REPORT ON CREEK INDIAN AFFAIRS.
Copy of a letter from His Excellency George M. Troup to Joseph Vallence Bevan, Esq.
Executive Department, Milledgeville, GA., September 1, 1825.
Appointed by the Legislature to search the archives of the State, with a view to unfold its history, you may, in this research, be able to furnish the public with useful documentary evidence connected with the present unhappy differences which subsist between the United States, the State of Georgia, and the Indians: making known to you the object for which they are sought, their relevancy or materiality will depend on your own judgment and discretion; only asking the favor of you to make the abstracts from such documentary evidence as little elaborate, and to give them in as condensed a form, as possible; accompanied by any remarks of your own which may be deemed apposite and useful.
Very respectfully, G. M. Troup.
J. V. Bevan, Esq.
Report of Mr. Bevan.
Savannah, October 22, 1825.
In compliance with your excellency's request, I have the honor of transmitting to you an abstract of such documentary evidence as is within my reach, touching " the unhappy differences which subsist between the United States, the State of Georgia, and the Indians;" always taking it for granted that you allude particularly to the treaty concluded by Campbell and Merriwether. But, previously to so doing, it may be as well to premise something with respect to their unity as a people and to their character as a nation.
The Muscogees or Creeks came from the West originally - at least so I was informed by Rolly McIntosh and other friendly chiefs, in the course of a conference which I held with them during the last summer; and so Colonel Hawkins says, in his manuscripts now spread before me. They have a tradition among them that there are, in the fork of Red river, two mounds of earth; that, at this place, the Cowetas, the Cussetahs, and the Chickasaws found themselves; that, being distressed by wars with the red people, they passed the Mississippi, and, directing their course eastwardly, they crossed the falls of Tallapoosa, above Tuckaubatchee, and made their first settlement at Coweta, which is just below the falls of Chattahoochie; and afterwards spread out from thence to the Flint, the Ocmulgee, the Oconee, and the Savannah, down to the seacoast. The Cussetahs came with the Cowetas from the region beyond the Mississippi, and settled upon the eastern bank of the Chattahoochie, as the latter did upon the western; the Hitchetas and the Uchees were afterwards admitted among them. These four and their descendants compose what was formerly called the nation of the Lower Creeks, or are those Muscogees who inhabit a part of the present State of Georgia. The Tuckaubatchees have a tradition that they sprang out of the ground. But the Cowetas and the Cussetahs maintain that they were not in the country when they themselves first came into it, and say that their acquaintance with the Alabama Indians was formed at a ball-play near a pond, and about midway between the Chattahoochie and the Tallapoosa rivers, when and where they agreed to become friends. The Seminole country is a Muscogee colony; the name imports that they are a wild people; are so called, because they left their old homes, and made irregular settlements in their new country, where they were invited by the plenty of game, the mildness of the climate, the richness of the soil, and the abundance of provender. They have been considered to be entirely independent of the Creeks, however; and even McGillivray did not assume any authority over them, though Bowles did. To conclude, then, upon this head, the Upper Creeks inhabit thirty-seven towns or townships, the principal of which is Tuckaubatchee; the Lower Creeks have twelve, the head of which is Coweta; and there are seven in the Seminole country.
Having considered them as a people, I now proceed to consider them in their political relations; and I must premise that the nature of the organized government among these Indians is misunderstood; the common idea attaching itself to the consolidated form, whereas, in fact and in truth, it is of the federal or aggregate kind. They had neither national polity nor law until these were introduced by Colonel Hawkins, doubtless for the purpose of facilitating his own plans of civilization among them. This assertion is not only warranted by his manuscripts in my possession, but also by the declarations of Adair, who lived forty years among the southern Indians, during the period intervening between the first settlement of this State and the commencement of the revolutionary war, and who, in dedicating his book to Lachlan McGillivray and John Galphin, appealed to testimony whose correctness we all recognize. Before the time of Colonel Hawkins, the towns were held to be independent the one of the other, in a political point of view; and Governor Walton has left the assertion upon record that the Upper Creeks never laid claim to the right of hunting upon the grounds of the Lower Creeks, until about the year 1783, when the celebrated chieftain McGillivray began to acquire some ascendency among them. In support of this, I often find, in the old conferences, mention made of the people belonging to the three rivers, and to those of the four rivers, as if their only ties were those of necessity and neighborhood prompting them to assist each other in war, and in times of peace to mingle in the ball-play; but, from the manner in which they have been regulated by their white overseers, the distinction is, in latter times, becoming gradually more and more nominal.
2. Keeping in view this entire independence of the several towns the one on the other, I proceed, in the next place, to give you a general idea of their polity, according to the account given by Colonel Hawkins. To use an expression of his own, " the towns separately have a government and customs which they derive from a high source;" and, in the control of these, their foreign and domestic concerns appear to be directed by those whom they indifferently call chiefs. In civil affairs, the principal is the micco of the Creeks, called by the white people king; in military matters, the great warrior, or tustunnuggee thlucco, is supreme; but the grades below both are regular and uniform. The micco superintends all public and domestic concerns; receives all public characters, hears their talks, lays these before the town, and, in return, delivers its talk. He is always chosen from some one family; as, for instance, the micco of Tuckaubatchee belongs to the Eagle tribe; and after he is chosen, and placed on his seat, he remains for life; is succeeded, on his death, by one of his nephews; or, if unfit for the office, by the next of kin - the descent being always in the female line. He is assisted by counselors of beloved men, who are composed of two classes: the one comprising the miccugee, (there being several persons in every town called micco, from some custom now no longer known; as in the instance, again, of Tuckaubatchee, there is one called the ispocogee micco, from the ancient name of the place;) the other class consists of warriors raised to the rank of chiefs, from time to time, by reason of their several merits; they are those who have been conspicuous as war leaders, and who, although of different grades, have become estimable through a long course of public service; and they are, in fact, the micco's principal counselors: in many points of view, they appear to have resembled the Executive Council of our State in former times. The personage next in consequence to the micco is their tustunnuggee thlucco, who is selected by the council: he has a strange extent of power, no less than that of determining upon war; and this exclusive right often causes great embarrassment; and should he persist, he sets up the war-whoop, which is repeated by all those disposed to follow him; and, in this way, they are sometimes for one or two nights marching off; for (as Colonel Hawkins expressly says) it is seldom that a town is unanimous, and the nation never is; nay, within the memory of the oldest man among them, it is not recollected that more than one-half of the nation have ever taken the war-talk at the same time.
3. So much for the individual relations of the towns. When Colonel Hawkins assumed the agency, he carried into effect the plan which had been attempted, without success, by McGillivray. In pursuance of his recommendation, the various chiefs assembled together at Tuckaubatchee, on the 27th of November, 1799, when and where they adopted the three following regulations, as the main principles of their fundamental law or constitution. Perhaps it will be best to give it in the exact words of its author.
"The Creeks never had till this year (1799) a national government and law. Every thing of a general tendency was left to the care and management of the public agents, who heretofore used temporary expedients only; and amongst the most powerful and persuasive, were the pressure of fear from without and presents. The agent for Indian affairs convened the national council, and made a report on the state of the nation to them, accompanied with his opinion of the plan indispensably necessary to carry the laws of the nation into effect. The council, after mature deliberation, determined that the safety of the nation was at stake; that, having a firm reliance on the justice of the President of the United States, and the friendly attention of his agent for Indian affairs, they would adopt his plan: 1st. To class the towns, and appoint a warrior over each class, denominated the warrior of the nation, to superintend the execution of the law. 2d. To declare as law that, when a man is punished by the law of the nation, and dies, it is the law that killed him; that it is the nation who killed him; and that no man or family is to be held accountable for this act of the nation. 3d. That all mischief-makers and thieves, of any country of white people, shall be under the government of the agent for Indian-affairs; and that he may introduce the troops of the United States to any part of the Creek country to punish such persons; and that, when he calls in the troops of the United Slates, he is to call for such number of warriors as he may deem proper to accompany them, to be under pay. That, in apprehending or punishing any white person, if Indians should interpose, the red warriors are to order them to desist; and, if they refuse, the agent may order them to fire, at the same time ordering the troops of the United States to make common cause."-[Colonel Hawkins's MSS.]
4. According to this mode, (the friendly Indians informed me,) the Creeks continued to manage matters until the breaking out of the late war. Whenever there was any occasion for a convention of the lower towns, particularly, Tustunnugge Hopoie, or the Little Prince, (probably so called from his diminutive size, but literally the Far Off Warrior,) as their oldest or most conspicuous chief, presided; and, in conference, acted as their mouth, tongue, or speaker. Tustunnugge Thlucco, (the proper, and not the official name of this Indian,) or the Big Warrior, stood in the same relation to the Upper Creeks. After the war, these two chiefs surrendered up to Tustunnuggee Hutkee, or the White Warrior, (for so McIntosh was denominated,) the exclusive control of all foreign business; and, among the Creeks, he was familiarly called their Secretary of War - a term which, by the by, shows that he was little less than a dictator among them; as that Department at Washington city is particularly charged with their interests, and exercises habitually little less than absolute power over every nation of Indians within the United States. Indeed, it may be broadly stated that no chieftain has ever had any predominating influence over the nation, except as a demagogue, or else through the favor of his white friends. Accordingly, whenever the nation was convened upon any matter affecting its general interests, McIntosh presided; and, in such case, the council met at Thleacotchau, or the Broken Arrow, instead of Coweta or Tuckaubatchee, as heretofore; probably because of its proximity to Fort Mitchell, to which the agency was removed about this time. Since the period of their organization by Colonel Hawkins, the national council have passed a number of laws; and, at the instance of General David Brady Mitchell, they were embodied as a code by Mcintosh, in the year 1817, who caused all old customs and ordinances to be discussed, and then revived or rejected. These, together with such others as have been passed from time to time since, were reduced by him to writing, and such only are regarded by the Indians as of any force or efficacy. The whole comprises about fifty or sixty regulations, which look, however, rather towards matters of criminal jurisprudence, and the perfection of a system of police, than to any other object of municipal law.
There were, however, two extraordinary anomalies in this system of government, which it would be as well that you should distinctly understand. For instance: among the Upper Creeks, the town of Hoithlewaule (so called from hoithle, war, and waule, to share out or divide) had formerly the right to declare war; which declaration was first sent to Tuckaubatchee, and thence throughout the nation. And again, the Coweta towns have alone the right to sell the lands; a privilege which you will perceive is most distinctly recognized in the conference between the Gun Merchant and Mr. Little, and of which you will find an abstract below. * * * * *
Having now concluded my preliminary observations, I will next take up the main subject of your excellency's communication; and, perhaps, your views would be better met by my submitting the remaining documentary evidence to you in a chronological order, or rather according to the several eras which distinguished the history of Georgia. [See documents marked from A to J, inclusive.]
I. Then, as to the colonial era. When Oglethorpe landed upon Yamacraw Bluff, in the year 1733, he found the present site of this city and its immediate vicinity occupied by a scanty tribe of Indians, under a micco called Tomo Chaci, who made the white people welcome, rendered them every kind office, and permitted them to build the town of Savannah.
Meanwhile, the founder of this colony, anxious to conciliate all the neighboring savages, entered into articles of friendship and commerce with them; and this singular record is in the form of a letter missive from the trustees to the chiefs. The first article contains a permission for traders to go into the Lower Creek nation, which appears to have been the only consideration given for the land. The third and fourth run in the words following:
" Thirdly, the trustees, when they find the hearts of you, the said headmen, and your people, are not good to the people they shall send among you, or that you or your people do not mind this paper, they will withdraw the English trade from the town so offending. And that you and your people may have this chain of friendship in your minds and fixed to your hearts, they have made fast their seal to this treaty.
" Fourthly, we, the headmen of the Coweta and Cusseta towns, in behalf of all the Lower Creek nation, being firmly persuaded that He who lives in heaven, and is the occasion of all good things, has moved the hearts of the trustees to send their beloved men among us, for the good of our wives and children, and to instruct us and them in what is straight, do therefore declare that we are glad that their people are come here; and though this land belongs to us, (the Lower Creeks,) yet we, that we may be instructed by them, do consent and agree that they shall make use of and possess all these lands, which our nation hath not occasion to use; and we make over unto them, their successors and assigns, all such lands and territories as we shall have no occasion to use; provided, always, that they, upon settling every new town, shall set out, for the use of ourselves and the people of our nation, such lands as shall be agreed upon between their beloved men and the headmen of our nation, and that those lands shall remain to us forever."
In the year 1739, and just before his expedition to St. Augustine, Oglethorpe went to Coweta, and there held his first formal treaty with the Muscogees, as the following document (with some unimportant omissions of names) will show: the friendly chiefs told me that Coweta was at that time situated upon the Ocmulgee, near its confluence with the Pook-co-la-bootkee, or Big Sandy creek, being the same whereon the Indian Springs and McIntosh's reserve are situated; but they must be mistaken, for this tradition is altogether at variance with the information afforded by Colonel Hawkins.
Proceedings of the assembled estates of all the Lower Creek nation, on Saturday, the 11th day of August, 1739.
" By powers from His Most Sacred Majesty George II., by the grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, &c., General James Oglethorpe, being appointed commissioner, was present, in behalf of His Majesty, and opened the assembly by a speech. There were also present at the said assembly of estates, Micco, or chief king of the Coweta town Chickeley; Nenia Micco, of the said town; Malatchi Micco, son of Brim, late emperor of the Creek nation, and the chiefs and warriors of the Coweta town; and the micco or king of the Cussetas, and Schisbeligo Micco, next to the king of the Cussetas; Iskegio, third chief man of the Cussetas; and the other chief men and warriors of the said town,"&.c. &c.
" The said estates being solemnly held in full convention by General James Oglethorpe, on behalf of the trustees, of the one part, and the kings, chiefs, and warriors aforesaid, on the other part, according to the forms, religion, and customs transmitted down by their ancestors, the whole estates declared, by general consent, without one negative, that they adhered to their ancient love to the King of Great Britain, and to their agreement made in the year 1733, with the trustees, for establishing the colony of Georgia in America; a counterpart of which agreement was then delivered to each town, and the deputies of the several towns produced the same: and the said estates further declared, that all the dominions, territories, and lands, from the river Savannah to the river St. John's, and all the lands between the said rivers, and from the river St. John's to the bay of Appalache, (within which are the Appalache Old Fields,) and from the said bay of Appalache to the mountains, do by ancient right belong to the Creek nation, who have maintained possession of said right against all opposers by war, and can show the heaps of bones of their enemies slain by them in defence of said lands: and they further declare, that the said Creek nation have, for ages, had the protection of the Kings and Queens of England, and have gone to war by commissions from the Governors appointed by the said Kings and Queens of England; and that the Spaniards nor any other nation have a right to any of the said lands; and that they will not suffer them, or any other persons, (excepting the trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America,) to settle upon the said lands. And they do acknowledge the grant they have already made to the trustees, establishing the colony of Georgia in America, of the lands upon Savannah river, as far as the river Ogechee, and all the lands along the seacoast, as far as the river St. John's, and as high as the tide flows, and all the islands, as far as the said river, particularly the islands of Frederica, (meaning St. Simon's,) Cumberland, and Amelia, to which they have given the names of His Majesty King George's family, out of gratitude to him. But they declare that they did, and do, reserve to the Creek nation the land from Pipemaker's bluff to Savannah, and the islands of St. Catharine, Usaba, and Sapelo. And they further declare, that all the said lands are held by the Creek nation as tenants in common.
" The said commissioner doth declare that the English shall not enlarge or take any lands, except those granted as above by the Creek nation to the trustees, and doth promise and covenant that he will punish any person that shall intrude upon the lands which the corporation hath reserved as above."
It may be proper to remark, that this treaty was published first at Coweta, and afterwards at Cusseta.
II. This brings us to the second era, when Georgia was placed as a province under royal control. A few years before the surrender of the charter by the trustees, a clergyman named Bosomworth married an Indian woman of the Tuckaubatchee town, who had acted as interpreter to Oglethorpe, and, through her means, he obtained from Malatchi, headman of the Cowetas, a grant of the islands of Hussoope, or Usaba, the Cowleygee, or St. Catharine's, and Sapelo; which were expressly reserved by the Indians in the treaty of Coweta, in 1739. The colonial Government, thinking that the conveyance was fraudulent, and a precedent altogether dangerous, despatched a special agent into the nation, with instructions to obtain the signatures of the chiefs of every town; and they all signed the grant of the trustees, with the exception of Malatchi and the other chiefs belonging to Coweta: in consequence of which, every thing fell to the ground, nor was all finally arranged until the accession of Mr. Ellis to the government. The following paper, drawn up during the time of his predecessor, will exhibit the whole question in its proper point of view; and it will be perceived that, although the Indians were unceasingly pressed to give answers favorable to the interests of the Crown, yet they as invariably recognised the Cowetas to be, in fact, the owners in fee-simple of the whole Muscogee country, and especially of that appropriated by the Lower Creeks as their hunting grounds.
Abstract of proceedings at a conference held at Augusta, in the Colony of Georgia, on Monday, the 15th day of December, 1755, between William Little, Esq., a commissioner on behalf of His Excellency John Reynolds, Esq., Captain General and Governor-in-chief of His Majesty's Colony of Georgia, and Vice-admiral of the same, and the headmen and deputies of the Upper and Lower Creek nations of Indians.
The Gun Merchant, speaker in behalf of the Indians, declared that he had seen General Oglethorpe, who had entered into treaties with the Coweta towns, as being the most contiguous to the white people, without consulting them, (the Upper Creeks,) because they lived very remote from the white people's settlements; but, notwithstanding they were not consulted in regard to such treaties, yet they agreed to every grant of lands made by them, because they looked on the Coweta towns as the head and most ancient; and for them to pretend to countermand or invalidate any grants of lands made by them to their friends, would be acting like children.
Upon the conveyances said to be made to Patrick Graham, Esq., on behalf of the trustees, being produced, and the like question asked - if they allowed the validity of that deed? - the Gun Merchant replied:
" That they did sign the said deed; but before assent was given, he called all the headmen and warriors together, and made the strictest inquiry if any of them knew any thing about the said islands therein mentioned; that they all declared that they knew nothing about them, or that they were possessed or claimed by any body; and, as they were down upon the seacoast, where none of them had been, and could not go but in canoes, when perhaps they might be drowned, he did consent to give them, as being of no value to them, a matter immaterial, and what they knew nothing about, &c.-[Copy of conference sent to Mr.. Fenwick Bull, authenticated by Pownall, secretary of the Plantation Office.]
At a further conference, on Wednesday, 17th December, 1755, the headmen were again called together, to make a more explicit declaration of their meaning in regard to Mrs. Bosomworth's title.
The Gun Merchant, speaker in behalf of the Indians, declared that in regard to Mrs. Bosomworth's lands, (meaning the islands of St. Catharine, Sapelo, and Usaba,) and the lands from Pipemaker's creek to Savannah, there was no occasion to make any long talk about them, as he had fully declared the resolutions of the Indians upon that head, viz: that they allowed the validity of Malatchi's (the Coweta chief) prior title; that the lands belonged to Mrs. Bosomworth, and she might do what she pleased with them.
The question was then put by the commissioner on the behalf of the Crown, whether Mrs. Bosomworth could sell the lands?
Answer - That the lands were Mrs. Bosomworth's; that she might cultivate them, sell them, or do what she pleased with them.
The question was then put, What must become of the grant they had given to Patrick Graham, Esq.?
Answer - That they looked upon it as worth nothing, as the lands were before given away. - [Copy of conference, authenticated by Pownall.]
2. The next event to which I propose to call your attention is the congress which was held at Augusta in 1763, between the four southern Governors and the five nations of southern Indians; that is to say, Fauquier, of Virginia; Dobbs, of North Carolina; Boone, of South Carolina; and Wright, of Georgia, held, towards the latter end of that year, at the place above mentioned, a conference with the Creeks, the Cherokees, the Chickasaws, the Choctaws, and the Catawbas. When the runner returned from the country of the Lower Creeks, however, (whither he had been sent to desire their attendance,) he brought an objection from them, and the following were assigned as the reasons: " We have heard that the Governor of Charlestown intends to buy our lands from us as far as Ogechee, and as high up as Broad river; and that the Governor of Savannah intends to buy from us as far as the fork of the Alata-maha; and the Governor of North Carolina intends to buy as far as the Oconees." In reply, their excellencies say to them: - "We have been informed of the evil news you have heard, that the Governors intended to possess your lands. We take this opportunity to assure you, in the King's name, that you have been misled by ignorant people, who do not know the great King's intention, which has been communicated to us, his officers; and that no - such intention is harbored in the breast of any of us. The great King's design in ordering all his Governors to act in concert as one man, and in inviting all the nations bordering on these colonies to hear his talk, was directly contrary to what you have heard; for we shall there declare that your lands will not be taken from you; and this is to be done before you all, and not in secret, that no nation of Indians may be ignorant of his gracious intentions, and of his fatherly care of the red as well as the white. " Accordingly, they complied with the invitation; and after the congress had been already opened, " the Upper Creeks having a desire to consult the Lower Creeks, " requested that the conference might be postponed for two days; which delay, (says the journal of the Governors, ) however extraordinary, as they were only to hear, they were notwithstanding gratified in. And yet, after all, it ended in a treaty; by which the settlements of the white people were extended beyond the former contracted limits, above Augusta, as fur as Little river, and south of Darien, as far as the Alatamaha. In their letter to Lord Egre-mont the Governors say that " the Creeks had been represented to be very ill-disposed; the murders they had committed were frequent; and even subsequent to the receipt of your lordship's letter, and even since the holding of the congress, though amply supplied with provision, they have been accused of wantonly killing the people's cattle; yet their talks have been more friendly than we expected: and their voluntary offer of an augmentation of boundary to Georgia, upon the King's forgiveness of all past injuries being signified to them, supposing their professions sincere, and the chiefs of consequence enough to act for the whole nation, which they declare they do, is certainly as strong a proof as they can at present give of their good will. It will be necessary, however, to mention to your lordship that we have been privately cautioned by the leader of the Chickasaws against confiding in the Creek professions; he says he knows them; that nothing done here will be confirmed by the absent leaders, in comparison of whom the present chiefs are inconsiderable. The Cherokees, in their intelligence, have gone still farther; but, as they seem on the point of war with the Creeks, their testimony is to be suspected. " It was probably to this treaty that the Little Prince alluded, when he told Colonel Campbell, not very long since, that one of them concluded at Augusta was not valid, because it had not the signature of a Coweta chief attached to it.
But this was by no means the most surprising circumstance attending the transaction. Warrants were no sooner located upon these very lands, thus acquired, than a portion of them was claimed by the heirs of Sir William Barker, through a conveyance from the lords proprietors of Carolina, made before Georgia was settled or an Indian title extinguished! and, upon argument before the King in council, after solemn reference to the Board of Trade, these claims were sustained!
3. The next treaty was also held at Augusta, in 1773; it contains a provision for the payment of debts owing to the several Indian traders, and it is remarkable for having been the first that mentions the fact of any moneyed consideration being given for their lands.
III. We now approach the era of the Revolution. At this period, Lachlan McGillivray, finding himself compelled to take sides, adhered to the royal cause; and, in the course of time, found himself the prominent British agent among the southern Indians, with his son Alexander as his deputy. His situation, long acquaintance, and address, enabled him to secure their interest, and to direct their almost undivided force against the whig portion of Georgia. On this account, all the family possessions within this State were confiscated, and an additional cession of land was demanded from the Creeks, by way of reparation for their ravages; it was granted by another treaty, held also in Augusta, during the year 1783, at which the Talesee King was most conspicuous as the headman of the friendly Indians; a chief, in fact, who appears to have resembled McIntosh very closely, whether in respect to character, the relation in which he was placed to the people of Georgia, or the ingratitude with which he was treated by those bound to protect him. McGillivray, who remained in the nation, and partook of the general amnesty, annoyed him very much concerning the part the other had taken in the treaty, as will appear from the following memorandum of the King's proposals and complaints: " The land, he says, was given up by him, and the headmen with him, as far as the main stream of the Oconee river; they could only give up their own right, and the right of the people of the towns they represented. Instead of the white people being contented with that very great tract of country he and his people had agreed to give them, he was sorry to find they had been marking land as far as the waters of the Ocmulgee river. The hill between those two rivers is very high; yet the white people had climbed over it, and he could not tell where they would stop. He thinks it very hard that they should be obliged to give up so great a tract of county, because some of their nation had been drawn into a war that, as far as he could hear, was one that had disturbed all nations, even the simple peaceable people called the Dutch. Yet, he had given to the Oconee, and was willing to establish it as far as he could in peace: but the land was not his; nor was it for him to say to a man of any town, who had not ceded his rights to that ground, you shall not cut a cane on that land to dry your meat, or you shall not kill a deer on that ground. The Great Master of breath made the ground for all, great as well as small; and it was hard for him and his friends, who had always held their faces towards Virginia in the darkest and worst of days, to bear the blame of giving away so great a part of their ground. What he would wish as a remedy for that is, that a few presents should be provided, and all the towns invited to a talk; and the gift of that ground should be confirmed by all the towns in the nation, and then lie would not bear the blame; that after the beloved man comes up, and settles all matters respecting the lands with every town, then some of his headmen will come down, and go with some white beloved men, and make a line clean from the head of the Oconee to the place where the Cherokees have given up." The following is an account given of this extraordinary man, in 1799, by Colonel Hawkins: "These Indians (the Talesee) were very friendly to the United States during the revolutionary war, and their old chief, Hoboithle Mico, of the half-way house, (improperly called the Talesee King,) could not be prevailed on by any offers from the agents of Great Britain to take part with them. On the return of peace, and the establishment of friendly arrangements between the Indians and the citizens of the United States, this chief felt himself neglected by Mr. Seagrove, (then the superintendent;) which he resenting, he robbed and insulted that gentleman, compelled him to leave his house near Tuckaubatchee, and fly into a swamp. He has since then, as from a spirit of contradiction, formed a party in opposition to the will of the nation, which has given much trouble to the chiefs of the land; but he has had a solemn warning from the national councils, to respect the laws of the nation, or he should meet the punishment ordained by the law. This spirit of party or opposition pre-nailed not only here, but more or less in every town in the nation. The plainest proposition for ameliorating their condition is immediately opposed; and this opposition continues as long as there is a hope to obtain presents-the infallible mode heretofore in use to gain a. point."-Hawkins's MSS.
IV. I am arrived now at the fourth era in the history of Georgia, or that period which intervened between the acknowledgment of our independence as a sovereign State, and our adoption of the present federal constitution; and it is now, perhaps, that the real interest of this communication may be said to commence.
1. In the year 1785, another treaty was concluded at Galphinton, by General Twiggs and the elder General Clark, whereby the boundary line was extended to the forks of the Ocmulgee and Oconee rivers. But the article as well worthy of observation as any other is the first, which provides for the incorporation of the Creeks among us, and which accordingly took away from the "Confederal Government," as it was then called, all pretension as to jurisdiction over them; it is in the words following: "The said Indians, for themselves and all the tribes and towns within their respective nations, within the limits of the State of Georgia, have been, and now are, members of the same, since the day and date of the constitution of the said State of Georgia."
2. The following year, another was, concluded near the mouth of Shoulderbone creek, a branch of the Oconee river; it was, however, but a mere confirmation of I hat made at Galphinton; to enforce all the provisions of which, the miccos of Coweta and Cussetah were demanded and delivered up as hostages. During the' conference, the following interrogatories were propounded to, and the answers given by, the two linguists employed by the commissioners.
Copy of depositions taken before the Board of Commissioners, October 20, 1786. The following questions were put to Mr. John Galphin by the commissioners; and his answers thereto:
Question 1. How far do you think any treaty made with the commissioners by the Indians now present will be binding on the nation?
Answer. I think they may answer for all the towns except the Tuckaubatchees and Hickory Grounds.
Question 2. What number do you think those two towns contain?
Answer. The Tuckaubatchees about two hundred, and the other about twenty gun-men.
Question 3. How do you account for the Indians, and particularly the Upper Creeks, not attending more generally?
Answer. The reason I heard generally given was, that it was a wrong time of the year to call a treaty, and that the Indians were then mostly out a hunting, or had determined to go out immediately, as it was their hunting season.
Question 4. Do you think that Mr. McGillivray was authorized by the Upper Creeks to write to the Governor and commissioners in the manner he lately did?
Answer. I am certain that he was not.
Sworn to this 20th day of October, 1786, before the Board of Commissioners.
John Habersham, Chairman and Justice of the Peace.
The following questions were put to Mr. Philip Scott by the commissioners; and his answers thereto:
Question 1. How far do you think any treaty made with the commissioners by the Indians now present will be binding on the nation?
Answer. I think they may answer for all the towns except the Tuckaubatchees and Hickory Grounds; perhaps the Hillebees.
Question 2. What number do you think those two towns contain?
Answer. The Tuckaubatchees better than two hundred, and the Hickory Grounds about seventy or eighty. The strength of the Hillebees I do not know, but it is generally said to be a small town.
Question 3. How do you account for the Indians, and particularly the Upper Creeks, not attending more generally?
Answer. It is in consequence of talks given by McGillivray after I came away, as I have been informed. He told them he would settle all matters by writing, and that, if they came down, the white people would ask them for more land. McGillivray told me it was an improper time to hold a treaty, as the Indians were going out to hunt.
Question 4. Do you think that McGillivray was authorized by the Upper Creeks to write to the Governor and commissioners in the manner he lately did?
Answer. I think he was not; the land that was given up was always held by the Lower Creeks as their hunting grounds, and the Upper Creeks never used it as such.
Philip P. S. Scott, his X mark.
The foregoing was sworn to this 20th day of October, before the Board of Commissioners.
John Habersham, Chairman and Justice of the Peace.
V. This brings me to the first point of time in our fifth era, when the federal constitution was adopted by Georgia. There was little in either of the two last treaties consonant to the views, feelings, or interests of McGillivray; accordingly, in this state of things, that chieftain, always subtle and adroit, endeavored to lay hold on the inexperience of the new Government, by appealing to its sympathies in favor of a hapless Arcadian race, against (what he termed, as well as others of modern date) the profligacy and injustice of the people of Georgia; and, as was natural, he succeeded, for he was believed to the utmost extent of his wishes. But the President, acting up to every idea of his character as a great, a good, and a just man, determined to inquire into the whole truth, through a commission respectable as well for standing and talents as for the confidence entertained in them by every part of the country. Accordingly, he selected General Lincoln, who was commander of the southern army during the Revolution, and, towards the close of it, the Secretary of War; Cyrus Griffin, a President of the old Congress; and Colonel Humphries, an aid-de-camp to General Washington, I think, but at all events reputed to be a man of exquisite genius at the time, and who subsequently filled an embassy to Madrid.
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