This is a collection of scanned sources on Muskogee.

Some of the first words recorded in Muskogee were written by Germans in the area of Savannah, Georgia. Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck kept a notebook in 1736 in which he drew illustrations of animals, plants, and daily life, often with labels in Muskogee and Yuchi. In the illustration below, he recorded the words “Wajo” (now spelled wvyo ‘flying squirrel’), Fu-Zag-ta (fus-cahtv ‘cardinal’), and Jo-wei-ka (yowhihkv ‘bluebird’).


From Indian Territory

The first book in Muskogee was The Mvskoki Imvnaitsv / Muskokee (Creek) Assistant, written by John Fleming and published in 1834. It was followed in 1835 by a child’s book (Istutsi in naktsokv) and by a sermon and hymns:

  • Fleming, John. 1835. A Short Sermon: Also Hymns, in the Muskokee or Creek Language. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. 1 | 2 | 3

Fleming’s spelling was influenced by the work of John Pickering (1820). It used Latin upsilon (ʊ) for the “uh” sound (later simplified to “v”).

At almost the same time, the Baptist missionaries Johnston Lykins and John Davis published a translation of the Book of John:

They introduced the use of the letter “c” for the “ch” sound, used “y” for the “ay” sound (later spelled with “i”), and introduced “r” for the “thl” sound.

R. M. Loughridge and David Winslett published a popular hymnal that went through many different editions. They also published a catechism. The spelling used in these works later became the ‘standard’ spelling:

Loughridge and Winslett adapted Fleming’s practice in using “v” for the “uh” sound. They followed Lykins and Davis in using “c” for the “ch” sound and “r” for the “thl” sound. They used “i” for the “ay” sound.

H. F. Buckner and G. Herrod published a grammar and song book in 1860. Their alphabet is unusual and was not adopted by others.

  • Buckner, H. F., and G. Herrod. 1860. A Grammar of the Maskωke, or Creek Language, to Which Are Prefixed Lessons in Spelling, Reading, and Defining. Marion, Ala.: Domestic and Indian Mission Board of the Southern Baptists Convention. [This scanned version is courtesy of Special Collections Research Center, Margaret I. King Library, University of Kentucky Libraries.] PDF
  • Buckner, H. F., and G. Herrod. 1860. Mäskōke hymns. Original, collected, and revised. Marion, Ala.: Domestic and Indian Mission Board of the Southern Baptists Convention. [Sabin Americana 1500-1926]

William S. Robertson began missionary work in 1849. He wrote two primers with David Winslett, still standard sources for learning to read Muskogee:

Ann Eliza Worcester Robertson (wife of William S. Robertson) began missionary work among the Muskogee in 1850. She was responsible for translating much of the New Testament into Muskogee. In 1880 she published a hymnal:

  • Robertson, A. E. W. 1880. Mvskoke Nettvcako Cokv-Heckv Cokv Esyvhiketv. The Muskokee S. S. Song Book, from Gospel Songs and Other Collections. American Tract Society. [This version from 1959 reprint by B. Frank Belvin.] PDF in 4 parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

She also transcribed a folktale told by Taylor Postoak:

  • Postoak, Taylor. The Corn Fable / Vce Nak Onvkuce. Transcribed and translated by A. E. W. Robertson. Edited by Jack B. Martin. Illustrations by Jack B. Martin. PDF

In 1888 Albert S. Gatschet published a migration legend in Muskogee, Hitchiti, and English. He tried to write the story phonetically instead of in the usual way:

  • Gatschet, Albert S. 1888. A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians, Texts and Glossaries in Creek and Hitchiti, with a Linguistic, Historic, and Ethnographic Introduction and Commentary. Volume 2. St. Louis: Printed for the author. []

For almost a hundred years, there was only one Muskogee dictionary, first published in 1890:

During the nineteenth century, community members worked with missionaries to translate the New Testament and several books of the Old Testament:

A large number of newspaper articles were published in Muskogee in the nineteenth century. These are difficult to obtain now, but a small collection appears below:

  • [Winslett, D.] “Wewvhome svkerkuce.” Indian Journal, March 6, 1878. PDF typescript
  • Anonymous. “The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Prisoners. Siyenvlke momet Elapvhovlke Svlvfkvlke.” Indian Journal March 27, 1878, vol. 2, no. 30. PDF typescript
  • Land, Henry, Tr. “Kometv momet Enhopoyetv.” Indian Journal, April 3, 1878. PDF typescript
  • Sullivan, N. B. “Sepv Ekvnv em Mekko-Hokte Salom- / nn Mekko en Cukopericvte.” Indian Journal, June 5, 1878. PDF typescript
  • [Robertson, A. E. W.] “Perehem Hococumpv.” [Star of Bethlehem.] Indian Journal, Aug. 14, 1878. PDF typescript
  • E. Q. “Am I a Soldier of the Cross.” Indian Journal, Sept. 18, 1878, vol. 3 no. 3. PDF typescript
  • R[obertson], A. E. W. “I want to be like Jesus.” [Cesvs Omaret Komis.] Indian Journal, Feb. 12, 1880. PDF typescript
  • P[orter], J[ohn] S., Jr. [Letter from Okmulgee.] Indian Journal, April 15, 1880. PDF typescript
  • G[rayson], G[eorge] W[ashington]. 1880. “Maskoke Vrahkv.” Indian Journal, April 22, 1880. PDF typescript
  • P[erryman], L[egus] C. 1881. “Coka Mahaya.” Indian Journal, August 4, 1881. PDF typescript
  • Our Monthly. July, 1873. Volume 2, number 6. PDF typescript
  • Our Monthly. March, 1874. Volume 3, number 2. PDF typescript
  • Our Monthly. ca. 1874. PDF typescript

Government laws and policies were usually published in Muskogee and English during the nineteenth century. A few of these appear below:

Twentieth century

In 1905 a number of hymns collected by J. H. Land were published as a hymnal. A transcription of the copy at the University of Oklahoma’s Western History Collections appears below:

  • Land, J. H. 1905. Muskogee Hymns. A rare hymn book transcribed by Debra Baker, Brandon Lyle, and Roberta Thomas. PDF typescript

In the 1970s Susannah Factor and others at the Seminole Bilingual Education Project in Ada, Oklahoma produced a number of children’s books for use in schools. Some of these are presented below:

  • Davis, Lorene, Susannah Factor, and Mary Haas. Nak-cokv Yvlunkv Enhake (Seminole Phonics I). Ada: Seminole Bilingual Education Project. PDF in 5 parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
  • Davis, Lorene, and Susannah Factor. 1977. Semenole Eskerretv Cokv Semvhayetv Svhokkolat (Seminole Phonics II). Illustrations by Quannah Chuleewah. Ada: Seminole Bilingual Education Project. PDF in 5 parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
  • Factor, Susannah. 1979. Ohhonvyetv Cokv Svtutcenat. Third Grade Reading Book. Illustrations by Chester Scott. Ada: Creek-Seminole Bilingual Education Project. 1 | 2
  • Factor, Susannah. 1978. Loca, Eco Tentokorkvtes. Terrapin Race. Ada: Seminole Bilingual Education Project. PDF
  • Harjo, Edmond A. 1978. Pu-nvt-tv E-ten-hes-se (Animal Friends). Illustrated by Edmond A. Harjo. Ada: Seminole Bilingual Education Project. PDF in 3 parts: 1 | 2 | 3
  • Factor, Susannah. 1979. Reading Book for Second Grade. Ohhonvyetv Cokv. Illustrated by Chester Scott. Ada: Seminole Bilingual Education Project. PDF in 2 parts: 1 | 2
  • Factor, Susannah. 1978. Maskoke (Muskokee) Unvkuce Cokv Enhvteceskv. [Muskogee First Story Book.] Illustrations by Chester Scott. PDF