The inhabitants of the New World at the time of its discovery, by mistake called Indians, were barbarians, lived in rude, frail houses, and used weapons and implements inferior to those of the whites. The Indian tribes of eastern North America are mostly divided into three great groups: Muskhogean, Iroquoian, and Algonquian.
In their government these Muskhogean tribes appear to have attained a position corresponding to their somewhat advanced culture in other respects. Yet their confederacies were loose and flimsy compared with that of the Five Nations. Another phase of the life of the tribes in the southern part of the region of deciduous forests is illustrated by the Natchez of Mississippi.
Their men were brave and honest but lacking in energy. In the Muskhogean family of Indians, comprising the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles, who occupied the Gulf States from Georgia to Mississippi, all the tribes were agricultural and sedentary and occupied villages of substantial houses.