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HANNAH HALE of THLOTLOGALGA or LALOAKALKA -- THE FISHPONDS

By Chris Clark 1998 ©

Hannah Hale is believed to have been born near present-day Taliaferro County, Georgia in about the year 1765. In the year 1777, When Hannah was 11 or 12 years old, she was abducted by the Creek Indians at a place called Roger's Fort on the Ogeechee River in present-day Taliaferro County, Georgia. Taking the Creek Path through the Lower Creek villages and then heading northward along the Coosa River, a Creek war party arrived with Hannah Hale at their village which the traders had named the Fish Ponds. The village was actually named Thlotlogalgua, or Laloakalka. The Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins, traveling through the Creek country in the year 1799, came to this village where he found Hannah Hale living with her five children.

In his book "Sketch of the Creek Country", Benjamin Hawkins writes this concerning Hannah Hale and the village laloakalka, commonly called the Fish Ponds, where she lived: "Hannah Hale resides here. She was taken a prisoner from Georgia, when about eleven or twelve years old, and married the head man of this town, by whom she has five children. This woman spins and weaves, and has taught two of her daughters to spin; she has labored under many difficulties; yet by her industry has acquired some property. She has one negro boy, a horse or two, sixty cattle, and some hogs; she received the friendly attention of the agent for Indian affairs, as soon as he came in the nation. He furnished her with a wheel, loom, and cards; she has an orchard of peach and apple trees. Having made her election at the national council, in 1799, to reside in the nation, the agent appointed Hopoithle Haujo to look out for a suitable place for her, to help her to remove to it with her stock, and take care that she receives no insults from the Indians."

I believe that Hopoithle Haujo, the Indian appointed to care for Hannah Hale, was actually her husband. Hopoithle Haujo was a warrior's name; the name Hopoithle translated meaning Ho - Far - poi- Off - ithle - War, and the last name Haujo meaning "Mad" or "Crazy."

W. Stuart Harris, in his book "Dead Towns of Alabama", mentions this concerning Hannah Hale and the now extinct Creek village of Lalokalka. "Laloakalka, {the phonetic spelling for} ,Thlot-lo-gul-gua. This village was on a pond-like creek, believed to be Jack's Creek, an upper branch of Elkehatchee, about 14 miles from its junction with the Tallapoosa River, in Coosa County. (See Vol. II of Thomas McAdory Owen's 4 volume series, "History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography", (Chicago, 1921), P.838-839). The name of this village means Laloa, "fish," akalka, "seperated," or "placed apart."

Thomas McAdory Owen in his book, "History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography", Pp. 838-839, mentions this concerning Lalokalka, the villaged where Hannah Hale lived:

"LALOKALKA. An Upper Creek town, originally settled from Okchayi (q.v.). It was situated `on a small, pond-like creek,' an upper branch of Elkehatchee, and about 14 miles from its junction with the Tallapoosa. Jack's Creek is believed to be the location and modern name of the pond-like creek. The site is probably 3 or 4 miles east of Hissop in Coosa County. The name is abbreviated from Laloakalka, `fish seperated, placed apart,' that is, Lalo, `fish,' akalgas, `I am separated from.' Gatschet (in Alabama History Commission, Report (1901), P.402) stated that the name was probably suggested from the circumstance that the older Creeks had some method of catching fish, besides fishing for them, perhaps a contrivance for dipping them up with nets. The name is spelled Thlot-lo-gul-gau, which he says was `called by the traders fish-ponds.'

Gatschet was apparently incorrect concerning how the village acquired its name. I believe the Fish clan became over-populated within the town of Okchai and then divided to form a separate village; hence, "Lalo, `Fish', akalgas, "I am separated from."

William Bartram a noted 18th century ethnologist suggests in his Travels that a Head Man was actually a chief. The Creek Indian word for Chief was Miculneggee which was later shortened to Micco. When traders came into the villages to trade guns, ammunition, and other supplies for furs, they referred to the village chiefs as Kings. Villages were often settled from larger Towns for various reasons such as food shortage or over-population. Towns and villages contained various tribal clans such as the Beaver, Wolf, or Bear clan. The clan which settled Laloakalka was known as the Fish clan and they were a settlement made from the larger Town of Okchai. Clans chose their leader or chief from their own clan.

The Creek Indians were subsequently devided into two different groups, the Upper Creeks, consisting primarily of three sub-groups; the Alabamas, Abeikas, and Tallapoosas. and the Lower Creeks. The Alabamas, again, are devided into about 7 different sub-tribes; one of which was the Okchais. The Okchais were commonly called the "Fish Ponds" by the fur traders. Hawkins suggests that their town of Okchai had three distinct villages, or settlements: Lalogalga, Asilanabi, and Pochusehatche, (or Hatchet Creek as it was called). Lalogalga is listed by Major Caleb Swan as a settlement of Okchai in 1791; however we know it was probably settled as early as 1777 when Hannah Hale was captured and given in marriage to Hopaiethle Haujo of this village. This settlement made by the Okchais was commonly referred to by the fur traders as the "FishPonds" because it was situated near a pond-like creek. This pond-like creek would later be called Jack's Creek.

A list of the TOWNS of THE UPPER CREEKS and a list of the TOWNS of THE LOWER CREEKS can be found on this site; just follow those links.

As stated earlier, in 1799 the national council appointed Hopoithle Haujo to assist Hannah Hale and her children in removing to another place. Later, Hannah Hale is supposed to have lived in Monroe County, Alabama on land which her sons, David and Samuel, received following the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814.

Hannah Hale would have five children in all, three daughters and two sons, by the Mad Far Off Warrior. A daughter, Jennie, was born in about the year 1790 and she married Simeon Strickland. Another daughter, Mary "Polly" Hale married a man named John Miles who died before 1832. Polly is listed on the 1832 Creek Indian Census, living in Autauga Town. The two sons were named David and Samuel. Samuel and his brother David Hale received land in Monroe County, Alabama in the Treaty of Fort Jackson, due to their being the sons of a Creek "Head Man," or chief. David would die in the Creek Indian Removal of 1837 in Pass Christian, Mississippi, enroute to Oklahoma. Samuel is believed to have been the youngest of the five children. He, more fortunate than his brother David, survived the removal to the Oklahoma Territory where his descendents lived. All children would keep their mother's last name which was Hale.

Following the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814 between the Creek Indians and the United States government, Hannah Hale was approached by government officials who asked her if she would not like to return to the white settlements. When they found her, they must have been quite surprised to find a white lady living peacefully among the "savages." Indeed, she was farming the land and raising cattle as so many Creeks had decided after the Indian Agent, Benjamin Hawkins, came in and taught them the ways of modern agriculture. Hannah Hale refused to return to the white settlements and it can be assumed that she lived the remainder of her life peacefully among the Creeks. How sad it must have been to see her people demoralized by a new breed of individuals - the settlers. Hannah Hale is believed to have died in the year 1818 in Autauga Town, in Monroe County, Alabama.

On January 29, 1817, heirs of Hannah Hale made requests to the House of Representatives of the United States in the 14th Congressional session. These heirs were asking for an Indemnity for losses in the Creek Wars which was passed by the Ways and Means Committee on March 3, 1817, but rejected by the Claims Committee in 1818. In 1828, Samuel and David Hale went before the Public Lands committee to receive confirmation of a title to the lands on which they resided. This title would be given to them for as long as they lived but would not pass to their heirs.

Tell me what you think,

Chris