May 16, 2021

Southern Saying Has Roots in American History

Did your parents or grandparents ever say, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise”?

Growing up in the south, this was something we heard on a regular basis but always believed that it was based on the small creeks, streams, and rivers that were prone to flooding at different times of the year.

Creek Indians once lived all over what is now Heard County. The Creek nation was very large and they held the land in west central Georgia until the Treat of Indian Springs in 1825.

After the treaty was signed, settlers quickly occupied the area with the help of land lotteries. Creek Indian uprisings during this part of our history were frequent and deadly.

Most historians attribute Benjamin Hawkins as the originator of this phrase and he did this in a letter to the President Thomas Jefferson.

Initially, Benjamin Hawkins served under George Washington as Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1796 to 1818 and was responsible for the Indian tribes south of the Ohio River. While visiting in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President to return to Washington.

In his response he wrote, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise”. Benjamin Hawkins was educated an educated and well-written man. Most historians agree that when he capitalized the “C”, he was referring to the Indians and not a source of water.

The members of the James Stewart Chapter, NSDAR, hold seven regular meetings from September to May each year and many of our chapter meetings center around the history of our country.

A service organization, our members are women 18 years and older that have proven direct lineal descent of a patriot from the American Revolution. Consider becoming a member of your local chapter. Our trained members are available to help you find your patriot.

You may contact the chapter directly at or call and speak to a chapter representative at (770) 856-3354.

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