(Kindly contributed by William C. Bell)
McINTOSH, WILLIAM, Creek chief, born at Coweta, Creek nation, probably about 1775, was the son of Captain William McIntosh, of the British army and a full blood Creek woman. Nothing is known of his early life, only it may be inferred from the fair education which he had acquired and his proficiency in the English language that he must have passed much of it in association with white people. A tradition states that he could even speak some Gaelic, an evidence of his mingling in boyhood or youth with Scotch Highlanders somewhere in Georgia. He first appears in history as one of the signers of the treaty of Washington November 14, 180S. After this, nothing is known of his history until April, 1813, when he sent a band of warriors to Tuckabatchie to assist the Upper Creek authorities in arresting Little Warrior and his associates, who had committed some murders at the mouth of the Ohio in February, 1813. The murderers were all put to death. For this action, and on account of his sympathy for the Americans, sentence of death was passed upon him by the hostile Creeks. At the same time six other chiefs were condemned to death. In the fall of that year he appears as the leader of a band of Cowetas in the army of General John Floyd. He was at the battle of Atossee, November 14, 1813, and, General Floyd in his report states that McIntosh and his braves fought in this battle "with an intrepidity worthy of any troops." He also distinguished himself at the battle of the Horseshoe, where General Jackson in his report speaks of him as "Major McIntosh."
Note from Carol: McIntosh is shown here as painted from life by Charles Bird King for "The McKenney-Hall Picture Gallery of American Indians".
His name appears as one of the signers of the
treaty of Fort Jackson, August 9, 1814. He was also a signer of the
treaty of the Creek Agency, Georgia, January 22, 1818. After
this, at the head of a force of Creek Warriors he joined General
Jackson in Florida for service against the Seminoles.
He was commissioned general and placed in command of all the Indian troops,
together with a company af Tennessee cavalry. In this short Seminole
war, "he signalized himself by various acts of gallantry."
General Jackson, in his report of the fight at Econafinnah,
says: "On the morning of the 12th (April, 1818), near Econfinnah,
or Natural Bridge, a party of Indians were discovered
on the margin of a swamp, and attacked by General McIntosh, and about
fifty Tennessee volunteers, who routed them, killing thirty-seven
warriors, and capturing six men and ninety-seven women and children; also
recapturing a white woman who had been taken at the massacre of Scott.
The friendly Indians also took some horses, and about five hundred
head of cattle from the enemy, who proved to be McQueen's party."
Another official report states that General McIntosh in this fight killed with his own hand three of the enemy and captured one. General Thomas Woodward with five other white men was with General McIntosh in this fight, in which the white woman, Mrs. Stuart, was rescued. She had been a captive since November 30, 1817. General Woodward thus describes this affair, generally known as "McIntosh's fight." "Shortly after the firing commenced, we could hear a female voice in the English language calling for help, but she was concealed from our view. The hostile Indians, though greatly inferior in number to our whole force, had the advantage of the ground, it being a dense thicket, and kept the party that first attacked at bay until General McIntosh arrived with the main force. McIntosh, though raised among savages, was a General; yes, he was one of God's make of Generals. I could hear his voice above the din of fire-arms--'Save the white woman! Save the Indian women and children!' All this time Mrs. Stuart was between the fires of the combatants. McIntosh said to me. 'Chulataria Emathla, you, Brown and Mitchell, go to that woman.' (Chulataria Emathla was the name I was known by among the Indians.) Mitchell was a good soldier and a bad cripple from rheumatism. He dismounted from his horse and said, 'Boys, let me lead the way.' We made the charge with some Uchees and Creeks but Mitchell, poor fellow, was soon left behind, in consequence of his inability to travel on foot. I can see her now, squatted in the saw-palmetto, among a few dwarf cabbage trees, surrounded by a group of Indian women. There I saw Brown kill an Indian, and I got my rifle-stock shot off just back of the lock. Old Jack Carter came up with my horse shortly after we cut off the woman from the warriors. I got his musket and used it until the fight ended."
General McIntosh was mainly instrumental in negotiating the treaty of January 8, 1821. This treaty was certainly illegal, for it was made by a party representing only one-tenth of the nation, and to be legal it should have had the consent of the whole nation, assembled in public council. While the Creeks submitted to it, they became alarmed at this cession of their domain. As far back as 1811, in the council held at Broken Arrow, they had enacted a law, forbidding, under the penalty of death, the cession of land, except by the chiefs of the nation and ratified in full council. Rendered uneasy by this and other acts of General McIntosh, this law was formally re-enacted at Polecat Springs in 1824.
In their progress in agriculture and education the Creeks were becoming more and more appreciative of the value of their lands, and consequently were more and more reluctant to part with them. The treaty of Indian Springs of February 12, 1825, made in defiance of the national law, was the fatal mistake of General McIntosh, and he had to pay the penalty. The Creek nation was greatly excited by this treaty, and in due time, a secret council of the Upper Creeks convened, and at it one hundred and seventy men were appointed to take the life of McIntosh. They received minute instructions as to their marching, place of camping, and the manner of the execution, and ere long were on their way to the Chattahoochee River, on the west bank of which, near Coweta, stood the house of McIntosh. There are several versions, differing in details, as to the manner in which General McIntosh was killed in the early morning of April 30, 1825.
Pickett's version is undoubtedly the most trustworthy, and with the omission of such circumstances as the escape of Chilly McIntosh and the burning of an outhouse, which occurred before the attack on the main house, it is here given:
"In the meantime, the principal body of the assailants had surrounded the main building, and the lightwood being immediately kindled, torches were applied to the sides, and under it. The flames threw a bright light over the yard, and exhibited to the astonished family of McIntosh the approaching conflagration of the houses, and the hideous forms of those who were to murder them. They frequently shouted with much exultation, McIntosh, we have come, we have come. We told you, if you sold the land to the Georgians, we would come.'
"McIntosh, upon the first discovery of the assailants, had barricaded his front door, and stood near it when it was forced. He fired on them, and at that moment, one of his steadfast friends, Tona Tustinungee, fell lifeless upon the threshold. His body was riddled with balls. McIntosh then retreated to the second story, with four guns in his hand, which he continued to discharge from a window. He fought with great courage, and, aware that his end was near, determined to sell his life as dear as possible. He was at this time the only occupant of the burning house, for his two wives, Peggy and Susannah, who had been dragged into the yard, were heard imploring the savages not to burn him up, but to get him out of the house,, and shoot him, as he was a brave man, and an Indian like themselves. McIntosh now came down to the first story, and was received with salutes of the rifle, until, being pierced with many balls, he fell to the floor, was seized by the legs, and dragged down the steps to the ground. While lying in the yard, and while the blood was gushing from his wounds, he raised himself on one arm, and surveyed his murderers with looks of defiance. At that moment, an Ocfuskee Indian plunged a long knife, to the hilt, in the direction of his heart. He brought a long breath, and expired. The party, after this, plundered the houses, killed the stock, and committed other depredations, as described in the public papers of that day."
It may be added that on the same day and very soon after General McIntosh's death, his son-in-law, Sam Hawkins, was killed at his own residence by a party of warriors detailed for that purpose.
The best and most charitable commentary upon the inducements which prompted General McIntosh to defy the law of his nation and thus incur its deadly penalty, was written by Colonel Thomas L. McKenney, who says:
"He propably foresaw that his people would have no rest within the limits of Georgia, and perhaps acted with an honest view to their interests. The intercourse he had enjoyed with the Army of the United States, and the triumph of their arms over the desperate valour of the Indians, which he had witnessed at Autossee, the Horseshoe, and in Florida, induced him to believe he would be safe under the shadow of their protection, even from the vengeance of his tribe. But there were, besides, strong appeals to his cupidity, in the provisions of the treaty of the Indian Springs, and in its supplements. By one of these, the Indian Spring; reservation was secured to him; and by another it was agreed to pay him for it twenty-five thousand dollars. Moreover, the second article of the treaty provided for the payment to the Creek Nation, of four hundred thousand dollars. Of this sum he would of course have received his share. Such inducements might have been sufficiently powerful to shake a virtue based upon a surer foundation than the education of a heathen Indian could afford. Besides this, he was flattered and caressed by the Commissioners, who were extremely eager to complete the treaty, and taught to believe he was consulting the ultimate advantage of the nation. These considerations, in some measure, remove the odium from his memory. But it must still bear the stain which Indian justice affixes to the reputation of the chief who sells, under such circumstances, the graves of his fathers."
General McIntosh is
represented as a tall, finely formed man, with polished manners, which he
had acquired from contact with the more refined of the white people and
from association with army officers on the Southern frontier. He
was the owner of a number of negro slaves. whom he treated kindly, and possessed
General McIntosh had a half-brother on his father's side, named Rolin or Rolla, and a
half-brother on his mother's side, named Hogey, often called Hogey McIntosh, who was a full blooded Indian. He had two wives, named Peggy and Sussanah, one of whom was a Creek, the other a Cherokee, but in the lack of records, it cannot be decided to which nationality each one respectively belonged. His Creek children were two sons, Chilly, who succeeded him in the chieftainship, and Lewis, and three daughters, Jane, Hetty, and Lucy. Jane was the oldest daughter. She first married Billy Mitchell, a son of the Creek agent David B. Mitchell; she next married Sam Hawkins, whose death has already been noted. She then married Paddy Carr, but left him and went to Arkansas Territory at an early day. General McIntosh had only one Charokee child, a daughter, who married Ben Hawkins, a brother of Sam. Ben was killed years afterwards in Texas. The McIntosh family has ever been distinguished in the Creek Nation, prominent in church, state and military affairs. Several of them were Confederate field officers. The blood of the McIntosh clan thus shows that it was born to command, even when mingled with the wild blood of the Muscogee Indian.
General McIntosh wrote an official report on the affair of: Econfinnah, which has the distinction of being the first report of this character ever written by an American Indian.
Nearly all the fighting of the first Seminole war was done by General McIntosh's command. They were mustered out of service on April 24. (Parton's Life of Jackson, vol. ii, p 463.) A summary of their campaign is thus recorded by D. B. Mitchell, the Creek agent: "When McIntosh and his warriors were mustered at Fort Mitchell, he divided his force, and with that part which he retained under his own command, he descended the Chattahoochee on its western bank, and on reaching the town called Red Ground, encountered their chief and warriors this affair he took fifty-three warriors, and one hundred and thirty women and children. The chief made his escape with a few warriors. Colonel Lovett, with the rest of the warriors, mustered at Fort Mitchell, descended the Chattahoochee on the eastern bank, and General McIntosh crossing the river below the fork, the two detachments united on their march to Mickasuky, where they joined General Jackson. At Mickasuky the Indians had generally fled, and but few were found at the town. On the march to Suwany, McIntosh, with his warriors, encountered about two hundred of the hostile party, under Peter McQueen, of whom he killed thirty-seven, and made six warriors and one hundred and six women and children prisoners. The next enemy thee engaged were the negroes of Sauwanee, amounting to about two hundred and fifty, of whom eleven or twelve were killed, and three made prisoners. The Indians of this part of the country fled before the army, and here ended the Seminole campaign, as far as the Indians were concerned."
A Lower Creek Chief born at Coweta
in the present Russell County; massacred at his home in
Carroll County, Georgia March 31, 1825.
(American State Papers, Military Affairs, vol. i, p. 749.)
References.--McKenney and Hall's Indian Tribes of North America (1854), vol. 1, pp. 129-133; American State Papers, Military Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 699-701; American State Papers, Indian
Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 841, 843, 852; Pickett's History of Alabama (Owen's Edition, 1900), pp. 519, 558; Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek or Muscogee Indians (1859), pp. 50, 54, 55, 114; White's Historical Collections of Georgia (1855), pp. 170-173; Handbook of American Indians (1907), part 2, p. 782; Spark's Memories of Fifty Years (1872), pp. 467-473; and Alabama Historical Reporter, vol. 3, No. 7, July, 1855; and Parton's Life of Andrew Jackson (168,1), vol. ii, pp. 4.59, 460.
MENAWA, Creek Chief, born probably
at Okfuskee, about 1766, died in the Creek Nation west,--but
year of death not known. He was a half-breed, but neither history nor tradition
preserved the name of his white father. He was noted in early life for his
annual horse stealing., exploits on the Cumberland frontier in Tennessee,
but seldom shedding the blood of the settlers, except when he met with resistance.
He received, in consequence of these raids, the name of Hopothla,
said by McKenney and Hall to mean crazy war hunter. The stealing,
of horses by Hopothla must not be ascribed solely to a spirit of
adventure. He had evidently inherited the commercial instincts of his white
progenitors, and these horses added largely to his wealth. After a few years,
he gave up these inroads into Tennessee, largely adopted some of
the ways of civilized life and became a wealthy man. He owned large herds
of cattle, great numbers of hogs, and several hundred horses.
He owned a store, filled with various articles of merchandise suited for
Indian life, which he bartered to his people for the products of the chase.
He was known to drive to Pensacola, a hundred horses, loaded with
peltries and furs. By the time af the outbreak of the Creek war of 1813,
Menawa, the name by which he was now known, was one of the wealthiest
Indians of the Upper Towns.
When Tecumseh visited the Creeks in 1811, Menawa was the second chief of the Okfuskee town. He entered heart and soul into Tecumseh's schemes, influenced to this action, in a measure, by his hatred of General McIntosh, who, he knew, in case of war, would be on the side of the Americans. While Menawa was the war chief of his people in the Creek war, the head chief was a medicine man, in whose supernatural powers the ignorant Creeks placed the most implicit confidence. Menawa himself was not exempt from this superstition. He fought in several battles of the Creek war, but is best known from his connection with the battle of the Horse-Shoe. The medicine man assured the Creeks, fortified on this consecrated ground, that the Americans would attack them in the rear, in the place where it was swept by the river.
Menawa, just before the battle, posted his warriors in accordance with this prophecy. General Jackson at once saw that the vulnerable point of the horse-shoe was the breastwork in front extending across the isthmus. He at once rapidly moved forward his cannon, and with them made breaches, in the breastwork, towards which the ennesseans made an impetuous charge. Menawa saw the fatal mistake he made by heeding the false prophet; in his furious wrath, he struck him dead, and then, at the head of his Okfuskee braves, dashed forth over the breastwork against the Tennesseeans. The battle which ensued, terminating in the death of near one thousand Creek warriors, has often been described. When it ended, about sunset, Menawa, desperately wounded, lay unconscious amid a heap of the dead. When he recovered, and the darkness grew deeper, the love of life prompted him to escape from the fatal field. He crawled to the river, found a canoe, floated in it down the river to near the camp where the women and children were hidden prior to the battle. The canoe was seen by some of the women, Menawa was taken from it, and sent to an appointed rendezvous on Elkahatchee Creek, where he was joined by other unhappy survivors of the battle.
Three days were passed by them in the mourning for their dead, in which no one ate, drank or permitted his wounds to be dressed. This over, it was resolved that each one should retire to his own home, and then make his own peace with the victors. Their wounds were then dressed, and all, except Menawa, went away to follow out the plan agreed upon in their council. Such is the story of the escape of Menawa from the battlefield of the Horse-Shoe, as related by McKenney and H by Pickett, but may be reconciled with the incidents in Woodward's version of Menawa's making use of a woman's dress while lying wounded on the field. Pickett's statement that Menawa, while lying in the river, breathed through the long joint of a cane, one end of which projected above the water, records something that no human being can do, and this statement, made perhaps in a quizzical mood by Menawa himself, was palmed off upon Pickett's credulity.
In short, Pickett's version must be rejected.
Menawa's wounds kept him in his retreat until after the close of
the war. He then sought his old home in Okfuskee, but found everything
swept away by the war, and he was now indeed a very poor man. According
to one authority he and his people made their homes near the falls of the
Catawba for more than a year after the war. He regained his health,
reassumed his old time leadership over the Okfuskee people, and again
was an influential man in the Creek nation. Like the majority of
his people, he was opposed to any cessions of land. In 1825, in the excitement
following the treaty of Indian Springs, a secret council was held,
in which a party of chiefs and warriors were appointed to carry into execution
the national law by putting to death General William McIntosh, who,
in violation of this law, had presumed to make a cession of land at Indian
Springs. Menawa was one of these National executioners. In after
years, he regretted his share in this affair, saying that he would freely
lay down his life, if by; so doing, he could bring back to life Billy
McIntosh. He was one of the delegates that went to Washington
to remonstrate against the treaty of Indian Springs. His conduct
during the negotiations was calm and dignified, for he was a gentleman in
appearance and manners.
In 1835 he sent his oldest son to serve against the Seminoles in Florida. In 1836 he was among the first Creeks to offer his services against his insurgent countrymen, and in combination with Opothleyaholo, he marched with his braves against the hostile town of Hatchechubbee. On this occasion he wore a full American uniform and "affected the conduct of a civilized leader, whose object was to prevent the effusion of blood." This shows a great evolution in his mental and moral attitude, from that of the savage chief in 1814 to a military leader, imbued with the ideas of civilization, in 1836. Menawa was opposed to the emigration of the entire Creek Nation, but wished that certain reservations, to be held in perpetuity, should be granted to such individuals as wished to remain in the ceded territory. Such a reservation was granted to him in consideration of his past services. But scarcely was it granted when "by some strange inadvertence or want of faith, he was ordered to join the emigration camp." He went west with his people, but there is no record of his life in the new country, not even when and where he died. In 1894, Miss Hannah Monahwee, the granddaughter of the chief Menawa, was the matron of the Wetumpka National Labor School in the Creek Nation, Colonel William Robison, Superintendent. Monahwee is another form of writing Monawa.
References.--McKenney and Hall's Indian Tribes of North America (1854), vol. ii, pp. 97-105; Pickett's History of Alabama (Owen's Edition, 1900), p. 590; Woodward's Reminiscences of The Creek, or Muscogee Indians (1859), pp. 43, 116, 117, 168.
MISTEPEE.--A Seminole Creek boy who made several trips with delegations to Washington where in 1826 his portrait was painted. He married a Hillibee-Creek woman in the Nation in Alabama and went with one of the early parties to the allotted lands in the West.
to next page