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Complaints about Captain Olivar

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionFilson Club: Henry Knox Papers view image
PublicationLowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Matthew, eds. American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Vol. IV, Indian Affairs. 38 Vols. Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, 1832. (no image)
Document Information
Date July 5, 1792
Author Name James Seagrove (primary) Location: Rocklanding Oconnee River
Recipient Name George Washington (primary)
Summary James Seagrove - Indian agent in the Southern Department - states that General McGillivray has removed himself from the Creek land, and that he has been replaced by an agent of the Spanish, Captain Olivar. He states that Olivar is entreating the Creek to give no land to the Americans, and to have nothing to do with them. Mentions that Olivar is surely overstepping his bounds, and is also a drinker.
Document Format Extract of Letter
Document Notes Extract of a letter.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups George Washington; James Seagrove; Alexander McGillivray; Captain Olivar; Baron Carondolet; Charles Weatherford; Mr. Bowles; Mr. Ellicott; Major Call; Creek; Willbanks; Oliver; Creeks; Indians;
Related Places Rock Landing, Oconee River; Little Tallassee; St. Augustine; Pensacola; ;
Keywords goods; business; boundary; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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Extract of a Letter from James Seagrove Esq. Agent of the United
States to the Creek Nation to the President of the United States
dated Rocklanding Oconnee River 5th July 1792.
The information which I am about to give appearing to me of im
portance to the United States I hope wil lplead my excuse for thus intru
ding on your moments of retirement.
In my dispatch of the 14th last to the Secretary of War I promi
sed to procure what information I could respecting a Spanish Officer which
General McGillivray mentions in his letter to me of the 18th of May a
Copy of which you have herewith.
I find on enquirey of the Indian Chiefs now with me, that
this Spanish Officer is the same person that I have mentioned in my
former letters as a Spanish Resident or Agent, who has arrived from
New Orleans and lived in a House of General McGillivrays at little
It remains no longer a doubt who this person is and his business in
the Creek Nation. His name is Olivar a Frenchman born, a Captain
in the Spanish Army, wears the uniform of the Regiment of Louis
ana, sent by the immediate orders of the Baron Caron du Lette, Gover
nor of New Orleans, as an Agent for perhaps something more to
This material may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of The Filson Club.

conduct affairs in the Creek Nation.
It would appear by the stile of General McGillivrays letter to me, that
this Spanish Agent had just arrived, and that he was a Stranger to him or
his business; this was not the case, for it is well known, and I can pro:
duce unquestionable proofs, that he has then been several months at
Mr. McGillivrays own house at little Tallassie. The General took much
pains in sending for a number of the Chiefs and introduced this Spaniard
to them as their great friend who was come to live among them and to do
great things for them. It can also be made appeas that the General
was riding about the Country with this Spaniard at the time when by
his engagements he ought to have been with me.
I have not a doubt [undecipherable] that the arrival of this Spanish Agent
was in consequence of a preconcerted between McGillivray and the Spani:
ards on his [undecipherable] last Winter to their professions; and that Captain Olivar,
is to be his Successor in the Creek land. For you must know the General is
again gone with nearly the whole of his property into New Orleans, and
I doubt whether he returns. Certain it is that he hath engaged to attend
the Spanish Treaty with the Indians at Pensacola in September next.
As soon as General McGillivray quit the Nation, Captain
Olivar, threw off all mask, by calling meeting in the Towns and
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directing what the Indians should and should not do. He in the
most public and [undecipherable] manner forbids them parting with a foot of
land to the United States, and also forbids their running the boundary
line between them and Georgia and positively tells the Indians not to
have anything to do with the Americans. It is said by several
persons (but I cannot vouch for the truth of it) that he has gone
so far in the upper Towns as to advise the Indians turning out
against our people on the Western Waters. I think this not improba:
ble, for about ten days past he had the impudence to come into the
lower Towns and give out public Talks, advising the Indians not to come
near me, and on no account to run the line. This I have from persons
who were present and heard him.
I am happy in being able to inform you that he met a very
cool reception in the lower Towns. The Indians who had been with
me had returned home and influenced their people so much in our fa:
vour that he found it convenient to make a speedy retreat to little
A Brother in-law of General McGillivrays (a White Man)
who lives at Tallafie, of the name of Weatherford is now here; who
confirms what I have related of this Spanish Agent, and further
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says that he hath at General McGillivrays house a quantity of
goods which he distributes among the Indians that he draws orders
on Government in favour of all Indians going to Orleans who receive
goods and ammenities, which they bring up on Boats, and that they
have a constant intercourse in this way, that he is engaged in secu:
ring the Chiefs to attend the treaty at Pensacola- that it was much
talked of in the nation, that one object of the Spanish treaty would be,
to obtain leave to erect forts, and establish Garrisons on the Creek lands.
Those matters seem of so much moment, comes a direct
and I believe unquestionable truth, that I have lost no time in giving
you notice thereof.
I cannot account for this interference of the Spaniards. I
sometimes think that Captain Olivar cannot be supported by his
Government in such doings and that he is exceeding his instructions.
I find that the Spanish Agent is on very friendly terms with
Bowles's Successor in the Nation, a Man of the name of Willbanks.
I cannot help expressing my fears to you, that the Spaniards
are playing a double game with us on the score of Bowles. My opinion
is that they will make him useful to their views, their very kind
treatment of him since he has been among them cannot fail to
This material may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of The Filson Club.
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create suspicion in the breast of anyone as well acquainted as I am with
Spanish want of lenity to actual prisoners especially such as have offended
against their Government. Bowles hath not been confined by them, and it
is a doubt with me, but what appeared as Captive of him to us, was in fact
a concerted plan with him. He is sent to Spain, but not in confinement
why send him there. sure the Governor of New Orleans or the Captain
General at the Havanna, are possessed with powers equal to punishing or
acquitting a Man of Mr. Bowles's character. I fear there is some
dark and dangerous business in contemplation among those people.
I fear General McGillivray is not faithful to the United States- and I
have my suspicions that if any mischief is abrewing he is deeply en:
[Editors Note: ":" symbol here removed due to transcription formatting]gaged in it. I never expect he will come forward as an active character
in the field, he wants Spirit, and this is the reason of his placing
Olivar in his stead, and of his withdrawing to the Spaniards as an
Asylum. Olivar is represented to me as a Man of good address, who
speaks the French, Spanish and English languages equally well.
I fear the reason of McGillivrays not meeting me and his not
forwarding the business of the Treaty made at New York, as well as his
evasive Conduct to all the pressing Arguments made use of to him by
the Secretary of War and myself, arose from preconceited plans with
This material may not be reproduced in any form without written consent of The Filson Club.

his Spanish and English friends and not from any real opposition the--
Indians made thereto"_.
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