A Report on Travels Through the Creek Country, 1791

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Date May 2, 1791
Author Name Caleb Swan (primary) Location: Philadelphia
Recipient Name [not available]
Summary Document, report describes the Creek country, people, culture, and government. Refers to horse theft and trials.
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Related Persons/Groups Caleb Swan; Brigr Generl McGillivray; Chiefs and Warriors of the Creek Nation; Creeks; Cossades; Alabamas; Captain Smith [of schooner]; Captain Burbeck; Dr. Charles Caxton Howard; Mr Marbury; Jack Kinnard's Negroes; Seminolies; Mad Dog, King of the Tuckabatches; Charles Weatherford; Secretary of War; Ufalas; Oakfuskies; Allens [Indian Trader]; Reved Mr. Morses; Upper Creeks; Alabama River; Chactaws; Rowen; Muscogies; Creek Indians; Florida and Appalachian Indians; Seminoles; Dr. Harrison; Natches or Sunset Indians; Shawanese; Towannas; Jack Kinnard; Don Juan Nepomacena De Quesada; James Allen; Bully; Oglethorpe; Cherokees; Upper Creeks; Lower Creeks; Chactaws; Chickasaws; Cherokees; Hallowing King; White Lieutenant; Mad-Dog King; Old Tallassie King; Opilth Mico; Dog Warrior; Red Shoes; Stentsacco Cheota; Colonel Brown; Mr. Alexander; McGillivray; Jack Kinnards Negroes; ;
Related Places Philadelphia; New York; St. Marys River; Flint River; United States; Great White Town; Chathoose River; Coweta district; Little Tallassie; Natches; Tuckabatches; Tensace; Tennessee; West Florida; Alabama River; Cumberland Island; Captain Burnbecks post; East Florida; Spanish Creek; Alabama River; Chehaw towns; Flint River; Chattahoosee River; Cussitah and Cowetas Towns; Tallapoosie River; Tuckabatches; Little Tallasie; Tuskeegee town; Natchez Village; district of the Hillabes; Chatahoosa River; Cupitahs; Cowetas; Oakmulgee Riber; Chatahoosee Riber; Oconee; Rock Landing; Great Okafanoka Swamp; East Florida; Alabala River; Coosa or Coosahatchee River; Little Tallapie; Bay of Mobile; Mexico; Canada; Cowetas; Oak Mulgee River; Georgia; Tallapoosie River; Coosa River; Alabama River; Louisiana; Tallapoosie River; Appalachiacola Riber; Micasukee; Coseta Town; Cussitah Town; Michasukee Village; St Augustine; Pensacola; St Marks; Mobile; South Carolina; Savannah; Florida; Fort Alabamous; Little Tallasie; Upper Nfalas; Abbacoochees; Natchez; Coosas; Oteo'oche'enas; Pinclatchees; Pocuntu'lla'ha'ssa; Weokees; Little Tallassie; Tuskeegees; Coosades; Alabamas; Tawassa; Ochchoys; Pawacta; Autoba; Ahhoba; Big Wetumpkies; Little Wetumpties; Wocksoy Ochees; Coosa River; Soosa River; Tallapoosie River; Hillabees; Hillabee; Killeego; Quatchoys; Stakagulgas; Waccokoys; Tallapoosie Riber; Tuckabatchy Telhasee; Totakaga; New York; Chullayacpauley; Toguspogus; Oakfuskee; Little Ufalas; Big Ufalas; Toghatches; Tuckabatches; Big Tallasoie; Half-way-house; Chewaulays; Cooshatches; Coolamies; Shawanee Sawannas; Kehulkee; Mucklapes; Chattahoosee River; Chelucco Ninny; Chattahoosee; Hohtatoga; Cowetas; Cupitahs; Challagatska; broken arrow; Euchees; Hitchatees; Pallachuola; Chewockala; Little Chehaus; Big Chahaus; Chatahoosa River; Flint River; Botany Bay.;
Keywords Letter of Instruction; Treaty; Horse; Pack Horse; Licenses; trial; voyage; vocabulary; observations; journal; transcript; vessel; provisions; canoe; hatchet; cow; alligators; tobacco; snow; topographical sketches; maps; huts; hunting grounds; cane breaks; free navigation; aromatic shrubbery; corn; wine; oil; rice; wheat; silk; hemp; indigo; Sarsaparilla; mines; minerals; specimen; clay; wood; medicinal plants; bird; reptile; panther; sand-flies; animals; mosquitoes; wolves; gopher; tortoise; turtle; fish; game; war; pure water; high country; liberty; cattle; chalk; fort; post; house; public square; guns; ammunition; knife; halters; muskets; rifles; ;
Key Phrases I endeavored to impress on the Jealous Minds of the Indians in general that the White people of the United States were sincere and candid in all their overtures of peace and friendship; I was pledged to theme for the truth of what I had told them; learn the language and to pronounce it well must be a task of several youthful years; following sheets contain the result of my observations during the excursion; offering to you with a hope that they contain such information with respect to the Natives and the fine country the possess as my be pleasing as well as interesting and useful to government; some seemed pleased, others threw their tobacco into the fire in disgust; sister hanged herself in a passion, but was cut down & saved; a fertile and extensive country capable of producing everything necessary to the comfort and convenience of mankind; great variety of other medicinal plants and herbs which remain to be analized by a skilful botanist and without doubt will be found as valuable and important as any hitherto discovered; great numbers of paroquets, and the beautiful red-bird, so much sought bor by Europeans, called the Virginia nightingale; the Indians have a belief that this animal has the power of causing droughts or floods, therefore whenever they find them dash them to pieces with religious violence; it is impossible to determine the number of Indians that compose the Creek Nation; the whites living among the Indians, with very few exceptions, are the most abandoned wretches that can be found perhaps this side of Botany Bay;
Transcription Philadelphia May 2d. 1791. [centered]
To The honorable Henry Knox Esquire-- Secretary for the department of war.
Sir.
Persuant to the letter of instruction, which I had the honor to receive from you on the 18th of August 1791.-- I accompanied Brigr. Generl. McGillivray, and the Chiefs and warriors of the Creek nation, who attended at the treaty in New-York, from that place, to their Nation.-- Fortunately no disaster happened on our voyage to St. Marys river, or on our Journey by land through the Country, that occasioned me to use the authority you were pleased to give me of drawing on you, in case it should be found necessary.---- And we all arrived safe at the first indian villages on Flint River, the latter part of September.
Situated as I found myself among these people, it was not only my inclination, but I found it my interest, to become as useful as possible to the Great Chief; and on all occasions I endeavoured to impress on the Jealous Minds of the indians in general, that the White people of the United States, were Sincere and candid in all
their overtures of peace and friendship towards them: And that being myself in their power, I was pledged to them, for the truth of what I had told them, and of which their friends, had been witnesses of at the great White Town.
I conceived that Genl McGillivray viewed me for some time, rather in the light of a spy, than otherwise.-- but from an uniform declaration to the contrary, and a persevering attention to his person, I was flattered that all his suspicions were removed, and from an alteration in his conduct towards me, I have reason to believe that I gained his Confidence effectually.
I found from experiment, that to learn the language, and to pronounce it well, must be a task of Several Youthful years--therefore after obtaining a vocabulary of their principal words, and some fameliar sentences, I directed my enquiries more particularly to the other objects contained in your letter.
In making notes while in the country, I found myself watched with an eye of Jealousy, and therefore thought it pru=
dent to keep them out of sight, which I always did, even from my only friend Mr. McGillivray himself.
Going into the country, down at the southern corner of it-- traveling up the Chatahoosee river to the Coweta district-- from thence crossing the country westward to Little-Tallassie:-- And by coming out of it, by the route through all the districts and tribes of the upper Creeks, and Natches.-- Together with a variety of jaunts and visits, to the different Towns and villages of the Coosades and Alabamas.-- And to one general meeting at the Tuckabatches.-- while residing at Little Tallassie; has afforded me a comprehensive view of the whole country of the lower and upper Creeks, and an oppertunity of seeing all their largest Villages, and becoming generally known among them.
The following sheets contain the result of my observations during the excursion, which I humbly beg leave to have the honor, of offering to you, with a hope, that they contain such information, with respect to the Natives and the fine country they possess, as may be pleasing and satisfactory to yourself, as well as interesting and useful to Government.
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To be attached to the indians, and their manner of living, is at once sacrificing all the social virtues, to the disgusting habits of Savage barbarism.
It is a custom with McGillivray to spend his winters on the sea Coast among the Spaniards, leaving his wife, servants, and horses, at a plantation he has near Tensau, within the border of West Florida, about 180 Miles down the Albama River, and of Returning to pass his summer in the nation: I therefore could not have remained in the Country, through the winter season, without suffering the inconvenience of Cold, and probably of hunger, and these without a companion.
These Sir, are the reasons that induced me to leave the Country so soon, and I presume, that whoever may try the experiment for no longer a time than I have done, will find sufficient exercise for [strike through, illegible, blot] their patience, fortitude, and solitary Philosophy.
[following text is all roughly centered on the page]
I have the honor to be
with the most perfect venerat=
ion and respect.
Sir,
Your devoted and
obedient Humble
Servant
Caleb Swan
depy. agent to the
Creek Nation--
[elaborate scroll]
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Journal -- Transcript, abridged.
August 19th 1790 Sailed from New York with B General Mc. Gillivray and the indian Chiefs, bound to St Marys river.
September -- 1st-- Captain Smith of the Schooner we were in, imprudently, run the vessel through a large breaker at the North end of Cumberland Island-- the vessel struck several times on the sand, and afterwards went over.
2nd Arrived all save at Captain Burbecks post at the mouth of the St Marys, and received a visit of compliment from Dr. Charles Caxton Howard & Others, of East Florida.
8nd Proceeded up to the head of the river, remained three days at Mr. Marburys procuring horses-- here Several of the Chiefs of the lower towns, separated and pursued their own routes homeward.
Sept. 11. Took our departure from Spanish Creek at the head of St. Marys.
Sept. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19 & 20. incessant rains, and five of our horses died on the way.
21. Came to the Alabaha, a branch of the river St. Marks, found it flooded, for half a mile over its banks on each side; our pro=
pects gloomy. our provisions mostly waisted and spoiled, by the late rains, and our Journey stopped by the floods.
22d. Endeavoured to build a canoe, having but a small hatchet, the attempt was fruitless.
23d. The waters continued to rise.
24th The waters at a Stand.
25th The indians killed a Stray cow in the woods and Stretched ^her Skin, over hoops, into the Shape of a bowl, with which to make the experiment of getting over.
26th. Early in the morning the indians commenced by swiming, and towing the Skin boat-- Setting up the war-hoop to frighten away the Alegators, that are here in vast numbers.-- by uncomman and hazardous exertion, we were, with all our baggage Safe over by dark, having met with no accident except the loss of four of our horses, which were entangled and drowned in swiming the river.
27.th__ Supplied ourselves with 15 fresh horses, taken from Jack Kinnards Negroes, whom we met in woods, bound to St Marys with horses for sale.
30th Arrived at the Chehan towns on flint river, and found the indians assembled in great numbers to hear the news from their Chief whom
they had given up for lost.
October 1. encamped at John Kinnards on the borders of the lower Creeks & Seminolies and had a fresh supply of provisions.
October 5th Crossed the Chattahoosee river at the broken arrow 12 miles below the Cussitah and Cowetas Towns.
7th Crossed the Tallapossie river at the Tuckabatches-- here the Chief made some Communications to the people, who were also assembled to hear his talk.
8th-- Arrived at Little Tallassie on the Alabama river._____
20th Attended a general meeting, called by the mad dog King of the Tuckabatches, when McGillivray made further communications to the people-- some seemd pleased, others threw their tobacco into the fire in disgust.
21. The snow fell an inch deep in this Country
22nd The Moon totally eclipsed, and served me to regulate my account of time, which from a variety of causes, I had not been able to Keep accurately.
Note-- The Indians in all surrounding Villages yelling with fear, and firing Guns in every direction.-- they
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have an opinion, on these occasions, that a large frog is swallowing the Moon, and make all their most hideous noises to frighten it away.
Oct. 29. Mrs. Mc Gillivrays sister, hanged herself in a passion, but was cut down & Saved.
November 20th-- -- A woman related to McGillivray, hanged herself in the Tuskeegee town, at Little Tallasie, and was privately buried in the village the same evening.
27.th Charles Weatherford brought a letter from the Secretary of War, dated 15. Sept. 1790.
December. 15th I left Little Tallassie, for the upper country and arrived at the Natchez Villages in two days.
20th. Went over the Mountains to the district of the Hillabes.
December 21. Arrived at the Ufalas; attended the square, three times to their black drinks; at the pressing invitation of the White Lieutenant.
Note-- The white Lieutenant is a half breed. he is the Great war Mico of all the district of the oakfuskies and in point of appearance
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and abilities, is a rival to any other Chief in the Country. he is about 50 years of age, 6 feet 2 inches high and well made, and is said to have the sole influence over 1000 gun-men.
22nd. Crossed the Chatahoosa, by the upper war path at the horse-ford about 60 miles above the Cussitahs and Cowetas.
24th Crossed flint river at the upper falls, and Stretched down the country in a south East direction.
Decemeber 27.th Crossed the Oakmulgee river at the falls on the middle trading path.
Note---- All the lands, on this path, from the indian villages, on the Chattahoosee river, eastward to the Oakmulgee, and even Ocoonee rivers, are of a most superior quality.-- It might give pain to a traveller who now must view it, but as a rude desart, which with little labor might be made to "blossom like the rose."
28th. Crossed the Oconee, at the falls 10 miles above the Rock landing, and encamped
January 17. 1791. left Captain Savages post at the Rock landing--and arrived via New York-- on the 12 of March in Philadelphia.





Topographical Sketches. [centered]



St Marys River is very crooked, with
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a wide open Marsh on each side, from its mouth upward ofor 30 miles; where the marsh is terminated by thick woods, the river becomes nearly straight for 30 miles further to Allens, an indian trader at the head of its navigation. At this trading station, the river is like a dead Creek, about 4 fathoms deep and 10 Rods wide. It is well laid down in the Reved. Mr. Morses map.-- but the Great Okafanoka Swamp which is the source of the river, is misplaced intirely, instead of Spreading itself Northwestward into Georgia as in the map, laid down, it extends away Southerly into East florida.
The old path from St Marys to the Creek nation is difficult to be traced, having been little used since 1783.-- After leaving St Marys; for 100 miles westward, it is a continual soft miry pine barren, affording neither water or food for men or horses indeed it is so poor that the common Game of the woods is not to be found in it.



The Alabaha, not laid down in any of the common maps of the southern country; is a considerable river; 100 Miles west of the head of St Marys running in a southerly direction: It is often difficult to be crossed, the banks
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are low, and a triffing rain swells it to more than a mile in wedth; in a freshet the current is rapid, and passengers are liable to be entangled in vines and briars, and drowned: there is also real danger from its great number of hungry Alligators.-- From the Alabaha, it is 90 miles to the Chehan Villages, low down on Flint River, and a continual pine barren, tho' less sterile than that left behind.


Flint River, is about 30 Rods wide, and from 12. to 15 feet deep in summer time, with a gentle current.-- It is 30 miles from the villages of the Chehans, to Jack Kinnards, a rich half breed chief. From Kinnards to the tribes of the Enchees and Hitchatees, is about 80 Miles, where the path crosses the Chattahoosee river 12 miles below the Coweta and Cussitah Towns, at a Village called the broken Arrow:


The Chattahoosee river is about 30 rods wide, very rapid and full of Shoals. The lands in General upon it are light and and sandy and the Clay of a bright red: The lower Creeks are settled in scattering clans and villages, from the head to the mouth of this river; and their huts, from the high color of the clay, at a little distance, resemble clusters of new burned brick Kilns.
From [undecipherable] ^the Chattahoosee to the Talla=
poosee river, is about 70 miles, by the main path which crosses at the falls Just above the town of the Tuckabatches.
The Tallapoosee rises in the high lands near the Cherokees: it runs through the high country of the Oakfuskees, in a westerly direction.-- - it is full of shoals and falls until it reaches the Tuckabatches, where it becomes deep and quiet: from there, the course of it is west for about 30 miles to Little Tallassie, where it unites with the Coosa, or Coosahatchee.
The Coosa, or Coosahatchee, river, also rises in the high lands near the Cherokees. its course is generally South; it runs through the country of the Natchez & other tribes of the Upper Creeks, the roughest and most broken district in the whole nation; it is rapid and so full of rocks and shoals, that, although there is a sufficiency of water, it is hardly navigable, even for Canoes: It Joins the Tallapoosee at Little Tallassie and there forms the Alabama, which continues in a southwestwardly direction to the bay of Mobile.
[utilizing different ink, or perhaps a different pen nib]
This long river and its main branches form the western line of Settlements or villages of the Creek Nation.-- but their hunting grounds extend 200 Miles beyond to the Tom=
big bee river, which is the dividing line between their Country and the Chactaws.
The Alabama river is remarkable for its Gentle current pure waters, and good fish, it runs about 2 miles an hour:-- at the head of it, it is 70, or 80 rods wide, & from 15. to 20 feet deep in the dryest seasons of the year: The banks are 50 feet high; & never overflown.-- Travellers who have navigated it in large boats, in the month of May, in 9 days from Little Tallassie to the Mobile bay, compute the distance by water to be 350 miles.
This river, for 40 miles down, and probably much farther is very beautiful! it has high clear fields all along the banks that afford romantic views of its different courses and windings, for Miles together,-- having no shoals or sand bars, it might be navigated with boats of large burden, up to McGillivrays at Little Tallissie.-- Through the Centre of a fertile and extensive Country capable of producing, every thing necessary to the comfort and Convenience of mankind.
The surrounding Country is well watered. the soil is of a dark brown, colour, with a deep Strata of red, or brown clay, and with the Slovenly management of Savages, produces abundantly.
It is well timbered with oak, hiccory, mul=
|14.) [centered]
berry poplar, wild cherry, Laurel, cedar, cypress, Bay, Gum, Iron wood, corkwood, and the wild Locust.
There are abundance of ^Small water falls and millseats of Constant water, to be had, in all parts of the country within a few miles of each other,
The low lands, and bottoms, are interspersed with numerous cane brakes, of enormous growth, and the banks of rivers, and higher ground, produce Gensang, Seneca or the snake root, and the genuine Sarsaparilla of Mexico, in perfection.
There is also a great variety of other Medecinal plants and herbs,-- which remain to be analized by a Skilful Botanist, and without doubt will be found, as valuable, and important as any hitherto discovered.
There are useful mines and minerals, on the Alabama, some specimens of which Ihave collected, and have the honor herewith to present.
The whole of the Country claimed by the Creeks, within the limits of the United States, at a moderate Computation, must contain nearly 84,000, Square Miles, according to Bowens Maps and surveys,
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annexed hereto; which by good Judges are affirmed. to be accurate.
At present it is but a rude wilderness; exhibiting many natural beauties, which are only rendered unpleasant by being in the possession of the Jealous Natives.
The Western part of the Country of the Creeks, particularly, tho' but small compared with the whole, is without doubt; from its Natural advantages, of more real value than all the rest of their territory.
This district possesses every species of clay and wood proper for building, and the soil and climate are suited to the culture of corn, wine, oil, rice, wheat, silk, hemp, indigo, and every species of fruit-trees, and English-grass; and must, in process of time, become a most delectable part of the United-States; and with a free navigation through the Bay of mobile may probably, one day or other, be the seat of manufacturers.
The climate of this inland country is remarkably healthy. The wet and dry seasons are periodical and regular. The rainy seasons are from Christmas to the
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beginning of March, and from the middle of July to the latter end of September.
Between these two periods there is seldom much rain or cloudy weather.
The constant breezes, which are probably occasioned by the high hills and numerous rapid water-courses, renders the heat of Summer very temperate, and towards the fall of the year they are highly perfumed by the aromatic shrubbery, which abounds all over the country. The winters are soft and mild, and the summers wholesome. There are no stagnant waters, or infectious fogs about the rivers; consequently, neither allegators, muskeetoes, or sand-flies have ever been found here.
The animals of the forests in this country, differ little from those at the northward. The tyger, or panther, is more common here, but of less size than those taken towards Canada. Large black wolves are plenty, and I believe peculiar to the country.
The birds of this region resemble ours in the northern States in every respect; but, in addition, may be counted the land-storke, or pine barren hoop=
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ing crane. There are also great nembers of paroquets, and the beautiful red-bird, so much sought for by Europeans, called the Virginia nightengale.
Reptiles here are much like those found in the northern climates; but the Gofer, a species of the land-tortoise, might deserve some attention from curious naturalists. This creature lives on the land altogether, feeds on grass, and chews the quid, like a sheep. He retires to his hole, in some sandy place, in the day-time, and at night comes out to feed. He is of the shape of common land-tortoises, ^and of enormous strength. Although but of about 8 or 10 inches in length, and 6 or 8 in breadth, he is able to walk, on hard ground, with the heaviest man standing upon his back, with tolerable ease.
The indians have a belief that this animal has the power of causing droughts, or floods; therefore, whenever they find them, dash them to pieces with religious violence.
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Origin of the Muscogies, or Creek [roughly centered]
Indians. [indented even with word "Origin" in line above]




Men of the best information and longest acquaintance with these indians, give the following account of the rise and progress of the Nation.
Tradition handed down from one generation to another, has established a general belief among them (which may be true) . That a long time ago some strange wandering clans of indians from the northwest found their way down to the present country of the Seminolies: There meeting with plenty of fish and game, they Settled themselves in the vicinity of the then powerful tribes of the Florida, and Appalachian Indians.-- that for some time, they remained on a friendly footing with each other; the new-comers were Stiled Seminolies (Signifying wanderers, or lost people).
These wanderers from the north encreased, and at length became so powerful a body, as to excite the Jealousy of their Appalachian neighbors.-- Wars ensued, and finally the Seminolies became masters of the country.-- the remnants of the Appalachians, were totally "destroyed by the Creeks in 1719." -- vide Dr.
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Harrisons. his. Col. &c
In process of time, the game of the Country was found insufficient to support their encreasing numbers. Some clans and famelies emigrated northward, and took possession of the present district of the Cowetas, having established themselves there, other emigrations followed and in time, spread themselves eastward as far as the Oak Mulgee-river, and other waters of Georgia and So. Carolina, and westward as far as the Tallapoosie and Coosa rivers, which are the main branches of the Alabama: Here they were encountered by the Alabama-Nation, whom they afterwards conquered, and, by restoring to them, their lands and river, they Gained their attachment, and they were incorporated with the Creek-Nation.
The Creeks became * for their courage and warlike abilities, and being possessed of a well watered country, were distinguished from their Ancestors, the Seminiolies, in the low barren country by the name of Muscogies, or Creeks.

*It is thus in the original; but I imagine the word famous, or some similar word, was, by accident, left out. B.S.B
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The kind soil, pure water and air of their high country, being favorable to their constitutions as warriors, without doubt, has contributed to give them a character, superior to most of the Nations that surround them. Their numbers have encreased faster by the acquisition of foreign Subjects than by the encrease of the original Stock.-- It appears long to have been a maxim of their policy, to give equal liberty and protection, to tribes conquered by themselves, as well as to those vanquished by others:-- although many individuals taken in war, are slaves among them, and their children, are called of the slave-race, and Cannot arrive to much honorary distinction, in the country, on that account.
The Alabamas, and Coosades are said to be the first who adopted the ceremonies and customs of the Creeks, and became part of the Nation.-- The Natches, or sunset indians from the Missisippi joind the Creeks about 50 years since, after being driven out of Louisiana; and added Considerably to their Confederative body: And now the Shawanese, called bythem Sawannas, are joining them in large numbers every year, having already four towns on the Tallapoosie river, that Contain
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near 300 war men, and more are soon expected.
Notes on the Seminolies [indented but not centered; "Seminolies" is even with right margin]
The Seminolies are in small wandering hordes through the whole country from the point of D. Florida to the Appalachiacola-river, near which they have Micasukee, and some other permanent Villages: Their Country being Sandy and barren, occasions those who cannot live by fishing along the sea-shore, to scatter in small clans and famelies through the inland Country wherever they can find Hommocks of rising ground upon which they can raise corn; or in other places accommodated with water, which is very scarce throughout the Country:-- They are considerably Numerous, but poor and miserable beyond description; being so thinly scattered over a barren desart, they seldom assemble to take black drink or deliberate on public matters, like the upper and lower Creeks:--
The Seminolies are the original Stock of the Creek-nation; but their language has undergone so great a Change, that it is hardly understood by the Upper-Creeks, or even by themselves in General; it is
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preserved by many old people, and taught by women to the children as a kind of religious duty, but as they grow to Manhood, they forget or lose it in the more frequent use of the Modern tongue: They are more unsettled in their manner of living, than any other district of people in the Nation.
Their country is a place of refuge, for vagrants, or murderers, from every part of the Nation, who, by flying from the upper and lower districts to this desart, are able to elude the pursuit and revenge of even indians themselves: the term Seminolies /signifying wanderers) is well applied to them, for they are most of them, continually shifting from one place to another, every year.
The forgoing account of the Seminolies was given by General Mc. Gillivray, who seldom, if ever, has visited their Country-- He is known to them as their great Chief, but few of them have seen him.
The Seminolies are said to be principally under the influence of Jack Kinnard, a rich scotch half breed, living on the Neck of Land between flint, and the Chattahoosee rivers, about 90 miles below
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the Cussitah and Coweta Towns. And of a Spanich half breed Chief, living on the Appalachiacola-river, near the Mickasukee=Village-- Called the Bully.-- But the truth is, they have no government among them.
Kinnard is a noted trader, farmer and herdsmen,-- he has two wives, about 40 valuable Negroes, and some indian slaves-- he has from 12. to 1500. head of Cattle & horses, and commonly 5. or 6000 spanish dollars in his house, which are the produce of Cattle he sells.
He Accumulated his property entirely by plunder, and free booting, during the American War, and the Georgia quarrel,-- this raised him to the dignity of a Chief; and enabled him to go largely into trade, by which he supplies all the indians around him, who are dupes to his avarice:-- He cannot read or write and commonly has some mean person about his house to do it for him:-- He is addicted to excessive drunkeness, and like all half-breeds is very proud of being white blooded.-- He is a despot; shoots his negroes if he pleases; and has cut off the ears of one of his
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own wives, with his own hands, in a drunken fit of Suspicion.
He is of so much Consequence, in his own Country as to threaten the spaniards into Compliance with almost any thing: The following is a copy of a letter he dictated, and sent to Don Juan Nepomacena De Quesada, the Governor of St. Augustine, in August 1790. The Governor, in Consequence, released Allen, the prisoner, and sent an express 600 miles up to Little-Tallassie, with a Statement of the affair, to McGillivray.
"
I send you this talk-- Our people have a talk given out here, that our beloved White man, is put in Jail by your talk-- for making the red man steal Langs Cattle-- when Lang owed him 170 Chalks-- which was right-- James Allen is our beloved White man-- and musy have him give to us in 20 days-- back again to buy our horses, as he did before-- Now give him back again & Save you trouble-- which shall be-- now-- this is my talk
his [indented to right third of page, centered over name]
John K Kinnard"
Mark [centered below name]
The Bully, is a man of as much
(25.) [half circle from one side, around the bottom, and up the other side]
influence and property as Kinnard-- he is 50 years old; Keeps 3 young wives.-- for size and Strength has never yet found his equal,-- he is master of the art of English boxing.-- And has been the Samson of these Philistines, from his youth upward.----
Of their former [roughly centered]
intercourse with the White [roughly centered]
people. [roughly centered]



Soon after the Settlement of So. Carolina an intercourse and trade took place from Fort-Moor in that Province, between the white people and the lower Creeks, which appears to have been the first communication they had with british subjects; before this, they traded altogether with the french of Louisiana and the people of Pensacola, & St. Marks. The Upper-Creeks Continued to send their Skins to the french of Mobile, for many years after the trade of the lower-Creeks had been drawn into So. Carolina.
In 1732,-- when the Colony of Georgia was founded under General Oglethorpe, he called 8 tribes of the lower-Creeks
(26.) [half circle around number, centered]
to a treaty in Savannah; He States the number of the warriors of these tribes, then to ^be 1300.-- By the kind treatment, and good management of General Oglethorpe, they soon became Strongly attached to the british interest.--
"The french of Louisiana, Jealous of this Step, immediately sent troops and agents among the upper-Creeks, and erected a fort at Little-Tallassie, of 14 Guns. By establishing a post in the midst of them, they found means to attach them to the french people; the Chactaws being before in their interest, as well as the Chickasaws, and lower-Cherokees.-- In 1739, General Oglethorpe called his allies /the lower Creeks) to a conference at the cowetas, and attended in person; renewed the former treaties and confirmed them in their attachment to the british Government.-- At this conference, deputies attended from the Oakfuskies, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Cherokees. The Cherokees, and Creeks afterwards joined the british in an e^xpedition against the Spaniards, at St. Augustine, in the year 1742." Vide Dr. Harrisons collec: Voyages, travels and
(27.) [centered, incomplete circle around number] Settlements. 2o. vol. fol. Lond: Sol: 1764.
It appears, that upper and lower Creeks were divided, between the French and english until the peace of 1763. When the Floridas were Ceded to the english, and the french Fort Alabamous at little-Tallassie was then abandoned by them. The British Kept up a captain's command at this post for some years after the peace of 1763. But at that time popeping all the country cast[letter obstructed]ard and Southward to which the indians were obliged to come to trade. The british withdrew their troops and sent members of agents and commissaries among them, by which they effectually attached them to the "great King over the water-" By pursuing the same policy with the Chactours, Chickasaws. and Cherokees: They monopolized all the trade of these four great Nations, until the american revolution, in deed during the late war, and ever sence the peace of 1782 the trade has been beneficial only to british subject.
Their strong prejudices in favor of the english nation, and of every thing they see that has been ma=
(28.) [the number 28 is encased in a circle--tried to replicate as accurately as possible]
mufactured in it, are carefully kept alive by tires and remagadoes of every sort who are constantly among them, and their hatred of the Shaniards is equally evident, and implacable.
[double lines]
Population & Military Strength.
[extravagant loops drawn]
The smallest of their Towns have, from 20 to 30 houses in them, and some of the largest contain from 150 to 200 that are tolerably compact. These Houses stand in clusters of 4.5.6.7. & .8 together, irregularly distributed up and down the banks gf rivers and small streams, each cluster of houses contain a famely of relations, who ear and live in common. Each Town has a public Sgnare[?] hit house and yard near the centre of it, appropriated to various public uses, of which I shall endeavor to give a particular description, together with the Ceremonies performed in it, hereafter.
The following are the Names of the principal Towns of the upper and lower Creeks, that have sgnares[?], beginning at
the head of the Coosa - river, viz.
1. Upper Ufalas.
2. Abbacoochees.
3. Natchez.
4. Coosas.
5. Oteto'oche'enas.
6. Pinclatchees.
7. Pocuntu'lla'ha'ssa'.
8. We'okees.
9. Little-Tallassie.
10. Tu'skeegees.
[begins second column to right of 10 tribes listed above]
11. Co'osades.
12. Alaba'mas.
13. Tawa'ssa.
14. Ochcho'ys.
15. Pawa'cta.
16. Au'toba.
17. Ahho'ba.
18. Wetu'mpkies, Big.
19. Wetu'mpkies, Little.
20. Wo'cksoy Ochees.




Central in the high insland country between the Coosa and the Tallapoosie rivers, in the district called the Hi'llabee.
21. Hil'labee.
22. Kil'leegko
23. Cu'akchoys.
[begins second column to right of 3 tribes listed above]
24. Slakagu'lgas.
25. Wa'ccokoys.
And on the waters of the Tallapoosie, from the head of the river downward, the following, viz.
24. Tu'ckaba'tchy Telhasee.
25. Totoka'ga.
26. New-Yorka.
27. Chu'llayac'pauley.
28. So'guspo'gus.
29. Oa'kfu'skee.
30. Ufa'las, Little.
31. Ufa'las, Big.
32. So'gahatches.
[begins second column to right of 9 tribes listed above]
[where the symbol { or } is used, several rows are bracketed by author, each indicated with {}]
{34. Big Tallassie, or Half-}
{way-house.}
35. Cle'wa'uleys.
36. Co'osahatches.
37. Co'olamies.
38. Sha'wanee, or} Sawannas
39. Kenhu'lkee} Shawanese
40. Mu'cklasses.} refugies.
Of the Lower-Creeks, beginning at the head waters of the Chattahoosee are the towns of
41. Cheln'eeo Ninny. 46. Challaga'tska}or broken arrow.
42. Cha'ttaho'osee.
43. Ho'htato'ga. 47. Eu'chees, Several
44. Co'wetas. 48. Hitchatees, Several.
45. Cu'ssitahs. 49. Pa'llachu'ola.

50. Chewo'ckala, Besides

near 20 towns and villages of the Little Big Chehaus, low down on Chatahoosa and the Flint rivers, the names of which I could not ascertain.
From their roving and unsteady manner of living, it is impossible to determine, the number of Indians that compose the Creek = Nation.
General McGillivray estimates the number of gun-men to be between 5 and 6000, exclusive of the Seminoles, who are of little or no account in war, except as small parties of marauders, acting independant of the general interest of the others.
The useless old men and the women and children may be re^ckoned at three times that number of gun-men, making in the whole about 25 or 26.000 souls.
Every town and village has one established white-trader in it, and there are several
(31.[the curve cuts below the 3]
neighbourhoods besides, that have traders: each trader commonly employs one or two white^pack horse men. Besides these, there arein almost every town, one famely of whites, and in some two, who do not trade; that have fled from some part of the frontiers to this asylum of liberty. It may be conjectured, with safety, that to include the whites of every description, throughout the country they will amount to nearly 300 persons; a number sufficient to contaminate all the natives. For it is a fact, that every town is principally under the influence of the whitemen; who reside in it; and as most of the have been attached to the British in the late war, and, of course, have from loss of friends and property or persecution, retained bitter resentments against the people of the United States, and more especially those living on the frontiers, they often, to have revenge and to obtain [plunder?] that may be taken, use this influence to send out predatory parties against the settlements in their vicinity.
The Indians are very badly armed. The Chief has ade it a point to furnish them with musquets in preference to rifles, which, from the necessity of
(32.[half circle from side, around bottom of number and back up the other side, centered]
being wiped after every shot, have been found less convenient than the former. Their musqueets are of the slender French manufacture, procured through the Spanish government at Pensacola, but so slightly ade; that they soon become unfit for any service. If the Indians were able to purchase for themselves, they would, however, prefer rifles in all cases, because they find them more sure and lasting. A good rifle will at any time, command the price of 100 [lhalks?], or 50 dollars, to be paid in skins or horses, in the country.
The most influentiall Indian Chiefs, in the country, either in peace or war, are the Hallowing-King, in the coweta-district; the White Lieutenant of the Oakpiskies; the mad-Dog King of the [Inokabatchees?]; the Old Tallassie, or the Half-way House; the dog-warrior of the natchez; and Red-shoes of the Coosades and Alabamas.
A treaty made with the before-named Chiefs would, probably be communicated to all the people of the country , and be believed, and relied upon.
(33.) [half circle from side, around bottom of number and back up the other side, centered]
Of the past and present Government. [centered]


The government, if it may be termed one, is a kind of military democrasy. At present, the nation has a Chief, whose title is Stentsacco [Cheota?], or the great beloved man. He is eminent with the people only for his superior talents, and political abilities. Every individual has so high an opinion of his own importance and independency, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to impress on the community, at large, the necessity of any social compact, that should be binding upon it yet, they seem all united to defend and secure their lands and hunting ranges.
Each town has its chief or Mico, and some experienced war-leaders. It has also what they stile beloved second men, whose business it is to regulate the police of the town, and public buildings. They are generally men of the best memories, that can tell long stories, and give minute details of ancient customs.
The Micos are councillors and orators, and, until very lately, had a control over the warriors and leaders, whose business was to conduct the scouts and
(34) [half circle from side, around bottom of number and back up the other side, centered]
war-parties.
The Micos were formerly stiled the kings, or beloved men of the white-towns, which were once considered as places of safety and refuge to prisoners, who could escape death, or torture by flight, and find an asylum in these sacred places.
Other towns were called war, or red, towns, and differed from the white-towns of the micos by being governed entirely by warriors. This is said to have been their former government, but is now done away.
In conformity to the modern government, the chiefs and principal warriors have annual meetings to deliberate on public affairs. The time is fixed by a chief, and the space between the time of warning and that of assembling is called the broken days. They assemble in the Public-Square of some central town; drink black drink; exchange tobacco; and the chiefs and orators afterwards proceed to give or receive advise, with profound gravity and moderation.
The influence of the great beloved man, on all occasions, consists in the priviledge of advising, and not in the power of com=
35. [circled, centered]
manding. Every Individual is at liberty to chuse whether or not he shall engage in any warlike enterprize.-- But the rage of the young men to acquire war-names, and the thirst of plunder in the older ones ^and leaders, are motives sufficient to raise gangs of voluntiers to go in quest of hair, or horses, at any time when they are disengaged from hunting. It is little matter with them, what the pretense for going to war may be. They think that force constitutes right, and victory is an infallable proof of justice on their side. They, therefore, attack as boldly as they are indefatigable in securing a scalp, or to obtain plunder.
Young men remain in a kind of disgrace, and are obliged to light pipes, bring wood, and help ++ [two plus signs stacked on top of one another] cook the black-drink for the warriors, and perform all the menial services of the Public-Square, until they shall have performed some warlike exploit, that may procure them a war-name, and a seat in the square at black-drink. This stimulates them to push abroad, and, at all hazards, obtain a scalp, or, as they term it, bring in some hair.





++ to, I presume accidentally left ought. B.[J. or I.]B.
(36.) [half circle from side, around bottom of number and back up the other side, centered]
When the young warrior, after a successful expedition, approaches the town he belongs to, he announces his arrival by the war-hoop, which can be heard a mile, or more, and his friends go out to meet him. The scalp he has taken is then suspended on the end of a red painted wand, and, amidst the yelling multitude, accompanied with the war-song, is brought by him in triumph into the square, or centre of the town, where it is either deposited or cut up and divided among his friends, who then dub him a man and a warrior, worthy of a war-name, and a seat at the ceremony of ^the black drink, which he receives accordingly. ["the" is superscript between "ceremony" and "of" but carat is inserted at the location indicated]
Those who have seldom been abroad, and are not distinguished by war names, are stiled old women, which is the greatest term of reproach that can be used to them. They have also one other term of reproach, i.e., Este dogo, You are nobody. This is a very offensive expression, and cautiously to be used. To say you are a liar, is common, and a harmless expression; but to use either of the other expressions would bring up a quarrel at once.
(37.) [centered]
The complete equipment of a war party is simply to each man a gun, ammunition, a knife, a small bag of gritz & or broken corn, and two or three horse-ropes, or halters. These parties are commonly but small, never more than 40, 50, or 60 go out together, as may be seen by their war-camps, frequently to be found in the woods, which are so formed, that the exact number of men in the party can, at once, be ascertained.
It is asserted that in most cases, if the Indians are warmly attacked by their enemy, and can once be dislodged from ^their several trees, that they will content themselves with one scalp, which they will divide among the whole, and then scatter and make the best speed ^home to their several towns, to tell their friends of the affair, and that they are much given to lying and exageration on those occasions.
They make a point of taking boys and girls prisoners, whom they carefully preserve to supply the places of such of their people as have been, or may be, killed from among them. But they save grown men and women as prisoners only, when avarice takes presidence of barbarity, and they set the price of
(38.) [half circle from side, around bottom of number and back up the other side, centered]
ransom upon them, according to the rank and estimation in which the prisoners may be held among his countrymen.
When prisoners of the latter description are brought into any of their towns, the Indian women, by paying a small premium of tobacco to the victorious warrior, are permitted to have the honour of whipping them, as they pass along. This is always practised and accompanied with much ridicule of the unfortunate victim, that has fallen into their hand[s?].
Their ruling passion seems to be war, and their mode of conducting it, constitutes some part of their political government. And, next, they are devoted to hunting.
The present Great Beloved Man, who left Georgia, in disgust, about ^the year 1776, and attached himself to the Upper-Creeks (where he was born), by the advice of his father immediately set about placing himself at the head of the nation. His kindred and family-connections, in the country, and his evident abilities, soon gave him as much influence among them, that the British made him their Commissary, with the rank and pay of L. Colonel, under Colonel Brown,
(39.) [centered]
then superintendant. After the English had abandoned the nation, in 1782, this beloved man found it necessary, in order to carry on the war with success against the Georgians, to undertake a reform of the police of the nation, which had, for a long time, been divided by faction.
He effected a total revolution in one of their most ancient customs by placing the warriors, in all cases, over the micos and kings, who, tho' not active as warriors, were were always considered as important counsellors. The micos resisted this measure for some time; and the struggle became, at last, so serious, that the beloved Chief had one Sullivan, and two others, partizans of the micos, put to death, in their Public-Squares. They were all three white-men, who had undertaken to lead the faction against him. But he, finally, crushed the insurgents, and effected his purposes.
The spirit of opposition still remained against him in the old Tallassie- King, who with his clan conceived Mc.Gillivray but as a boy and usurper, taking steps that must prove derogatory to his family and consequence, and
(40.) [half circle from side, around bottom of number and back up the other side, centered]
under these circumstances, he undertook to treat separately with the Georgians. The consequence was, his houses were burned in his absence, and his corn and cattle destroyed. Notwithstanding, he remained refractory for a long time, as well as some of the most important of the lower-towns; until finding that the Georgians aimed at them indiscriminately, and Mr. Alexander had killed 12 of their real friends, the [Cussitahs?], they dropped their internal disputes, and united all their efforts, under the Great-Chief, against the frontiers.
There is but one institution in the nation, that resembles civilization: it was introduced by Mr. Mc.Gillivray, and though sometimes observed, is oftener dispensed with. If an Indian steals an horse, he is liable, by this law, to return him, or another of equal value, and pay a fine of 30 [lhalks? - Indian currency], or 15 dollars. If he is unable to do either, he may be tied, and whipped thirty lashes by the injured party. But, as in other cases, the infliction of punishment depends, at last, on the superior force of the injured Clan.
When the inhabitants of any particular town are notorious for horse=stealing,
(41.) [centered]
or have acted otherwise unadvisedly, the Chief has the entire power of punishing them collectively, by removing the white=Man from them, and depriving them of trade. This, at once, humbles them most effectually, for they conceive the priviledge of having a good white-trader in their town to be inestimable.
Scarcely a day passes but complaints or accusations, of some kind or other, are laid before Mr.Mc.Gillivray, by some Indian, or white=trader. His uniform method of proceeding is cautiously, to hear the evidences of the parties, and never to decide on the case. By putting off the trial from one time to another, the parties, at length, forget their resentments, and often compromise the quarrel between themselves. It ^is good policy in the Chief not to give decisions in the disputes of his people; for all his systems would not defend him against the effects of the resentment of the party against whom he might be obliged, in justice, to give an opinion.
Some young men of his relations, and several active warriors, living about Little-Tallassie, whom the Chief keeps con=
42. [centered]
stantly attached to him by frequent and profuse presents, serve him as a kind of watch, and often in the capacity of constables, to pursue, take up, and punish such characters as he may direct; and on some occasions they act as executioners.
It is a maxim of his policy to give protection to out=laws, debtors, thieves, and murderers, from any part of the country, who have fled, in great numbers, from the hands of justice., and found an asylum in the Creek= Nation.--
The Whites living among the Indians, with very few exceptions, are the most abandoned wretches that can be found, perhaps on this side of Botany-Bay. There is scarcely a crime in the whole catalogue but some one of them has been guilty of.
Most of the traders in the country, and all their hirelings and pack-horse men, are of the above description.
All of the traders have licences, and particular towns allotted to them respectively, with the liberty of selling their
(43.) [half circle from side, around bottom of number and back up the other side, centered]
places to such purchasers as shall be approved of by Mr. Mc.Gillivray, or of exchanging with each other. But the Indians dont suffer them to cultivate much land, upon the supposition, that if the traders raise produce themselves, they will not purchase the[:?] little they have to sell.