(Kindly contributed by William C. Bell)
MUSHALATUBBEE.----A Choctaw chief, born in the last half of the 18th century. He was present at Washington, D. C., in Dec., 1824, as one of the Choctaw delegation, where he met and became acquainted with Lafayette on his last visit to the United States. He led his warriors against the Creeks in connection with Jackson in 1812. He signed as leading chief the treaty of Choctaw Trading House, Miss., Oct. 24, 1816; of Treaty Ground, Miss., Oct. 18, 1820; of Washington, D. C., Jan. 20, 1825; and of Dancing Rabbit Creek, Miss., Sept. 27, 1830. He died of smallpox at the agency in Arkansas, Sept. 30, 1838. His name was later applied to a district in Indian Ter.
(Handbook of American Indians, Vol 1, p. 958. )
On November 30, 1817, Lieutenant Richard W. Scott, in command of forty United States soldiers, with seven soldiers' wives and four children, in a large open boat, was slowly ascending the Apalachicola River. They were within a mile of the confluence of the Chattahoochie and the Flint, and were passing along by a swamp densely covered with trees and cane, the boat within a few yards of the shore. Here lay in ambush Nehemathla with a large band of warriors. Not a soul of the whites had the least suspicion of danger.
Suddenly the ambushed Indians poured a deadly volley into the closely crowded party on the boat, killing or wounding nearly every man. After firing other volleys, the Indians arose from their ambush, rushed forth, took possession of the boat, and then there took place a horrible scene of indiscriminate killing and scalping. Four men, two of them wounded, made their escape by leaping overboard and swimming to the opposite shore. In twenty minutes the affair was over.
The lives of five persons were spared, one being
Lieutenant Scott, who was wounded, and one a Mrs. Stuart,
the only person unhurt. The five prisoners were bound and carried to a Mikasuki
village. Here Mrs. Stuart was given to an Indian, named
Yellow Hair, who, it is stated, treated her humanely during all her
captivity. But an awful doom, by order of Nehemathla Micco, was reserved
for Lieutenant Scott. During the entire day he was subjected to the
fire torture in every conceivable form before being put to death. During
all this time Nehemathla Micco stood by and enjoyed the prisoner's
agony. The enormity of this act was too great for pardon, and four months
later the day of reckoning came. In April 1814, he and Josiah Francis
were both captured and both executed. The torture of Lieutenant Scott
was the very charge upon which Nehemathla was hanged by order of
General Jackson. An eye witness of the execution described him as
"'a savage-looking man, of forbidding countenance, indicating cruelty
and ferocity. He was taciturn and morose."
In Buell's History of Jackson, the first syllable of this chief's name is elided, and emathla
converted into Himallo,--Himollomicco. In an official letter to General Jackson it is
strangely spelled Hornattlemico,--a pen or printer's slip, perhaps a combination of both. In
another letter he spells it Homattlemicco, which excepting the lass of the first syllable
closely approaches Nehemathlamicco. General Jackson's epithet, "the old Red Stick," shows that he was familiar with his career as a Red Stick during the Creek War.
A Creek born Seminole Chief who signed the treaty for the Hitchiti town location on the
References.--American State Papers, Military Affairs (1832), vol. i, p. 700; Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek or Muscogee Indians (1859), pp. 43, 53, 54, 97; Parton's Life of Jackson (1861), vol. ii, pp. 430, 431, 455-458; Buell's History of Jackson (1904), vol. ii, pp. 123-125.
No facts have been presented of the early life of Opothleyaholo, except that he was considered a promising youth, nor is it known when he rose to the position of speaker of the councils of the Upper Creek towns. His residence was in Tuckabatchee, near the great council house. His first public service was in February, 1825, at the treaty of Indian Springs, whither he went as the representative of the Upper Creeks to remonstrate with General McIntosh against the cession of any part of the Creek country. In his speech before the commissioners, he told them that the chiefs present had no authority to cede lands, which could only be done in full council and with the consent of the whole nation, and this was not a full council. While perfectly respectful to the commissioners, in his speech he warned General McIntosh of the doom that awaited him if he signed the treaty.
Note: Opothle - Yaholo is
as painted by Charles Bird King in 1824
Opohleyaholo left the treaty ground for home the next day. McIntosh signed the treaty and paid for this action.with his life. Opothleyaholo was at the head oú the Creek chiefs that soon after went to Washington to protest against the validity of this treaty, and to execute one that would be more acceptable to his people. In all the negotiations that followed, "he conducted himself with great dignity and firmness, and displayed talents of a superior order. He was cool, cautious, and sagacious; and with a tact which would have done credit to a more refined diplomatist, refused to enter into any negotiation until the offensive treaty of the Indian Springs should be annulled.
The consent of the nation, nor in accordance with its laws, but in opposition to the one, and in defiance of the other, disapproved of it, and another was made at Washington in January, 1826, the first article of which declared the treaty of the Indian Springs to be null and void. Under the new treaty the Creeks ceded all their lands in Georgia except a small strip on the Chattahoochee, which after much negotiation was ceded to Georgia in 1827. On the death of Little Prince in---- Opothleyaholo became practically the principal chief of the Creeks, though he still continued to exercise the functions of speaker of the councils. In the Creek troubles of 1836, Sangahatchee, an Upper town, was the first to rise in revolt, and its painted warriors began to waylay and murder travelers on the highways.
Without delay Opothleyaholo arrayed the
warriors of Tuckabatchee, marched against the insurgent town, captured
it, and delivered the prisoners captured into the hands of the military
authorities. He next, at the request of Governor Clay. called a council
of his warriors at Kialgee. and there, taking fifteen hundred of
them, he marched to Talladega and offered their services to General
Jessup, there in command of the regular troops. The offer was accepted,
and Opothlayaholo, promoted to the rank of colonel, was appointed
commander of all the Indian troops. The united regular and Indian
forces, all under the command of General Jessup, now marched without
delay to the town of Hatcheechubbee, where were embodied the hostiles,
who, overawed by such an imposing force, surrendered, and the trouble was
Shortly after this came the enforced migration of the Creeks from their native land. Opothleyaholo had ever been extremely adverse to emigration west. One of his objections was that the Upper and Lower Creeks could not live harmoniously in close contiguity with each other in the new country, cherishing, as they did, the bitter feelings engendered by the death of General McIntosh. His forebodings were not realized, for after settling in the new country, the old feud was in a measure forgotten, and Opothleyaholo still continued in his
office as chief speaker in the Creek councils. At the outbreak of the great war of 1861, the Creeks divided, the more ignorant position, influenced by Opothleyaholo, adhered to the Federal cause, while the educated and progressive element, under the McIntoshes, were strong adherents of the Confederacy. A civil war ensued, with the result that Opothleyaholo with his partisans, in great destitution, retreated in December to Coffey County, Kansas, where the old chief died shortly after the war. But little is known of the domestic life of Opothleyaholo, whether he had one or more wives. He had a son, born about 1816, who was educated at the Choctaw Academy in Kentucky, and named Colonel Johnson, in honor of Colonel Richard M. Johnson. He had several daughters, said to have been handsome women.
An Upper Creek Chief born at Tuckabatchee, in the present Elmore County.
OSCEOLA (also spelled Oseola, Asseola, Asseheholar, properly Asi-yaholo, 'Black-drink halloer,' from asi, the 'black drink', yaholo, the long drawn-out cry sung by the attendant while each man in turn is drinking). A noted Seminole leader to whom the name Powell was sometimes applied from the fact that after the death of his father his mother married a ////
OSCEOLA, from the painting by King. (After McKenney and Hall. Bureau of American Ethnology.)
Brewer's Alabama (1872), p. 18; Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society (1899), vol. 3, pp. 163-16S; Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society (1904), vol. iv, p. 114; Handbook of American Indians (1910), part 2, pp. 141, 142; Official War Records, Serial Nos. 8, 19, 111, 117, 128; Sparks' "The Memories of Fifty Years (1872), pp. 467-478. (1) Handbook of American Indians, Vol. 21 p. 159.
PADDY CARR.--A Coweta Creek leader, interpreter to the Agent at Fort Mitchell. He was the son of Tom Carr an Irish trader among the Indians. Paddy was reared an orphan among the family of Mr. Crowell, the Agent, and served with him to date of the removal of the Indians in 1836. Carr's first born children were twins, Ari and Adne, named to honor the daughter of his youthful friend, Miss Ariadne Crowell, niece of the Hon. John Crowell, the Creek Indian Agent. Carr died in the West after an eventful career there. At one time he owned considerable property in Russell County in Alabama.
A Coweta Creek leader; agency interpreter Born near Fort Mitchell in Russell County. Served
against the Seminoles in Florida in 1836.
PUSHMATAHA' Apushim-alhtaha, 'the sapling is ready, or finished, for him'--Halbert). A noted Choctaw, of unknown ancestry, born on the E. bank of Noxuba cr. in Noxubee Co., Miss., in 1764; died at Washington, D. C., December 24, 1824. Before he was 20 years of age he distinguished himself in an expedition against the Osage, w. of the Mississippi.
The boy disappeared early in the conflict that lasted all day, and on rejoining the Choctaw warriors was jeered at and accused of cowardice, whereon Pushmataha replied, "Let those laugh who can show more scalps than I can," forthwith producing five scalps, which he threw upon the ground--the result of a single-handed onslaught on the enemy's rear. This incident gained for him the name "Eagle" and won for him a chieftaincy; later he became mingo of the Oklahannali or Six Towns district of the Choctaw, and exercised much influence in promoting friendly relations with the whites.
Although generally victorious, Pushmataha's war party on one occasion was attacked by a number of Cherokees and defeated. He is said to have moved into the present Texas, then Spanish territory, where he lived several years, adding to his reputation for prowess, on one occasion going alone at night to a Tonaqua (Tawakoni?) village, killing seven men with his own hand, and setting fire to several houses. During the next two years he made three more expeditions against the same people, adding eight scalps to his trophies.
When Tecumseh visited the Choctaw in 1811 to persuade them to join an uprising against the Americans, Pushmataha strongly opposed the movement, and it was largely through his influence that the Shawnee chief's mission among this tribe failed. During the War of 1812 most of the Choctaw became friendly to the United States through the opposition of Pushmataha and John Pitchlynn to a neutral course Pushamataha being alleged to have said, on the last day of a ten days' council: "The Creeks were once our friends. They have joined the English and we must now follow different trails. When Washington, they told him the Choctaw would always be friends of his nation, and Pushamataha can not be false to their promises. I am now ready to fight against both the English and the Creeks." He was at the head of 500 warriors during the war, engaging in 24 fights and serving under Jackson's eye in the Pensacola campaign.
In 1813, with about 150 Choctaw warriors, he joined Gen. Claiborne and distinguished himself in the attack and defeat of the Creeks under eatherford at Kanchati, or Holy Ground, on Alabama r., Ala. While aiding the United States troops he was so rigid in his discipline that he soon succeeded in converting his wild warriors into efficient soldiers, while for his energy in fighting the Creeks and Seminole he became popularly known to the whites as "The Indian General." Pushmataha signed the treaties of Nov. 16, 1808; Oct. 24, 1816; and Oct. 18, 1820. In negotiating the last treaty, at Doak's Stand, "he displayed much diplomacy and showed a business capacity equal to that of Gen. Jackson, against whom he was pitted, in driving a sharp bargain." In 1824, he went to Washington to negotiate another treaty in behalf of his tribe. Following a brief visit to Lafayette, then at the capital, Pushmataha became ill and died within 24 hours. In accordance with his request he was buried with military honors, a procession of 2,000 persons, military and civilian, accompanied by President Jackson, following his remains to Congressional Cemetery. A shaft bearing the following inscriptions was erected over his grave.
"Pushmataha a Choctaw chief lies here. This monument to his memory is erected by his brother chiefs who were associated with him in a delegation from their nation, in the year 1824, to the General Government of the United States."
"Push-ma-taha was a warrior of great distinction.
He was wise in council--elequent in an extraordinary degree, and on all occasions, and under all circumstances, the whiteman's friend."
"He died in Washington, on the 24th of December, 1824, of the croup, in the 60th year of his age."
frequently expressed the opinion that Pushmataha was the greatest
and bravest Indian he had ever known, and John Randolph of
Roanoke, in pronouncing a eulogy on him in the Senate, uttered
the words regarding his wisdom, his eloquence, and his friendship for the
whites that afterward were inscribed on his monument. There is a good reason
to believe, however, that much of Pushmataha's reputation for eloquence
was due in no small part to his interpreters. He was deeply interested in
the education of his people, and it is said devoted $2,000 of his annuity
for fifteen years toward the support of the Choctaw school system.
As mingo of the Oklahannali, Pushmataha was succeeded by Nittakechi,
"Day-prolonger." Several portraits of Pushmataha
are extant, including one in the Redwood
Library at Newport, R. I., one in possession of Gov. McCurtin at Kinta, Okla. (which was formerly in the Choctaw capitol), and another in a Washington restaurant. The first portrait, painted by O. B. King at Washington in 1824, shortly before Pushmataha's death, was burned in the Smithsonian fir~ of 1865.
A Choctaw Chief born in Mississippi; served with Claiborne against the Indians in 1813-14; died in Washington City in 1824, and is there buried.
1) Handbook of American Indians, Vol. 2, pp. .329-330.
Consultant Lanman, Recollections of Curious Characters, 1881; McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, 1854; Halbert in Trans. Ala. His. Soc., II, 107-119, 1898, and authorities therein cited; Lincecum in Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc., Ix, 115, 1906.
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