Some Of The Alabama Pioneers Captured And Ransomed By The Native Americans

Some Of The Alabama Pioneers Captured And Ransomed By The Native Americans

This story is an excerpt from the book ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)

Continued below…

Ho-po-eth-le-yo-ho-lo - Creek Indian Chief
Ho-po-eth-le-yo-ho-lo – Creek Indian Chief

In 1792, there were no white settlements between the Alabama river and northward in the vicinity of Nashville. Here, the Creeks committed many depredations. They pushed their hostilities to the very doors of Nashville.

They attacked the house of Thompson, a wealthy and respectable man, killed the whole family, except his interesting daughter, just arrived at womanhood, whom they carried in captivity to Kialigee, upon the Tallapoosa river, together with an amiable lady, named Caffrey, with her little son.

The unhappy prisoners found in this town a young woman, named Sarah Fletcher, who had, several years before, been captured in the Miro district, which was also called Cumberland district.

Mrs. Caffrey was ransomed

Miss Thompson was ransomed by Riley, (Samuel Riley 1747 MD-1818 TN)  a trader, for eight hundredweight of dressed deer-skins, worth two hundred and sixty dollars, and was treated with kindness by her benefactor, and restored to her friends. Mrs. Caffrey was separated from her son, beaten with sticks, scratched with gar’s teeth, and made to work in the fields.

After two years, she was also carried to Nashville, but without her boy. The little fellow became an Indian in his feelings, and, when he had been in the nation five years, it was with difficulty that Mordecai could separate him from his Indian playmates, and carry him to Seagrove. That gentleman sent him to Governor Blount, and he finally reached his mother’s arms.

Governor William Blount of North Carolina (1749-1800)


The Coosawdas, who lived upon the Alabama, were frequently out upon the Cumberland, engaged in the massacre of the settlers and the plunder of their effects. Captain Isaacs, the Chief of this town, returned, in 1792, with Elizabeth Baker, a young lady from Cumberland. How miserable and lonely must have been the journey, with these sanguinary warriors. who bore the scalps of her father, mother, brothers and sisters, daily suspended upon poles before her eyes. When she arrived in Coosawda, the savages hung their trophies upon the council-house and danced around them with exulting shouts.

Found a friend in Charles Weatherford

But she found a friend in Charles Weatherford, who lived across the river. He ransomed Miss Baker and placed her in charge of his wife, Sehoy, the half-sister of General McGillivray, and the mother of the celebrated William Weatherford, who will figure in this history hereafter. The unfortunate captive ultimately reached her friends. It would be an endless task, to enumerate all the instances of murder and captivity which occurred upon the frontiers of Georgia and Tennessee.


  1. Much of this article was transcribed from the book- History of Alabama and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi from the Earliest Period by Albert James Pickett 1900) Albert Pickett indicated the following sources – Conversations with Abram Mordecai, James Moore, and many other old traders; also conversations with Hiram Mounger, of Washington County, Mrs. Sophia McComb, Mrs. Howse and Lachlan Durant. In many things, they are supported by the reports contained in Indian Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 431-433-270-274-634)


See a list of all books by Donna R Causey at amazon.com/author/donnarcausey

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)

Alabama Footprints – Exploration – is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people who discovered and initially settled in Alabama.

Stories include:

  • First Mardi Gras in America
  • The Mississippi Bubble Burst
  • Royalists settle in Alabama
  • Sophia McGillivray- A Remarkable Woman
  • The Federal Road – Alabama’s First Interstate



  1. Very telling about life in the area at that time. Given this info, you can better understand the mindset of those responsible for the trai of tears. Not that it justifies it

  2. The Creeks were a fierce tribe, but are not as easily identified as such. This is mainly because Hollywood primarily portrayed western Indians in their distorted movies.

  3. Sehoy III to be correct. I’m a very distant descendant of her half sister Sophia McGillivray. Sehoy III is buried in Baldwin County next to her son Red Eagle William Weatherford. But some of them were already a mixed blooded family with some having French and Scottish fathers. It was dangerous for white settlers during this time period, but some were already living in the area.

  4. Mixed feelings. I have lots of early settlers of Alabama. My 4th Great Grandfather was Daniel Johnston a Creek tribal elder. As family lore goes, he died the 19th day of the Trail of Tears. One of his children Rhoda Johnston survived the trail and married a Baptist ministers son whom had ministered to the Cherokees. He returned with her and they settled near Samantha. The Creek were brave enough to stand up for what was theirs. A proud people that I am proud to be a part of.

    1. We must remember that times were different then. Both sides were simply trying to survive the best they knew how. I’m glad we live in an age where we can usually reason with each other rather than kill each other.

    2. Like I say I had family on both sides. Many of my family fought the Indians. Some were there when it was Miss. Teritory.

  5. I have Red Stick Creek genes and would like to contact others who have Red Stick Creek Genes. Killabrew?

  6. Interesting story but very one sided. You need to do a story about the murders and injustices the white settlers heaped on the natives.

    1. They are much harder to find. The stories on the website come from accounts of early Alabama historians around the late 18th and 19th century. I wish more people from the Native American community would submit stories to [email protected]

  7. To add, hostilities between settlers and the Muscogee people where documented at a time when they were at the highest. Spanish, French and English explorers had previously, “invaded” and settled among the Creek long before the 1700’s. Those people were already intermarried into the native populations. There is a lot of undocumented history, that exist more in folklore from that time. It’s definitely an interesting part of Alabama’s history.

  8. […] story of the Thompson family and capture of Mrs. Caffrey in early Alabama is mentioned several times by early Alabama Historians. Here is another account of […]

    1. Thanks for sharing and wonder if Governor Riley is kin to the surviving Riley?

      1. He is kin to the Riley’s in Echo Al which they are crossed with the Wards my GG-grandfather who was a Ward killed a Palmer in Echo and was hanged in Ozark Al

  9. I have an ancestor, Mrs Crawley, who was abducted by indians from her cabin on the Duck River in Tennesee during this same time period. She was taken to their town near Tuscaloosa but managed to escape. This was reported in the Nashville “Tennessean” and is archieved in the Tennessee historical archives in Nashville.

    1. Yes, we wrote an article about Mrs. Crawley and her escape. Thank you for mentioning it. Here is a link to her story on Alabama Pioneers. http://alabamapioneers.com/captured-by-indians/#sthash.RnpreUpk.dpbs

  10. Exactly, no white settlements. White people need to understand that this is not their history. They are NOT American Indians. The people referred to as Blacks, Negroes, African Americans are the descendants of these Indians.

    1. Look mother a race baiter, well since your here and on this topic you have clearly never heard of William Weatherford half white half Indian man and chief to the creek red stick nation during the time right before and during the wars and far as no white settlements he referring to the region along the foothills

    2. The article says no whites. I didn’t write the book. Nothing racial about that. It’s historical facts.

    3. Also, white didn’t mean the same then as it does now. White currently refers to skin color because it’s a racial caste term. Back then white didn’t refer to skin color it referred to social status.

    4. Technically, the dark skin Indians and free blacks were Whites.

    5. Ronald Sherrod Ali-Bey

    6. Look directly at the names of the said “sources” on the record, and it is plain as day that there was Moorish, activity and connections to the civilization and trade going on during that time in Alabama. We have the middle age family crests to prove those facts. Mordecai, Moore etc…

    7. Sorry to inform you but I have creek Indian ancestors that goes all the way back to a creek Indian chief. And I am not black

    8. The Indians didn’t look like you. They looked like us..

    9. No I don’t think it did, there again do your research your pulling ideals out of thin air that make no sense

    10. I’ve done research. I have pictures as well.. I’m unable to post them in here.

    11. What does Tuscaloosa mean. I am not against any complexion what so ever, but it doesn’t mean pale warrior. And Desoto’s journals leave a clear description.

    12. Even Desoto said Tuscaloosa wore an Almazal like a “Moor”, just like the turban Sequoyah had on in the famous altered picture of him.

      1. Laughable BS, Bobby Dodson! I totally agree! Tell you what the Creeks thought of the blacks—they made them slaves like everyone else did. Oh, if we’d only picked our own cotton!!! Next thing we know, they’ll claim that Adam and Eve were black!

    13. Anthony Taylor Learn to fking SPELL!

    14. Some whites have native lineage, but natives married blacks, Jews & foreigners much much more than white. It was taboo to marry an indian woman, and forbidden for a white woman to marry a native man. Obviously white people can’t get their history straight.

    15. Bobby Dodson, please, prove anything that I said here is not fact.

    16. My grand mother was full bloodied creek Indian. So say what you want. And if there is black people in my family tree I’m ok with that because blood is the same color in all of us.

    17. The chief that is pictured on this post is not white. Look at his skin complexion. He’s dark brown like most black people.

    18. She can’t be Indian because they live in India, the mere fact that those concepts have yet to be cleared up denotes a serious problem in story of so called “indians” in the family.

    19. The issue at hand is black people are the true descendants of the people misnomered as Indians. However, we get treated like outcasts in our own country. They want us to believe we come African slaves when in essence, we do not. Africans receive better treatment than the autochthonous blacks of America.

    20. A professionally trained physical anthropologist and history professor needs to comment on this. Someone above is seriously misinformed but I will not correct them!
      Perhaps some genetic genealogy might set them straight!

      1. Anne, you can’t set them straight. They are so full of hate and prejudice you may as well be talking to the wind. They were brought here as slaves, and even the Indians had negro slaves. Let them fantasize, they want to be anything but negroes.

    21. Do read some other authentic journals or histories of that era written by French, British and Scottish traders and explorers to the SE USA. This will complete your understanding of this topic.

    22. I’ve read all that. I have proof that the people were black. I just can’t post it because we cannot post pics.

    23. The British, French, and Scots all said the autochthonous people of America were black. Be glad we cannot post pictures. I am not misinformed, you are misinformed and trying to take the culture and identity of our people.

  11. Turtle Jaguar Washitaw

  12. Muhannad Bey

  13. It’s plain to see, and it should be duly noted, even for the namesake of the stated “sources” on the record, that there were Moorish connections during that period, and history is quite clear who they are, knowing or unknowing. Nature knows no color line…

  14. Clay Cook Anne Tyler Crider

  15. Anyone here researching Mad Dog Warrior, Far Off or Hannah Hale line? Or their Strickland, Prine, Whiddon kin?

    1. I am currently researching Hannah Hale and her descendants. She is my 7th great grandmother. I will warn you, there is so much misinformation about her! I am happy to share what I can PROVE. feel free to email me at [email protected].

  16. Oh, how I wish we’d picked our own cotton!!!

  17. Interesting ..but we must remember most of the Indian history is one sided and read it with a open mind