Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

M E M O I R S
or

A QUICK GLANCE

At my various Travels and my Sojourn in the Creek Nation

by Louis LeClerc Milfort

Tastanegy or Great War Chief of the Creek Nation, and Brigadier-General in the Service of the French Republic


Wriiten about 1802 and dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Kindly Contributed by William C. Bell


Visit LeClerc Milfort's family history page


INTRODUCTION

ON GIVING to the public the short history of my various travels among the savage nations of the North American continent, I have had no ambitious beliefs that this work would be a valuable piece worthy of being associated with the history of the world. I know too well the difficulty of the subject and the deficiency of my means to aspire to this great honor; I have still had less intention of writing a novel, and I assure the reader that I have witnessed, and have more often taken active part in the events which will be set forth for him here, or that they have been told to me by the chiefs of the nation that I had the honor of commanding. He will find that their language is of a character too simple and too close to nature to believe them capable of dissimulation. I present the facts, which have been reported to me, with all the more assurance since I have been in a position to verify the greater part of them. This feeble effort could offer the framework of a long history to a man who is accustomed to writing; but I who have spent twenty years of my youth in the heart of the forest and among men still in the cradle of nature, I who had almost completely forgotten the French language, speaking only a foreign language and often a frightful jargon, have had to limit myself to relating the facts as briefly and with as few imperfections as possible. My first request of the reader is for his boundless indulgence. I beg him not to linger over the imperfections, or even the defects of style that he can find everywhere, and not to forget that my sole purpose in setting down my travels has been to make known to the French government that my long sojourn among the savages, and the position I held in the Creek Nation, have inevitably given me the means of being able to be of service to it in all the expeditions it may plan on the North American continent.

I must further inform the reader that this work was done with the greatest haste, that is to say, within the space of about three weeks, that it was done from memory, and without notes; so that the events will often be confused. Particular reasons have forced me to divide my story into two parts, and to discard minor details and consequences, and select only the principal things in order to present them from a single point of view. This division required long and sustained work that I have not been able to give it. The pressing circumstance of the Louisiana expedition, which is on the point of being carried out, has not even permitted me to reread it. I am putting it in the printer's hands just as it is, with the intention of correcting it and even adding considerably to it later on, if the public deign to receive it favorably, considering only the motives which have dictated it, and which I shall make known in a more carefully written work.


To Bonaparte General-Consul

I HAVE the honor of presenting to you a little work, entitled A Quick Glance at my Travels among the savage Tribes of North America. The haste in which it has been written, the imperfections which necessarily result from such hurry, have made me hesitate to present it to you; but I believed that this work belonged to you, because it deals with a part of the globe where the glory of your name is already spread, and because it concerns in particular a good and brave people worthy of becoming allied with the French people, and who had sent me precisely to form this alliance. It is in the name of this same people, General-Consul, that I take the liberty of presenting it to you. Certain of their entire gratitude, if you deign to accept this token of it, I do not hesitate to assure you that they will consider this kindness on your part as a mark of your good intentions concerning them. Flattered by being today their interpreter to you, I seize this happy occasion to solemnly declare to you my unbounded devotion and to assure you of the profound respect with which I am,

General-Consul
Your very obediant servant

Milfort
Tastanegy
or Great War Chief of the Creek Nation


CONTENTS


FIRST PART
Departure from France, and my arrival among the Creeks

Chapter 1: Departure from France

Chapter 2: Arrival in the United States

Chapter 3: Departure from the United States

Chapter 4: Arrival among the Creeks

Chapter 5: Departure from Coetas

hapter 6: I settle in the Creek Nation

Chapter 7: I serve as a soldier

Chapter 8: I am appointed little war chief

Chapter 9: I am appointed great war chief, or tastanegy

Chapter 10: I travel in the nation

Chapter 11: The Spanish governors' manner of administering

Chapter 12: Administration of the baron de Carondellet

Chapter 13: Description of the Mississippi

Chapter 14: Continuation of my journey in the Creek nations

Chapter 15: Arrival among the Atakapas

Chapter 16: Arrival among the Nakitoches and the Akancas

Chapter 17: Arrival at the Red River

Chapter 18: Arrival at the caves

Chapter 19: Departure from the caves to return to the nation

Chapter 20: What General Bowls is

Chapter 21: McGillivray is made commissary for the king of Spain

Chapter 22: Bad faith of the Georgians

Chapter 23: General confederation of the savages of North America

Chapter 24: Departure of McGillivray for New York; he is made general in the service of the United States

Chapter 25: Treachery of the Anglo-Americans

Chapter 26: Organization of the Yazau or Sciotot Companys

Chapter 27: Various journeys I made in the nation

Chapter 28: I tender my resignation as commissary of the king of Spain in order to go to France

Chapter 29: My arrival in Philadelphia and my departure for France

Chapter 30: My arrival in France

 


SECOND PART

Description of the customs of the Creek Nation, and of the various nations of which it is composed

Chapter 31: Arrival at New London

Chapter 32: Note on the American Arnel, and death of Major Andre

Chapter 33: I travel through the different states of the United States

Chapter 34: Cause of the rapid growth of the population of Georgia

Chapter 35: Note on the Americans called Crakeurs or Gaugeurs

Chapter 36: Dishonesty of the Americans

Chapter 37: My arrival in the lands of the Creeks

Chapter 38: I am admitted into the grand assembly

Chapter 39: Description of the assembly place of the nation

Chapter 40: Description of the grand assembly

Chapter 41: Detailed account of the character and customs of the Creeks

Chapter 42: The Creeks give up the practice of burning their prisoners at the stake

Chapter 43: Ceremony of my reception as great war chief

Chapter 44: History of the Moskoquis, today called Creeks

Chapter 45: War medicine

 Chapter 46: The Chikachas give up the custom of burying alive the wife of a warrior, when he dies.

Chapter 47: Disgusting manners and habits of the Tchactas

Chapter 48: Ceremonies that the Tchactas use with the dead

Chapter 49: Manner of divorce., in case of adultery on the part of a Tchactas woman

Chapter 50: Remorse of a savage

Chapter 51: Wit of a Creek and dishonesty of the Americans

Chapter 52: Ceremony which takes place on the return from a campaign

Chapter 53: How McGillivray is made estechacko

Chapter 54: How my marriage with McGillivray's sister happened to come about