Samuel Gardner Drake.

The aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index online

. (page 76 of 131)
Online LibrarySamuel Gardner DrakeThe aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index → online text (page 76 of 131)
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both levelled their rifles Shelton fired first, and mortally wounded the Indian
in the neck, who then endeavored to make his escape. Shelton dropped his
gun. and rushed on him with his pistol, which missed fire at five or six
paces from him. The Indian now turned and shot Shelton in the hip, and
it the same moment another white came up and shot the Indian in the back,
;nd he was immediately despatched. The ball which entered Shelton's hip
passed round near the spine, and was cut out, and he was recovering.

I have been particular in detailing this affair, as the Indian who fell in it,
proved to be a chief of distinction, known among the whites by the name of
.MAD WOFF, which was the English signification of his name. In Indian it
was KOHAHAJO. He w T as of Micanopy's tribe, and had under him 40 or 50
warriors, and was probably one of the leaders on the Ouithlacoochee, who
beset General Gaines so long. His name was given in among them by Black
Dirt, as Coaharjo. It is also to the treaty of Payne's Landing, and he was
one of the Indian deputation who visited the country west of the Mississippi

The next day after Kohahajo was killed, Colonel Butler and Goodivin, with
a battalion of mounted men, were sent to reconnoitre Pilaklikaha, the resi-
dence of Jumper and Micanopy. When they had proceeded about six miles,
their advanced guard received a sharp fire from a hammock on the left, but
were soon dislodged by a charge from the main body. Two of the whites
were badly wounded, one horse killed, and four wounded. After another
considerable swamp-fight, in which several were wounded, the army pro-
reeded to the Indian town, but it had been deserted for a long time. They
burnt it, and then proceeded to Fort Brooke.

An officer in General Scott's army at Tampa wrote on the 15 April : " Ai'


the militia will leave us by the 20 May, and the regulars will go into summer
quarters at this place, Key West, Volusia, Mosquito, and one or two more
posts at the south. Without the greatest good luck nothing will be done this
summer, and the war must be renewed in the autumn."

About the time General Gaines left Fort Draine, General Scott arrived
there, with instructions to assume the chief command of the forces in Florida,
Since that time the operations have been of not much importance. About
the 20 March, Captain Hitchcock communicated the following valuable
information respecting the hostile Indians, which was given him by the
friendly chief, Black Dirt, whose Indian name is TUCK-ALUSTER HARJO. He
says that in the fights with General Gaines were the following chiefs and
warriors, viz.: JUMPER with 30, ASSUHOLA [Osceola] with 7, ALLBURTU-
HARJO with 30, JARHARTO CHEE with 30, CARCHAR TOSKNDSK (Mecosukee)
with 470, MECANOP (principal chief) with 80, ABRAM (Negro) with 80, WEEA
ECHUA MATTEZ with 50, HAT How EMATTEZ with 30, CHARLES (a Negro)
with 3, COAHARJO with 1, and TOPARLAGEE with 40.

There had been about 400 Seminoles collected at Tampa, chiefly women
and children of Black DirCs tribe, who were on the 12 April shipped off for
" beyond the Mississippi " by General Scott.


WAR Murders anu, devastations begin Eleven persons killed near Colum
bus Mail routes in possession of the Indians A steam-boat attacked and mm
killed Chiefs of the war parties Mail stages destroyed The town of Roanoak
burnt Colonel Lindsay's Florida affair Excessive dismay of the people of Geor-
gia Murder of families Fight on the Chattahoorhie Capture of JIM HENKY and
NEAMATHLA Account of the chirfs Surrender of the Indians.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL Mclntosh wrote from Fort Mitchel, Alabama, (on the
Chattahoochie, 15 miles above Columbus,) 7 May last, as follows: "It has
just been reported to me, that Col. Flournoy was shot dead by the Indians on
the 5th instant, about 15 miles below this post. I am also informed that a
report is cunjently circulating among the Creeks, that the Seminole Indians
have defeated the whites in Florida. This report will no doubt imbolden
them to many acts of hostility that they would not otherwise dare commit
A constant communication must be kept up between them, as the Creeks are
conversant with eveiy transaction that occurs in Florida. Marshal, the half-
breed, says he is apprehensive mischief will be done by the Indians before
long. Other friendly Indians are of this opinion. Opothleyohola, principal
of the upper Creeks, says he cannot keep his people together, or restrain

At the same time Colonel Flournoy was killed, ten others met a like fate,
r^ome of them within 12 miles of Columbus, at the Ochee Bridge on the Old
Federal Road. " The Indians have entire possession of that road, and all the
settlers have fled. A train consisting of 150 wagons, with about 150 fugitives,
on their way to Columbus, were fired upon, on the 10 April."

Up to the 18 May, at Augusta, (Ga.) it was reported that all the southern
mail routes were in possession of the Indians, except that to Mobile. The
day before, all the mails were brought back. Colonel CroweWs plantation,
and many others, had been burnt, and a stage agent and two drivers had been
killed. The governor of Georgia had ordered two regiments of volunteers to
take the field. About this time the steam-boat Hyperion was attacked on her
passage up the Chattahoochie, and two pilots and one passenger were killed.
She was then run on shore on the Georgia side, and after being abandoned,
was taken and destroyed by the Indians.

The Creek towns and tribes which have declared themselves hostile are a

37 2C


part of tli'"' Ochees, the Hitchetas, the I'ah-lo-cho-ko-los, the So-wok-ko-los,
and a part of the I'lidlays. The principal chiefs who have showed themselves
as their leaders, are old \ F. \>i vm i, \, ol' whom we have already several times
spoken, chief of the Hitchetas, JIM HK.NKY, and XKO JMico. Many friendly
Indians immediately joined the whites, one of the principal leaders of whom
is a chief called JIM BOY. The war party have discovered great boldness.
Ahont the 10 May a party came within 30 or 40 yards of Fort Mitchell, a
strong and well-defended place, entered the hospital, and carried oil' what
they pleased, and the garrison thought it not best to disturb them.

On the 14 following, the mail from Montgomery to Columbus was attacked
about 20 miles from the latter place. A driver on that route was riding along
the road on horseback, about 50 yards ahead of the stage, when he was fired
upon by about 30 Indians, yet he unaccountably escaped injury. His horse
look fright and threw him, and he escaped into a thicket. Wli-en he arrived
at the next stage relay, the horses had got there, but without any carriage, but
Icid about them some fragments of their harnesses. Mr. Jldams, who was in
the stage, made his escape by leaping into the woods when the stage upset.
A driver and two others were killed. There were 19 horses belonging to
the line in the company, of which but three were recovered, and these were

About this time the old steam-boat Georgian was burnt while lying at
Roanoak, and all on board, except the engineer, perished. The town of
Roanoak was at the same time laid in ashes, but the citizens escaped to a
fort. Irwinton, a flourishing town on the Georgia side of the river, soon after
shared the same fate.

Meanwhile some affairs of considerable moment were transpiring in Flori-
da. Colonel Lindsay had been despatched, at the head of about 750 men, from
Fort Brooke, with orders to proceed to Fort Alabama, to destroy it, and bring
away the sick, wounded, and provisions. Having proceeded there, and
effected their object, the forces marched again for Fort Brooke. Before
leaving the fort, a mine was prepared, by leaving powder in the magazine,
which should explode on its being opened. They had got but a mile or two,
when the mine was sprung with a fearful noise, but what effect it had pro-
duced was not known. The whites had missed two of their number the day
before, whom they found on their return march, about 12 miles from Fort
Alabama, killed in the way, and one shockingly mangled. While the army
was contemplating this spectacle, it was fired upon by 500 Indians, as was
supposed, from a hammock, no more than 30 yards off. The whites immedi-
ately formed, and fired in their turn, and a regular fight ensued.^ The Indians
could not be dislodged until several rounds of grape shot from the artillery
had been poured in upon them. This was a bloody affray for them, but their
loss was not fully known ; several were found dead on the field, and numerous
traces of others who had been dragged off dead or severely wounded were
discovered. The whites had 3 killed and 22 wounded.

A letter addressed to the editor of the Richmond Enquirer gives a fearful
picture of the affairs in the Creek country. It was written at Talbotton, (Ga.)
11 Mav, and is in these words: "I wrote you vesterdav, informing you of

J 7 m/ V *f f O fc'

the hostile movements of the Creek Indians, and the commencement of their
murderous career. W T e have full information here to-day of the distressing
state of things among the whites who have settled over in that territory. The
Indians are killing all men, women, and chiklren. Vast numbers have been
butchered without doubt ; and the whole country on this side of the Chatta-
hoochie is in uproar and confusion. The population of the territory had
become considerable, and they who have been fortunate enough to escape are
come over in droves on the Georgia side ; some with a part of their children ;
some who have lost their children; some their husbands; and many children
without father or mother; some are found as they were wandering about so
young that they could give no account who their parents were. So perfect a
mixture and confusion as never w r as witnessed before. Many have seen a
part of their families murdered. One gentleman saw his father shot down
near him, and his mother and sisters. Some of the dead have been brought
over shockingly mangled. It is thought the whole nation is in hostile array ;


their warriors are computed at 6 or 7000 strong. The general impression is.
that a part of the Seminoles have come up among them. The town of Co-
lumbus is in great danger of an attack, as they have threatened it strongly.
A company of 40 or 50 men left Columbus yesterday morning, and went over.
On their return at night they brought in seven children, which they had found
scattered about."

Such are the accounts which have been daily circulated for two months
together and although they are distorted in many particulars, yet out of them
we are ai present to collect all that is known of this war. The Columbus
Centinel of the 13 May contains the following facts, which are confirmed
from other quarters : " On Monday we received information that hostilities
had commenced on the road between Columbus and Montgomery, at the
Uchee bridge, and further on, and in the evening the bridge at this place, the
streets leading from it were thronged with the unfortunate refugees, who
were fleeing before their savage neighbors. The pitiable condition of many
of them was past the power of description. Wives severed from their hus-
bands, and parents from their children ; all dismayed, all terror-stricken ; pre-
sented a scene which we never again desire to see. An interesting-looking
girl, just blooming into womanhood, was brought in on horseback, behind a
benevolent stranger, who had found her in the nation, making her way, unat-
tended, to this place. She started with her parents, but before they had
proceeded far, they were brutally shot down before her eyes. She fled to th.
woods and escaped from her savage pursuers, and was found and brought to
Columbus as above stated. A young man arrived at this place also witnessed
the savage murder of his parents. Another young man, in the act of fleeing,
perceived the Indians dragging away his sister. He returned, declaring he
would rescue her or die in the attempt, and he has not been heard of. From
this time their deeds of savage barbarity have been too numerous to particu-
larize. A woman was brought in on Tuesday, wounded in the hand, whose
husband had been shot the preceding evening at the Uchee bridge. Col. A. E.
Dawson's negroes, who were taken by the Indians, and made their escape,
state that they saw three corpses on the road near the Uchee bridge ; a man,
woman and child, who had all been murdered. We learn that about 150
friendly Indians have reported themselves at Fort Mitchell, and are ready to
assist the whites. Accounts to the 17 May further state that the Indians had
entered the house of one family, and murdered the whole including husband,
wife, and six children. All were scalped, and the children beheaded. The
house of a Mr. Colton had been attacked, and himself killed."

Generals Scott and Jesup were at Fort Mitchell on the 3 June ; the for-
mer left that place on that day with an escort of 150 men for Alabama, to take
the command of the troops of that state. On the 4th, Capt. Page reported to
General Scott that a party of Indians was about to cross the Chattahoochie in
their way to Florida, and steps were immediately made to stop them. The
day before a party was stopped by a company of Georgia militia, after a sharp
skirmish, in which one white and several Indians were supposed to have been
killed. Two chiefs were wounded, Ealahayo in the shoulder, and Jim Henry
in the head. The action took place across the river, which being high and
wide, little was effected. The Indians dared the whites to come over, called
them dogs and cowards, and the most the whites could do was to retaliate in
th<j same sort of language.

About the end of June, a party of whites, who were scouting on Flint River,
accidentally found a young woman about three miles from Cambridge, who
had been wounded by a shot in the breast. She stated that, on the 26 of
June, about 300 Indians killed all the family to which she belonged, 13 in
number, except herself, and her father, who made his escape. After being
Bhot, she feigned death, and as the murdered were not scalped, she made her
escape after the Indians left the scene of butchery.

Up to the 16 June, all the houses of the whites in the Creek country had
been burned. On the 13th, in an attack on an Indian town by some whites,
24 persons were taken, among whom were three chiefs. These were held as
hostages at Fort Mitchell, and word was sent to the hostile party, that if they
did not come in and surrender they should be put to death. The next day,

436 rM'Ti 1:1: m JIM HI.M;V AND M:\M\THI..\. [HOOK TV.

120 came in ;iiul declared themselves friendly. As late MS the "J^tli of June,
it was reported ;il < 'olnmhiis, (Ja., tliat the ('reck war was probably at an end,

as ilir a< lighting \\a- concerned. Jim Hcnnfs party have nearly all been

taken. They were eoiilined at Fort Mitchell, and all the smiths were at work
making handcuils for them." These will donhtless In; sent beyond the Mis-
.-i. ippi, "except the chiefs, five or six in number, who will be punished with
death," as was supposed.

On the 1st of July, Jim Henry fell into the hands of a ha ml of friendly In-
dians, under a chief named Jim Boy. For a few days previous ho was sup-
posed to have been on his way for the "promised land;" but he was found in
the Creek nation, a few miles from Tuskegee. About the same time old
.Yttimatlila gave himself up to the v\ bites, and was, on the d.vy of the cap-
ture of Jim Henry, with about 1500 others, sent off" for Arkansas. The cin-nm
stance of his falling in with the whiles is said to be as follows: Genera!
Jcssup had left Tuskegee with about 700 men, intending to make a direct
march for JVeamathla's camp, which was on Hatchahuhhee River. As Jesup
marched along, his forces increased to 2700 men, of which 1500 were In-
dians, under the chiefs Hopoithleynhola and Jim Boy. When he had arrived
within about seven miles of Neamathla's camp, he ordered a halt, to refresh
his men and horses, at the expense of the beautiful oatfiehls of the Indiana
While the army lay here, a scout discovered JVeamathla on horseback, lie
had concluded to surrender, and had a white cloth tied about his head, and
some white garment for a flag, extended upon a stick, and was approaching
towards them. They ordered him to halt, but he gave no heed to them, until
within a few r paces. He was taken to Gen. Jessup's camp, and made prisoner.
With him were his son and daughter, and a niece of JVea Mico. The two
females were released, but his son was confined with him at Fort Mitchell
On being asked where he was going when he was taken, he said his life had
been threatened by his own people, and he was hastening to Fort Mitchell, to
give himself up.

JVea Mico had some days before given himself up. He was considered a
great chief. David Hardige, a half-breed, was taken by surprise, with about
a hundred of his men, with their women and children. By the 8th of June,
there had been secured between 3 and 4000 Indians, which were despatched
for the west as fast as circumstances would admit.

A party of about 60 warriors, who were endeavoring to escape into Florida,
were overtaken by Col. Beal, in Chickasatchie Swamp, Baker county, Alabama,
and a considerable skirmish ensued. Nine Indians were killed and 20 wound-
ed. Of Col. BeaUs men, two were killed and seven wounded. The Indians
were left in possession of the swamp.

The following account was published in the Georgia Herald of the 28 June,
at Columbus. It is headed, "GRAND ENTREE INTO FORT MITCHELL," and
then proceeds : " On the 22 June, we witnessed the grand entree of a drove
of savages into the Fort [Mitchell] consisting of men, women and children,
in all about 1000; among them 200 warriors ; they were brought in by a bat-
talion of Alabama cavalry, under the command of Maj. Gen. Patterson. The
men were placed within the walls of the fort, while the women and children
were encamped on the outside. It was an assemblage of human beings, such
as we had never before witnessed, and the sight filled us with thoughts and feel-
ings to which we shall not give vent at this time. They were of all ages, from a
month old to a hundred years, of all sizes, from the little papoosio to the
giant warrior. The old " Blind King" as he is called, rode in the centre of
the throng, and although it has been many years since he beheld the light of
day, yet has the feelings of hostility continued to rankle at his heart. The
names of the hostile chiefs who have been taken and have come In, are JVea
E-MatMa, Octo Archo-Emathla, [probably son of JVeamathla,] JVRccocholey, or
Blind King, Tustee-Niiggee, Chopko-Yar-bar-Hadjo"






* Some entertain, that the history of these present times must not be written by any one alive ;
which, in my opinion, is disgraceful to an historian, and very prejudicial to posterity ; as if they
were to write at a distance, that obscurity might protect their mistakes from discovery. Others
also say the truth is not ripe enoush to be writ in the age we live in: So politicians would
not have the historian to tread on the heels of the times, lest the times tread on his heels."


" Still to the white man's wants there is no end :

He said, ' beyond those hills he would not come.'
But to the western seas his hands extend,
Ere yet his promise dies upon his tongue." UNPUBLISHED POEM.

WHILE the war is progressing in Florida, we will proceed to lay open
a few pages of Cherokee history, praying, in the mean time, for its speedy

The situation of the Cherokee country is most delightful ; it is every thing
that heart could wish, whether actuated by the best or worst of motives. It
lies in about thirty-five degrees of northern latitude, bounded north and west
by Tennessee, on the south by Alabama, and easterly by Georgia and North
Carolina, comprising about 8,000 square miles. In 1802 it contained 11,175 ;
the difference having been sold to the United States for the use of Georgia.

That country is well watered by living springs, in every part, whose foun-
tains are like reservoirs raised to a great height by the art of man ; they hav-
ing the superior advantage of being natural reservoirs, raised by springs in
their lofty range of mountains which stretch across the whole nation. In the
north it is hilly ; but in the south are numerous fertile plains, in part covered
with tall trees, through which beautiful streams of water glide. Here cattle,
in vast herds, roam, and horses are plenty, and in all the ordinary uses among
the Indians. Flocks of sheep, goats, and swine, live on the slopes of the hills.
On their navigable rivers the Cherokees have vessels engaged in commerce.
Their spring opens in great beauty; the soil is excellent for corn, cotton,
tobacco, wheat, oats, indigo, sweet and Irish potatoes ; and the people had, in
1825, begun to export cotton to New Orleans in their own vessels.

They have public roads, and taverns with good accommodations, and
butter and cheese are common upon the ordinary tables of the Indian inhab-
itants. Neat and flourishing villages have already sprung into being. Cotton
and woollen cloths are manufactured, and by native Indian hands. There is
scarcely a family which does not raise cotton sufficient for its own use.
Their trade is almost wholly carried on by native Cherokees. The mechanic
arts are considerably cultivated, although agriculture chiefly engages the at-
tention of the inhabitants.

In 1819, there were about 10,000 inhabitants, and in 1825 they had in-
creased to 13,563, all natives ; there were, in addition, 147 white men married
in the nation, and 73 white women. Of slaves there were 1,277. Hence it is
plain that the Cherokees do not decrease, but have, in about five years, in-
creased over 3,500. This is equal, at least, to the increase of white popula-
tion under similar circumstances.

By the laws of the nation, the whites are allowed the privileges of natives,
except that of suffrage, together with their ineligibility to hold offices. Some
of the Cherokees, following the example of their southern neighbors, have
become slave-holders ; buying their negroes of white men who bring them
into the mtion. And here the reflection naturally arises in the inquiry upon
the relative barbarity of the white and red mon. It was strongly urged by
some southern statesmen, that the Indians were such barbarous wretches that
they could not think of living beside them ; and yet poor Africans are sold
by them to these barbarians ! But, unlike the whites in one particular, they
will not mix with their slaves.

The nation was reorganized in 1820, and by a resolve of its national coun-
cil, divided into eight districts, each of which had the privilege of sending



four members to tne legislature. The pay of members was established at
one dollar per day; that of the speaker being fixed at one and a half dollars
and the principal chiefs were to receive 150 dollars a year. Some of theii
principal laws and regulations were a prohibition of spirituous liquors be-
ing brought into the nation by white men. Jf a A\hite man took a Cherokee
\\ite, he must marry her according to their laws ; but her propertv \\as not
affected by such union. No man \\as allowed but one wile. A judge, mar-
shal, >heriff and deputy, and two constables, were commissioned in each dis-
trict. Embezzlement, intercepting and opening sealed letters, was punished
by a fine of 100 dollars, and 100 lashes on the bare back. No business was
allowed on Sundays ; and fences were regulated by statute. They also had
a statute of limitations, which, however, did not affect notes or settled ac-
counts. A will was valid, it' Ibnnd, on the decease oi'its maker, to have been
written by him, and witnessed by two creditable persons. A man leaving no
will, all his children shared equal, and his wife as one of them ; if he left no
children, then the widow to have a fourth part of all property ; the other
three fourths to go to his nearest relations. And so if the wife died, leaving
property. Before the division of the nation into districts, and the appoint-
ment of the above-named civil officers, there was an organized company of
light-horse, w Inch executed the orders of the chiefs, searched out offenders,

Online LibrarySamuel Gardner DrakeThe aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index → online text (page 76 of 131)