Macon, May 6, 1825.
I have just received information in relation to the existing disturbances among the Creek Indians, which I deem sufficiently important to be promptly communicated to you.
A Mr. Freeman, a gentleman DO doubt of high character, hag just arrived in this place from Alabama, with his family: he states that the Indians appear to be in an alarming state of excitement, and, from their general demeanor, so far as it came under his observation, seem determined upon mischief. Their professions, however, as far as he understood them, are entirely friendly to the whites, with the exception of the agent: on his destruction both parties seem determined.
Mr. Freeman passed by Fort Mitchell on Wednesday last, at which place he saw the agent, who informed him that, while at supper the evening before, a runner, from a town about thirty miles distant, informed him that on that night he was to be murdered. The agent had made every preparation in his power for his defense, and stated that he believed his death had been determined on at a talk which was held on the Monday week preceding. He had communicated to the Indians the ratification of the treaty, and suggested to them the propriety of selling that portion of the territory which had been reserved, and to go in a body beyond the Mississippi. To the proposition to sell no reply was given, and he was asked if he had signed the treaty. He informed them that he had signed in the character of a witness. After the talk with the agent was over, the Indians held a secret one, from which the agent and all the white residents were excluded; at which time the agent supposes all their schemes of mischief were devised. Since Mr. Freeman left Fort Mitchell, he has been informed that the time at which the agent was to be killed was on Wednesday night, and not on Tuesday night, as communicated by the runner. He entertains no doubt but their purpose is executed before this time. If, however, he should be mistaken in his apprehensions, would it not be proper, from his peculiarly perilous situation, to afford the agent prompt and efficient relief? Both parties of the Indians, those friendly and those hostile to the treaty, are alike excited against him; and both have pronounced the same fate for him. Colonel Crowell, it is believed, could command between three and four hundred Indians, and, if he had military supplies for them, could at least defend himself, although the hostile party is formidable: this opinion has been suggested by Mr. Freeman, but a small additional force could do no injury.
There is one circumstance more strongly indicative of the hostile design of the Indians toward the whites generally than their warlike exhibitions. It is this: the whites who have been resident among them, and who are acquainted with their habits and character, are sending their families from the nation. The Indians hold a talk on Monday next; for what purpose it is not known.
Charles J. McDonald.
His Excellency Geo. M. Troup.,
Head-Quarters, Milledgeville, May 7, 1825.
Your letter of the 6th instant, by express, is this moment received. I am happy to learn from him that he bore to you orders from General Wimberly, in consequence of my general orders to him. You are, therefore, already on your guard, and you will not hesitate a moment to take the necessary measures, first to make safe the frontier, and then to give to the agent any protection which, according to the evidence before you, his safety shall demand; and of which, from your proximate situation to him, you will be the exclusive judge.
I hope that no harm has befallen him; and, if not, you may assure him that any force which may be necessary to reduce to order and obedience any militant tribes of the Creeks within our limits shall be furnished promptly, under the command of a trusty officer, who will be charged with full powers to act efficiently, under any exigencies which may arise.
I thank you for the promptitude with which you have communicated this new information; at the same time, I indulge a hope that the cause of alarm has been exaggerated. It is scarcely to be believed that the agent, from whom nothing has been heard, well knowing the contentions which agitate the country, and the imminent perils which surround him, should not have despatched runners to make known to this Government officially, and without delay, the circumstances which your letter discloses upon the authority of a respectable traveler. The express which brought it carries the answer.
With great respect and consideration,
G. M. Troup.
Brigadier General Charles J. McDonald, Macon.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, May 9,1825.
I enclose, for your information, a copy of a letter received on the 7th instant from Brigadier General McDonald, commanding the 3d brigade of the 6th division, and my answer.
The friendly Indians continue to desert their homes and seek protection within our limits. Our arms are open to receive them at all points, and the necessary measures taken for their maintenance; the expense of which will devolve on the United States or the Indians-it is hoped on the former.
G. M. Troup.
P. S. Up to this time, not a word has been received from the agent.
G. M. T.
To the Secretary of War, Washington City.
Head-Quarters, Milledgeville, May 10, 1825.
You will see by a letter published in the papers of this morning, addressed by the agent to Mr. Bozeman, how inconsistent the contents of it are with the representations made to you by Mr. Freeman.
You will immediately, therefore, on the receipt hereof, arrest the progress of any measures you may have devised for the security of the agent, and return to the position in which you found yourself before you received my last instructions.
You will, however, under the general order received through Major General Wimberly, still continue to hold your brigade in readiness to march to any point of the frontier at short notice, lest we may be deceived by appearances and surprised.
G. M. Troup.
P. S. A copy of your letter and my answer were forwarded to the War Department, for the information of the President.
G. M. T.
Brigadier General Charles J. McDonald, Macon, Georgia.
Georgia, Baldwin County:
Personally appeared before me, Harris Allen, one of the justices of the inferior court for said county, Francis Flournoy, who, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith: That he was at General William McIntosh's, in the Creek nation, one of the chiefs of said nation, on the morning of the 30th of April last, when, about daybreak, a party of Indians, (with one white man among them, whom the Indians said went by the name of Hudman, as well as I recollect, and who said he was not sent by the chiefs to murder, to burn, or to plunder, but to act as interpreter, and preserve the travelers, should there be any then;,) consisting of from two to four hundred, who, as soon as they had closely surrounded the general's dwelling-house, and fixed a guard round the house which I was in, set fire to the dwelling-house, and immediately shot the general, who instantly fell, and was drawn out of the house, with considerable effect of the flames; and they continued firing at his corpse, until, I think, they had shot more than fifty balls into him. They then set fire also to the house in which this deponent and one other white man and three chiefs had staid all night; and finding Thomas Tustunnuggee (a Coweta chief) within, they appeared much gratified, and shot him almost as often as they had done the general; and this deponent drew him out from the flames, and afterwards assisted two other white men to bury them both. This banditti were busily engaged, from the commencement of the horrid scene until a late hour of the morning, in plundering and destroying every thing valuable, as well the property of the white men who were present as the property of the general; tearing a frock off of a young Indian female, and leaving several children stark naked; carrying off a great many negroes and horses, (and cattle, as they themselves told me,) and said they were ordered to destroy whatever they could not carry off; and I saw them shoot many hogs, which they left on the ground. The general's Cherokee wife went to the camp of the hostiles, to beg from them a suit of white to bury the general in, which was denied, as she said; and on her return, she informed me that those Indians said they were ordered to do what they had done by those who ruled the nation since the Big Warrior's death, and they were supported and encouraged by the agent. I observed, I did not believe that; she replied, they would not tell a lie on the agent, for they must know it would come to his ears, and they would have to answer for it. About eleven o'clock those murderers returned again; and after ascertaining that a plain countenanced old man could understand some English, I observed to him, "Old gentleman, is this the way your people do - go to a man's house, shoot him, and burn him and his house, and take every thing he has and carry it away? or are these bad men? what have they done?" He replied, he did not love to kill them, but the heads of the nation said so. I asked if Intockchunga and Thloc-co-cosco-mico were the heads of the nation? He answered no; Little Prince and Hopoethyoholo were their heads, now the Big Warrior was dead. I replied, these were the very two men that sent word to the Governor that those chiefs should not be hurt. He answered that at first they did send that word to the Governor, and then it was so; but since that, the agent had altered it, and told the council that the only way to get their land back, and keep it, was to kill all that had any hand in selling it, and burn and destroy all they had which they could not carry away; and after that, other chiefs never would attempt to sell their land, for fear of being treated in the same way: and when they had completed the above, as ordered by the council, they would send word to the President that they had saved their land, and had taken it back, and now he and the white people never should have it again. The above article was confirmed by Colonel Hawkins's widow next day, as coming from the party who murdered him, adding the name of Walker, former sub-agent, to that of Mr. Crowell.
Sworn to, and subscribed before me, this 16th day of May, 1825.
H. Allen, J. I. C.
In the circuit court of the United States for the district of Georgia, at Milledgeville, May term, 1825.
The grand jury regret that they find it necessary to ask the attention of the court to recent occurrences within the circle of its criminal jurisdiction. In the territory lately ceded to the United States by the Creeks, at the treaty of the Indian Springs, atrocious murders have been committed upon the bodies of William McIntosh, Tome Tustunnuggee and Colonel Hawkins, three distinguished Indian chiefs, at all times the friends of the United States, and just about to begin a journey, to the west, to explore the country preparatory to the removal of the tribe, according to the provisions of the said treaty. Numerous parties of Indians, the friends of the deceased chiefs and of the United States, have been driven, destitute and naked, into the settled parts of the frontiers of this State, for protection from the vengeance of those persons who had just sacrificed those chiefs. It is understood, and believed, that these outrages have been committed by large bodies of armed Indians, principally residents of Alabama. It is greatly to be apprehended and feared that they have been instigated and countenanced by white persons. The grand jury have due confidence in the vigilance of the constituted authorities of the General and State Governments, but they cannot, without a violation of their own duty, refrain from calling, through the court, the attention of both Governments to the situation of the frontier, and to the consequences of the atrocities committed on the lately ceded territory. Those who have driven the friends of the murdered chiefs into the settled parts of the State may pursue to destroy them in their places of refuge. They recommend that measures of necessary precaution for the protection and succor of the fugitives be immediately taken, and that every attempt to violate their asylum shall be instantly punished. The grand jury deem it necessary to the character of the Government of their country that the authors, perpetrators, aiders, and abettors of the crimes lately committed should be sought for, and, when ascertained, prosecuted and severely punished. They have no language strong enough to mark their abhorrence of the while persons (if any) who have seduced or irritated the unhappy Indians to perpetrate this tragedy. They recommend the severest scrutiny into the conduct of all white persons in the nation, and the judicial prosecution of each and every one of them against whom sufficient evidence to justify it shall be discovered.
The grand jury request that a copy of this their presentment should be sent to the President of the United States, and another to the Governor of Georgia, and that the foregoing be published in the newspapers of this place.
Gustavus Hendrick, Foreman.
A. G. C. Mitchell, Eppes Duke,
Milner Echols, Burnell Russell,
Henry W. Malone, Geo. W. King,
James George, Thomas Dark,
Henry Lowe, John Pinekard,
Warren Jourdan, William Cabiness,
Zeba Fletcher, Joseph Stovall,
Jacob Lewis, Silas Ledbetter.
A true copy: Geo. Glen, Clerk.
Newnan, May 18,1825.
We enclose you a communication for your perusal; we wish it published in the first paper, without you may consider it wrong. There are a number of false statements in the papers; we have caused this meeting to make a true statement, and to have it published. We want you to write us by the man who will deliver this to you, whether you will publish it or not. We have appointed ten chiefs, who will meet our friend Chilly McIntosh in Milledgeville. We want you to make use of your endeavors to have our white friends paid agreeably to our order, for provisions furnished us while we are in your country, out of such moneys as are coming from our lands.
Rolly McIntosh, his + mark.
Charley Miller, his + mark.
Foursathee Emarlo, his + mark.
Captain Samuel Miller, his + mark.
Dickey, his + mark.
Colonel William Miller, his + mark.
His Excellency G. M. Troup.
At a general meeting of the Indians friendly to General McIntosh, and who feel themselves aggrieved of the injuries done by the Indians inimical to the late treaty held at the Indian Springs, the following address was unanimously agreed to, and for the same to be published in the Georgia Messenger and one of the Milledgeville papers:
Pike Counts, Flint River, May 17, 1825.
We have discovered in the Georgia Messenger, of Macon, of the 11th instant, a letter signed by our agent Captain Crowell, that the party of Indians friendly to General McIntosh had threatened his life, and also the life of the Little Prince, who is our principal chief at this time. We acknowledge ourselves General McIntosh's friends and party; and, if any threat of this kind has been made, it has not come within our knowledge; therefore, we believe it to be a lie. We also see in the same paper information derived from the agency, that the killing of McIntosh, Tome Tustunnuggee, and the two Hawkins, was not intended as hostilities against the whites; that it was only a fulfillment of their own laws, and a law which General McIntosh himself had signed, and declared in the square at Broken Arrow during the late treaty at that place. This law was, that if any Indian chief should sign a treaty of any lands to the whites, he should certainly suffer death. This statement is positively false, and it is only made use of as a pretext for the cruel murders which have been committed.
For the correctness of our denial to that statement, we will appeal to the United States commissioners, Colonel Campbell and Captain Merriwether, and many other of our white friends who were present during the treaty; and we further appeal to our agent, who, we believe, will do us that justice as to give the lie to any such reports. It certainly would have been very inconsistent for General McIntosh or any of us to have signed the treaty at the Mineral Springs, had such a law as that come within our knowledge. And it is very droll, too, that such a law as that should exist, and that the national clerk and none of us should have any knowledge of it. We have been in the habit of meeting all councils that concern the nation, as much so as any other chiefs of the nation; and if any such law had been made, we should have known it. We understand that there was a decree of that kind passed by the Big Warrior and his friends, at a place called the Polecat Springs, which is about fifty miles west of Broken Arrow. Broken Arrow is the capital of the nation, where all business of a public nature is transacted; therefore, as that meeting was one which was not ordered at the capital, and not a general one, it could only subject those who were present. It is right for us to state, that our friend Tome Tustunnuggee was present and signed the decree, but we have often heard him say that he did not know the contents when he made his mark, or he should not have done so. And, as for General McIntosh's ever signing or sanctioning any such law, we declare it to be false; for when he was told of it, he remonstrated "severely against it, and declared that they were unauthorized to pass any such law, and that such a thing could not be a law, for it was impossible for Tuckaubatchee and one or two other towns to meet and pass a law for the destruction of his or any other chiefs who were not present, and particularly at a place where the national council should not hare convened. When this meeting was ordered, there was no doubt in our minds that it was not intended for General McIntosh or any of us to have known it; and it was ordered in consequence of the Cherokees sending the Big Warrior and his friends word that they must be mindful of General McIntosh, or he would sell all their lands from them. The Little Prince, who stood as fair as any other chief in the nation, could not have had any knowledge of this law, or at least he had no idea that such a law would be enforced; for the appointment which he then and now holds requires more honor and truth than to have written the following letter to one of our chiefs, and one who signed the treaty, (Colonel Chilly McIntosh,) who was amongst his white friends, in consequence of the severe threats which had been made against all who signed the treaty at the Mineral Springs.
March 4, 1825.
I am very sorry to hear of so much fuss amongst my people. I wish 'to have peace amongst both my while and red brethren. I hope you will take my talk, and come home and not be uneasy; for if any one had threatened your life, I would have certainly heard it. There are some that will talk foolish when drunk. I consider you my son; and if I had heard any such talk, I would let you know it. I wish you and all of you to come home and live as brothers and friends, and trust to our great father for our protector and friend. I have heard of your negroes, and have given orders for them to be fetched home as soon as possible. This may assure you that I love you as a son, and wish you home to your family. They are all well at present.
Little Prince, (or Tustennuck Opoyow,) his X mark.
Witnesses: John Owens, Lemuel B. Nichols.
Although it is seen plainly that the Little Prince has and did pledge himself as our father that no hostilities were intended, and all property taken should be restored, he has, (although so pledging himself,) from good authority, ordered and decreed that our principal chiefs amongst us should be murdered, and that in a cruel manner, and our property all destroyed. Such treatment as this is not usual from the father to his children; at least it authorizes us not to acknowledge him as our father, and we shall receive no more of his talks. We have received many other talks from him to the same amount; and that we were alarmed for nothing, and all the fuss which had been made was in consequence of an affray which had taken place with a few drunken Indians who acted foolish; that we should not be hurt or interrupted; peace was what he wanted, and nothing but harmony should exist; and for us to come home to our families and plant our corn. Now, like hogs and sheep tolling to the slaughter pen, so we immediately repaired to our wives and children; and sure enough, what was the consequence? Only a few days rest, when we were awakened from our sleep with the cry of " Murder - McIntosh is killed, and how many more we do not know. Get up and clear yourselves, for death is your portion; the woods are full of Indians; all will be killed who signed the treaty."
This was very unexpected news to us, and we had a right not to expect it, particularly from talks had at Broken Arrow to the Governor's aid by the Little Prince and the Big Warrior's chiefs, declaring that we were in no danger, and all statements to the contrary were lies; that they wanted peace, and nothing else was intended; of course, we expected nothing else. But we had to fly for refuge to our white neighbors, where we have been kindly received, and treated as our situation requires. Every pledge has been forfeited by our father the Little Prince and his friends; therefore it is impossible for us to have any confidence in what he or any of his friends may hereafter talk. We have lately received a talk from the deputy agent, Captain Triplett. We are sorry that this talk is so one-sided; he declares, in the first place, that we must go home and tend our farms; that we shall not be hurt. This talk was made in the presence of white men, to Benjamin Marshall, who is one of our chiefs: murdering should cease; that McIntosh, Tome Tustennuggee, and the two Hawkins, were killed in compliance with the laws of the nation. If there was a law for them 10 be murdered, that law yet exists; and, admitting we should take this talk and go home, we should receive the same fate, for we are guilty of the same breach, and should of course receive the same punishment. He further declares that the Indians were cheated out of their lands; that we were all fooled by the United States commissioners, for that they had no land west of the Mississippi, without they would hereafter buy it from the Indians who now reside there; that they (meaning the United States commissioners) had got our lands, and they did not care what became of us, and we would not get any assistance from the whites. Our chief, Benjamin Marshall, asked the captain, if this murder was a fulfillment of the laws of the nation, why did their council at Broken Arrow declare to the Governor's aid, Colonel Lamar, that there were no hostilities intended, and that they would protect McIntosh, for they had fought by his side and liked him? His reply was, that the Governor's aid had made that talk himself, and had gone home with a lie in his mouth to the Governor. We must believe, from the talks we received ourselves, that the Governor's aid has spoken nothing but the truth. After the captain found that we were not satisfied, he observed to a white man that the tree was only topped, and, if we were not satisfied with it, the limbs would be taken off. It is impossible for us to be satisfied, when the captain himself has declared in his talk to us that the Little Prince had never denied, since the death of McIntosh and others, but that he had ordered it; and he would now acknowledge it, for it was perfectly right. If we are to be governed by this talk, we are in a dreadful situation; without homes or friends, or even without means of subsistence, driven from our farms and robbed of our property, and also the moneys arising from our lands taken and given to our enemies, We have too much confidence in our father the President to believe any such talks. He has never deceived us yet; we have his promise, in and through the United States commissioners, and shall hold it sacred until we find put to the contrary. Our little father the Governor of Georgia has given us a talk, which we shall strictly obey until he may talk again.
We cannot help mentioning that we are fed by several white friends, who, we hope, will be remunerated at the Mineral Springs, when moneys shall be received for our land. Nothing but justice is demanded, and nothing else will be expected; and we hope that our great father, who is above us all, will cause us to obtain it.
We are now stationed at Newnan, in Pike county, and shall remain until our rulers shall order. otherwise. We hope that this our communication will be published in the newspapers, for the satisfaction of the world.
Signed by us in council this day.
Rolly McIntosh, his x mark.
Colonel Wm. Miller, his x mark.
Arpefka Tuskenuggee, of Broken Arrow, his x mark.
Oithlepoyow Tustunuggee, his x mark.
James Island, his x mark.
Conape Marlow, his x mark.
Charles Miller, his x mark.
Hogey McIntosh, (brother to Gen. McIntosh,) his x mark.
Dickey, (interpreter to the Cherokees for the Creeks,) his x mark.
Foursatcheh Emarlow, his x mark.
John Carr, his x mark.|
Otulkee Marlow, his x mark.
Espoko Emarlo, his x mark.
Captain Samuel Miller, his x mark.
Andrew Lovett, his x mark.
Opothle Hadjo, his x mark.
Tulsa Haijo, his x mark.
Tucktelustee Emarlo, his x mark.
Tucktelustee Chopko, his x mark.
John Harrad, his x mark.
Nokoorylee Tustenuggee, his x mark.
Warcoochee Emarlo, his x mark.
Executive Department, Georgia, Milledgeville, May 21, 1825.
I have this moment received your letter, with the paper which it enclosed, and will, as you request, cause them to be published in the next papers. I hope now that the worst, is over. It is true that McIntosh and his friends, who have been so cruelly murdered, cannot be restored to life; but the Great Spirit, who is also good and merciful, will look down upon your sufferings with pity and compassion. He will wipe the tears from your eyes, and soften the hearts of even your enemies among the whites; so that if your great father shall turn his ear from your complaints, or shall fail to punish the white men who, in his-name, have disturbed your peace, and brought the heaviest afflictions upon you, he will have to answer for it both to his white children and the Great Spirit. It cannot be doubted, therefore, that all will yet be right. In the mean time, continue to do as I have advised you, and until you hear from me. My officers every where are ordered to take care of you, and make you comfortable. As soon as Chilly returns, you shall know it.
G. M. Troup.
The Chiefs and Headmen of the friendly Creeks.
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