Note: I have taken the liberty to break this material into paragraphs as it came to me in all one piece with no breaks. Dr. Marion Elisah Tarvin was 1st-cousin to my gggrandfather, George Franklin Tervin of Walton Co., FL. Many thanks to Joan Case for contributing Dr. Tarvin's work.
The Muscogees or Creek Indians,
from 1519 to 1893;
Also an Account of the McGillivray Family and Others of Alabama
By Dr. Marion Elisah Tarvin
(or Turvin, as pronounced by some of the old settlers of Alabama.)
From tradition, this once most powerful tribe, from the succession of their Chiefs on down, say that they originally crossed over to America from Asia, landing at the Isthmus of Darien, and finally settling in the northwestern part of Mexico, forming a separate Republic from that of Montezuma. Hernando Cortez, with some Spanish troops, landed at Vera Cruz and conquered the forces under Montezuma, in which battle Montezuma was killed. The Muscogees lost many of their warriors in this conflict and were unwilling to live in a country conquered by foreign assassins, so they determined to seek another country. They took up a line of march eastward until they struck Red River, upon which they built a town. The Alabamas, a tribe who were also traveling, east from Mexico, but unknown to them before, came in contact with a hunting party of Muscogees and killed several of them. The Muscogees resolved to be revenged. After this, the Muscogees again took up their march eastward, in the direction of the Alabamas. This incident led to the final conquest of the Alabamas by the victorious Muscogees, as will be seen. The great streams were crossed by the Muscogees in the order of their grade, the more aristocratic moving first; the Wind family, followed by the Bear and Tiger, on down to the humblest of the clan. The army, led by the Tustenugee or war Chief. The Alabamas finally settled on the Yazoo where De Soto, the Spanish invader, destroyed their fortress in 1541.
From the time the Muscogees left Mexico
to the time of their settling On the Ohio, fifteen years had elapsed,
which was in 1535. They were delighted with their new home. Their wisdom,
prowess and numbers enabled them to subjugate the other and less powerful
tribes. They had learned of the mild climate of the country on the Yazoo,
occupied by the Alabamas, and they determined to possess it. They
crossed the Ohio and Tennessee and settled on the Yazoo.
The Alabamas, hearing of the approach of their old enemy, fled to
the Alabama and Tallahoosa Rivers and built their Capital
at the present Montgomery, now the capital of Alabama. Here
they found a charming region, rich in soil, navigation, and remote from
their enemies, and made permanent homes there. The Muscogees remained
some years on the Yazoo, then hearing what a delightful country the
Alabamas possessed, took up a line of march for it, arriving in safety
in full force with their tribe in the best plight, and without opposition
took possession of it; the Alabamas fled in all directions, This
is suppose to have been about 1620. Gaining a firm foothold in this new
region, enjoying health, increasing population and prosperity, they advanced
to the Okmulgee, Oconee and Ogechee, and established
a town where now reposes the beautiful city of Augusta, Georgia.
With the Indians of Georgia they had combats, but overcame them all.
In 1714 the Muscogees and Alabamas, under the influence of,
and in the presence of Bienville, the French Governor, became
lasting friends, The Alabamas then joined the Muskogees and
returned to their homes on the Alabama, Tallapoosa and Coosa
Rivers. The Muscogees were living on the Ohio River when
De Soto and his army passed through Alabama in 1540. They had heard
of him and the strange people with him, and that they were like those they
had seen and fought in Mexico. The Tookabatches also joined
the Muscogees confederacy. The reputation the Muscogees had
acquired for strength and a warlike spirit induced other tribes who had
become weak, to seek an asylum among them. The Uchees, Tuskegees,
Ozeills, and the remaining band of the Natches, the Muscogees
(who appear to have been a wise and hospitable race) adopted, besides a
host of other smaller bands, and thus become greatly strengthened.
Tookabatcha, the Capital for their confederacy, was situated on the west bank of the Tallapoosa. The Chiefs were chosen from the Wind or mother family in early days, but since 1800 the Hickory Ground and Tookabatches have both supplied chief rulers. The Muscogee confederacy had one great chief, and subordinates. They had seventy-nine towns. The ones in Alabama were as follows: Tookabatcha, Talise or Tulsie, Ofuskie, Hilubie, Attoussee, Eufaula, Coweta, Cusseta, Hitchetee, Wetumpka, Tuskegee and Ockmulgee.
Bienville planted a colony in Ala. in 1702 and founded the present city of Mobile in 1711. When the English began to explore the country and transport goods to all parts of it, they gave all the inhabitants the name of Creeks, from the many beautiful creeks and rivers flowing through the vast domain of the Muscogees. In 1714 Bienville erected Ft. Toulouse. One hundred years afterwards, General Jackson, on the same spot, established Ft. Jackson, now Tuskege, where the notorious Chief and warrior, William Weatherford, of the Creek Confederacy, voluntarily surrendered to General Jackson, on the same spot where his Grandmother Sehoy Marchand, the daughter of Captain Marchand, of Ft. Toulouse, was born, about 1722. Her father, it will be seen later on, was killed by his own soldiers. Her mother was of. the Wind family, from whom the chief rulers were formerly chosen. Captain Marchand, the commandant of Ft. Toulouse, was married to Sehoy of the Wind family, about 1720. From this marriage they had one child, a daughter whom they named Sehoy. Capt. Marchand was killed by his own soldiers during an attack on him and his officers while at breakfast. They were afterwards shot to death. Lachlan McGillivray, a Scotch boy of sixteen summers, had read of the wonders of America. He ran away from his parents at Dunmanglass, Scotland, and took passage for Charleston, S.C., arriving there safely in 1735, with no property but a shilling in his pocket, a suit of clothes, a stout frame, an honest heart, a fearless disposition and cheerful spirits.
About this period the English were conducting an extensive commerce with the Muscogees, Cherokees and Chickasaws. McGillivray went to the extensive quarters of the packhorse traders in the suburbs of Charleston; there he saw hundreds of packhorses, pack-saddles and men ready to start to the wilderness. The keen eyes of the traders fell on this smart Scotch boy, who, they saw would be useful to them. Arriving at the Chatahoochie his master, as a reward for his activity and accommodating spirit, gave him a jack-knife which he sold in Charleston on his return. The proceeds of this adventure laid the foundation of a large fortune. In a few years he became the boldest and most enterprising trader in the whole country. He extended his commerce to Ft. Toulouse in the Muskogee or Creek nation. At the Hickory Grounds a few miles above the fort, at the present town of Wetumpka, Alabama, he found a beautiful girl by the name of Sehoy Marchand, of whose father we have already given an account. Her mother, was a full-blooded Creek woman of the Wind family. Sehoy when first seen by Lachlan McGillivray was a maiden of sixteen, cheerful in countenance, bewitching in looks and graceful in form. It was not long before Lachlan and Sehoy joined their destinies in marriage. The husband established a trading house Little Tulsa, four miles above Wetulmpka, on the east bank of the Coosa, and then took home his beautiful wife.
From this marriage they had five, children namely: Sehoy, Alexander, Sophia, Jeannet and Elizabeth. While pregnant with her second child she repeatedly said she dreamed of piles of books and papers, more than she had ever seen at the fort. She was delivered of a boy who received the name of Alexander. who, when grown to manhood, wielded a pen that commanded the admiration of Washington and his Cabinet, and which influenced the policy of all Spanish America. Lachlan McGillivray with his alliance with the most influential family in the Nation, extended his commerce. He became wealthy and owned two plantations well stocked with negroes, upon the Savannah, and at Augusta, Ga., and Little Tulsa, and at Mobile he had large stores.
When his son use fourteen he took him to Charleston and put him in school, and afterwards, in a countinghouse, but he, having no fondness for this, but a thirst for books, was put under the tutorship of a profound scholar, of his name but no kin. Alexander became master of the Latin, and Greek tongues, and a good belle lettres scholar. Alexander was now a man. He thought of his mother's house by the side of the beautiful Coosa his blow-gun, and the Indian lads of his own age with whom he had fished and bathed while young, of the old warriors who had so often recounted to him the deeds of his ancestors; he thought of the bright eyes of his sisters, Seboy, Elizabeth, Sophia, and Jeannet, so one day he turned his back upon civilization and his horse's head towards his native land.
About this time the Chiefs of the Creeks
were getting into trouble with the people of Georgia, and with anxiety
they awaited the time when Alexander HoGillivrey could, by his descent
from the Wind family, assume the affairs of their government, His
arrival was most opportune. The first time we bear of him after he left
Charleston, was of his presiding at a grand national Council at the
town of Coweta upon the Chattahoochie, where the adventurous
Leclerc Milfort of France was introduced to him; he was at
this time about thirty years of age, and was in great power, for he had
already become an object of attention on the part of the British authorities
of the Floridas, when Col. Tate, a British officer
who was stationed upon the Coosa, had conferred upon Alexander
McGillivray the rank and pay of a Colonel, and he and Tate were associated
together in the interests of King George. Col. Tate, according
to Pickett's history of Alabama, had now become acquainted with the
most gifted and remarkable man that was ever born upon the soil of Alabama.
Col. Tate was a Scotchman of captivating address, and an accomplished
scholar. He afterwards, in 1768 married Sehoy, the sister of Alexander
McGillivray. They had one child whom they named David, who became
a good, wealthy and distinguished citizen of Alabama; and was the grandfather
of the writer.
Pickett of Alabama, was a reliable and truthful chronicler* going to great expense and labor in writing this history of Alabama, which is a, considered authentic, There may be some few errors, but perhaps the best history that has ever, or will ever be written of the State. He lived in the Creek nation for twenty years, understood their customs and language. In relation to the invasion of De Soto of Alabama, he said he derived much of his information in regard to the route of that earliest discoverer, from statements of General Alexander McGillivray, who was the great-great-uncle of the writer. General McGillivray ruled that country with eminent ability from 1770 to 1793. On page 75, Vol 1, Pickett's history of Alabama, he says:
"Alexander McGillivray, whose blood was Scotch, French and Indian, was made a colonel in the British service, afterwards a Spanish Commissary with the rank of Colonel, then a Brigadier General by President Washington in 1790, with full pay of that office. He was a man towering intellect and vast information. In 1784 McGillivray was induced to form an alliance with Spain, for various reasons, the chief of which was that the Whigs of Georgia had confiscated his estates banished his father, threatened him with death, and his nation with extermination, who were constantly encroaching upon Creek soil. The Spaniards wanted no lands, desired only his friendship. They offered him promotion and commercial advantages. When he had signed the treaty they made him a Spanish commissary with the rank and pay of colonel.
In 1790 Col. Alex. McGillivray was the secret agent sent out by Washington from N. Y. to the Creek nation in Ala. He, with his two nephews, David Tate and Lachlan Durant, and two negro servants, Paro and Jonah, and John Francis, a half breed Creek, and 24 warriors and chiefs, set out from Little Tulsa on the Coosa, for New York, proceeding on horse-back they arrived at Stone Mountain in Georgia, where they were joined by the Coweta and Cusseta Chiefs. Reaching the house of General Pickens, in S. C., the party received the warmest welcome; there they were joined by the Tallahassee King. They again set out, arriving at Guilford C, H., N. C., they passed on through Richmond and Fredericksburg in Virginia, where they were treated with much kindness and consideration by prominent and distinguished citizens. Arriving at Philadelphia, they were hospitably entertained for three days.
Entering a sloop at Elizabeth Point they landed at New York, where the Tammany Society received them in full dress of their order. They marched up Wall Street by the Federal Hall----congress was then In session----and next, to the house of the President, to whom they were introduced with much pomp and ceremeony. They were sumptuously and elegantly entertained by the Secretary of War and Gen. Clinton, at the city Tavern, which finished the day. When it became known that McGillivray had departed for New York, great excitement prevailed In Florida and Louisana. Correspondence began with the Capt. General at Havana, and ended by his dispatching from east Florida an agent with a large sum of money to New York, ostensibly to buy flour, but really to embarrass the negotiations with the Creeks. Washington, apprised of the presence of this officer, had his movements so closely observed that the object of his mission was defeated. Washington, communicating with the Senate, advised that the negotiations with McGillivray should be conducted Informally, as all overtures hitherto offered by the commissioners had been rejected.
Embarrassments existed because the commerce of the Creeks was In the hands of a British Company who made their importations from England into Spanish ports. It was necessary that it should be diverted Into American channels, but the McGillivray's treaty at Pensacola in 1784 could not be disregarded without a breach of faith and morals on his part, but, finding by the informal intercourse with them, that McGillivray and the Chiefs were ready to treat upon advantageous terms, Henry Knox was appointed to negotiate with them, and a treaty was concluded by him on the part of the U. S., and on the other side by McGillivray and the delegation representing the whole Creek nation. It stipulated that a permanent peace should be established between the Creeks and the citizens of the U. S.; that the Creeks and Seminoles should be under the protection solely of the American government and that they should not make treaties, with any state or the inhabitants of any State, and that the boundary line between the Creeks and Georgia was to be that claimed by the latter treaty which they had at August and Shoulderbone. Thus did Alex. McGillivray at last surrender the Oconee land about which so much blood had been shed and so much former negotiation had been wasted. It proved that after two years from date, the commerce of the Creek nation should be carried on through the ports of the U. S., and, in the meantime, through the present channel; that the Chiefs of the Ocfuskees, Tookabachas, Tallehasseas, Cowetas, and Seminoles should be paid annually one hundred dollars each, and provided handsome medals and, that Alex. McGillivray should be constituted agent of the U..S., with the rank or Brigadier General, and the pay of twelve hundred dollars per annum; that U. S. should feed, clothe and educate Creek youths at the North, not exceeding four at one time, Thus McGillivray secured to himself new, honors and a good salary by a second treaty which left him in a new position to return home. Even in the presence of Washington and his able Cabinet the Chieftain pushed hard for favorable terms, and received them, says Pickett: "I am indebted to Col. John A. Campbell, an eminent lawyer of Mobile, and Alfred Hennen, a distinguished member of the New Orleans bar, for placing in my hands papers filed in the district court of Louisana, containing the letters or Alex McGillivray to Panton, dated Little Tallassee, Ala., Sept. 20th, 1788, and Aug. l0th,1789, which have been copied in history at length.
I also found amongst the file the secret treaty written upon sheep skin, signed by Washington, Knox, McGillivray and the Chiefs. A celebrated lawsuit brought in this court by the Johnson and other claimants, with the heirs of McGillivray vs. the heirs of Panton, a wealthy Scotchman of Pensacola, and at one time a partner and great friend of McGillivray. This suit was the means of preservation of those historical papers. Pickett says he has only introduced a few of McGillivray's letters to show the strength and high order of his mind. The American State papers contain many of his ablest letters, addressed to congress and the Secretary of War. The writer has a personal recollection of Judge J. A. CampbeIl, of Mobile. It will be seen that Gen. McGillivray is a great grand uncle of the writer, I say this without egotism or the expectation of the praise of men, for which I care nothing, one way or the other. His father, Lachlan McGillivray, who had been an active and influential royalist--the Whigs of Georgia and Carolina felt his weight--when the British were forced to evacuate Savannah he sailed with them to his native country, having scraped together a vast amount of money. He took an affectionate leave of his family (1783). Mrs. Sopie Durant and her boy Lachlan were present on that sad occassion. His plantations, negroes, stock of cattle and stores, he abandoned, in the hope that his daughters, son and wife, Sehoy, then living upon the Coosa, might be suffered to inherit them, but the Whigs of Georgia confiscated the whole of this valuable property. A few negroes who had fled to the Nation, were added to those already at the residence of Sehoy; thus Alex. McGillivray and sisters were deprived of a large patrimony. He had displayed eminent ability in his dealings with these rival powers, the American, English and Spanish, who, he felt, cared nothing for the Creeks except for self aggrandizement. He was humane and generous to the distressed, whom he always sheltered and protected. He had many noble traits, not the least of which was his unbounded hospitality to friend and foe. He had good houses at the Hickory Grounds and Little Tulsa, also called "Apple Grove" (his birthplace) where he entertained distinguished government agents and persons traveling through his extensive domain, with ample grounds and all the comforts desirable. He said he prompted the Indians to defend their lands, "Although I look upon the U.S. as our most natural ally". He could not but resent the greedy encroachments of the Georgias, to say nothing of their scandalous and illiberal abuse. He also says, "If congress will form a government southward of the Altamaha, I will be the first to take the oath of allegiance," This, he said in a letter to his friend Panton at Pensacola, in relation to his treaty with Washington, "In this do you not see my cause of triumph in bringin these conquerors of the old, and the masters of the New World, as they called themselves, to bond and supplicate for peace at the feet of a people whom shortly before they had despised and marked out for destruction?" In 1792 Gen. McGillivray gave up his home to Capt. Oliver, a Frenchman, whom he has so well established in the affections of his people. He then moved to Little River, Baldwin County, Ala., where lived many wealthy and intelligent people whose blood was a mixture of white and Indian. This colony had formed at an early period for the benefit of their large stock of cattle.
His death and the bloody scenes that followed. Gen. McGillivray continued to visit Gov. Carondelet at New Orleans. He owned a trading house at Manchac, Louisana. In returning from N. O. late in the summer of 1792 a violent fever detained him long in Mobile. Recovering, he went to Little Tallassee where he wrote his last letter to Major Seagrove. He appeared to deplore the unhappy disturbances that existed, and ascribed them to the influence of the Spaniards over affairs. He had often responded to the letters of the Secretary Of War in relation to carrying out the provisions of the N.Y. treaty, and he had explained to the Chiefs and had urged them to comply, but the Spanish influence defeated his recommendation, etc. Pickett says: "This remarkable man was fast approaching dissolution, he had long been afflicted. He spent the winter upon Little River, which divides Monroe and Baldwin counties, Ala. The account of his death will here be given in the language of the great Scotch merchant in, a letter dated Pensacola, April 10th, 1794, and addressed to Alexander's father, Lachlan McGillivray, at Dunmanglass, Scotland. I found him deserted by the British, without pay, without money, without property except sixty negroes and three hundred head of cattle, and he and his Nation threatened with destruction by the Georgians unless they agreed to cede them the better part of their country. I pointed out a mode that succeeded beyond expectations. He died Feb. l7th, 1793, of inflamed lungs, and stomach troubles; no pains no attention was spared to save the life, of my friend, but he breathed his last time in my arms. I had advised, I supported, I pushed him on to be the great man he was," Spaniards and Americans felt his weight, and this enabled him to lead me after him so as to establish this house with more solid privileges than without him. He had three children, now left without father or mother, and with no friends except you and be. Panton possessed great wealth, owned large stores and vessels in his immense trade. Gen. McGillivray was interred with Masonic honors in the splendid garden of William Panton, in the city of Pensacola.
He was a severe loss to that man and the Spanish goverment. His death was deeply regretted, by the Indians everywhere. The great Chieftain who had long been their pride, and who had elevated their nation, and sustained them in their trials, now lay buried in the sands of the Seminoles. Gen. McGillivray was six feet high, remarkably erect in person and carriage, and a charming entertainer. He had a bold and lofty head; his eyes were dark and piercing and he was often spoken of and looked upon with admiration. His fingers were long and tapering, and he wielded a pen with great rapidtity. His face was handsome and indicative of quick thought and much sagacity. Unless interested in conversation he was disposed to be taciturn, but he was always polite and respectful. When a British Colonel he dressed in British uniform, and when in the Spanish service lie wore the military dress of that country. When Washington appointed him Brigadier General he sometimes wore the uniform of the American Army, but never In the presence of the Spaniards. Pickett calls him the "Talleyrand of the South". Colonel Tate, a British officer, married his sister Sehoy in 1768, as mentioned before, and had one child whom they named David, born 1778 at Little Tulsa on the Coosa River at the residence of his uncle Alex. McGillivray. When a boy was taken North by his uncle, Gen. McGillivray, and placed at school under the supervision Gen. Washington, where he remained five years, and after the death of McGillivray he was sent to Inverness College, Scotland, by Panton of Pensacola, with McGillivray's son Alexander, where he finished his education.
Alexander McGillivray, Jr. died in Scotland, The other two children of Gen. McGallivray remained in the Creek Nation, and some of their descendents are now living in the Nation. David Tate returned to the Creek Nation in1800 (in Ala.) and took possession of his property which had been in the hands of Gen. McGillivray. He was a man of stern character, reserved manners and classical education, and was a most wonderful judge of human nature, and memory of men. He was possessed of an ample fortune and dispensed It with a liberal hand in the way of charity, on those who were worthy and in need. He had a remarkable influence over man whom he desired to bend to his will. The same year he returned from Scotland he married Miss Mary Randon, both of Baldwin Co., Alabama. She was a French and Creek blood; the fruits of this marriage were three daughters: Louisa,.Elizabeth and Theresa. Louisa married George Tunstall, brother of Col. Thomas Tunstall, who was Secretary of State during Gov, A.P. Bagby's administration of Alabama. From this marriage they had eight children; Thos. Tate, Mary Ann, Peyton Randolph, Lucy, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Geo. Washington and Edmund. Thos. Tate was appointed U.S. Consul to Dadiz, Spain, in 1856, returning to Ala. in 1865. In1888 he was appointed Consul to San Salvador by President Grover Cleveland, and removed by President Harrison. He was educated at The University of N. C. and speaks several languages. He resides at Mobile and married a Miss Crossland and has two sons. Mary Ann married Dr. Wm. I. Tunstall and had four children: Laura, Percy, Thomas and Arthur. Lucy married Alex. Lumsden, a nephew of Frank Lumsden, formerly editor of the N. 0. Picayune and he had several children: One son, Capt. Frank Lumsden of Mobile, who married a daughter of Gen. Can Dorm; Peyton Randolph married Miss Laura Slaughter and had four sons: Peyton and Thomas (both dentists of Mobile) and Edmund and Clay. Rebecca married William Hobbes; they had one daughter, Willie, now Mrs. Neville of Mobile. Elizabeth married Jno. D. Weatherford of Monroe County (a nephew of Wm. Weatherford the warrior), and had several children. The writer was at her wedding which was a brilliant affair.
Elizabeth Tate married Elijah Tarvin, they had seven children, two now living in the Creek Nation, Geo. W. and Eliza Douglas. Theresa Tate married Elisah Tarvin on the 26th of Dec. 1825 (he was a brother of Elijah); they had eight children: William, Virginia, Elizabeth, Richard Maiden, Marion Elisah (the writer), Victoria, Miller Tate, Edger James all born in Baldwin County, Ala. Elizabeth married Wm. H. Steadham and had three children: James Emanuel, Elisah and Rosa. Marion Elisah married Miss Sophia Frances, youngest daughter of Pleasant White of Sumpter County, Ala., and had two sons: Pleasant Floyd, and Beauregard Coats. John Coats, the grandfather of Sophia Frances White, (now Mrs. Marion E. Tarvin), moved from S. C. to Alabama at an early day and settled in Green County, representing that district in the State senate several terms. Victoria married Frank Lawson and had two daughters: Fannie and Josephine, now Mrs. Brown of Choctaw County, Ala. Marion Elisah (the writer) finished his literary studies under the Beal brothers, at Wilkens' Academy in Maury County, Tennessee, after which he studied medicine and dentistry and was graduated from Baltimore College of Dental surgery in 1867. He was 2nd Lt. in the 40th Ala. volunteer regiment, Holtzclaw's Brigade, Withers' Division, Polk's corps Confederate army. Miller Tate Tarvin was a confederate soldier in the 3rd Ala. Cavalry Ruffidragooms, F. Y. Gaines Capt., and escort Company to Gen. A. S. Johnston. He was on the battlefield when Gen. Johnston was killed, Miller came to a tragic end by being waylaid and killed by a cowardly assassin. Edgar James was a confederate soldier in the 40th Ala. Vol. regiment.
Wm. Tarvia, the father of Elijah and Elisah came from England and first settled in Burke County, Ga. and married a Miss Mary Miller, afterwards settled in Baldwin County, Ala. and died there about 1812. He had three daughters: Elizabeth, Nancy and Rene, and two sons: Elijah and Elisah. Elizabeth married Jas. Earle, S. C., and had three daughters: Nancy, Rachel, Margaret, and six sons: James, William, Richard, Alexander, John and Frank. Nancy married Edward Stidham and had sons and daughters; Margaret married Joel McDavid and had sons and daughters; Nancy Tarvin married. Thos, Puckett and had sons and daughters. The Grand-daughter, Martha E. Hotchkiss, (now Mrs. Whitton of Austin, Tex. the authoress of the "Garlands of Texas," a poetical work). Rene Tarvin married No. Boon and had seven sons and one daughter Rachel married Capt. Myles, U, S. A. and had two sons: Joseph and John, and Emily. Elijah Tarvin married Elizabeth Tate and had sons and daughters. Elisah married Theresa Tate and had sons and daughters (one daughter being the mother of the writer). Zylpha, fourth daughter of Wm. Tarvin married a Mr. Conway and had sons and daughters. David Tate having lost his wife, who was killed with her father and mother at Ft. Mims (David Tate was at Pierce's, three miles distant, at the time) married Mrs. Margaret Powell in 1819 and had one child, a daughter, Josephine, who married Jas. D. Dresbach in 1844, both now living. They had fourteen children namely: Ida, Charles Henry, Florence, Percy Webb, Arthur Carroll, Mabel, Viola Kate, Maude, Lee (physician), Bertha, Clara Lilia, Anna Moniac, Josephine Tate, Sehoy Rosannah, all born in Baldwin Co., Ala.
Sehoy Tate, the sister of Gen. McGillivray, after the death of her husband in 1779, married Chas. Weatherford, an Englishman who came to the Creek Nation some years prior to 1778, from Georgia. He was a man of means and was a government contractor, and constructed and owned the first race courses in Ala. From this marriage they.had five children; three sons and two daughters, namely: William (the warrior), John, Elizabeth, Washington and Rosannah. The Sehoy the second, sister of Alex. McGillivray, was an extraordinary woman, if only from the fact of being the mother of three very remarkable personages; David Tate (the writers grand-father), William the Chief, and Rosannah Weatherford. Rosannah married Capt. Shomo, a gallant officer of the U. S. Navy. I well recollet Aunt Rosannah and Capt. Shomo, having often been at their house. She was woman of great force of of character. She was born in the upper part of Baldwin county, Ala., near where rests the remains of her warrior brother, William the "Red Eagle". From this marriage they had five children: David, Joseph W., both, of whom were eminent physicians of Monroe and Wilcox counties, Ala., James, Frank, Virginia, William, and Fannie. Virginia now lives with her brother, Dr. Jos. W. Shomo. Dr. J. W. Shomo was twice married. His first wife was Miss Mary Wheadon, of Virginia. They had two daughters--Mr. Dr. Scott, the other, Mrs. Kingall of Monroe County, Ala., Sophia, sister to Gen. McGillivray, was beautiful in every respect, she had an air of authority, and had great influence for good. She married Ben Durant of S. C., a Frenchman, at Little Tulsa, in 1779, on the Coosa River, Ala. They afterwards went to live on one of her father's plantations on the Savannah River. They had, by this marriage, five children: Lachlan, Sophia, Polly, Rachel, and Betsey. One of the children married James Baily who was killed at Ft. Mims; he was a brother of Capt. Dixon Baily who fought, so bravely in defence of Ft. Mims and was killed. Sophia married Dr. McCombs a Scotchman. Lachlan married Miss Polly Hall of Baldwin, County, Ala. and had five sons: Jack, Charles, Martin, William and Constance, and Sally Adams. Jack lives at Bartlett, Williamson Co., Texas. He is now 83 years of ago and a prominent citizen, and has several children. One of his sons, Arthur, lives at Abilene, Texas. One of his daughters, Milly, married Mark Minter, and has six sons. They live at Muscogee, I. T. Charles was a soldier in the Mexican war, under Gen. Taylor. Martin was twice sheriff of Baldwin county, Ala. William was engaged by the U. S. Government, with Ex-chief Ward Coachman, in carrying the last body of 65 Creeks from Alabama to the Nation in 1849. I was present and saw them get on board a steamboat at Sizemoore's wood-yard. Polly married Muslushobie (otherwise Coachman), who was half white, and of the Ala., tribe. They had one son, Ward Coachman, a well-educated and very popular man of the present Creek Nation. He was twice elected chief or governor of his Nation and is now a member of the Council. He lived in Alabama at the house of his uncle, Lachlan Durant, until he was twenty-two years of age, when he moved to the Territory. He has been married twice, and has four children: Peter, Vicey, Charles and George. Constance Durant still lives in Baldwin, co., ala., an old bachelor. Neither William or Charles were ever married. I was often at the home of Lachlan Durant, during my boyhood, and heard him talk of his uncle Alexander McGillivray. Martin Durant married a Miss Hannah Pollard, and had several children,.the eldest named Norman.
Gen. LeClere Milford, an intelligent Frenchman, mentioned above, lived in the Creek Nation from 1776 to 1796. He wrote a history of the Muscogees or Creeks, and published his work in Paris in 1802. He married Jeannet, the other sister of Gen. McGillivray of the Creek tribe. When he arrived in France with his wife; Bonaparte, who had heard of this adventureus man, honored him with an audience; he wished to engage the services of this man to help form an alliance with Alabama and.Mississippi, to strengthen his Louisiana possessions, so he made him a General of Brigade. In 1814 LeClere Milford died at his home at Rheims. His wife survived him but a short time.
John Randon, a wealthy man from Savannah, settled in Monroe Co., Ala., on the Alabama River at an early day, at the mouth of Randon Creek, now known as the Wm. Hollings Place, where the celebrated canoe fight took place with Anstill, Dale and Smith and eight warriors. He married a woman of French and Creek blood, and had four children: Peter, David, John and Mary. As already shown, Mary married David Tate and was killed in Ft. Mims with her father and mother In 1813. David married a Miss McNeil; he had only one child, Proserpine. He died in Ft. Bend County, Texas, since the confederate war. Peter, the gallant officer of Ft. Mims, commanded a citizens Company; he made his escape with 17 others, and afterwards became a citizen of New Orleans, and was a cotton factor. His second wife was an English lady by whom he had two children: Sylvester and Louise. After his death she returned to England. I have a pleasant personal recollection of them. He was my grand-uncle, and beloved by all who knew him. John married and had one child named John, who married, Miss Lottie Baldwin of Houston, Texas, and had one daughter, Libbie, now Mrs. George L. Porter of that city.
David Tate died in 1829, and was interred at one of his homes, at the beautiful spot of old Montpelier, Baldwin county, Ala., now owned by Frank Earle, a first cousin of the writer on his father's side. David Tate and Wm. Weatherford, the Chief and warrior, were half brothers. David was friendly to the U. S., and opposed the Indian war; he met his half brother in camp the night before the attack on Ft. Mims, and endeavored to persuade him (William) to desist. William made a speech to his 700 warriors; they accused him of treachery, but he assured them that he was true, he told them they must spare the women and children. He had raised the storm but could not control it.
John Weatherford married Patty Dyer, sister of David Tate's second wife, they had two children: John D. and Caroline. Caroline married Killiam and had several children. Edward was a physician who died at Muskogee, I.T., and left one child, a daughter Lita, now living with the family of Geo. W. Tarvin of Okmulgee, I. T. Norville married a man by the name of Norman, In Monroe Co. Ala. and moved to the Creek Nation in 1867.
William Moniac, a Hollander, the father of Sam who married Polly Colbert, a Tuskegee woman who was the mother of Sam Moniac who married Elizabeth Weatherford. He went to N.Y. with Alex McGillivray; there he was presented by Washington with a medal which was buried with him at Pass Christian, Miss., in 1837; they had three children; David, Alexander, and Levitia. David Moniac, under the treaty at New York, was graduated at West Point. He was made a major and commanded 600 Creeks and Choctaws against the Seminoles in the Florida war of 1836. He was killed, 13 bullets piercing his body. A braver man never lived.
Levitia or Vicey, married William Sizemore of Baldwin County, Ala. who was a son of Dixon Baily's sister, a mixture of Creek and white blood. He became a wealthy planter on the Alabama River, and has many descendants. Major David Moniac married Miss Polly Powell (or Mrs. Saunders) and had two children: David Alexander and Margaret. David Alexander was sheriff of Baldwin County, Ala. and served one or two terms, he died In 1880. Margaret married A. J. McDonald and had several children.
After finishing with Wm. Weatherford I will end with the McGillivray family, who have married and intermarried into some of the best families, and constitute some of the best citizens in the South. Many of them have made gallant soldiers and creditable citizens. Wm. Weatherford the warrior and Chief, married for his first wife, Polly Moniac, daughter of Wm. Moniac and Polly Colbert; by this marriage he had three children: Charles, William and Polly. After Polly's death he married his cousin Kanoth-Koney, daughter of John Moniac. After her death he married Mary Stiggins, by whom he had five children. Alex. McGillivray Weatherford is the only one of his five children, by his third wife, who is now living, Levitia grew to womanhood and married Dr. Howell; she died and left four children. Weatherford's eldest son, Charles, by his first wife, is still living in the lower part of Monroe Co., Ala. He is now ninety-three years of age. He has a son Charles who married Martha Stoples and has eight children: Sherman, Sidney, Maggie, Loura, Mary, Charles and lone. I have often conversed with this noble and venerable old kinsman. He is a handsome old man with long white flowing beard. I have often heard him tell of the McGillivray family and the war of 1813 and 1814, carried on by Weatherford, of which the family were unhappily divided. His native land was being encroached upon by the whites on all sides; this was the stake to be fought for. He had another reason for fighting against the Americans which was that he would have been charged with cowardice, which he could not brook. Unlike his brother David Tate, he had no education. Col. Hawkins, the Indian Agent who lived long amongst the Creeks said a more truthful man than Weatherford never lived. It seemed as if nature had set her seal upon him in fashioning his form, for it was said you could not look upon him without being impressed with the idea that you were in the presence of no ordinary man. He was as perfect in form as nature ever made a man. As you see, he was of Indian, French, Scotch and English blood. Educated people who conversed with him were surprised to hear with what force and elegance he spoke the English language. He carried on the war from June 1813 to Dec.1814, when he surrendered to Gen. Andrew Jackson at Ft. Jackson, Ala., an account of which is here given in his own words as related to me by William Sizemore, Chas. Weatherford, Col. Robt. James of Clarke County, and Wm. Hollinger.
I also refer you to Pickett's history of Ala. and
to the Historical Society at Tuscaloosa, Ala. After he had captured and
destroyed Ft. Mims and its inmates, (except the17 who made their
escape) he fought Gen. Jackson at E. Mukfau, Hilibia Holy Ground,
Horse Shoe, and in various other battles, in which he (Weatherford)
distinguished himself. He fought as long as there was hope of success. After
the battle of the Horse Shoe, when one half of his warriors lay stretched
in death upon the gory field, and the women and children of his tribe were
starving and hiding in the forest, when ruin and want spread throughout
the land, he determined to make a sacrifice of himself In order to save
the remnant of his tribe. This greater hero than ancient or modern times
ever produced, went boldly forward to give his life to mitigate the sufferings
of his people. Mounted on the noble steed that had carried him through all
the perils of war, he started for Ft. Jackson. As he approached the
Fort he met some officers and privates near the Fort who directed him to
Jackson's headquarters. He rode up to Jacksons tent, in front
of which stood Col. Hawkins, the Indian Agent, reading a newspaper.
As Hawkins raised his head and saw Weatherford, he exclaimed
in startled surprise, "By Heaven here Is Weatherford",
Gen. Jackson stepped out quickly and, after looking sharply at Weatherford,
exclaimed, "And what do you come here for, Sir?" Weatherford
said, "I come to surrender myself to you. You can kill me if you
wish to do so. I have fought you as long as I could, and did you all the
harm I could, and had I warriors I would still fight you but you have destroyed
them, I can fight no longer I come to ask for peace, not for myself, but
for my people--the women and children who are starving in the forest, without
shelter. If you think I deserve death you can take my life; I am a Creek
warrior and not afraid to die. My talk is ended." At the conclusion
of these words, many who had surrounded him, said, "Kill him, kill
him, kill him". Gen. Jackson commanded silence and said in an
emphatic tone, "Any man who would kill as brave a man as this, would
rob the dead." He then invited Weatherford to alight, and drank
a glass of brandy with him, and entered into cheerful conversation under
his hospitable marquee, Weatherford took no further part in the war
except to Influence his warriors to surrender. He went to his former residence
on the Little River, but soon had to leave it as his life was constantly
in danger. Gen. Jackson sent him to a secret place of safety, and
remained there several months. His half brother, David Tate, (The
writer's Grand-father) was the only man in Ala. who knew where Weatherford
was during his stay at the Hermitage. He afterwards returned to the
lower part of Monroe Co., Ala, where he owned a fine plantation and
large number of slaves. He was generous and kind to all, was highly esteemed
and respected by every one for his strict Integrity and manly qualities.
He died in 1824 and sleeps by his mother, Sehoy, in the northern
part of Baldwin County, Ala., near the residence of Col J. D.
Driesbach, who married his half niece, Josephine Tate, (my aunt)
both of whom are now living, upon the same spot where he made his speech
to his warriors on the night before he attacked Ft. Mims, on the
day following Aug, 30th, 1813. Though fierce his deeds; and rad his hand,
he battled for his native land.
I have had conversations with the following persons concerning the McGillivray family: Old negro Tom, who escaped from the massacre at Ft. Mims. Jonah, a body servant of Gen. McGillivray, who even remembered Lachlan McGillivray. This negro died at the house of my aunt, Mrs, Josephine Driesbach, in Baldwin County, since the war, at a very old age. Mrs. Sizemore, mother of Wm. Sizemore, William Hollinger, Col. J. Anstil of Mobile; Linn Maghee, (my grandfather`s ranch man). I was personally acquainted with the following old and distinguished citizens of Alabama: Gen. Geo. S. Gaines, he told me about the arrest of Ex-vice president Aaron Burr, by his brother, Capt. E. P. Gaines, and his soldiers, in company with Nicholas Perkins, Tom Malone, and others. He was at Ft. Stoddard when Burr was brought there, he became fascinated with him, and regretted the down-fall of this brilliant and distinguished man. Aaron Burr remained in the Fort two weeks when he was taken in a boat up the river to Tensaw Lake where they landed within a quarter of a mile of where Ft. Mims afterwards stood he was taken on horseback through Baldwin Co., stopping at the comfortable residence of my grandfather, David Tate, for dinner. They continued their line of march through the wilderness north. I was well acquainted with Judge A. B. Meek of Mobile, who wrote the "RED EAGLE" (Weatherford), Ex Gov. A. P. Bagby, S. P. Hopkins, E. S. Dargon, Reuben Chamberlain, Burwell Boykin, Judge Jno. A. Campbell, G. N. Stewart, Dr. Mordecei (a son of Abram Mordecai) a Jew who lived in the Creek Nation many years, Ned and Jesse Stidham, and Dr. J. G. Holmes, of Baldwin Co. The three latter escaped from Ft. Mims the time of the battle when all was lost.1813. Ned Stidham had a finger shot off. He married my first cousin, Nancy Earls, on my father's side. His sons and I were schoolmates.
I cannot close without saying something of another remarkable family--- the McIntosh family of Alabama. McIntosh Bluff on the Tombigby River, was the first place where the first American court was held.
Alabama has the honor of being the birthplace of Geo. M. Troup of Georgia. His grandfather, Capt. John McIntosh, Chief ot the McIntosh Clan, of Scotland, was rewarded by the King of England, for his valuable service with the grant of McIntosh Bluff. He had a daughter who, while on a visit to England, married an officer named Troup. She sailed from England to Mobile, and went up to McIntosh Bluff to her father's residence where, in 1780 she gave birth to a son, Geo. M. Troup, once governor of Georgia. Roderick McIntosh, grand uncle of Gov. Troup, was often in the Creek Nation and was the father of Co. William McIntosh, a half blood Creek of high character, whom the upper Creeks killed on account of his friendship to the Georgians, and his treaty with them. They afterwards regretted it. He was fearless in spirit, and wanted to raise his people, the Creeks, to a higher degree of civilization. He did his best to put down the hostiles, as he know it would result in their ultimate ruin. He wanted them to emigrate west, to got away from whiskey, and the bad influence of white men. He has been instrumental in making a treaty by which was surrendered a large tract of land that Georgia claimed. He was doing what he thought was best for his people, in securing permanent homes and peace, but they took a wrong view of it and resolved to put him to death. About fifty of the conspirators surrounded his house at daylight. David Tate, his friend, and my grandfather, had heard of the intended assassination, and sent a trusty servant to warn McIntosh. The messenger arrived at McIntosh's residence just before the hostile band. Gen. McIntosh immediately sent off his son, Chilly, to seek aid to defend his home. His son had been gone but a short time when his house was set on fire; he then resigned himself to his fate. More than fifty rifles broke forth at daybreak, and the noble Chief fell from the door a lifeless corpse.The above facts were narrated to my uncle by an eye witness, and he told them to me.
The first emigration to the present Creek Nation
was made under Chilly Mclntosh, the son of Gen. Wm. McIntosh
in 1827 and still another; until finally nearly all were settled in the
new Territory, with the exception of a few scattering families who
remained in Alabama. A goodly number of their descendants still live
there. The Creeks exchanged their lands in Ala. for those
they now occupy with the U. S., these were patented to them by the
government, and to their descendents, as long as water runs and grass grows.
They are in a prosperous condition, have a good government, towns, Capitol
buildings, school, colleges, asylums, etc. They are Intelligent and very
hospitable. Their Nation contains 14,000 Creek citizens, 5,000 negroes
and 10,000 whites. Chilly McIntosh raised a regiment during the war,
and joined the confederate army. He has two sons who now live in the Territory;
Lucien, and the Rev. W. F., a Baptist preacher, of
education and refinement, and much respected by all the people in the Territory.
I have written this in answer to a letter from Prof. W. S. Wyman, of the University of Alabama, dated July 20th,1893. He is engaged in writing a history of Alabama, and wished more information of the McGillivray family, of the Creeks of Alabama. In conclusion I will say that Maj. James D. Driesbach, my uncle, of Baldwin County, Ala., to whom I am indebted for valuable information in writing this history of the McGillivray, Tates, Durants and Weatherfords, served in the State senate of Ala., was born at Dayton, Ohio, married my aunt, Josephine Tate In 1844, is of German descent, and one of the best and truest men I ever had the good fortune to know. He is now school superintendent of his county, but nearly blind from old age. His wife is a large fine looking old lady, very intelligent, and most estimable.
Galveston, Texas, Sept. 1893.