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PATRON + Lt. David Moniac, a Creek Native American, was the first minority graduate of West Point

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18 comments

  1. Yes, but … Moniac was born in the Creek Nation or Mississippi Territory. Alabama (Territory) didn’t exist until December 1817. So, sort of.

  2. A few things:
    If David entered the Academy in September 1817 at 15 years 8 months, he was born in January 1802, not December 1802.
    David’s grandfather was named Jacob, not William Dixon Moniac. The names William and Dixon come from two Alabama historians writing second-hand accounts a generation after the fact. Still-extant documents from the late 1700s contain not only the name, but also the signature of Jacob.
    David did not return home in 1822 after being drawn to the wild woodsy lifestyle of his native people. He returned home to take charge of his father’s (Samuel) affairs after Sam became an alcoholic. David himself became a very successful and wealthy planter.
    David does not appear to have been leading a charge across the creek when he died. He actually entered the stream alone, under fire, to determine its depth before any troops attempted a crossing (If memory of my research serves me, the U.S. force had recently lost two soldiers to drowning during a crossing). The other version is more romantic, but it took a far braver man to expose himself alone to the enemy for the sake of his troops, while they remained behind cover to his rear.

  3. A great story about history.
    He had to be a proud man.
    Thank You David Moniac

  4. Interesting article Susanna Robertson Barnes

    1. Thanks Rebecca. Will take a look.

  5. Additionally, David never served in the regular Army after West Point. After receiving a distressing letter in April of that year from his uncle David Tate about his father Sam’s being “continually drunk,” he took a leave of absence after graduation. He never returned, instead tendering his resignation.

  6. Great story and one we in Alabama should be proud of

  7. I read an account of David Moniac in a book published by the University of Oklahoma. It included a diary kept by a US soldier about the removal. It said that he accepted the commission with he assurance that his family would not be removed and while he was serving in Florida, they were rounded up and sent to Oklahoma with the rest.

  8. According to the records housed in the United Military Academy Library Archives and Special Collections Division(hereafter cited as USMA Library, ASC), two other cadets of American Indian descent were graduated prior to Cadet Moniac: Lewis Loramier (1806)and William Wayne Wells(1821).

    PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY VOL. 152, NO. , SEPTEMBER 2008 [322]

    1. VERY interesting. Thank you, Brother Ron.

  9. Surprising indeed since this was only 3 1/2 years removed from the Battle of Horseshoe Bend where his uncle, Red Eagle, was one of the leaders of the Red Sticks. Perhaps Weatherford put in a word for him while hiding out at The Hermitage.

  10. Don’t see or hear them playing the victim today do you? long live the native American and our bloodlines