGhee and the Creeks won the suit, and in 1972, the Indian Claims Commission paid $3.9 million, or about 23 cents an acre, for the land taken by the Federal Government from the Creeks under an 1814 treaty. Checks were then sent to more than 7,000 Creek descendants. Under Chief McGhee's leadership, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians expanded their influence, and through his organized efforts, improved the social and economic situation of the Poarch Creeks.

Chief McGhee set the stage for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians being acknowledged in 1984 by the U.S. Government as an "Indian Tribe" and a sovereign nation, leading to the establishment of government-to-government relations. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only Federally recognized tribe in Alabama and the only native American tribe to be recognized east of the Mississippi River.

The Eastern Band of the Creek Indian Nation Poarch-Hedapadea Land Grant Atmore, Alabama. Shown in the group photograph at right are Chief Calvin W. McGhee, Medicine Man McGhee, sub-chief Thundercloud, Brave Nighthawk, Princess morning star, with maidens silver moon and evening star.

The Creek (Muscogee) Indians of Alabama live on a land grant given their ancestors by Gen. Andrew Jackson. Lynn McGhee, a part-Indian scout, saved Gen. Jackson's life at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, when Jackson took the land of the friendly Creeks who had fought with him against the "Red Sticks" or hostile Creeks. The land grant is to be theirs "as long as the grass growth and the water runneth".

The Eastern Band of the Creek Indian nation has two colorful ceremonial dance groups; one group was led by the late Hubert L Rackard (1966-1984), whose memorial is shown as being buried at the New Home Indian Cemetery, along with Chief McGhee.

Sources:
Atmore News, October 2006
"A Tribute to a Great American - Chief Calvin W. McGhee, Chief of the Creek Nation East of the Mississippi." 1974, by Mary Joyce Mcghee
"The Rise of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians," Lou Vickery, 2/3/2010, Alabama, Atmore Magazine
"Getting Recognized," by Wade Black and Robert Thrower, 1996, the Center for Public Television
Historical Archives of the Escambia County Historical Society

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Lee McGhee (1869 - 1943)
  Ida Rolin McGhee (1875 - 1971)
 
 Spouse:
  Mary Joyce Ingram McGhee (1905 - 1975)*
 
 Children:
  Curtis Edward McGhee (1930 - 1990)*
  Julius Franklin McGhee (1933 - 1993)*
  Houston Lee McGhee (1937 - 2012)*
 
 Sibling:
  Calvin W McGhee (1903 - 1970)
  Greley M McGhee (1915 - 1993)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
New Home Indian Cemetery
Poarch
Escambia County
Alabama, USA
 
Maintained by: STAFA
Originally Created by: Darryl Searcy
Record added: Feb 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65845034
Chief Calvin W McGhee
Added by: Darryl Searcy
 
Chief Calvin W McGhee
Added by: Darryl Searcy
 
Chief Calvin W McGhee
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Claire
 
 
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