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Native Americans, The McGillivrays, Weatherford, David Tate and Sam Moniac stories about them from 1874




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(This is a letter from J.D. Dreisbach to Lyman Draper in response to Draper’s request about Native Americans about some historical facts about early settlers in Alabama.)

This is typed from a photo copy taken from microfilm in the DAR archives in Washington, D.C. There are a few words that have not yet been figured out, some spellings may vary and punctuation is very haphazard since the writer tended to run sentences together. Tried to make it more readable without taking away any meaning by putting in paragraphs where he seemed to start a different thought. I also took out some connecting words to make sentences. William C. Bell.
From Draper Manuscripts
Vol 1 Series V
Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina Papers

Baldwin Co. Ala. – July – 1874
Lyman E. Draper, Esqr.
Madison, Wisconsin

Dear Sir,

In compliance with your request, I give you a few historical facts in regards to the early settlers and pioneers of Alabama. I have gathered my information on this subject from personal intercourse with some of the parties and from family papers and other old musty records of the dim past which I find amongst my father-in-law’s (David Tate) papers. Particularly many incidents in the history of Alexander McGilvary and Wm Weatherford they both being relations of my wife. McGilvary being the uncle of my wife’s father, William Weatherford being his (Tate’s) half brother. Tate’s and William Weatherford’s mother being a sister of Alexander McGilvary.

Alexander McGillivray born 1750 Little Tallassee near Montgomery, Alabama – son of Lachlan McGillivray

Alexander McGillivray born 1750 Little Tallassee near Montgomery, Alabama - son of Lachlan McGillivray
Alexander McGillivray born 1750 Little Tallassee near Montgomery, Alabama – son of Lachlan McGillivray

The McGilivary’s

Lauchlin McGilvary, the father of Alexander McGilvary was descended from a Scotch Nobleman, he came to Savanna, Georgia sometime in the early part of the seventeenth century. From there he went to the Creek nation then in the upper part of this state, there he took for a wife a full blooded Indian woman of the Tuskegee, or Wind family. The Wind family being the most aristocratic in the Creek or Muscogee Nation.

He had five children by this wife, named as follows Alex, Sehoy, Jennie, Elizabeth, and Sophia. Alex, was the General Alexander McGilvary mentioned in Pickens’ History of Alabama and was no doubt one of the most remarkable men that this state has ever produced, white or red.

When he visited General Washington (during Washington’s Presidential Term) he took with him his son and my wife’s father who were then boys about ten and fourteen years of age. He left them there at school under the eye of Washington, who took charge of them and boarded them in his own family.

They remained there five years and were then sent to Scotland to school where they remained two years where young McGilvary died. My father-in-law then returned and spent a portion of his time in the Creek Nation where he removed to Baldwin County in this state where he remained until he died in 1829.

Sehoy, the eldest of Alexander McGilvary’s sisters married Col John Tate who was at the time acting as agent for the British Government at the commencement of the Revolution. Tate raised a large body of Indians (about 1500) and went to Savanna, or started then when he became deranged and was carried back to the Nation where he died. By his marriage with Sehoy he had but one child named David, who was the father of my wife and of Elouisa Tate who married Col.

George Tunstall of Virginia by whom she had seven children. The eldest son was named Tho Tate Tunstall who was U.S. counsel at Cadis in Spain when the war broke out in 1861. He was arrested by order of the U.S. Government for sympathizing with “The Lost Cause” and carried to Boston in chains. He was released form Fort Morrow and again arrested in Washington City as a spy, but not being able to convict him as such he was released on conditions that he would be sent to Europe, there to remain until after the close of the war. He was sent over on a Government “Man of War” where he remained until 1866.

Clement Claiborne Clay

Clement Claiborne Clay
Clement Claiborne Clay

His father had two brothers who occupied high social positions, one being a physician of high standing and the other was Secretary of State during Bagby’s term as Governor of Ala. The doctor was the father of the wife of U.S.

Senator C.C. Clay of Ala, she was one of the most popular and fascinating ladies who visited Washington City. She is still the idol of her family as well as of a large circle of friends and admirers. David Tate had two other daughters, one of whom is dead and the other one in Texas.

General Alexander McGilvary has no children living. He had three; Alex, Margaret and Elizabeth. Alex died in Scotland as I mentioned before. Gen McGilvary’s wife was a full blood of Tuskegee Town of Indians.

After the death of John Tate his wife, Sehoy Tate, married Charles Weatherford (an Englishman) by whom she had six children, named as follows: William, John, Elizabeth, Major, Mary and Rosannah who was the youngest and is still living.

William Weatherford

William Weatherford (who was the terrible hero of Fort Mims and the (Hotspus ??) of the Creek Indians) was born at Talisse (sic) in the upper part of this state about the year 1774. He was reared to manhood in his native forest with the book of nature spread out before him which was his only teacher or guide.

He was well skilled in all the arts of hunting and woodscraft as well as the rudiments of war as practiced by his people. Nature appeared to have been lavish of her favors in the physical adornment of his person, for he was said to have been in form a perfect man with all the physical graces which nature can bestow. He was 6 feet and 2 inches in height and weighed about 175 lbs with a form of perfect mould with the bearing and air of a Knight of the olden times. In activity and muscular power he had no peer amongst his people and as he stood forth in his pride of manhood he looked as though he was born to command “and that there was none to dispute his sway”.

Though fierce and terrible in battle, he was gentle and kind as a lady to the weak and helpless and generous and liberal to all when nature had its sway. It was this noble generosity of his nature which came very near being the cause of his losing his life at the massacre of Fort Mims in this county during the war of twelve and fourteen.

The night before the attack on the fort, he camped with his 600 warriors near where I am now living. He made them a talk and proposed to them that in the event they took the fort not to kill the women and children, he said that they had come to fight warriors and not squaws. The warriors accused him of having a “forked tongue and white heart” and told him that he wanted to spare his relations, several of whom were in the fort. There was several attempts made during the night to assassinate him.

He led them on and attacked the fort the next day and as soon as the Indians had fired the roofs of some of the houses in the fort and commenced cutting down the pickets he (Weatherford) rode off and went to his half brother’s (David Tate) plantation. He took all the slaves on the plantation and hid them in the canebrakes to keep them from being carried off by the Indians as they returned to the Nation.

This was corroborated by several of our old family negroes who are still livin!g and who testify that it was about 4 o’clock P.M. on the day the fort was taken that Weatherford came to the plantation and carried them all off and hid them in the cane.

David Tate and a full sister of Weatherford was in Fort Pierce when Fort Mims was taken. Fort Pierce was about 1 1/2 miles from Fort Mims. My mother-in-law (Mrs Tate) lost two sisters in Fort Pierce when the Fort was taken. I have often heard her say that Weatherford had told her that as soon as he was satisfied that the fort would fall that he rode off as he had not the heart to witness what he knew would follow, to wit; the indiscriminate slaughter of the inmates of the Fort.

There are many incidents related of Weatherford which go to show the nobleness of his nature. Amongst them was the daring act of arresting (single handed) the murderer and desperado (Collins) who had wantonly and without cause murdered in cold blood an old man who was unable to defend himself. Collins had defied his (passeconnitatis ??) and swore he would kill the first man who approached him and not one would go to his arrest.

Weatherford was present and offered to take him single handed. He approached Collins who cowered beneath his eagle eye and submitted to Weatherford who tied him and carried him to Claiborne and delivered him to the authorities at that place.

He was always to be found on the side of the weak and defenseless and from the first days of his manhood believed that his peoples’ rights had been trampled upon by the whites. Nevertheless he was opposed to his people joining the British in a war against the U.S. He used all the powers of his eloquence to induce them to remain neutral, he told them that when the Americans were weak and unprepared for war, they made the “British Lion howl and drove him back to his den”.That now the Americans were strong and would be more certain to conquer again.

He said that it would be ruin to his people to join either side. Both the Americans and English were their enemies, that England talked to them with a forked tongue as did the Americans. That the palefaces were the enemies of the red man and cared not for his welfare or destruction. He said that he was willing to lay down his life for his people if it would benefit them and drive the white man from their country but that he was satisfied this would not be accomplished by their joining either side. These were some of the arguments he used to induce them to remain neutral.

This speech was made in presence of Tecumshe at the time he visited the Southern Indians to get them to join the Indian Conferency to exterminate the whites. Jimboy, Big Warrior, Little Prince and several others of the leading chiefs favored the views of Tecumpsee. But Jimboy and Big Warrior backed out, Weatherford said they failed to join the hostiles through cowardice.

Tecumtha from Alabama State Archives

Tecumtha from Alabama State Archives
Tecumtha from Alabama State Archives

I will now give you some of the reasons which obtained with Weatherford to cause him to join the hostiles against the Americans. Himself and Sam Moniac (his brother-in-law, who was married to Weatherford’s sister Elizabeth) had gone to (Chickasahay ??) with a drove of beef cattle and when they returned they found the warriors in council where they had decided to join the British. They had been influenced to take this course by Tecumshe and his prophet, Seekaboo who was a ( naspieanatta ??) chief, who spoke good English. (I spell Tecumpsee as the Indians pronounced it, Tecumshe).

The Indians had Weatherford’s wife and children and threatened to put them to death if he did not join them. He made them the speech as above stated, and while he found that they were determined to go to war he told them that they were his people, that he had been born and raised amongst them, and that he would cast his lot with them though he believed it would be the cause of his ruin as well as t!hat of his people.

He told General Woodward after the war had closed that one great reason why he joined the hostiles after he found that they were determined to go to war was that in many instances he could be the means of preventing the hostiles from committing depredations upon defenceless citizens, particularly women and children. Aside from this he believed that the Americans would not thank him for joining them and would no doubt attribute it to cowardice as they did with many Indians who had done so.

In surrendering to General Jackson he did it from a magnamaneous and lofty patriotism, he did it to save his people from certain and impending ruin. At what period of the world’s history was there a great and grand patriot and hero who performed a greater act of heroism?

He had every reason to believe that in surrendering to General Jackson that he was signing his death warrant for in the event that Jackson did not have him put to death for his participation in the terrible massacre of Fort Mims that the warriors and friends of those who perished there were thirsting for his blood and would seek the first opportunity to seek their vengeance upon him. Death stared him in the face on all sides, yet he went forward and offered himself as a sacrifice to save his people.

Mural by Roderick D. MacKenzie depicting the surrender of William Weatherford to Andrew Jackson

Mural by Roderick D. MacKenzie depicting the surrender of William Weatherford to Andrew Jackson
Mural by Roderick D. MacKenzie depicting the surrender of William Weatherford to Andrew Jackson

I have often heard the account of his surrender to Jackson from one who was partly raised with him. It was as follows. After Weatherford had determined to give himself as an offering as hostage for his people he rode boldly forward to Jackson’s camp.

He was dressed in full Indian costume and as he approached the camp he met several officers outside of the lines. They did not know him and supposed him to be one of the friendly Indians, who were often passing in and out of the encampment. He inquired of a sentinel for Jackson’s headquarters.

As he rode up to Jackson’s tent Col. Hawkins the Indian Agent was sitting before the tent and instantly recognized him and exclaimed, “By the great Alexander here is Weatherford”. Jackson, sitting in his tent writing, immediately sprang from his seat and came out sword in hand.

The news spread throughout the encampment like wildfire and the officers from all parts of the encampment rapidly approached Jackson’s tent whilst from the so!ldiers came the cry of “Kill him, hang him, shoot him, etc.”

Col Hawkins introduced him to Jackson and Jackson introduced him to the other officers as they came up. Jackson appeared to be somewhat excited at the loud and furious exclamations of the soldiers and swore by the “Eternal” that not a hair of his head should be harmed whilst under his protection, that he was a brave man and should be treated as such.

Weatherford told him (Jackson) that he (Jackson) was a great warrior and that he fought him as long as he could, but that many of his warriors were slain, that their bones lay upon many battle fields, that it was useless to continue against him any longer. But, could he animate the bones of his dead warriors he would fight him still. He said he knew that he was not ashamed of what he had done and did not fear death, that he had come to offer himself as a hostage for the future conduct of his people.

He said that Jackson could do with him as he saw proper and that he had done Jackson all the harm he could. After he had concluded they spent the night together in talking over the incidents of Weatherford’s eventful life. Weatherford said that Jackson had a jug of rum in his tent and that Jackson put it on the table between them and that they shook hands and handed the jug many times during the night.

All who were present when Weatherford made his speech or talk were struck with the dignity and grace of his action. He was entirely uneducated but was a natural orator and is said by those who have heard him in the council that his burning eloquence unchained all hearsay. He spoke the English language with great propriety and astonished those who conversed with him when they learned that he had no claims to an education.

I will here relate an incident of Weatherford as told by Judge _____ a distinguished citizen of Mobile. He said that when he was a young man and reading law in Mobile his health failed him and the doctor advised him to get a horse and take a trip into the country. He said he crossed the Alabama river at Montgomery Hill in Baldwin Co. and wanted to go to Claiborne in Monroe Co. He went by Montpelier where David Tate (Weatherford’s half brother) was then living.

He had a letter of introduction to Tate, was kindly received and hospitably entertained by Tate. In the course of conversation he asked Tate if he knew any thing about the history of “that blood thirsty monster Weatherford” and where he then was. Mr Tate replied that Weatherford was his half brother, that he was then at his house on a visit, had been there for some time and had just come in and was then in an adjoining room and that he would take great pleasure in introducing him to Weatherford.

The Judge said that he began to feel pretty wild and had some serious misgivings about losing his scalp. Dinner was announced in a short time and after they were seated at table, in walked Weatherford with the step and courtly grace of Prince (as the Judge had it). The Judge was introduced to Weatherford by Tate.

Weatherford seated himself opposite the Judge whilst they were eating. The Judge conceded to take a good look at Weatherford and raised his eyes for that purpose and as he did so he found the “eagle eye of Weatherford resting upon him” with an intenseness of gaze that made him drop his eyes upon his plate and he again thought of the dubious security of his scalp.

The gaze was a bit of mischief and humor gotten up by Tate as he had discovered that the Judge was not much acquainted with the history of Weatherford and not informed as to the relationship which existed between them. This incident took place a few years after the war had closed and the Judge was not living in Mobile during the war. The Judge had designed to spend a few days with Mr. Tate but the close proximity of the blood thirsty Weatherford caused him to change his mind.

After dinner! he informed Mr. Tate that he had very important business in Claiborne.  Judge’s horse was brought out Mr. Tate informed him that his brother (Weatherford) would go with him and assist him to cross Little River which was between there and Claiborne. Holy St Patrick, there was a fix, however with many misgivings as to the crown of his head he could not then back out.

They started and when they arrived at Little River Weatherford told the Judge to take off his saddle and cross on a foot log and catch the horses as they came out on the other side. The Judge said that he had never unsaddled or saddled a horse in his life but that he would lay a wager that he unsaddled his horse as quickly as any hostler in Mobile could do it.

He said that if dispatch in promptly obeying the bloodthirsty monster’s commands did anything in the way of security for his scalp he had accomplished that end. After they had crossed Little River and had gone a short distance Weatherford bid him good day and left him. The Judge said that he never bid a man as hasty good day in his life. He said he afterward became well acquainted with Weatherford and was charmed with his kind and cordial deportment. The Judge said that he never had seen but two men that he could not “look square in the eye” and them two men were Daniel Webster and Bill Weatherford.

After close of the war Jackson invited Weatherford to go to the Hermitage with him, Weatherford went with him and remained there nearly two years until after the excitement incident to the war and the massacre of Fort Mims had partially died away in the neighborhood of this terrible event. Jackson presented Weatherford with two fine horses which Weatherford brought home with him, one of which he presented to Captain Gordon of the U.S. Army.

The Hermitage – President Andrew Jackson’s home

The Hermitage - President Andrew Jackson's home
The Hermitage – President Andrew Jackson’s home

In regard to Weatherford’s celebrated leap from a bluff on the Alabama River, I will give it to you as I got it from Mr. William Hollinger of this county, now dead, who had it from Weatherford himself. Weatherford was surrounded on all sides by a company of calvary and his only chance of escape was to take to the river.

He was riding a fleet and very powerful black horse that was perfectly under his control and (as Weatherford expressed it) “could make him go anywhere”. He selected a place where the water from the hills had cut a gully down to the river bank, he rode down this gully until he came to the edge of the bank which was here about 12 feet high. By this time the dragoons had surrounded him on all sides, above and below, and several shots were fired down the gully.

He grasped his rifle in his right hand and spoke to his horse and gave him the spurs after facing him towards the bluff. The horse sprang forward and made two desperate bounds or leaps, the second one !carried him full ten feet clear of the bank into the river, the horse going entirely under the water and carried Weatherford down with him up to his waist. The gallant horse arose in a few seconds and struck out for the opposite bank with Weatherford upon his back.

After he had gotten about thirty yards from the bank, which he had leaped, the troops on the bank above and below him commenced firing upon him. He heard one of the troopers shout “don’t shoot him, don’t shoot him” but they continued to shoot at him until after he reached the opposite bank. The balls were striking the water on both sides of him whilst he was in the water, one ball cutting out a bunch of his horse’s mane.

He said that he felt more anxiety for his horse than he did for himself as he was much attached to the noble brute who had shared with him many hardships and carried him safely through many perils. As soon as he reached the shore on the opposite side of the river he dismounted and took off his saddle and examined his horse to see if the had been struck by a __and replaced his saddle. He then made a gesture of defiance to the troopers and shouted to them to come over, mounted his horse and disappeared.

Had I time and space I could relate many startling incidents of this extraordinary and might I say wonderful man. Take him all in all he was one of the most remarkable men of his race or time. In connection with this declaration I will state that in 1837 I heard Dr. Webb of Greensboro, Ala says that he had heard General Jackson say that he looked upon Weatherford as one of the most remarkable men he had ever met. He said that he was emphatically the (“Marshall Sey” ??) of the Red Man on this continent and the elements of greatness so prominent in his organization and character. And had he lived under different circumstances he would have made an indelible mark upon the page of history.

For courtly and knightly sentiment and demeanor he was the peer of any man with whom he had ever had intercourse with. That he had personal intercourse with him under his own roof at the Hermitage for nearly two years and the more he saw of him the more he was impressed with the conviction that “Nature had certainly singled him out as one of her special favorites in concentrating in him so much of the true and great man which was _____ ?? over administration.”

Weatherford was possessed of a large property in land, slaves, horses and cattle. He owned two plantations on the Alabama River and after the close of the war spent most of his time in attending to his farming interest and stock. He has two sons still living in this county named Charles and Alexander. Charles is his oldest child and is now 72 years old. In nobleness of character and all which goes to make up the true man, he has not a superior. He has always been highly respected and esteemed by all who know him.

He received the rudiments of an education in boyhood, is a man of fine sense and business capacity. He had a fine property in land and slaves when the war commenced but like thousands of others in like circumstances, was ruined by the war and is now poor and has to labor for his daily bread.

Alexander is about 56 years old and in personal appearance said to resemble his father. He is a man of fair education and always occupied a respectable position in society. He had another son, named William who went to the Creek Nation beyond the Mi (Mississippi ??) about 25 years ago and has not been heard of for many years. He is supposed to be dead. Weatherford’s youngest sister, Rosannah, is still living, she is now 70 years old (in 1874) lives in Mt. Pleasant in Monroe county in this state.

She is truly a remarkable woman, was educated in North Carolina. She was said to be one of the most beautiful women of her day and noted as well for her lovely character as for her personal beauty. She married Capt. Joseph Shomo of the U.S. Army by whom she had seven children, four of whom are still living in Monroe Co. They, like their mother, have ever been highly esteemed for their strict integrity and high moral character. Her eldest son is a physician of high standing in his profess!ion, is a gentlemen of culture and high standing.

He is esteemed and respected by all who know him for his strict integrity and a manly trait of character and I may truly say that no gentleman in Monroe county occupies a more enviable position in society. Her youngest son is a farmer, a man of education and fine sense and like his brother respected by all who know him. Her other two children are daughters and like their brothers, esteemed by all for their moral worth, their lovely disposition and purity of character and personal charms.

Their mother reminds me of some of those grand old ladies of the olden times. All are impressed with the gentle and quiet dignity of her manners and feel that they are in the presence of no ordinary woman and no one in any community where she has lived has commanded a higher respect from all who knew her.

Head stone of Creek Nation, Sehoy III Tate Weatherford.

Head stone of Creek Nation Princess, Sehoy III Tate Weatherford.
Head stone of Creek Nation, Sehoy III Tate Weatherford.

Weatherford’s brother John did not join him in the war. He was fair and would have passed for a white man, he was tall and commanding in appearance. He always dressed with a great deal of ease and paid a good deal of attention to the adornment of his person. He had more the appearance of a gentleman of elegant leisure than a “man of blood”.

He was a man of some education and general information, of strict integrity, of fine presence, gentlemanly deportment and high respectability. He was genial and cordial in disposition and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He left a family of three children, two of whom are sill living, a son and daughter. They are educated and intelligent and have always occupied highly respectable social positions.

David Tate

Next to Gen Alexander McGilvary the most prominent man amongst the Indians and early settlers of this county was my wife’s father, David Tate. He was a man of great natural abilities, was well educated and a man of general information, of large means. His being the nephew of McGilvary exerted a greater influence over the Indians than any other man in this county after McGilvary died.

His views and opinions in regard to the policy of the U.S. Government in regard to the Indians was endorsed and respected by the government and went far to shape its course in negotiations with them. His influence over the Indians was greater perhaps than that of any other man.

He was very reserved and rather austere in his manners to strangers, but very cordial with those with whom he was acquainted provided he had confidence in their sincerity of purpose. I presume I can say with safety that there was no one who did more for the early settlers of this part of Alabama than David Tate.

His memory is still held in high estimation by all who knew him and particularly those who had seen aid at his hands. A special Act of Congress was passed for his benefit (in 1820 I think it was) and the General Assembly of Alabama passed a similar act for his relations and descendants in 1855. He died at Montpelier in this county in 1829.

He left four daughters, the youngest of whom is my wife. And if it was not overstepping the bounds of modesty or good taste there is nothing I could say in commendation of any lady in the land that I could not with truth say of my wife and her sisters. And in connection I hoped I may be pardoned for quoting the language of one of the most distinguished ladies of the South who in speaking of my wife said that “in her veins runs the very best blood of the south”.

Weatherford died in 1824 and was buried (within three miles of where I am now living) on the spot where he camped with his warriors on the night before he attacked Fort Mims. His mother (Sehoy), his brother John and several other relations sleep by his side.
The following Memorial was prepared for his tombstone by Judge A.B. Meek of Alabama.

A Memorial
William Weatherford
Head Chief, Warrior and Orator
The Creek or Muscogee Indians
The War of 1813 and 1814
General Jackson
A true Patriot, he defended his
Beloved Alabama
with the greatest courage, Genius and Eloquence
And “never yielded whilst hope remained”

The battles of Fort Mims, the Holy Ground, Tohopeka and the Horseshoe, with many others distinguished in history witnessed his prowess and his misfortunes. His defeat was the downfall of his nation. His famous speech to General Jackson is the finest specimen of aboriginal eloquence and saved the sad remnants of his tribe.

After the war he resided near this spot where he lies buried, until his death, honored by all who knew him.
He was born at Talisee in Ala 1774. Died at Montpelier in this state 1824. Leaving many children and relatives who intermarried with the present population.
Though fierce his deeds and red his hand, he battled for his native land. Forget his faults, his virtues know a Patriot warrior sleeps below.

Sam Moniac

General Alexander McGilvary was connected with an extensive trading house, the firm of “Panton Forbes Co.” located in Pensacola. After his death there was soon a litigation growing out of his interest in the firm and in this way the standing and title of his father Lauchlan McGilvary was ascertained. He was a Scotch Nobleman of the House of (Drummageglass ??). The Hon. John A Campbell of New Orleans, I think was the attorney in the case and furnished this information.

Weatherford’s sister Elizabeth, married Sam Moniac a halfbreed, a descendant of a Hollander, who came into the Creek Nation in the middle of the seventeenth century. Sam Moniac’s mother was the youngest sister of Osceola the celebrated Florida Chief. David Tate Moniac, a son of Sam Moniac and Nephew of Weatherford was a graduate of West Point.

He distinguished himself in the Florida war of 1836. He was promoted for gallantry to the rank of Major by brevet and was shortly after killed in a battle with the! Seminoles, commanded by Osceola his uncle. David Tate Moniac left two children and his wife, who are still living and all highly respectable citizens of this county.

Osceloa Billy Powell

Osceloa Billy Powell
Osceloa Billy Powell

Sam Moniac visited General Washington in company with Gen McGilvary and Washington presented him with a medal which Moniac wore until he died in 1836, when the medal was buried with him. Moniac was always a true and consistent friend of whites though he married Weatherford’s sister and Weatherford himself were great friends before and after the war.

I will here relate a daring deed of Weatherford and Moniac. There was a man by the name of Bowles who came into the Nation and represented himself to the Indians as a British Col. He raised a large body of Indians to go to war against the Spanish.

The Spanish authorities at St. Marks, St Augustine, Pensacola and Mobile complained to our Government and expected the Government of the U.S.A. to prohibit Indians residing within her limits to make encroachment upon their territory. Col. Hawkins, the Indian Agent of the U.S.A. was instructed to arrest Bowles.

The Agency was then at Pole Cat Springs in Macon County. Hawkins took Bob Natlon (known as the swamp singer), Old MadDog, Weatherford and Sam Moniac. Weatherford was then quite young. As they approached the camp of Bowles the Indians (under Bowles) presented a menacing attitude.

Hawkins told them that he wanted to hold a talk and after his talk they could shout him if they wished. Hawkins told the Indians that Bowles ! was a bad man and would bring harm upon them and that he had come to take him and that they must give him up.

The Indians began to menace and presented their guns, when Weatherford and Sam Moniac stepped boldly forward and seized Bowles and tied him. Hundreds of guns were cocked but the daring of Weatherford and Moniac startled and cowed the Indians and Bowles was carried off a prisoner. Weatherford and Moniac carried him to Mobile in a canoe and delivered him to the Spanish authorities with a letter from Col Hawkins. An old negro named Jonah belonging to my wife’s father carried a letter from Col. Hawkins to the Governor of Florida at Pensacola notifying the Governor of the capture of Bowles.

Gen. Thomas Woodward informed me that Col Hawkins told that for inflexibility of purpose, reckless daring and consummate skill in executing whatever he undertook that Weatherford was without a peer. He said that no one but Weatherford with the limited means at his command could have contended as he did with the force brought against him, to subdue him and then was overpowered and not conquered or subdued.

That he only surrendered for the good of his people and that he believed that if he had thought he could have accomplished anything by it, he would have fought Jackson’s whole army single handed.

Chief McIntosh

Chief McIntosh
Chief McIntosh

The Grand old Sachem (?) of all the Creeks or Muscogee Indians was James McQueen and there is scarcely any Creek Indians of the present day who has not some of McQueen’s blood in his veins. McQueen was a Scotchman and came into the Creek Nation in 1716. He said he was in the British Navy in the service of Queen Ann. He had landed at St Augustine and that whilst on shore he struck one of the officers of the vessel and fled to the Creek Nation.

He took an Indian woman for a wife and from him sprang all the McQueens and their descendants now in the Creek Nation. He said the McQueens and their descendants are now as leaves in forest. Osceola was a grandson of James McQueen. Ophatholahola, the present speaker of the Creeks is a descendent of the McQueens. The McIntoshes, Rosses, Ridges and in fact nearly all the prominent Indians now in the Cherokee and Creek Nations are in some way connected with the McQueen stock.

I must now draw this hastily written and imperfect sketch to a close as the bread and meat question is the one which commands all of our leisure time in this poor unreconstructed (Pachalie ??) at this time.

I could tell you of one John Haque (white) who was captured by the Indians on the frontier of Pennsylvania when a child before Bradfords defeat. How Haque raised a son by a white woman at Detroit who took his mothers name of Girty and was called Simon Girty. How this same man Simon Girty contributed to General St (Calains ??) defeat in 1791.

How this same John Haque raised a family of children by an Indian woman and how the youngest son was the bloodthirsty and (sonocess ??) “Savanna Jack” who no doubt was the most relentless for the white man had in the Creek Nation. Even after the war closed it is said he never let an opportunity pass to kill or whip a white man. I have two old family negros who know Savanna Jack well and they corroborate the (halamanls ??) about the implacable hate that Jack maintained for the white man.

And they say that the only man that Savanna Jack was afraid of was “Mass Billy Wederford *” and him not much. I may resume at some other time.
I have the honor to be
Very Respectfully
Your obt Svrt
J.D. Dreisbach

PS Gen McGilvary’s youngest sister Jennie married a French officer and was taken to France and all traces of her have been lost.

* Weatherford

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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Confrontation: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 4)
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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. If it helps anyone, I am fairly certain that “passieconnitatis” was the writer’s attempt at posse comitatus. It makes sense here in the context. Posse comitatus is the common law practice of empowering law enforcement to swear in and appoint citizens as an arresting posse. Collins defied the posse, and said he would kill the first man to step forward.

    1. Thank you for clarifying that.

  2. […] in the southern part of Wetumpka, was Hickory Ground. It was here, in 1745, that the Scotch trader, Lachland McGillivray, married the Indian princess Sehoy, daughter of Captain Marchant After his marriage to her, he did […]

  3. […] of a chief called Chenubby and a Hollander by the name of Moniac. This man was the father of Sam Moniac, whom you in your History call McNae, thinking him to be of Scotch […]

  4. The Weatherfords, Thanks for the article on Red Eagle. My 4th G Grandmother Ursula Weatherford Burelson (1758-1835) David Franklin Burelson ( 1755-1832 )
    She lived with her father, Wilkerson and grandfather, William in the Clear Creek area of Old Mecklenburg Co, NC. This is probably where the Weatherfords had jumped off the Great Wagon Road from Lunenburg, VA. Wilkerson Weatherford, likely named for his mother’s (Susannah Wilkerson, poss. Daughter of John Wilkerson) was a first cousin, once removed (shared the same great-grandfather, William Weatherford of Fallen Creek, Henrico Co, VA) of the famous “Red Eagle,” Creek Indian leader who led the attack on Ft. Mims, killing 497 white settlers and soldiers. William “Billy” Weatherford was also known as Hoponika Futsahia or “truth teller.” In 1814, he surrendered himself to Andrew Jackson, pleading for leniency towards the starving remnants of his people. Jackson spared his life and released him to live a quiet life in southern Alabama. A mural depicting this surrender can be found in the rotunda of the Alabama State Capitol. He was the son of Charles Weatherford and Sehoy MacPherson (Sehoy III of the Creek Nation) and was 3/4 scotch and 1/4 creek indian.Ursula Weatherford b. 1758 Lunenburg Co, VA, d. 27 Feb 1835 Murfreesboro, Rutherford Co, TNUrsula Weatherford’s family had come down the Great Wagon Road from Lunenburg Co, NC where her grandfather, William Weatherford is found in Lunenburg Co. Tax Lists in 1764, 1 of 4 poles (one of which is our Wilkerson). William was baptized at St. Peter’s Parish and is on record in the Vestry Book pg. 404, 406.
    Contrary to popular opinion, it appears that the Weatherford family was of Scotch origin. Only Charles Weatherford had any “relations” with Creek Indians, giving rise to the infamous “Red Eagle”. And he was reputed to be only ¼ Indian at that. So, our branch of Weatherfords is more likely white.
    My Grandfather( Adcock ) , I have found some evidence that the Adcocks that were killed at Ft Mimms are connected to my family also. As far as I know I am the only descendant kin to the Indian and Civilians at the Fort. I live in Mobile but was born in Alexander City, Al. I grew up around Horseshoe Bend and remember it well. Researching my family tree ( McCollough – Adcocks) of Alexander City, I have discovered 13 Confederate War veterans.

    1. What a well-written accounting of the Weatherford, I believe Wilkerson to be my great-grandfather, I have completed my DNA and would love to compare it to yours, do you have yours online if so where and what is the kit number. Thank You Coz

  5. A few notes:
    Lachlan McGillivray came to the Creek country in the 18th century (1700s), not the 17th.
    David Tate’s father was also named David, not John. You would expect that Driesbach would be familiar with his wife’s lineage, but official British records indicate otherwise. “John” was a name other historians came up with, and Driesbach was relying on them.
    The Scottish place name of questioned spelling in the first paragraph under Sam Moniac is Dunmaglass. Driesbach may have spelled it differently, but that is the common spelling.
    Savannah Jack’s last name was Hague, not Haque (an easy mistake in dealing with handwritten documents). The name was also commonly rendered as Haigue.
    Sam Moniac did not die in 1836. He died August 21, 1837.

  6. Incestuous lies… oh what tales we weave, when those who read, succumb and believe….

    Listen up folks – there a story, a myth, and an outright lie.

    Alexander McGillivray was born in 1759 and died in 1793 (assassination and who was his mail carrier – don’t wanna imply Weatherford but he was known and trusted by the “Emporer of the Creeks).

    So if William Weatherford was born in 1765…. or even 1780 or maybe 1781… exactly how is that your William Weatherford is the nephew of this same Alexander McGillivray – the other sister (not Sophia) is actually younger than Alexander McGillivray himself…

    Anyone ever wonder about this story and how it is so many historians have not worked him into the story correctly by now…

    So many lies…

    However, Putnam Waldo did not know the name Weatherford in 1819 it would seem and yet he did know of “Whitherford” and neither gave that famous speech.

    I therefore propose to ask why would Andrew Jackson take this man to his own home at the Hermitage, and his step son and his other child who was unborn before Weatherford knew the child to be a boy or a girl…. Anyone know the story of Lincoyer?

    Why are these children so very dear and so very important to THE USURPER names Andrew Jackson and why would Weatherford simply sell them out…

    And of course… by a man-hunter and bounty hunter for his “brother-in-laws”….

    Think about it and let me know what you think….

    Weatherford never caught Osceola and neither did the Moniacs…

    They still claim to be family…

    Oh what webs we weave….

    Gotta ask what was so very important and why so many NEVER stopped in their pursuit of this family and sought so very hard to ERASE them from HISTORY.

    Darby Weaver

  7. On the Bowles story – Check it with Panton and Leslie and you’ll see that is was not William who is the Weatherford who betrayed the Fearless Bowles but instead it was Charles…. who was a bit of a horse thief until this issue was resolved by Alexander McGillivray and the nephew of the Red Shoes….

    Of course the banditti had poor Big Warrior caged up in a “fort” and shot him to death and the news got back to Panzacola about 3 days after July 25th or 27th or so…

    I suppose no one helped him…

    Kinda like the Burnt Corn and Ft. Mims story rolled into one.

    The list goes on…

    But why lie? Why would they lie…

    Darby Weaver

  8. […] wealthy Lachland McGillivray had one of his principal stores there, and after making it the center of an extensive trade, he […]

  9. Francine’s Daddy, now 96+ years and descendant of the Stiggins, Wagoners, Weatherford and related families.
    Most interesting historical account, much of which I have heard since my childhood and much of which I have read in many books; for example, Pickett’s History of Alabama, Draper’s Manuscripts, to name a couple and through genealogical research. My ancestors lived in Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh and other counties in Alabama before and after they were counties. I have cherished the stories of their interesting lives, even though in the telling some may bear some embellishments for greater interest. jI have no reason for doubting the accuracy that would make a difference.

    Now comes one Darby Weaver (a “Doubting Thomas”) in his post saying it is “all incestuous lies”.

    In the interest of truth, tell me the sources on which you base your charges of it being all lies (authority) and tell me just what is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We, who are interested have need to know. I promise you I will keep an open mind for I need to know the truth, for believing lies have no value as they do deceive and lead astray and cloud one’s intellect.

    Thank you.

    1. I use the American State Papers and lately the Bureau of Land Management.

      I have now refuted the statements made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs – regarding Pierre Juzan and Charles Juzan, Zadoc, Jesse, Turner, Alexander, and the rest of the Brashears family.

      Dave/David Weaver was refuted in the Indian Citizenship Court – both of them and were confirms by Chief Jihn Ross and Thomas Taylor per sworn statements in regard to Elizabeth Weaver.

      The case was held as on of the 500 trial cases in Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, Choctaw Nation v Johnson et. al. in 1899.

      The Dawes Commission was investigated by Congress over a period of about 40 years for the fraud committed on behalf of the Five Civilized Tribes and the Choctaw Nation against the Mississippi Choctaw in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana in particular as well as Texas, Tennessee, etc.

      It seems in Choctaw v US 119 US 1 in 1886 and the Court of Claims decision in 1883 that the Choctaw Nation got paid for “Net Proceeds” for some 10 million acres sold in Mississippi or even Alabama.

      However there was not a single acre of Choctaw lands ever sold in the Treaty of 1830.

      So the Choctaw Nation hired a law firm and the paid the law firm to lobby Congress for law such as the Dawes Act, the Indian Allotment Act, and the Curtis Act, etc.

      The Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations paid the law firm $750,000 to deny the Mississippi/Alabama Choctaw.

      At the same time the US Federal Governement paid the Commissioners whom 2 of 3 were on the payroll of the law firm.

      That amounted to what is called FRAUD.

      There’s a lot more to the story.

      It is the writings of Andrew Jackson to the Secretary of War Armstrong brought forth in his own defense in 1828 due to the fact that someone published a book or series of books about him variously called the “Life of Jackson”.

      The books made for better reading I suppose and they now account for Alabama History in schools.

      However, the American State Papers are the official version and Peter Force before them.


      A lot of people believed the books that would not have actually even been written in his own lifetime but were called by the American History Association in 1885 per the book in my own possession.

      So…. I spent a few hundred thousand dollars to learn as much of the truth as may be possible.

      Read Worchester v Georgia if you really want to know more about American History and the beginnings of this Country.

      Chief Justice John Marshall was said to be 68 years old in 1832 and he recounts history well enough and it is not what I was taught in school either.

      If we can’t believe the Supreme Cour who can we consider an authority – these anonymous authors?

      The Congressional Inquiries make good reading.

      Think about it.

      Darby Weaver

      The Tribal Leader

    2. I’m still working on the books to write to illustrate just how deep the fraud goes.

      It is fraud and it is deep.

      It has been uncovered by Congressional Inquiry and by the Supreme Court as well as by at least one Commissioner of Indian Affairs and reported or adjudicated by all.

      However, each was not complete as to the true duplicity of the entire fraud.

      Whatever the reason may be.

      Weatherford v Weatherford for example…

      I read two books and what appears to be a Federal Petition by a now Federally Recognized Tribe that rely upon this case…

      I went to Monroeville and made a copy of the case…

      I suppose whoever read it and used it had much better eyes than I.

      What I have a high definition picture of is scarcely legible much less readable.

      So unless there is a better copy somewhere…

      I’d be interested to know and I understand USA has one in possession – I’d love to see it.

      It would be interesting.

      Comparison actual unreadable version to whatever was readable by others who wrote what they said they read.

      It’s like I say interesting.

      Why would anyone speak untruthfully about a public record?

  10. […] some days, and among our crowd was Zach. McGirth, Davy Tait, the half-brother to Weatherford, old Sam. Moniac, who, many years before, had accompanied Alex. McGillivray to New York in General Washington’s […]

  11. This is very interesting reading for me, as several McQueen people are involved. None would be directly related to our Alabama McQueen family, however. My grandmother left some writings about our family in the Montgomery-Selma area as well as the local indians. She mentioned Sam Moniac (Manac, as the indians called him) and his store/trading post on Pintlala Creek.

    1. Ken, in the late 1960’s, there was a store, restaurant and boat ramp where Pintlala Creek flowed into the Alabama River. This was called Camp Manac. Does this named come from this Family?

      1. That spot was the location of Sam’s Alabama River plantation (he had properties there, Little Tallassee, Pintlala, and Tensaw). The area is still listed as “Manack” or “Manacks” on some maps even today.

    2. Brian Walters, more than likely, as “Manac” was widely used in the old days. I am surprised to hear that it was used in the ’60s, however, it would have a historic ring to it!

    3. Ken, Camp Manac was run by the Chestnut family.

    4. Ken, I’m a McQueen descendant from Montgomery, and a Moniac researcher. We should probably compare notes.

  12. Love reading about my heritage!

    1. Thanks Mark Hirschfeldt. Good read. I’ve read similar accounts. By all records I’ve been able to uncover my ancestral line comes directly from Elizabeth and Sam Moniac Great great (however many) grandparents. Moniac is an interesting figure and some of his land grants made by the US govt. were honored and others were not. He served as a scout to A. Jackson in the war against the Red Sticks. It is also said that he was one of the young boys that made the trip to New York and met Washington along with Alexander McGillivray. Sadly, after serving Jackson he was a victim of the Indian removal act and it is said that he died in the Biloxi area from Yellow fever on rout to the Oklahoma territory. Some of his kin folk did stay behind and are now recognized as the Poarch Creek tribe we know today.

      1. Hey cuz!

  13. Glad that u posted that Brandon . Very interesting .ji

  14. Update:

    Colonel William Weatherford lived to serve in the Sac and Fox Campaign and the Mexican War.

    The story of Fort Mims is a great fairy tale however it is not what was reported by Andrew Jackson to the Secretary of War Armstrong and laid before Congress in 1828 according to the handbill and the American State Papers.

    Nancy Fisher applied for his pension and Congress agreed she was his heir.

    The Bureau of Land Management issued land parents to Nancy Weatherford.

    I’ve also read that Lachljn or Laughlin Durant reported that either his daughter or sister Nancy was last seen and was married to William Weatherford. That was a while ago and was on either his Creek or Choctaw Application for Citizenship in Oklahoma.

    FYI – The Friendly Creeks are typically Choctaw Captains and Chiefs.

    Silas D. Fisher is noted for signing the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek and also owning a tract of land in Mount Vernon Alabama immediately North of Fort Stoddard.

    Lachlan Durant’s son becomes a Chief of the Choctaw Nation in Oklahma.

    Alexander Brashers who signed the Choctaw Treaty of 1830 is Kin to Jesse Brashears and Noah Wall – Wall v. Williams.

    He is also an ancestor of John Everett and John Reed who are kin to Dan to and Rose Reed of the Choctaw Indians in Mobile Alabama.

    John Everett and John Reid (Reed) were both two of the mayors of Mobile Alabama.

    John Reid (Reed) Jr won the mayor election in 1870 with 170 votes but was contested since that appeared to be more votes than his competitor Moulton believed was possible at the time.

    Reid (Reed) won in Reid v Moulton in the Alabama Supreme Court but was never mayor of Mobile.

    It’s sad about the whole Fort Mims story.

    It’s interesting what people will say and do to get land.

    Darby Weaver

    The Tribal Leader

  15. […] of a chief called Chenubby and a Hollander by the name of Moniac. This man was the father of Sam Moniac, whom you in your History call McNae, thinking him to be of Scotch […]

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