Taken from Pickett's History of Alabama

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* Sejour dans la nation Creck, par Le Clerc Milfort, pp. 240, 252,
   21&, 219.

   When the Creeks returned from war with captives, they marched into
   their town with shouts and the firing of guns. They stripped them
   naked and put on their feet bear-skins moccasins, with the hair
   exposed. The punishment was always left to the women, who examined
   their bodies for the their war-marks. Sometimes the young warriors who
   had none of these honorable inscriptions were released and used as
   slaves. But the warrior of middle age, even those of advanced years,
   suffered death by fire. The victim's arms were pinoned, and one end of
   a strong grape vine tied around his neck, while the other was fastened
   to the top of a war-pole, so as to allow him to track around a circle
   of fifteen yards. To secure his scalp against fire, tough clay was
   placed upon his head. The immense throng of spectators were now filled
   with delight, and eager to witness the inhuman spectacle. The
   suffering warrior was not dismayed, but, with a manly and insulting
   voice, sang the war-song. The women then made a furious onset with
   flaming torches, dripping with hot black pitch, and applied them to
   his back, and all parts of his body. Suffering excruciating pain, he
   rushed from the pole with the fury of a wild beast, kicking, biting
   and trampling his cruel assailants under foot. But fresh numbers came
   on, and after a long time, and when he was nearly burned to his
   vitals, they ceased and poured water upon him to relieve him -- only
   to prolong their sport. They renewed their tortures, when with
   champing teeth and sparkling eye-balls, he once more broke through the
   demon throng to the extent of his rope, and acted every part that the
   deepest desparation could prompt. Then he died. His head was scalped,
   his body quartered, and the limbs carried over the town in triumph.*

   * Adair, pp. 390-391.

   1798: An enumeration of the towns found in the Creek nation by Col.
   Hawkins, in 1798, will conclude the notice of the manners and customs
   of these remarkable people, though, hereafter, they will often be
   mentioned, in reference to their commerce and wars with the Americans.
1792: The most populous settlement, with the exception of Mobile, was
   upon the Tensaw river and lake of that name. It was composed of both
   whigs and royalists. The latter had been driven from Georgia and the
   Carolinas. Added to these, were men, sui generis, appropriately called
   old Indian countrymen, who had spent much of their lives in Indian
   commerce. The most conspicuous and wealthy inhabitant of this
   neighborhood was Captain John Linder, a native of the Canton of Berne,
   in Switzerland. He resided many years in Charleston, as a British
   engineer and surveyor. There General McGillivray became acquainted
   with him, and, during the revolution, assisted in bringing here his
   family and large negro property.

   In February, 1791, a party of emigrants, consisting of Colonel Thomas
   Kimbil, John Barnett, Robert Sheffield, Barton Hannon, and ---
   Mounger, with a wife and children, three of whom were grown, set out
   from Georgia for the Tombigby. Entering the Creek nation, one of the
   children was injured by a fall, which compelled the elder Mounger and
   his younger family to stop upon the trail. They were afterwards robbed
   by the Indians of everything they possessed, and had to make their way
   back to Georgia on foot. The three young Moungers, and the other
   emigrants, continued to the Tensaw, passing the creeks and rivers upon
   rafts. They found upon their arrival at Tensaw, the Halls, Byrnes,
   Mims, Kilcreas, Steadhams, Easlies, Linders and others. Crossing the
   Alabama and Tombigby upon rafts, they found residing below McIntosh
   Bluff, the Bates, Lawrences and Powells. Above there, on the Tombigby,
   they discovered the Danleys, Wheets, Johnsons, McGrews, Hockets,
   Freelands, Talleys and Bakers. Among these few people, Colonel Kimbil
   and his little party established themselves, and began the cultivation
   of the soil with their horses, upon the backs of which they had
   brought a few axes and ploughs.

   The garrison at St. Stephens was composed of one company, commanded by
   Captain Fernando Lisoro. The block house, the residence of the
   commandant, and the church, were good buildings, of frame-work, clay
   and plaster. The other houses were small, and covered with cypress
   bark. All the inhabitants of this place, and of the country, were
   required to labor so many days upon the public works, to take the oath
   of allegiance, and to assist in repelling the depredations of the
   Creeks, who stole horses and other property. 1792: Some French farmers
   also lived upon this river, who dwelt in houses made almost entirely
   of clay, while those of the Americans were constructed of small poles,
   in the rudest manner. They all cultivated indigo, which was worth two
   dollars and fifty cents per pound. The burning of tar engaged much of
   the time of the Spaniards, still lower down.

   1792: Upon Little river, dividing the modern counties of Baldwin and
   Monroe, lived many intelligent and wealthy people, whose blood was a
   mixture of white and Indian. This colony was formed at an early
   period, for the benefit of their large stocks of cattle, for the wild
   grass and cane were here never killed by the frost. A most remarkable
   woman, a sister of General McGillivray, lived occasionally among these
   people. Sophia McGillivray, a maiden beautiful in all respects, was
   living at her native place, upon the Coosa, when Benjamin Durant, a
   man of Huguenot blood, came from South Carolina, to her mother's
   house. A youth of astonishing strength and activity, he had mastered
   all who opposed him at home. Being informed by the traders that a man
   in the Creek nation was his superior, he immediately set out for that
   region, to which he had long before been inclined to go. He was
   handsome, his complexion was almost as brown as that of the pretty,
   dark-eyed Sophia. She went with him to the Hickory Ground, only a few
   miles distant, where many Indians collected, to see the antagonists
   meet. They encountered each other, and a tremendous fight ensued.
   Durant felled his antagonists to the ground, where he lay, for a time,
   insensible. The conqueror was proclaimed the champion of the nation.
   He soon married Sophia, and went to reside upon one of the estates of
   her father, the wealthy Lachlan McGillivray, situated upon the
   Savannah river. During the seige of Savannah, she was there with her
   father, her husband and her little boy Lachlan Durant, who is now
   favorably known to many of our modern citizens, and is yet a resident
   of Baldwin county. When the city was surrendered to the Americans, she
   parted from her father, amid a flood of of tears, and set out for her
   native Coosa, while he, as we have seen, sailed with his British
   friends to Scotland.

   Sophie Durant had an air of authority about her, equal, if not
   superior, to that of her brother, Alexander. She was much better
   acquainted witht the Indian tongue, for he had long lived out of the
   nation. When, therefore, he held councils in the vicinity of her
   residence, she was accustomed to deliver his sentiments in a set
   speech, to which the Chiefs listened with delight. Her husband became
   a wealthy man, and "Durant's Bend," * and other places upon the
   Alabama, still preserve his memory. In the summer of 1790, while
   McGillivray was at New York, the Creeks threatened to descend upon the
   Tensaw settlers and put the whole of them to death. Mrs. Durant
   mounted a horse, with a negro woman upon another, and set out from
   Little river, camped out at night, and, on the fourth day, arrived at
   the Hickory Ground, where she assembled the Chiefs, threatened them
   with the vengeance of her brother upon his return, which caused the
   arrest of the ringleaders, and put a complete stop to their murderous
   intentions. Two weeks afterwards, this energetic and gifted woman was
   delivered of twins, at the Hickory Ground. 1792: One of them married
   James Bailey, who was killed at the fall of Fort Mims, in 1813, and
   the other lived to be an old woman. At a later period Mrs. Durant will
   again appear in this history.

   * The most remarkable bend upon the Alabama, embracing a large tract
   of land lying between Montgomery and Selma, formerly the property of
   the late Honorable William Smith, and now owned by John Steele, of
   Autauga. It was cultivated by Benjamin Durant as early as 1786.

   The territory of the present county of Montgomery contained a few
   white inhabitants in 1792. Among others, there was a white woman, who
   had lived with her husband at Savannah. He was there a foot soldier in
   one of the British regiments, but deserted from the army, when she
   fled with him to the Chattahoochie. He died at Cusseta, and his bold
   and adventurous wife continued to wander through the Creek nation, and
   finally settled in the territory of the present county of Montgomery,
   upon the eastern side of a creek, which still bears her name, for she
   was called by no other than that of "Milly." Here, among the Cuwalla
   Indians, she established herself, without husband, father, children,
   or even a single friend. Espousing one of the sons of the forest, she
   soon began to have comforts around her. Her stock of cattle became
   large, to which was added in a few years, a large drove of ponies. For
   many years Milly lived alone upon this creek. The trading path leading
   from Pensacola to Tookabatcha passed by her house. But, at the period
   of 1792, her solitary hours were agreeably relieved by the prattle of
   a little white girl. In 1790, a party of Creeks advanced to the
   Georgia frontiers, and, surrounding the house of one Scarlett, killed
   him and his wife and children. A little girl, named Tempey Ellis,
   about eight years old, the child of a neighbor, was in the house at
   the time, and, when the attack was made, she concealed herself under
   the bed. After all the family lay upon the floor, in the sleep of
   death, a warrior discovered Tempey Ellis, and, dragging her out by the
   hair, raised his hatchet to kill her; but, reflecting that he could
   possibly obtain a handsome sum for her ransom, he placed her on his
   horse and carried her to Auttose, on the Tallapoosa. Here she was
   often beaten, and made to bring water from the springs. 1792: One day
   Milly heard that the Auttoses had a white girl in slavery. She
   immediately mounted her pony, rode to Auttose, paid ten ponies and six
   head of cattle for Tempey, and the next day carried this unfortunate
   child to her house. For several years she acted the part of a most
   affectionate mother. Subsequently the child was delivered to Seagrove,
   the Creek Agent, at St. Mary's, and was sent from thence to her
   friends in Georgia. Old Milly was exceedingly attached to Tempey, and
   gave her up with great reluctance.*

   * I have conversed with Tempey Ellis. She is now a respectable old
   woman, the wife of Mr. Thomas Frizell, residing in Pike county,

   Near the prairies, within a few miles of this solitary woman, lived
   William Gregory, a native of one of the States, who had resided for
   years among the Indians. He was now a stockkeeper, and lived in a
   cabin, which contained his Indian family. As far as the eye could
   reach over the beautiful and gently rolling plains his cattle and
   horses fed, undisturbed by man or beast. It is said that William
   Gregory was a kind-hearted man, who fed the wanderer "without money
   and without price," and who, even in a lawless land, possessed a heart
   which prompted him to be honest.

   In 1785 came also into this neighborhood a Jew, named Abram Mordecai,
   a native of Pennsylvania, and who established a trading house at the
   spot where now stands the house of Mrs. Birch, two miles west of Line
   Creek. Here also lived James Russell, another trader, who, being a
   tory, had sought this place to be rid of whig persecution. A tory,
   named Love, and Dargan, a Dutchman and notorious horse thief, lived
   near the site of Mount Megs, where they carried on a small commerce.
   All these traders had Indian wives except Mordecai, whose faithful
   spouse was Indian considerably darkened with the blood of Ham.

   At Econchate, Red Ground, now embracing the southern suburbs of the
   city of Montgomery, lived several white traders. Charles Weatherford
   established a trading house upon the first eastern bluff below the
   confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, and laid out the first
   race-paths ever known in East Alabama. Often would the noted horse
   thief, fresh from the frontiers of Georgia, here for the first time
   try the speed of his stolen ponies.

   1792: The most blood-thirsty, fiendish and cruel white man that ever
   inhabited any country was Savannah Jack, or, as he was universally
   called by this outlawed world, "Savaner Jack," who lived at Souvanoga,
   upon the Tallapoosa. He boasted that he had killed so many women and
   children, upon the Cumberland and Georgia frontiers, in company with
   his town's people, that he could swim in their blood if it was
   collected in one pool.

   Thus we see that the territory of Montgomery county, now the focus of
   so much wealth and intelligence, was then a wilderness, inhabited by
   Indians and the few singular characters who have been named. Indeed,
   all over the territory of Alabama and Mississippi, wherever an Indian
   town of importance was found, white traders lived. Some of them became
   wealthy, but like all property acquired in a commerce with Indians, it
   generally left the owner in his old age. One of these up-country
   traders, "Woccocoie Clarke," living at Woccocoie, in the modern Coosa
   county, transported his merchandise and skins upon seventy
   pack-horses. His squaw, who was of great assistance to him, he called
   Queen Anne, for Clarke was an Englishman.

   Besides skins of various kinds, the traders bought up beeswax,
   hickory-nut oil, snake-root, together with various medicinal barks,
   and transported them to Augusta and Pensacola on packhorses, and to
   Mobile and New Orleans in large canoes. The pack-horses used in this
   trade were generally small ones, raised in the nation, but were
   capable of sustaining heavy loads and of enduring great fatigue. A
   saddle of a peculiar shape was first placed upon the pony. The load
   consisted of three bundles, each weighing sixty pounds. Two of these
   bundles were suspended across the saddle, and came down by the sides
   of the pony, while the third was deposited on top of the saddle. The
   whole pack was covered with a skin to keep off the rain. Thus the pony
   sustained a load of one hundred and eighty pounds. Even liquids were
   conveyed in the same manner. Taffai, a mean rum, was carried on these
   horses in small kegs. Indeed, these hardy animals transported
   everything for sale; and even poultry of all kinds was carried in
   cages made of reeds strapped upon their backs. A pack-horseman drove
   ten ponies in a lead. He used no lines, but urged them on with big
   hickories and terrible oaths. Accustomed to their duty, they, however,
   seldom gave trouble, but jogged briskly along. The route and the
   stopping places became familiar, and, as evening approached, the
   little fellows quickened their trot with new life and activity. When
   the sun retired over the hills the caravan stopped; the packs were
   taken off, piled in a heap, and covered with skins; the horses were
   belled and turned out to find their food, which consisted of grass and
   young cane. It was usually late the next morning before the horses
   were collected and packed, for no person in an Indian country is fool
   enough to regard time. An attack from the natives upon traders was of
   rare occurrence. They imagined that they needed the supplies which
   they brought into their country, and regarding these singular
   merchants as their best friends, did not even rob them. A
   pack-horseman always drank taffai--it cheered him in the forest and
   emboldened him in distress. With a bottle slung by his saddle he often
   indulged, while those before and behind him followed his custom. Those
   going to Pensacola and other places were frequently in want of the
   stimulant, and it was customary for the traders, whom they met coming
   from the market, to halt and treat and interchange jokes. The trader
   who suddenly rushed by a thirsty party was long remembered as a mean

   1792: Nothing stopped these men on their journey. They swam all
   swollen creeks and rafted over their effects or produce. Where they
   had no canoes, rivers were crossed in the same manner. If they reached
   a stream having large cane on its banks, these were presently cut, ten
   feet long, and tied up into bundles about three feet in circumference,
   which were placed in the water. Across these others were laid, which
   formed an admirable raft, capable of sustaining great weight. Logs
   were, also, often employed in the construction of rafts. Guided by
   long grapevines, they were generally dragged safely across to the
   opposite side, where the wet ponies stood, ready to receive their
   packs again. Then all hands drank taffai, and journeyed on, with light
   hearts and laughing faces. The average travel was twenty-five miles a
   day. The route from Pensacola was a well-beaten path, leading up the
   country and across the fatal Murder Creek, and thence to within a few
   miles of the Catoma, when it diverged into several trails, one of
   which led to Tookabatcha, along the route of the old Federal road, the
   other to Montgomery and Wetumpka, by the Red Warrior's Bluff, now
   Grey's Ferry, upon the Tallapoosa. This trail continued to the
   Tennessee river.*

   * Conversations with Abram Mordecai, James Moore, and many other old
   traders; also conversations with Hiram Mounger, of Washington county,
   Mrs. Sophia McComb, Mrs. Howse and Lachlan Durant. In many things,
   they are supported by the reports contained in Indian Affairs. vol. 1.

   Northward, there were no white settlements between the Alabama river
   and the vicinity of Nashville. Here, in 1792, the Creeks committed
   many depredations. They pushed their hostilities to the very doors of
   Nashville. They attacked the house of Thompson, a wealthy and
   respectable man, killed the whole family, except his interesting
   daughter, just arrived at womanhood, whom they carried in captivity to
   Kialigee, upon the Tallapoosa river, together with an amiable lady,
   named Caffrey, with her little son. The unhappy prisoners found in
   this town a young woman, named Sarah Fletcher, who had, several years
   before, been captured in the Miro district, which was also called
   Cumberland district. Miss Thompson was ransomed by Riley, a trader,
   for eight hundred weight of dressed deer-skins, worth two hundred and
   sixty dollars, and was treated with kindness by her benefactor, and
   restored to her friends. Mrs. Caffrey was separated from her son,
   beaten with sticks, scratched with gar's teeth, and made to work in
   the fields. After two years, she was also carried to Nashville, but
   without her boy. The little fellow became an Indian in his feelings,
   and, when he had been in the nation five years, it was with difficulty
   that Mordecai could separate him from his Indian playmates, and carry
   him to Seagrove. That gentleman sent him to Governor Blount, and he
   finally reached his mother's arms. The bloody Coosawdas, who lived
   upon the Alabama, were frequently out upon the Cumberland, engaged in
   the massacre of the settlers and the plunder of their effects. Captain
   Isaacs, the Chief of this town, returned, in 1792, with Elizabeth
   Baker, a young lady from Cumberland. How miserable and lonely must
   have been the journey, with these sanguinary warriors, who bore the
   scalps of her father, mother, brothers and sisters, daily suspended
   upon poles before her eyes. When she arrived in Coosawda, the savages
   hung their trophies upon the council-house, and danced around them
   with exulting shouts. But she found a friend in Charles Weatherford,
   who lived across the river. He ransomed Miss Baker, and placed her in
   charge of his wife, Sehoy, the half sister of General McGillivray, and
   the mother of the celebrated William Weatherford, who will figure in
   this history hereafter. The unfortunate captive ultimately reached her
   friends. It would be an endless task, to enumerate all the instances
   of murder and captivity which occurred upon the frontiers of Georgia
   and Tennessee.*

   * Indian Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 431-433-270-274-634.
   Dec 1801: Emigrants flocked to the Mississippi Territory by various
   routes, all of which were difficult, and some of them very circuitous.
   A party set out from North Carolina, consisting of Thomas Malone, a
   young clerk in the land office of Raleigh; John Murrel and his family;
   James Moore, Goodway Myrick, George Nosworthy, Robert Caller, William
   Murrel, and sixty negroes. With great difficultly they ascended the
   Blue Ridge with their wagons, and descended through its dark gorges
   into the valley of the Tennessee. Constructing flat-boats at
   Knoxville, they floated down the river to the head of the Muscle
   Shoals, where they disembarked at the house of Double-Head, a Cherokee
   Chief. Placing their effects upon the horses, which had been brought
   down by land from Knoxville, they departed on foot for the "Bigby
   settlements," about St. Stephen's, a great distance off, and to which
   not a solitary direct path led. After a fatiguing march, they reached
   the residence of Levi Colbert, a celebrated Chickasaw Chief, who gave
   them the necessary directions. Pursuing their journey, they came upon
   the Tombigby, at the Cotton Gin, which had not long before been
   erected by the Federal Government to encourage the Chickasaws in the
   cultivation of the great staple.

   * Public Lands, vol. 1, p. 114.

   Jan. 1802: Desiring to lessen the fatigues of the long and painful
   trip, the party constructed two canoes at this point, each forty feet
   in length, and very large, but of miserable workmanship, being
   executed with no other tools than axes and grubbing hoes. These they
   placed in the river, in parallel positions, five feet apart. They were
   connected by a platform made of cane, upon which were deposited the
   effects of the expedition, which were piled up high above the heads of
   the emigrants, who now sat down in long rows in the two canoes. A few
   of the men went by land with the horses towards St. Stephens, to make
   preparations for the arrival of the main party. This rude and singular
   craft, then quite common in savage regions, had proceeded but two
   miles down the rapid, crooked and swollen stream, when it struck with
   great force against a log, which extended half across the channel, and
   immediately disappeared. The cane ligament which bound the Siamese
   canoes burst asunder, and every soul was washed deep under the waves.
   Those who rose again were presently seen struggling with the torrent,
   amid the wreck, now tossed about in the fury of the waters. Murrel
   rose, but in his arms was the lifeless body of a daughter. His wife
   also came to the surface, with a babe at her breast, both, happily,
   alive. Malone and others, swimming ashore, became active in assisting
   many of the party in reaching limbs of trees by extending to them
   grapevines and canes. At length, all who survived huddled upon a small
   piece of land, surrounded by water.

   It was now night. The north wind swept over the gloomy swamp. The
   ducks, in their rapid flight, whizzed through the air. The wolves
   howled upon the prairies. The owls screamed and hooted upon the lofty
   trees. The mighty timber crashed as the angry currents passed by. Such
   were the unwelcome sounds that fell upon the ears of this miserable
   party. No succor came. No encouraging voice saluted them. Benumbed
   with cold, they hovered together to keep alive, shivering and knocking
   their agitated limbs against each other, while their wet apparel froze
   fast upon them. Being without fire, they had no way to produce one. It
   was two miles back to the old camp, and the route lay over thick cane,
   water and small islands. A resolute young negro man volunteered to
   find it. He plunged into the low grounds, and, strangely, made his way
   to the camp. In the meantime, the helpless pioneers, despairing of his
   return, bewailed their condition with deep moans and bitter
   lamentations. Beneath the shadows of one of the darkest nights ever
   known, they mournfully counted over the missing and the drowned. Two
   long hours passed away, when the cheerful halloo of the negro was
   heard afar off. It was answered by a united and sympathetic shout. All
   eyes were turned in the direction from which the sound came, and in
   the darkness was seen an indistinct light, which shone over the tops
   of the distant canes like a far-off Aurora Borealis. It was fire, and
   the noble negro had brought it from the old camp. At length he came,
   with a cracking, crashing noise, familiar only to the ears of those
   who have walked through the dense cane swamps of Alabama.

   Fires were kindled with dry cane, and around them sat the sufferers
   until the morning sun dispelled the horrid night. It was now
   ascertained that one white child and twenty-one negroes were entombed
   beneath the tide of the angry Tombigby. The survivors groped their way
   to the Cotton Gin, without provisions, without hats, without tools,
   without firearms, without money, and with no clothes except those
   which drooped upon their limbs They were friendless and alone in a
   savage country, far from their point of destination, and still further
   from their native land.

   Who saved these people from starvation, and enabled them to reach
   Washington county, Alabama, after a journey of one hundred and twenty
   days from North Carolina? Not the Indians, for one of them stole a
   negro from the brave Malone, for the return of whom he had to give his
   watch. Those animals who cling to their unfortunate masters to the
   last moment, and are never once guilty of the crime of ingratitude,
   who hunted rabbits, opossums and raccoons for their famished owners.
   They saved the lives of these people.

   1799: Several years previous to this period two brothers from New
   England came to the Boat Yard, upon Lake Tensaw. William Pierce
   pursued the business of weaving, a profitable employment in those
   days. His brother John established the first American school in
   Alabama. There the high-blood descendants of Lachlan McGillivray, the
   Taits, Weatherfords and Durants, the aristocratic Linders, the wealthy
   Mims's, and the children of many others, first learned to read. The
   pupils were strangely mixed in blood, and their color was of every
   hue. It was not long before these Yankee brothers engaged in
   mercantile pursuits. Oct.1802: They established a cotton gin at the
   Boat Yard, the first in that part of the country. Six months before
   this Ahram Mordecai, an Indian trader, procuring the consent of the
   Creek Chiefs and the approbation of Col. Hawkins, had established a
   cotton gin at Weatherford's race track, on the first eastern bluff
   below the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. It was built by Lyons
   & Barnett, of Georgia, who brought their tools, gin saws and other
   materials from that State on pack-horses. The same enterprising
   mechanics also built the one for the Pierces, and another at McIntosh
   Bluff, upon the Tombigby.

   1802: Abram Mordecai was a queer fellow. He traded extensively with
   the Indians, exchanging his goods for pink root, hickory-nut oil and
   peltries of all kinds. These he carried to New Orleans and Mobile in
   boats, and to Pensacola and Augusta on pack-horses. The hickory-nut
   oil was a luxury with French and Spanish epicures. It was manufactured
   by the Indians in a simple manner--by boiling the cracked nuts in
   water, and skimming off the oil as it floated on the surface. Mordecai
   bought cotton of the Indians in small quantities, ginned it, and
   carried it to Augusta on pack-horses, in bags much smaller than those
   of the present day. He was a darkeyed Jew, and amorous in his
   disposition. Tourculla, (Captain Isaacs,) the Chief of the Coosawdas,
   hearing of his intrigues with a married squaw, approached his house
   with twelve warriors, knocked him down, thrashed him with poles until
   he lay insensible, cut off his ear, and left him to the care of his
   wife. They also broke up his boat, and burned down his gin-house. A
   pretty squaw was the cause of the destruction of the first cotton gin
   in Alabama.*

   * Conversations with Lachlan Durant, James Moore, Abram Mordecai, and
   many other old traders.

   1803: General Bowles, quitting the island where Ellicott found him,
   boldly advanced into the Creek nation, disturbed the mild and
   beneficial influence which Hawkins had began to engender, declared his
   eternal hostility to Spain and the United States, and became an object
   of dread to all quiet minds, and a terror to all interests against
   which he acted. Among other outrages, he headed a party of Indians,
   advanced upon St. Marks, captured the fort, and plundered the store of
   Panton, Leslie & Co. Hawkins united with the Spanish authorities in a
   scheme to rid the country of a common enemy. A large secret reward was
   offered for his capture. A great feast was given by the Indians at the
   town of Tuskegee, where the old French Fort Toulouse stood, to which
   Bowles and the Miccasoochy Chiefs were invited. They attended, and
   during the feast the unsuspecting freebooter was suddenly seized by
   concealed Indians, who sprang upon him, securely pinioned him and
   placed him in a canoe full of armed warriors. They then rapidly rowed
   down the river. Hawkins and John Forbes, of Pensacola, were in the
   town, but were concealed, until Sam McNac, a half-breed, had caused
   Bowles to be made a prisoner. Arriving at a point in the present
   Dallas county, the canoe was tied up, the prisoner conducted upon the
   bank, and a guard set over him. In the night the guard fell asleep,
   when Bowles gnawed his ropes apart crept down the bank, got into the
   canoe, quietly paddled across the river, entered a thick cane swamp,
   and fled. At the break of day, the astonished Indians arose in great
   confusion, but fortunately saw the canoe on the opposite side, which
   Bowles had foolishly neglected to shove off. Swimming over to that
   point, they got upon his track, and by the middle of the day once more
   made him a prisoner. He was conveyed to Mobile, and from thence to
   Havana, where, after a few years, he died in the dungeons of Moro

   * Conversations with old traders, who were present when Bowles was
   captured. See also Indian Affairs, vol. 1.

   While the inhabitants of the eastern section were disturbed by Bowles,
   a notorious robber, named Mason, was a terror to the people of the
   western part of the Mississippi Territory. During the occupancy of the
   country by the Spaniards, the lair of this remorseless human tiger was
   in a cave upon the Ohio, where he secreted his banditti, and the booty
   which he had acquired in a long and bloody havoc upon the public. He
   had now stationed himself upon the highway between New Orleans and
   Natchez, with his two sons and their desperate associates. The Western
   people boated their produce down the Mississippi, sold it in New
   Orleans, purchased horses, and returned offered the most extensive
   theatre for the operations of Mason and his banditti. Hence his
   sanguinary outrages were perpetrated one day in the Chickasaw nation
   and the next upon Pearl river. At length the peope in all parts of the
   country were aroused by his inhuman murders, and every hand was raised
   against him. Governor Claiborne declared him an outlaw, and offered a
   large reward for his head. The proclamation was widely distributed,
   and fell into the hands of Mason; and while he was reading it with a
   smile of scorn and contempt, a blow from behind felled him to the
   earth. 1803: His sons were out upon an expedition, and he was alone
   with two of his men, who, tempted by the reward, now cut off his head
   and bore it to Washington to Governor Claiborne. Fortunately, on
   account of a temporary lack of funds in the treasury, the reward was
   not paid. In the meantime, hundreds flocked to the governor's quarters
   to see the head of Mason, and it was recognized by many who had seen
   him. Among others went two young men, whose respectable father Mason
   and his gang had waylaid and robbed while they were with him. They
   immediately recognized his two associates, who brought in the head.
   These men were thrown into prison, condemned and hung, and the reward
   was thus saved to the territory, while Mason was also out of the way.*

   * Monette, vol. 2, pp. 351-353. Conversations with aged persons in
   Washington county, Alabama.

   April 1803: Down to this period, no Protestant preacher had ever
   raised his voice to remind the Tombigby and Tensaw settlers of their
   duty to the Most High. Hundreds, born and bred in the wilderness, and
   now adult men and women, had never even seen a preacher. The
   mysterious and eccentric Lorenzo Dow, one day suddenly appeared at the
   Boat Yard. He came from Georgia, across the Creek nation, encountering
   its dangers, almost alone. He proclaimed the truths of the gospel
   here, to a large audience, crossed over the Alabama, and preached two
   sermons to the "Bigby settlers," and went from thence to the Natchez
   settlements, where he also exhorted the people to "turn from the error
   of their ways." Dec. 27 1804: He then visited the Cumberland region
   and Kentucky, and came back to the Tombigby, filling his appointments
   to the very day. Again plunging into the Creek nation, this holy man
   of God once more appeared among the people of Georgia.*

   * Lorenzo Dow's complete works," pp. 76-101.

   As early as the summer of 1799, the Rev. Tobias Gibson, a Methodist
   missionary from South Carolina, visited the Natchez settlements, by
   way of the Cumberland and Ohio--organized religious societies in
   Washington and its vicinity, and then departed from the wilderness. In
   the fall of 1800, he again appeared, now as a missionary from the
   Tennessee Conference, and formed societies from Bayou Pierre to the
   Spanish line, numbering, collectively, two hundred church members.
   After performing the most arduous labor in the cause of our Divine
   Master, for three years, in this rude and savage land, he died. The
   Rev. Mr. Brown, another Methodist missionary, came from Tennessee in
   1802, and brought with him to the Natchez country, a mind stored with
   a knowledge of science, and a heart fervent with piety. He labored in
   Natchez until 1807. Montgomery and Hall, two reverend gentlemen of the
   Presbyterian order, also preached in Natchez for several years. The
   Baptists, too, sent a "laborer into the vineyard," in the person of
   the Rev. David Cooper, who arrived in 1802. Dr. Cloud, of the
   Episcopal Church, was also sent to "proclaim the glad tidings." The
   efforts of these various sects were highly salutary, serving to soften
   and refine the people, and to banish much sin and vice from the worst
   region that ministers ever entered. *

   * Monette, vol 2, pp. 354-357

   Mar. 3 1803: Congress established regulations respecting the English,
   Spanish and Georgia grants. Many of the inhabitants claimed extensive
   tracts of land under them. A land office was established at the town
   of Washington, and a board of commissioners formed, composed of Thomas
   Rodney and Robert Williams, who proceeded to consider all claims
   arising under these grants, in a district extending from Pearl river
   to the Mississippi. July 9: They continued in office until the 3d
   July, 1807, having recorded two thousand and ninety claims. Their acts
   were sanctioned by the President. Feb. 2 1804: Another board of
   commissioners, consisting of Joseph Chambers, Epham Kirby and Robert
   Carter Nicholas, was formed at St. Stephens, upon the Tombigby, whose
   district extended from Pearl river eastward. They adjourned on the
   21st December, 1805, having admitted to record two hundred and
   seventy-six claims, which the President likewise ratified. The
   inhabitants living upon public lands about the time of Ellicott's
   survey, were afterwards allowed by the government a section of land;
   and those who came just before the board of commissioners was
   established, received a quarter section. Mar. 27: Isaac Briggs was
   surveyor-general. The Territorial government was made to extend to the
   southern boundary of the State of Tennessee; but the extinguishment of
   the Indian title had been obtained to no portion, except a strip
   seventy miles long, above and below Natchez, and extending back twenty
   miles, and the small district upon the Tombigby. The balance of the
   territory was occupied by the Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws and

   Col. James Caller, of North Carolina, was one of the first
   representatives to the Legislative Council, from the county of
   Washington, Alabama. The first County Court of this county was held at
   McIntosh Bluff, where John Caller, Cornelius Rain and John Johnson,
   presided with great frontier dignity. These justices had no code
   before them, and coming from different States, decided cases according
   to the laws of their native land, so that the most amusing differences
   of opinion often prevailed. This was the case all over the territory;
   but the Justices from Georgia holding the laws of South Carolina,
   North Carolina, Virginia, and the whole of New England in great
   contempt, contended that the practice in the State from which they
   came, was alone correct. With their usual success, they generally
   managed to carry their points.
   Nov. 14 1805: Nothing but an Indian trail led from the Oconee to the
   Alabama river at Lake Tensaw. The houses of accommodation were few,
   kept by Indians and half-breeds, and were of the most indifferent
   kind. None of the rivers were provided with 1805 ferry-boats, nor were
   the creeks bridged. Oct. 7: The Federal Government, desiring to open a
   better avenue to the new country, obtained from a delegation of thirty
   Creek Chiefs and warriors, then at Washington city, the right of using
   a horse-path through their country, along which the Chiefs agreed to
   establish ferries and bridges, and to open good houses of
   accommodation. The Cherokees, at Tellico Blockhouse, granted the right
   for a mail route from Knoxville to New Orleans by way of the Tombigby.
   July 23: The United States also acquired more territory from the
   Chickasaws,who ceded about three hundred and fifty thousand acres,
   lying in the bend of the Tennessee, a very small portion of which, in
   the shape of a triangle, fell into Alabama and was afterwards formed
   into the county of Madison.

   Nov. 16: At Mount Dexter, the Choctaws ceded to the government five
   millions of acres, commencing at the Cut-Off, at a point half way
   between the Alabama and Tombigby, running north to the Choctaw corner,
   west to Fulluctabuna Old Fields, thence across the Tombigby to the
   Mississippi settlements, thence south to Ellicott's line, and east
   along that line back to the Cut-Off. *

   * Indian Affairs and Land Laws.

   Thus the whole southern portion of the present State of Mississippi
   was thrown open to the Americans. The new purchase was soon formed
   into three counties--Marion, Wayne and Greene. A population from
   Georgia and Tennessee poured into the magnificent forest north of the
   Tennessee, about "Hunt's Spring," which had been obtained from the
   Chickasaws, as just mentioned. The population of the Mississippi
   Territory had much increased, Natchez had become a large town, where
   boats going down and up the great river landed and traded, while the
   crews engaged in fights, drunkenness, gambling, and all kinds of
   debaucheries. It was the greatest thoroughfare in the whole forest
   world, and was decidedly a most abandoned place.

   The subject of education was not neglected, and Jefferson College had
   been established at Ellicott's Spring, in the vicinity of the town of
   Washington. Many improvements, in the way of houses, farms and new
   towns, gave the territory an air of civilization.
Pickett's History of Alabama - Chapter 35 -
Tecumseh -- Civil War Among
The Creeks

                               CHAPTER XXXV.


   The United States and Great Britain were upon the verge of war.
   British agents, in Canada and Florida, sought to procure the
   co-operation of the whole southwestern Indian force. The Creeks, more
   powerful in numbers than the others, were particularly urged to join
   the English. 1811: Colonel Hawkins had managed them, with much wisdom
   and policy, for several years, but they always remained dissatisfied,
   and were particularly so now, in consequence of a portion of their
   Chiefs having granted a public road through the heart of their
   country, which had been cut out by Lieutenant Luckett and a party of
   soldiers. This thoroughfare, called the "Federal Road," and which run
   from Mims' Ferry, upon the Alabama, to the Chattahoochie, was filled,
   from one end to the other, with emigrants for the western part of the
   territory. The Creeks, with their usual sagacity, foresaw that they
   should soon be hemmed in by the Georgians on one side, and the
   Tombigby people on the other, and many of them contemplated the
   expulsion of the latter, at some day not very distant. The Spaniards
   also hated the emigrants, who had continued to drive them, inch by
   inch, from the soil which they claimed. With both them and the Indians
   the British agents began to operate, to make secret allies of the one
   and open ones of the other. But the most powerful British incendiary
   was Tecumseh. His father and mother, of the Shawnee family, were born
   and bred at Souvanogee,* upon the Tallapoosa, in Alabama. With several
   children, they removed to the forest of Ohio, where Tecumseh was born,
   in 1768. He had five brothers, who were all celebrated for the human
   blood which they spilt and for their indomitable courage. His only
   sister, Tecumapease, a woman of great sense and strong character, he
   devotedly loved, and was much influenced by her. In 1787 he visited
   the Cherokees and Creeks, with whom he remained two years, engaging in
   their hunts, festivals and frontier wars. Returning to the Ohio, he
   fought a battle with a party of whites, near Big Rock, and another,
   with the Kentuckians, on the Little Miami, and still another, at Paint
   Rock, in 1793. He then engaged in the attack upon Fort Recovery, in
   1794, and participated in the battle of Maumee Rapids in the same
   year. From that period until that in which we propose to connect him
   with Alabama history, Tecumseh was engaged in British intrigues, in
   hunts and in skirmishes. Wherever he appeared, devastation and havoc
   ensued. He possessed a fine form, a commanding appearance, and had the
   endurance common to all Indians, together with a high degree of
   sagacity. He entertained the most relentless hatred of the Americans.

   * Old Augusta, now the property of Henry Lucas, on the railroad, where
   there are some mounds.

   Spring 1812: After many conferences with the British, at Detroit,
   Tecumseh left that country with a party of thirty warriors mounted
   upon horses, and shaped his course to the south. Passing through the
   Chickasaw and Choctaw of country, he was unsuccessful in arraying
   these tribes against the Americans. He went down to Florida, and met
   with complete success with the Seminoles. In the month of October he
   came up to the Alabama, crossed that river at Autauga, where he, for
   the first time, appealed to the Creeks, in a long speech. Continuing
   to Coosawda, he had by this time, collected many followers, who went
   with him to the Hickory Ground. Having from their boyhood heard of his
   feats in the buffalo chase, the bloody wars which he had conducted,
   and of his fierce and transcendent eloquence, the warriors flocked to
   see him. He went to Tookabatcha, where Colonel Hawkins was then
   holding his grand council with the Indians. This ancient capital never
   looked so gay and populous. An autumnal sun glittered upon the yellow
   faces of five thousand natives, besides whites and negroes, who
   mingled with them. At the conclusion of the agent's first day's
   address, Tecumseh, at the head of his Ohio party, marched into the
   square. They were entirely naked, except their flaps and ornaments.
   Their faces were painted black, and their heads adorned with eagle
   plumes, while buffalo tails dragged from behind, suspended by bands
   which went around their waists. Buffalo tails were also attached to
   their arms, and made to stand out, by means of bands. Their appearance
   was hideous, and their bearing pompous and ceremonious. They marched
   round and round in the square; then, approaching the Chiefs, they
   cordially shook them with the whole length of the arm, and exchanged
   tobacco, a common ceremony with the Indians, denoting friendship, as
   we have already seen. Captain Isaacs, Chief of Coosawda, was the only
   one who refused to exchange tobacco. His head, adorned with its usual
   costume--a pair of buffalo horns--was shaken in contempt of Tecumseh,
   who, he said, was a bad man, and no greater than he was.

   Every day Tecumseh appeared in the square to deliver his "talk," and
   all ears were anxious to hear it, but late in the evening he would
   rise and say, "The sun has gone too far to-day--I will make my talk
   to-morrow." At length Hawkins terminated his business and departed for
   the Agency upon the Flint. That night a grand council was held in the
   great round-house. Tecumseh, presenting his graceful and majestic form
   above the heads of hundreds, made known his mission in a long speech,
   full of fire and vengeance. He exhorted them to return to their
   primitive customs; to throw aside the plough and the loom, and to
   abandon an agricultural life, which was unbecoming Indian warriors. He
   told them that after the whites had possessed the greater part of
   their country, turned its beautiful forests into large fields and
   stained their clear rivers with the washings of the soil, they would
   then subject them to African servitude. He exhorted them to assimilate
   in no way with the grasping, unprincipled race; to use none of their
   arms and wear none of their clothes, but dress in the skins of beasts,
   which the Great Spirit had given his red children for food and
   raiment, and to use the war-club, the scalping-knife and the bow. He
   concluded by announcing that the British, their former friends, had
   sent him from the Big Lakes to procure their services in expelling the
   Americans from all Indian soil; that the King of England was ready
   handsomely to reward all who would fight for his cause.

   Oct.1812: A prophet, who composed one of the party of Tecumseh, next
   spoke. He said that he frequently communed with the Great Spirit, who
   had sent Tecumseh to their country upon this mission, the character of
   which that great Chief had described. He declared that those who would
   join the war party should be shielded from all harm--none would be
   killed in battle; that the Great Spirit would surround them with
   quagmires, which would swallow up the Americans as they approached;
   that they would finally expel every Georgian from the soil as far as
   the Savannah; that they would see the arms of Tecumseh stretched out
   in the heavens at a certain time, and then they would know when to
   begin the war. *

   * The British officers in Canada had told him when a comet would
   appear, and that he might use that as a sign to delude the Southern

   A short time before daylight the council adjourned, and more than half
   the audience had already resolved to go to war against the Americans.
   Tecumseh visited all the important Creek towns, enlisting all whom he
   could on the side of England. He had much to overcome, in the
   obstinacy of many of the prominent Chiefs, who had become attached to
   the Federal Government, which had lavished upon them munificent
   presents. Yet he was, in a great measure, successful. He made use of
   gifted and cunning Indians, to carry out his plans, after he should
   have left the country. one of these was Josiah Francis, the son of a
   Creek woman, by a trader of Scotch and Irish descent, named David
   Francis.* The Shawnee prophet, it was said, inspired him. He placed
   him in a cabin by himself, around which he danced and howled for ten
   days. He said that Francis was then blind, but that he would again
   see, and would then know all things which were to happen in future.
   When the ten days expired the prophet led him forth, and attended him
   all day, for Francis stepped high and irregular, like a blind man.
   Towards night the vision of Francis suddenly came to him, and after
   that he was the greatest prophet in the whole Creek nation, and was
   empowered to make many subordinate prophets. Tecumseh having made
   numerous proselytes, once more visited the Big Warrior at Tookabatcha,
   whom he was particularly desirous to enlist in his schemes, but whom
   he had hitherto entreated to no effect, although his house was his
   headquarters. The Big Warrior still remained true to the United
   States, more from fear of the consequences of a war than any love he
   entertained for the Americans. Tecumseh, after talking with him for
   some time to no purpose pointed his finger in his face and
   emphatically said: "Tustinuggee Thlucco, your blood is white. You have
   taken my red sticks and my talk, but you do not mean to fight. I know
   the reason. You do not believe the Great Spirit has sent me. You shall
   believe it. I will leave directly, and go straight to Detroit. When I
   get there I will stamp my foot upon the ground and shake down every
   house in Tookabatcha." The Big Warrior said nothing, but puffed his
   pipe and enveloped himself in clouds of smoke. Afterwards he thought
   much upon this remarkable speech.

   * This David Francis lived for many years in the Autauga town, where
   he had a trading establishment. He was also a silversmith and made
   buckles, ornaments and spurs of silver for the Indians. Josiah, his
   son, also learned the trade. David Francis was a great uncle to Dr.
   Francis, an intelligent and highly respectable gentleman of Benton
   county, Alabama.

   Dec. 1812: The common Indians believed every word of Tecumseh 's last
   speech, which was intended solely to intimidate the Big Warrior, and
   they began to count up the time it would take the Shawnee Chief to
   reach Detroit, when he would stamp his foot, as he had declared. One
   day a mighty rumbling was heard in the earth; the houses of
   Tookabatcha reeled and tottered, and reeled again. * The people ran
   out, vociferating, "Tecumseh has got to Detroit! We feel the shake of
   his foot!"

   * This was an earthquake well known to the old settlers. In relation
   to the visit of Tecumseh to Alabama, I have consulted General
   Ferdinand L. Claiborne's MS. Papers and Drake's Life of Tecumseh; I
   have also conversed with Lachlan Durant, Mrs. Sophia McComb, Peter
   Randon James Moore and others who were at Tookabatcha when Tecumseh
   arrived there.

   Feb. 1813: Josiah Francis made many prophets, and, among others,
   High-Head Jim, of Auttose. The Indians began to dance "the war-dance
   of the lakes," which Tecumseh had taught them. In the meantime, that
   Chief had reached Canada, having carried with him the Little Warrior,
   of the Creek nation, with thirty of his warriors. The British agents
   sent back by them letters to their agents in Florida, with orders to
   allow the Creeks extensive supplies of arms and ammunition. The Little
   Warrior, in returning, by way of the mouth of the Ohio, attacked seven
   families, living near each other, and murdered them in the most cruel
   manner. They dragged Mrs. Crawley from the bodies of her bleeding
   children, and brought her, a prisoner, to the Tuscaloosa Falls. Being
   made acquainted with these outrages by General Robertson, the
   Chickasaw agent, Hawkins, demanded the punishment of the guilty
   warriors. Apr. 16: A council, at Tookabatcha, secretly despatched a
   party of warriors, headed by McIntosh, of Coweta, who marched to the
   Hickory Ground, where they separated into smaller parties. One of
   these went to the Red Warrior's Bluff, upon the Tallapoosa, now Grey's
   Ferry, and there surrounded a house, and began to shoot at five of the
   Little Warrior's party. They defended themselves with bravery, all the
   time dancing the dance of the lakes. Finally, they were all killed and
   burnt up. A party, headed by Captain Isaacs, pursued the Little
   Warrior into a swamp, above Wetumpka, and killed him. Others were
   killed at Hoithlewaule. Although the Chiefs, friendly to the United
   States, acted with so much justice upon this occasion, it did not
   prevent the commission of other murders, more immediately at home. An
   old Chief, named Mormouth, killed Thomas Merideth, an emigrant, at
   Catoma Creek, and wounded others.*

   * Indian Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 843-845.

   Apr. 13: Having engaged in a war with England, the Federal Government,
   fearing to leave the port of Mobile longer in the hands of the
   Spaniards, who were the secret allies of Great Britain, resolved to
   occupy the whole of the district lying between Pearl and the Perdido
   rivers, and below the line of 31, which we had claimed since the
   treaty with Bonaparte, who ceded to us Louisiana, of which this was a
   part, as was contended. Accordingly, General Wilkinson, with six
   hundred men, of the third and seventh regiments, sailing from New
   Orleans in transport vessels, commanded by Commodore Shaw, provided
   with scaling ladders, and every necessary equipment, landed opposite
   the Pavilion, on the bay of Mobile. He marched up to the town, and
   took a position in the rear of Fort Charlotte. After some
   correspondence, the Spanish commandant, Captain Cayetano Perez,
   capitulated, surrendered the fort, and all the cannon and military
   stores, the latter of which Wilkinson agreed the United States should
   pay for. The Spanish garrison retired to Pensacola, and the stars and
   stripes were hoisted upon the ramparts of Fort Charlotte, which was
   built of brick, with casements for five hundred men and with four
   bastions. It was quite an acquisition to the United States at the
   present time. General Wilkinson sent nine pieces of artillery to
   Mobile Point, which were there placed in battery. He then marched to
   the Perdido, and on its western bank, on the main road to Pensacola,
   began the construction of a strong stockade under the superintendence
   of Colonel John Bowyer, which was afterwards abandoned. Marching back
   to Mobile, he despatched Captain Chamberlain with soldiers to Mobile
   Point, who began and in two years completed Fort Bowyer.* Thus the
   long period had arrived when no Spanish government was found to exist
   upon a foot of the soil of Alabama or Mississippi.

   * Memoirs of Wilkinson, vol. 1, pp. 507-520. Conversations with Major
   Reuben Chamberlain.

   The effects of Tecumseh's visit began to be realized in every corner
   of the Creek confederacy. Even at the Falls of Tuscaloosa, where a
   Creek town had for several years been established, the inhabitants
   were extremely belligerent. The Chief, Ocheoce Emarthla, with a few
   warriors, dropped down the Warrior river in canoes, paid Mr. Gaines a
   visit, and were insulting in their bearing and importunate in their
   demands for goods upon a credit. They disclosed to Tandy Walker, an
   honest white man, formerly a government blacksmith, their intentions
   shortly to attack the settlers and seize upon the factory. In an
   eastward direction the Alabamas were furious advocates of American
   extermination. The Indian executions, to which allusion has just been
   made, connected with the occasional shocks of the earthquake, filled
   the Indian world with excitement and fanaticism.

   May 1813: Peter McQueen, a half-breed of Tallase, the venerable
   Hobothle Micco, and other prominent men, who had inclined to the talks
   of Tecumseh, now assumed decided attitudes. The hostile spirit
   increased fearfully, and the whole nation was soon agitated with
   quarrels, fights, murders and robberies, and everything foreboded a
   direful civil war. The prophets practised their incantations in towns,
   fields, and in the woods, wherever they found Indians to influence.
   Alarmed at this unusual state of things, the Chiefs friendly to the
   United States frequently despatched runners to Hawkins, who urged them
   in return to adhere to the cause of the Federal Government, and to
   take all means to avert a civil war. The agent seems to have been
   strangely benighted, slowly allowing his mind to be brought to the
   conviction that anything serious would grow out of these difficulties.
   The Big Warrior, on the contrary, was much alarmed. He endeavored to
   assemble the Chiefs of the neighboring towns, but a majority refused
   to appear, and continued to give countenance to the prophets. He
   despatched a runner to the Alabamas with this talk: "You are but a few
   Alabama people. You say that the Great Spirit visits you frequently;
   that he comes in the sun, and speaks to you; that the sun comes down
   just above your heads. Now we want to see and hear what you have seen
   and heard. Let us have the same proof, then we will believe. You have
   nothing to fear--the people who did the killing upon the Ohio are put
   to death, and the law is satisfied." The messenger was seized, killed
   and scalped at the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, where a
   portion of the war party were engaged in "the dance of the lakes."
   They then paddled down to Coosawda, pursued Captain Isaacs into the
   cane, across the river, and, being unable to find him, returned, burnt
   up his houses, destroyed his stock and murdered two of his chief
   warriors.* The Indians also commenced hostilities upon the Americans.
   June 1813: Between Burnt Corn and the Escambia, Greggs, an American
   mailrider, was seized, most severely beaten, and left upon the Federal
   Road, after being robbed of his mail bags and horse. Without anything
   to eat, save the berries in the woods, the lacerated youth, after
   wandering ten days through the forests, reached Montgomery Hill. The
   mail was carried to Pensacola and rifled of its contents in a Spanish
   trading house.** June 25: Gen. Wilkinson, with his lady, had reached
   Sam McNac's, near the Catoma, with an escort, which had attended him
   from Mims' Ferry. He wrote back to Judge Toulmin, informing him of the
   dangers attendant upon a trip through the Creek nation, but that he
   was resolved to go on to Georgia. In a short time McNac, who for some
   time lived upon the Federal Road, for the purpose of accommodating
   travellers, was driven off, some of his negroes stolen, while his
   cattle were driven to Pensacola for sale. Other half-breeds, suspected
   of friendship for the Americans, were treated in the same manner.
   Remaining concealed for some time upon his island in the Alabama,
   McNac ventured to visit his place upon the road. Here he suddenly
   encountered High-Head Jim, one of the prophets of Auttose, who, after
   shaking him by the hands, began to tremble all over, and to jerk in
   every part of his frame, convulsing the calves of the legs, and, from
   the severe agitation, getting entirely out of breath. This practice
   had been introduced by the prophet Josiah Francis, the brother-in-law
   of McNac, who said he was so instructed by the Great Spirit. Wishing
   to make terms for the moment, McNac pretended that he was sorry for
   his former friendship for the whites, and avowed his determination to
   join the hostiles. High-Head Jim, led away by his artifice, disclosed
   to him all their plans; that they were soon to kill the Big Warrior,
   Captain Isaacs, William McIntosh, the Mad Dragon's Son, the Little
   Prince, Spoke Kange, and Tallase Fixico, all prominent Chiefs of the
   nation; that, after the death of these traitors, the Creeks were to
   unite, in a common cause, against the Americans; those upon the Coosa,
   Tallapoosa and Black Warrior were to attack the settlements upon the
   Tensaw and Tombigby; those near the Cherokees, with the assistance of
   the latter, were to attack the Tennesseans; the Georgians were to fall
   by the fierce sallies of the Lower Creeks and Seminoles; while the
   Choctaws were to exterminate the Mississippi population.

   * Indian Affairs, vol. 1, p. 846.
   ** Conversations with Mr. George S. Gaines, of Mobile, and Dr. Thomas
   G. Holmes, of Baldwin county.

   The most extravagant delusions prevailed upon the Coosa, at this
   period. Nearly all these people moved out of their towns, into the
   woods, dancing and preparing for war. Letecau, a prophet of eighteen
   years of age, a native of the town of Abaucooche, went with eighteen
   subordinate prophets, to the old Coosa town, from whence they sent out
   runners, inviting all the unbelievers to come and witness their
   magical powers. A large assembly of both sexes congregated upon the
   banks of the river, and surrounded the prophets. Letecau, with his
   wand, drew a circle in front, and he and his subordinates began "the
   dance of the lakes." After powerful exertions for some time, the
   warwhoop was given by Letacau, who fell, with his men, upon three
   Chiefs, whom they killed. The other friendly Chiefs sprang into the
   river, made their escape to their towns, and assembling their warriors
   returned and killed Letecau and his prophets. They proceeded to Little
   Ocfuske, where Tecumseh's talk had been taken, and there put a number
   of his deluded followers to death.

   June 1813: The hostiles destroyed the stock of the friendly Indians,
   at the Hillabee towns, several of whom they killed. They carried off
   seventy negroes belonging to Robert Graison, and committed many other
   depredations. The town of Kialigee was burned down, and several of the
   inhabitants shot. These things overwhelmed the Big Warrior with fear,
   and he entreated Hawkins to relieve him with the federal troops. He
   had collected a large supply of corn at Tookabatcha, where he built a
   fort. Hawkins prevailed upon two hundred warriors of Coweta and
   Cussetta, to march to Tookabatcha, where they soon arrived, and, after
   some annoyance from the attacks of a few of the war party, succeeded
   in carrying off the Big Warrior, and those who adhered to him, in
   safety over to the Chattahoochie.*

   * Upon the civil war among the Creeks, see Indian Affairs, vol. 1, pp.

                           BATTLE OF BURNT CORN--

   July 10 1813: Peter McQueen, at the head of the Tallase warriors; High
   Head Jim, with the Autaugas; and Josiah Francis, with the Alabamas,
   numbering in all three hundred and fifty, departed for Pensacola with
   many pack-horses. On their way they beat and drove off all the Indians
   who would not take the war talk. The brutal McQueen beat an
   unoffending white trader within an inch of his life, and carried the
   wife of Curnells, the government interpreter, a prisoner to Pensacola.
   The village of Hatchechubba was reduced to ashes.

   The inhabitants of the Tombigby and the Tensaw had constantly
   petitioned the governor for an army to repel the Creeks, whose attacks
   they hourly expected. But General Flournoy, who had succeeded
   Wilkinson in command, refused to send any of the regular or volunteer
   troops. The British fleet was seen off the coast, from which supplies,
   arms, ammunition and Indian emissaries were sent to Pensacola and
   other Spanish ports in Florida. Everything foreboded the extermination
   of the Americans in Alabama, who were the most isolated and
   defenceless people imaginable. Determined, however, to protect
   themselves to the best of their means and abilities, they first sent
   spies to Pensacola to watch the movements of the Indians there under
   McQueen, who returned with the report that the British agents were
   distributing to them ample munitions of war. Colonel James Caller
   ordered out the militia, some of whom soon rallied to his standard in
   the character of minute volunteers. He marched across the Tombigby,
   passed through the town of Jackson, and by the new fort upon the
   eastern line of Clarke, and from thence to Sisemore's Ferry, upon the
   Alabama, where, on the western bank, he bivouacked for the night. The
   object of the expedition was to attack the Indians as they were
   returning from Pensacola. July 26 1813: The next morning Caller began
   the crossing of the river to the east side, which was effected by
   swimming the horses by the side of the canoes. It occupied much of the
   early part of the day. When all were over the march was resumed in a
   southeastern direction to the cow-pens of David Tait, where a halt was
   made. Here Caller was reinforced by a company from Tensaw Lake and
   Little River, under the command of Dixon Bailey, a half-breed Creek, a
   native of the town of Auttose, who had been educated at Philadelphia
   under the provisions of the treaty of New York of 1790. Bailey was a
   man of fine appearance, unimpeachable integrity, and a strong mind.
   His courage and energy were not surpassed by those of any other mam
   The whole expedition under Caller now consisted of one hundred and
   eighty men, in small companies. Two of these were from St. Stephens,
   one of which was commanded by Captain Bailey Heard, and the other by
   Captain Benjamin Smoot and Lieutenant Patrick May. A company, from the
   county of Washington, was commanded by Captain David Cartwright. In
   passing through Clarke county, Caller had been re-inforced by a
   company under Captain Samuel Dale and Lieutenant Girard W. Creagh.
   Some men had also joined him, commanded by William McGrew, Robert
   Caller, and William Bradberry. The troops of the little party were
   mounted upon good frontier horses, and provided with rifles and
   shot-guns, of various sizes and descriptions. Leaving the cow-pens,
   Caller marched until he reached the wolf-trail, where he bivouacked
   for the last night. The main route to Pensacola was now before them.

   July 27 1813: In the morning, the command was re-organized, by the
   election of Zachariah Philips, McFarlin, Wood, and Jourdan, to the
   rank of major, and William McGrew, lieutenant-colonel. This unusual
   number of field officers was made to satisfy military aspirations.
   While on the march, the spy company returned rapidly, about 11 o'clock
   in the forenoon, and reported that McQueen's party were encamped a few
   miles in advance, and were engaged in cooking and eating. A
   consultation of officers terminated in the decision to attack the
   Indians by surprise. The command was thrown into three
   divisions--Captain Smoot in front of the right, Captain Bailey in
   front of the centre, and Captain Dale in front of the left. The
   Indians occupied a peninsula of low pine barren, formed by the
   windings of Burnt Corn Creek. Some gently rising heights overlooked
   this tongue of land, down which Caller charged upon them. Although
   taken by surprise, the Indians repelled the assault for a few minutes,
   and then gave way, retreating to the creek. A portion of the Americans
   bravely pursued them to the water, while others remained behind,
   engaged in the less laudable enterprise of capturing the Indian
   pack-horses. Caller acted with bravery, but, unfortunately, ordered a
   retreat to the high lands, where he intended to take a strong
   position. Seeing those in advance retreating from the swamp, about one
   hundred of the command, who had been occupied, as we have stated, in
   securing Indian effects, now precipitately fled, in great confusion
   and terror, but, in the midst of their dismay, held on to the plunder,
   driving the horses before them. Colonel Caller, Captain Bailey, and
   other officers, endeavored to rally them in vain. The Indians rushed
   forth from the swamp, with exulting yells, and attacked about eighty
   Americans, who remained at the foot of the hill. A severe fight
   ensued, and the whites, now commanded by Captains Dale, Bailey and
   Smoot, fought with laudable courage, exposed to a galling fire, in
   open woods, while McQueen and his warriors were protected by thick
   reeds. The latter, however, discharged their pieces very unskillfully.
   Captain Dale received a large ball in the breast, which, glancing
   around a rib, came out at his back he continued to fight as long as
   the battle lasted. At length, abandoned by two-thirds of the command,
   while the enemy had the advantage of position, the Americans resolved
   to retreat, which they did in great disorder. Many had lost their
   horses, for they had dismounted when the attack was made, and now ran
   in all directions to secure them or get up behind others. Many
   actually ran off on foot. After all these had left the field three
   young men were found still fighting by themselves on one side of the
   peninsula, and keeping at bay some savages who were concealed in the
   cane. They were Lieutenant Patrick May, of North Carolina, now of
   Greene county, Alabama, a descendant of a brave revolutionary family;
   a private named Ambrose Miles and Lieutenant Girard W. Creagh, of
   South Carolina. A warrior presented his tall form. May and the savage
   discharged their guns at each other. The Indian fell dead in the cane;
   his fire, however, had shattered the lieutenant's piece near the lock.
   Resolving also to retreat, these intrepid young men made a rush for
   their horses, when Creagh, brought to the ground by the effects of a
   wound which he received in the hip, cried out, "Save me, lieutenant,
   or I am gone!" May instantly raised him up, bore him off on his back
   and placed him in the saddle, while Miles held the bridle reins. A
   rapid retreat saved their lives. Reaching the top of the hill they saw
   Lieutenant Bradberry, a young lawyer of North Carolina, bleeding with
   his wounds, and endeavoring to rally some of his men. The Indians,
   reaching the body of poor Ballad, took off his scalp in full view,
   which so incensed his friend Glass that he advanced and fired the last
   gun upon them.

   The retreat was continued all night in the most irregular manner, and
   the trail was lined, from one end to the other, with small squads, and
   sometimes one man by himself. The wounded traveled slowly, and often
   stopped to rest. It was afterwards ascertained that only two Americans
   were killed and fifteen wounded. Such was the battle of Burnt Corn,
   the first that was fought in the long and bloody Creek war. The
   Indians retraced their steps to Pensacola for more military supplies.
   Their number of killed is unknown. Caller's command never got together
   again, but mustered themselves out of service, returning to their
   homes by various routes, after many amusing adventures. Colonel Caller
   and Major Wood became lost, and wandered on foot in the forest,
   causing great uneasiness to their friends. When General Claiborne
   arrived in the country he wrote to Bailey, Tait and McNac, respectable
   half-breeds, urging them to hunt for these unfortunate men. They were
   afterwards found, starved almost to death and bereft of their senses.
   They had been missing fifteen days.*

   * Conversations with Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, of Baldwin county, Alabama,
   the late Colonel Girard W. Creagh, of Clarke, and General Patrick May,
   of Greene, who were in the Burnt Corn expedition.

   General Ferdinand Leigh Claiborne, the brother of the ex-Governor of
   the Mississippi Territory, was born in Sussex county, Virginia, of a
   family distinguished in that commonwealth from the time of Charles I.
   On the 21st November, 1793, in his twentieth year, he was appointed an
   ensign in Wayne's army on the Northwestern frontier. He was in the
   great battle in which that able commander soon after defeated the
   Indians, and for his good conduct, was promoted to a lieutenancy. At
   the close of the war he was stationed at Richmond and Norfolk, in the
   recruiting service, and subsequently was ordered to Pittsburg, Forts
   Washington, Greenville and Detroit, where he remained with the rank of
   captain and acting adjutant general until 1805, when he resigned and
   removed to Natchez. He was soon afterwards a member of the Territorial
   legislature, and presided over its deliberations. We have already seen
   how active he was in arresting Aaron Burr, upon the Mississippi river,
   at the head of infantry and cavalry. On the 8th March, 1813, Colonel
   Claiborne was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, and was
   ordered by General Wilkinson to take command of the post of Baton
   Rouge. In the latter part of he was ordered by General Flournoy to
   march with his whole command to Fort Stoddart, and instructed to
   direct his principal attention to "the defence of Mobile."

   1813: On the 30th July, General Claiborne reached Mount Vernon near
   the Mobile river with the rear guard of his army, consisting of seven
   hundred men, whom he had chiefly sustained by supplies raised by
   mortgages upon his own estate.* The quartermaster at Baton Rouge had
   only provided him with the small sum of two hundred dollars. He
   obtained, from the most reliable characters upon the eastern frontier,
   accurate information in regard to the threatened invasion of the
   Indians, an account of the unfortunate result of the Burnt Corn
   expedition, and a written opinion of Judge Toulmin, respecting the
   critical condition of the country generally. It was found that alarm
   pervaded the populace. Rumors of the advance of the Indians were rife,
   and were believed. In Clarke county--in the fork of the rivers--a
   chain of rude defences had hastily been constructed by the citizens,
   and were filled to overflowing with white people and negroes. One of
   these was at Gullett's Bluff, upon the Tombigby, another at Easley's
   station, and the others at the residences of Sinquefield, Glass, White
   and Lavier. They were all called forts. Two block-houses were also in
   a state of completion, at St. Stephens.

   * Upon the conclusion of the Creek war General Claiborne returned to
   Soldier's Retreat, his home, near Natchez, shattered in constitution,
   from the exposure and hardships of the campaigns and died suddenly at
   the close of 1815. The vouchers for the liberal expenditures which he
   made were lost and his property was sold.

   Aug. 10 1813: The first step taken by Claiborne was the distribution
   of his troops, so as to afford the greatest protection to the
   inhabitants. He despatched Colonel Carson, with two hundred men, to
   the Fork, who arrived at Fort Glass without accident. A few hundred
   yards from that rude structure he began the construction of Fort
   Madison. He sent Captain Scott to St. Stephens with a company, which
   immediately occupied the old Spanish block-house. Aug. 22 1813: He
   employed Major Hinds, with the mounted dragoons, in scouring the
   country, while he distributed some of the militia of Washington County
   for the defence of the stockade. Captain Dent was despatched to
   Oaktupa, where he assumed the command of a fort with two block-houses
   within a mile of the Choctaw line.

   * MS. papers of General F. L, Claiborne.

Pickett's History of Alabama - Chapter 37 - Terrible Massacre at Fort Mims

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This file was originally donated to Carol Middleton's Among The Creeks

                 Albert James Pickett: HISTORY OF ALABAMA.
                  (Kindly contributed by William C. Bell)

                              CHAPTER XXXVII.

                      TERRIBLE MASSACRE AT FORT MIMS.

   In the meantime, the wealthy half-bloods about Little river had
   dropped down the Alabama, in their boats, and had secreted themselves
   in the swamp about Lake Tensaw. Uniting with the whites, they soon
   began the construction of a fort around the residence of Samuel Mims,
   a wealthy Indian countryman, to whom we have often alluded, and who,
   originally, was one of the pack-horsemen of the Honorable George

   Being about to relate a horrible affair, in which people of all ages
   and both sexes were subjected to savage butchery, a particular
   description of the place where it occurred is deemed necessary. Mims
   lived within four hundred yards of the Boat Yard, upon Lake Tensaw, a
   mile east of the Alabama river, and two miles below the Cut-Off. His
   house was a large frame building of one story, with spacious
   shed-rooms. Around it pickets were driven, between which fence rails
   were placed. Five hundred port-holes were made, three and a half feet
   only from the ground. The stockading enclosed an acre of ground, in a
   square form, and was entered by two ponderous but rude gates, one on
   the east and the other on the west. Within the enclosure, besides the
   main building, were various out-houses, rows of bee-gums, together
   with cabins and board shelters, recently erected by the settlers,
   wherever a vacant spot appeared. At the southwest corner a block-house
   was begun, but never finished. This defence was situated on a very
   slight elevation. A large potato field lay adjoining on the south, in
   which were a row of negro houses. Woods intervened between the
   picketing and the lake, while in a northern direction cane swamps,
   which grew denser as they approached the river, were hard by. On the
   east the fiat lands continued for several miles, interspersed with
   cane marshes and some ravines. It was altogether a most ill-chosen
   place for a fort, as it ultimately proved.*

   * Conversations with Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, of Baldwin.

                         Drawing (map) of Fort Mims

   July 28 1813: No sooner was Fort Mims partially finished than the
   citizens poured in, with their provisions and effects. Colonel Carson,
   who had reached Mount Vernon in advance of Claiborne, sent over
   Lieutenant Osborne, with sixteen men. Afterwards Claiborne despatched
   one hundred and seventy-five more volunteers to Fort Mims under the
   command of Major Daniel Beasley, with Captains Jack, Batchelor and
   Middleton. Aug. 6: He found seventy militia upon duty, commanded, for
   the present, by Dunn and Plummer, two inexperienced officers.
   Permitting them to elect their officers, the brave Dixon Bailey was
   unanimously chosen for the post of captain, and Crawford for ensign.
   Aug. 7: The next day General Claiborne, arriving at Fort Mims and
   inspecting the works, addressed a general order of instruction to
   Beasley, charging him "to strengthen the picketing, build two more
   block-houses, respect the enemy, to send out scouts frequently, and
   allow the suffering people provisions, whether whites or friendly
   Indians." Returning to his headquarters, at Mount Vernon, he, for the
   moment, directed his attention to other portions of the frontiers.* In
   the meantime, Major Beasley had extended the picketing on the east
   side sixty feet deep, forming a separate apartment for the
   accommodation of the officers and their baggage. He greatly weakened
   his command by sending small detachments to Forts Madison, Easley,
   Pierce, and Joshua Kennedy's saw-mill, where citizens had collected,
   and asked for assistance.** At this mill the government had a large
   contract for lumber to put Fort Charlotte, of Mobile, in repair, and
   build a fort at Mobile Point, and it was deemed necessary to
   strengthen it with troops to prevent the Indians from burning it

   * Claiborne's MS. papers.
   ** Conversations with Dr. Thomas G. Holmes.
   *** Claiborne's MS. papers.

   Aug. 14 1813: The whole population of Fort Mims, consisting of whites,
   Indians, soldiers, officers and negroes, now amounted to five hundred
   and fifty-three souls. Crowded together in an Alabama swamp, in the
   month of August, much sickness prevailed.* In the meantime, Crawford
   was dismissed from the post of ensign for having deserted from the
   regular army, and Peter Randon, a half-breed, was appointed in his
   place. Beasley kept up a correspondence with Claiborne, several times
   acquainting him with alarms, which turned out to be false.**

   * Conversations with Dr. Thomas G. Holmes.
   ** Claiborne's MS. papers.

   The Creeks, whom we left returning to Pensacola from the battle ground
   of Burnt Corn, were again liberally supplied with arms and ammunition.
   Making their way back to the Tallapoosa without molestation, active
   preparations were made by them for immediate war. Warriors from the
   towns of Hoithlewale, Fooshatche, Cooloome, Ecunhutke, Souvanoga,
   Mooklausa, Alabama, Oakchoieooche, Pockuschatche, Ochebofa,
   Puckuntallahasse, Wewocoe and Woccocoie marched in a southern
   direction, while others, from Tallase, Auttose and Ocfuske, formed a
   front of observation towards Coweta to conceal the movement.*

   * Indian Affairs, vol. 1, p. 858. The Spaniards and the British agents
   charged McQueen's party to "fight the Americans. If they prove too
   hard for you, send your women and children to Pensacola, and we will
   send them to Havana, and if you should be compelled to fly yourselves,
   and the Americans should prove too hard for both of us, there are
   vessels enough to take us all off together."--Ibid.

   Associated with McQueen and Francis was William Weatherford, the son
   of Charles Weatherford, a Georgian, who had lived almost a life-time
   in the Creek nation. His mother, Sehoy, was the half-sister of General
   McGillivray, and a native of Hickory Ground. William was uneducated,
   but was a man of great native intellect, fine form and commanding
   person. His bearing was gentlemanly and dignified, and was coupled
   with an intelligent expression, which led strangers to suppose that
   they were in the presence of no ordinary man. His eyes were large,
   dark, brilliant and flashing. He was one of "nature's noblemen"--a man
   of strict honor and unsurpassed courage. He was now with the large
   Indian army, conducting them down to attack the Tensaw settlers, among
   whom were his brother and several sisters, and also his half-brother,
   David Tait.* How unhappily were these people divided! His sister,
   Hannah McNac, with all her sons, belonged to the war party, while the
   husband was a true friend of the Americans, and had fled to them for
   protection. Aug. 20 1813: Weatherford led his army to the plantation
   of Zachariah McGirth, a little below the present Claiborne,where,
   capturing several negroes, among whom was an intelligent fellow named
   Joe, from whom they learned the condition of Fort Mims, and the proper
   time to attack it, he halted for several days to deliberate. One of
   the negroes escaped, and conveyed intelligence to the fort of the
   approach of the Indians. Major Beasley had continued to send out
   scouts daily, who were unable to discover traces of the enemy. The
   inmates had become inactive, free from alarm, and abandoned themselves
   to fun and frolic. The negro runner from McGirth's plantation now
   aroused them for a time, and Fort Mims was further strengthened. But
   the Indians not appearing the negro was pronounced to be a liar, and
   the activity of the garrison again abated. Aug. 29 1813: At length two
   young negro men were sent out to mind some beef cattle that grazed
   upon the luxuriant grass within a few miles of the fort. Suddenly they
   came rushing through the gate out of breath, and reported that they
   had counted twenty-four painted warriors. Captain Middleton, with a
   detachment of horse, was immediately despatched with the negroes to
   the place, but being unable to discover the least sign of the enemy,
   returned about sunset, when one of the negroes, belonging to John
   Randon, was tied up and severely flogged for alarming the garrison,
   with what Major Beasley deemed a sheer fabrication. Fletcher, the
   owner of the other, refused to permit him to be punished, because he
   believed his statement, which so incensed the major that he ordered
   him, with his large family, to depart from the fort by 10 o'clock the
   next day. Aug. 30: The next morning Randon's negro was again sent out
   to attend the cattle, but seeing a large body of Indians fled to Fort
   Pierce, being afraid to communicate the intelligence to those who had
   whipped him. In the meantime Fletcher's negro, by the reluctant
   consent of his master, was tied up and the lash about to be applied to
   his back; the officers were preparing to dine; the soldiers were
   reposing on the ground; some of the settlers were playing cards; the
   girls and young men were dancing, while a hundred thoughtless and
   happy children sported from door to door, and from tent to tent.

   * David Tait was the son of Colonel Tait. a British officer, who was
   stationed at the Hickory Ground, upon the Coosa, in 1778, as we have

   Aug. 30 1813: At that awful moment one thousand Creek warriors,
   extended flat upon the ground in a thick ravine, four hundred yards
   from the eastern gate, thirsted for American blood. No eyes saw them
   but those of the chirping and innocent birds in the limbs above them.
   The mid-day sun sometimes flashed through the thick foilage, and
   glanced upon their yellow skins, but quickly withdrew, as if afraid
   longer to contemplate the murderous horde. There lay the prophets,
   covered with feathers, with black faces, resembling those monsters
   which partake of both beast and bird. Beside them lay curious medicine
   bags and rods of magic. The whole ravine was covered with painted and
   naked savages, completely armed.

   The hour of 12 o'clock arrived, and the drum beat the officers and the
   soldiers of the garrison to dinner. Then, by one simultaneous bound,
   the ravine was relieved of its savage burden, and soon the field
   resounded with the rapid tread of the bloody warriors. The sand had
   washed against the eastern gate, which now lay open. Major Beasley
   rushed, sword in hand, and essayed in vain to shut it. The Indians
   felled him to the earth with their clubs and tomahawks, and rushing
   over his body into the additional part of the fort, left him a chance
   to crawl behind the gate, where he shortly after expired. To the last
   he called upon the men to make a resolute resistance. The eastern part
   of the picketing was soon full of Indians, headed by five prophets,
   whom the Americans immediately shot down, while engaged in dancing and
   incantations. This greatly abated the ardor of the enemy, many of whom
   retreated through the gate for the moment. They had been assured that
   American bullets would split upon the sacred persons of the prophets,
   and pass off harmless. The unhappy inmates of Fort Mims now made all
   efforts to defend the place, but their attempts were confused and
   ineffective. The assailants, from the old line of picketing, in the
   additional part of the fort, and from the outside stockading,
   commenced a general fire upon the Americans. Soldiers, negroes, women
   and children fell. Captain Middleton, in charge of the eastern
   section, was soon despatched, together with all his men. Captain Jack,
   on the south wing, with a company of riflemen, defended his position
   with great bravery. Lieutenant Randon fought from the guard-house, on
   the west, while Captain Dixon Bailey repulsed the enemy, to the best
   of his ability, on the northern line of pickets, against which much
   the largest number of Indians operated. The number of savages was so
   great that they apparently covered the whole field, and they now rent
   the air with their exulting shouts. Many of the younger prophets
   surrounded the main building, which was full of women and children,
   and danced around it, distorting their faces, and sending up the most
   unearthly screams. The pickets and houses afforded the Americans some
   protection, where the young men, the aged, and even the boys, fought
   with desperation. Captain Bailey was the man to whom the eyes of all
   the settlers were turned at this critical moment. He maintained his
   position, and was the only officer who gained the port-holes before
   they were occupied by the enemy. His repeated discharges made lanes
   through the savage ranks. Fresh numbers renewed their efforts against
   him, and often an Indian and an American would plant their guns across
   the same port-hole to shoot at each other. Bailey encouraged the whole
   population in the fort to fight, assuring them that Indians seldom
   fought long at one time, and, by holding out for a little while
   longer, many would be saved. Failing in his entreaties to prevail upon
   several to rush through the enemy to Fort Pierce, only two miles
   distant, there procure reinforcements, and attack the assailants in
   the rear, he resolved to go himself, and began to climb over the
   pickets for that purpose; but his neighbors, who loved him dearly,
   pulled him back.

   About three o'clock, the Indians, becoming tired of the contest,
   plundered the additional part of the fort, and began to carry off the
   effects to the house of Mrs. O'Neil, which lay three hundred yards
   distant, on the road to the ferry. Weatherford overtook them, on a
   fine black horse, and brought them back to the scene of action, after
   having impressed them by an animated address. About this time, Dr.
   Osborne, the surgeon, was shot through the body, and carried into
   Patrick's loom-house, where he expired in great agony. The women now
   animated the men to defend them, by assisting in loading the guns and
   bringing water from the well. The most prominent among these was Mrs.
   Daniel Bailey, who, provoked at the cowardice of Sergeant Mathews,
   severely punctured him with a bayonet as he lay trembling against the
   wall. Many instances of unrivalled courage could be enumerated, if our
   space permitted it. One of Jack's soldiers retreated to the
   half-finished block-house, after his Commander and all his
   brothers-in-arms had fallen, and from that point, discharged his gun
   at intervals, until he had killed over a dozen warriors. James and
   Daniel Bailey, the brothers of the gallant Captain, with other men,
   ascended to the roof of Mims' dwelling, knocked off some shingles for
   port-holes, where they continued to shoot the lusty warriors on the
   outside of the picketing. But the superior force of the assailants
   enabled them constantly to bring fresh warriors into the action. They
   now set fire to the main building, and many of the out-houses. The
   shrieks of the women and children went up to high heaven.

   To Patrick 's loom-house had been attached some extra picketing,
   forming what was improperly termed a bastion. Hither Captain Bailey,
   and those of his command who survived, entered and continued to pour
   upon the savages a most deadly fire. Many citizens attempted to reach
   that spot, now the only one of the least security. The venerable David
   Mims, attempting to pass to the bastion, received a large ball in the
   neck; the blood gushed out; he exclaimed: "Oh, God, I am a dead man!"
   and fell upon his face. A cruel warrior cut around his head, and waved
   his hoary scalp exultingly in the air. Some poor Spaniards, who had
   deserted from the Pensacola garrison, kneeled around the well and
   crossed themselves, and, while interceding with the Most High, were
   despatched with tomahawks. "To the Bastion! To the Bastion!" was now
   the fearful cry of the survivors. Soon it was full to overflowing. The
   weak, wounded and feeble, were pressed to death and trodden under
   foot. The spot presented the appearance of one immense mass of human
   beings, herded together too close to defend themselves, and, like
   beeves in the slaughter-pen of the butcher, a prey to those who fired
   upon them. The large building had fallen, carrying with it the
   scorched bodies of the Baileys and others on the roof, and the large
   number of women and children in the lower story. The flames began to
   reach the people in the bastion. Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, an assistant
   surgeon in the garrison, seized an axe, cut some pickets in two, but
   did not take them down, suffering them to remain until a suitable
   opportunity offered to escape. The brave Dixon Bailey now cried aloud
   that all was lost, that his family were to be butchered, and begged
   all to make their escape, if possible. His negro man, Tom, (still
   living, at Sisemore's plantation) took up his favorite son, who was
   thirteen years of age, but feeble with the fever, and bore him through
   the pickets, which Holmes now threw down, and gained the woods in
   safety. But, strange to say, the infatuated negro presently brought
   back the poor boy to a squad of hostiles, who dashed out his brains
   with war-clubs. Little Ralph cried out, "Father, father, save me! Of
   his Heavenly Father the poor little heathen had probably never heard.

   In front of the northern line of picketing was a fence, fifty yards
   distant, in every lock of which many warriors had placed themselves,
   to cut off all retreat; besides which, others stationed themselves at
   various points to shoot those who should run. Dr. Holmes, Captain
   Bailey, and a negro woman named Hester, the property of Benjamin
   Steadham, were the first to escape through the aperture. Holmes,
   receiving in his flight several balls through his clothes, but no
   wounds, strangely made his way over the fence, gained the swamp, and
   concealed himself in a clay hole, formed by the prostration of an
   immense tree. Bailey reached the swamp, but, being badly wounded, died
   by the side of a cypress stump. Hester received a severe wound in the
   breast, but reached a canoe in the lake, paddled to Fort Stoddart that
   night, and was the first to give intelligence to General Claiborne of
   the horrible affair.

   Returning again to the fatal spot, every house was seen to be in
   flames. The bastion was broken down, the helpless inmates were
   butchered in the quickest manner, and blood and brains bespattered the
   whole earth. The children were seized by the legs and killed by
   beating their heads against the stockading. The women were scalped,
   and those who were pregnant were opened, while they were alive, and
   the embryo infants let out of the womb. Weatherford had some time
   previous left the horrid scene. He had implored the warriors to spare
   the women and children, and reproached them for their barbarity; but
   his own life was threatened for interposing, many clubs were raised
   over his head, and he was forced to retire. In after years he never
   thought of that bloody occasion without the most painful emotions. He
   had raised the storm, but he could not control it.

   The British agents at Pensacola had offered a reward of five dollars
   for every American scalp. The Indians jerked the skin from the whole
   head, and, collecting all the effects which the fire had not consumed,
   retired to the east, one mile from the ruins, to spend the night,
   where they smoked their pipes and trimmed and dried their scalps. The
   battle had lasted from twelve to five o'clock.

   Of the large number in the fort, all were killed or burned up except a
   few half-bloods, who were made prisoners; some negroes, reserved for
   slaves; and the following persons, who made their escape and lived:
   Dr. Thomas G. Holmes; Hester, a negro woman: Socca, a friendly Indian;
   Peter Randon, lieutenant of Citizens' company; Josiah Fletcher;
   Sergeant Mathews, the coward; Martin Rigdon; Samuel Smith, a
   half-breed; Mourrice, Joseph Perry, Mississippi volunteers; Jesse
   Steadham; Edward Steadham; John Hoven; --- Jones; and Lieutenant W. R.
   Chambliss, of the Mississippi volunteers.

   Dr. Holmes lay concealed in the clay hole until nine o'clock at night.
   The Gin-House at the Boat Yard had been fired, and the conflagration
   threw a light over the surrounding country in addition to that still
   afforded by the ruins of Fort Mims. Hence, he was forced to resume his
   position, until twelve o'clock, when the flames died away. Remembering
   that he had never learned to swim, he abandoned the idea which he
   first entertained, of crossing the Alabama and making his way to Mount
   Vernon. He therefore bent his course towards the high lands. He
   frequently came upon small Indian fires, around which the bloody
   warriors lay in profound sleep. Bewildered and shocked in every
   direction in which he turned by unwelcome and fearful sights like
   these, he at length, after a great deal of winding and turning, fell
   back into the river swamp, hid in a clump of thick canes, and there
   subsisted upon water, mutton reed and roots. All this time he was in
   the immediate neighborhood of the scene of the tragical events we have
   described, and heard distinctly the Indians killing the stock of the
   citizens. When silence ensued, after the fifth day, he made his way to
   the Race-Track, and from thence to Pine-Log Creek, where he spent the
   night. Reaching Buford's Island the next day, and seeing the tracks of
   people and horses, he determined to fall in with them, although they
   should prove to be hostile Indians, so desperate had he become from
   starvation. At the Tensaw Lake, Holmes found the horses tied, and,
   rejoicing to find that they belonged to his friends, fired off his
   gun. John Buford and his party, supposing the discharge proceeded from
   the war party, fled up into a bayou in a boat, where they remained two
   days. The disappointed Holmes went to the abandoned house of Buford,
   where he fortunately obtained some poultry, which he devoured without
   cooking. Three days afterwards he was discovered by Captain Buford and
   conveyed to Mount Vernon, where the other fourteen who escaped had
   arrived and reported him among the slain.

   Martin Rigdon, Samuel Smith, Joseph Perry, Mourrice and Jesse Steadham
   escaped through the picketing together. The latter was shot through
   the thigh early in the action, and Mourrice in the shoulder. Leaping
   the fence in front of the bastion, over the heads of the squatting
   Indians, they reached the swamp, where they remained three days, when,
   finding an old canoe below the Boat Yard, they made their escape to
   Mount Vernon. Edward Steadham, who was wounded in the hand while
   flying from the bastion, entered the swamp, swam the Alabama above the
   Cut-Off, and arrived at Mount Vernon four days after the massacre. All
   the others who escaped so miraculously made their way with success
   through the Indian ranks, and had many similar adventures, reaching
   the American headquarters at the most imminent peril. Lieutenant
   Chambliss had received two severe wounds in the fort, and in running
   across the field received another. Reaching the woods, he crept into a
   log-heap. At night a party of warriors set fire to it, for the purpose
   of smoking their pipes, and when the heat was becoming intolerable,
   and he would soon have been forced to discover himself, they
   fortunately were called off to another camp-fire. He left that place
   immediately, wandered about, and for a long time was supposed to be
   dead. He made his way, however, to Mount Vernon, and from thence went
   to Soldiers' Retreat, the residence of General Claiborne, near
   Natchez, where Dr. John Coxe, an eminent surgeon, extracted two
   arrow-heads and a ball from his body.*

   * Claiborne's MS. papers.

   The day after the fall of Fort Mims the Indians began to bury their
   dead, by laying their bodies between the potatoe rows and drawing dirt
   and vines over them; but, from the great number of the dead, it was
   abandoned. Many were also wounded, who were put in canoes and conveyed
   up the river. Others wounded started home on foot, and died at Burnt
   Corn Spring. Most of those who were unhurt remained in the
   neighborhood to kill and plunder, while another party went to
   Pensacola with the scalps suspended upon poles.*

   * I am indebted to Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, of Baldwin, Alabama, for the
   prominent facts in the foregoing narrative of the fall of Fort Mims.
   He made notes of the horrible affair a few years after the massacre
   took place, while the facts were fresh in his memory. I also conversed
   with Jesse Steadham, of Baldwin, and Lieutenant Peter Randon, the
   latter of whom I found in New Orleans, who also escaped.

   Zachariah McGirth was the son of James McGirth, who was, as we have
   seen, an unprincipled but brave man, and a captain of a company of
   tories during the revolutionary war, called the "Florida Rangers,"
   forming a part of a battalion commanded by his brother, Colonel Daniel
   McGirth. When the war terminated Captain James McGirth fled to the
   Creek nation, with his children, among whom was Zachariah. The latter
   married a half-breed Creek woman, named Vicey Curnells, had become
   wealthy, and was now an inmate of Fort Mims with his wife and eight
   children. About ten o'clock on the day of the massacre McGirth entered
   a boat with two of his negroes, and went out of Lake Tensaw into the
   Alabama, with the view of ascending that river to his plantation,
   which was situated below Claiborne, for some provisions. Reaching the
   Cut Off he heard a heavy discharge of guns at Fort Mims. With pain and
   anxiety he continued to listen to the firing, and running his boat a
   mile down the river, in a small bayou, resolved to remain there, being
   firmly impressed with the belief that the Indians had attacked the
   fort. Late in the evening the firing ceased, and presently he saw
   clouds of black smoke rise above the forest trees, which was succeeded
   by flames. The unhappy McGirth now well knew that all was lost, and
   that in all probability his family had perished in the flames. Being a
   bold man, like his father, he resolved to go through the swamp with
   his negroes to the fatal spot. When he came within a quarter of a mile
   of the fort he placed the negroes in a concealed place, and approached
   alone. All was gloomy and horrible. Dogs in great numbers ran all over
   the woods, terrified beyond measure. Seeing that the savages had left
   the ruins. he returned for his negroes, and a little after twilight
   cautiously advanced. McGirth stood aghast at the horrible spectacle.
   Bodies lay in piles, in the sleep of death, bleeding, scalped,
   mutilated. His eyes everywhere fell upon forms half burned up, but
   still cracking and frying upon the glowing coals. In vain did he and
   his faithful slaves seek for the bodies of his family. Pile after pile
   was turned over, but no discovery could be made, for the features of
   but few could be recognized. He turned his back upon the bloody place,
   crossed the swamp to his boat, and paddled down the Alabama to Mount
   Vernon with a sad and heavy heart.

   McGirth, now alone in the world, became a desperate man, ready to
   brave the greatest dangers for the sake of revenge. During the Creek
   war he was often employed in riding expresses from the Tombigby to
   Georgia, when no one else could be found daring enough to go through
   the heart of the enemy's country. After a long service amid such
   dangers, a friend accosted him one day in Mobile, and told him some
   people desired to see him at the wharf. Repairing there, he saw---a
   common sight in those days--some wretched Indians, who had been
   captured. He was asked if he knew them. Hesitating, his wife and seven
   children advanced and embraced him. A torrent of joy and profound
   astonishment overwhelmed him. He trembled like a leaf, and was, for
   some minutes, speechless.

   Many years before the dreadful massacre at Fort Mims, a little hungry
   Indian boy, named Sanota--an orphan, houseless and friendless --
   stopped at the house of Vicey McGirth. She fed and clothed him, and he
   grew to athletic manhood. He joined the war party, and formed one of
   the expedition against Fort Mims. Like the other warriors, he was
   engaged in hewing and hacking the females to pieces, towards the close
   of the massacre, when he suddenly came upon Mrs. McGirth and his
   foster-sisters. Pity and gratitude taking possession of his heart, he
   thrust them in a corner, and nobly made his broad savage breast a
   rampart for their protection. The next day he carried them off upon
   horses, towards the Coosa, under the presence that he had reserved
   them from death for his slaves. Arriving at his home, he sheltered
   them, hunted for them, and protected them from Indian brutality. One
   day he told his adopted mother that he was going to fight Jackson, at
   the Horse-Shoe, and that, if he should be killed, she must endeavor to
   reach her friends below. Sure enough, the noble Sanota soon lay among
   the slain at Cholocco Litebixee. Mrs. McGirth, now being without a
   protector, and in a hostile region, started off on foot, with her
   children, for Fort Claiborne. After much suffering, they reached their
   deserted farm, below Claiborne, where Major Blue, at the head of a
   company of horse, discovered these miserable objects and carried them
   to Mobile, where the interview just related took place with the
   astonished husband, who imagined that he had some months before
   surveyed their half-burnt bodies upon the field of Fort Mims. His son
   was the only member of his family who had perished upon that bloody

   * Conversations with Colonel Robert James, of Clarke County, Alabama,
   who often heard McGirth relate these particulars. McGirth, in 1834,
   made the same statements to me.

   General Claiborne despatched Major Joseph P. Kennedy, with a strong
   detachment, to Fort Mims, from his headquarters at Mount Vernon, for
   the purpose of interring the dead. Sept 9 1813: Upon arriving there,
   Kennedy found the air darkened with buzzards, and hundreds of dogs,
   which had run wild, gnawing upon the human carcasses. The troops, with
   heavy hearts, succeeded in interring many bodies in two large pits,
   which they dug. "Indians, negroes, white men, women and children, lay
   in one promiscuous ruin. All were scalped, and the females, of every
   age, were butchered in a manner which neither decency nor language
   will permit me to describe. The main building was burned to ashes,
   which were filled with bones. The plains and the woods around were
   covered with dead bodies. All the houses were consumed by fire, except
   the block-house, and a part of the pickets. The soldiers and officers,
   with one voice, called on Divine Providence to revenge the death of
   our murdered friends." *

   * Major Kennedy's MS. report to General Claiborne.

   In drawing our account of this sanguinary affair to a conclusion, it
   is proper to observe that General Claiborne was in no way to blame for
   the unfortunate result. He corresponded with Beasley, heard from him
   almost every day, and in his despatches constantly urged him to be
   prepared to meet the enemy. Claiborne, from every quarter, received
   distressing messages imploring assistance, and we have already seen
   how judiciously he distributed his forces, as far as it lay in his
   power, for their protection, contrary to the instructions of Flournoy,
   who endeavored to confine his operations chiefly to the defence of
   Mobile and the country below Ellicott's line. Aug. 24 1813: Just
   before the attack upon Fort Mims, he headed a large detachment of
   horse, and rushed to the defense of the people at Easley's station,
   upon the Tombigby near the Choctaw line, whom he was induced to
   believe a large party of Choctaws and Creeks intended shortly to
   attack. They, however, did not appear, and, leaving a strong guard for
   the defence of that fort, he hastened back to Mount Vernon, and
   arrived there at twelve o'clock at night, after a march of seventy
   miles that day. He was there shocked to learn the fate of the garrison
   of Fort Mims. Supposing that he had already returned to Mount Vernon,
   Beasley addressed him a letter two hours only before the Indians
   entered the gate, declaring his ability to maintain the post against
   any number of the enemy.* The major was as brave a man as ever lived,
   but neither he nor his officers, attached to the Mississippi division,
   believed that the enemy were at hand; so often had reports reached
   them, which they pronounced untrue, because they were not immediately
   realized, as in the case of the negro who was whipped, and of the
   other who was killed by the Indians while tied up, ready to receive
   the lash.**

   * Beasley's letter, found among Claiborne's MS. papers.
   ** The people at Fort Pierce, when the attack was made at Fort Mims,
   made their way, under Lieutenant Montgomery to Mobile, where they
   safely arrived.

Scalp Bounty
The Wilderness War
by Allan W. Eckert
Because of the bounties placed on scalps, the taking of people of all ages
and sexes soon became something of a business on the frontier. In some cases
the colonists - or, later on, the Americans - offered bounties on Indian
scalps, but the greatest trafficking in scalps came as a result of the wide
range of bounties placed on them by the British. Because different age and
sex scalps brought different prices, the scalps had to be marked for proper
payment to be given. Such bundles of scalps ordinarily were shipped in large
lots of eight to twenty bundles, comprised of eighty-eight to one hundred
scalps per bundle, or no less that seven hundred scalps per shipment. Scalps
taken for British bounties were ordinarily shipped in these bundles to the
governor of Canada in Quebec. Each scalp was stretched on a painted willow
hoop and further painted on the inside of the skin. The colors and markings
were used in a wide combination so that all of the necessary information
about any particular scalp could be had at a glance. The basic hoop and
scalp markings denoted the following:

Four-inch hoop painted black Soldier

Four-inch hoop painted red Man other than soldier

Four-inch hoop painted green Old person

Four-inch hoop painted blue Woman

Two-inch hoop painted green Boy

Two-inch hoop painted yellow Girl

Two-inch hoop painted white Infant

Skin painted red Officer

Skin painted brown Farmer killed in house

Skin painted green Farmer killed in field

Skin painted white Infant

Skin painted yellow Girl

Skin painted white with red tears Small boy

Skin painted half white, half red Older boy

Skin painted yellow with red tears Mothers

Hair braided Wives

Black spot in center of skin Killed by bullet

Red hoe in center of skin Farmer

Black ax in center of skin Settler

Black tomahawk in center of skin Killed by tomahawk

Black scalping knife in center of skin Killed by knife

Black war club in center of skin Beaten to death

Yellow flames in center of skin Tortured to death

Black circle all around Killed at night

White circle all around with yellow spot Killed by day

Small red foot Died fighting

The Wilderness War by Allan W. Eckert, page 450
Little, Brown & Company, Boston, 1978