Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Mission’s Among the Southern Indians

In the year 1819 the Synod of South Carolina resolved to establish a mission among the Southern Indians east of the Mississippi river. The Cherokees, Muskogee’s, Seminoles, Choctaws and Chickasaws then occupied Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Rev. David Humphries offered to take charge of the intended mission. He was directed to visit the Indians, obtain their consent and select a suitable location. Rev. T. C. Stewart, then a young licentiate, offered himself as a companion to Mr. Humphries. They first visited the Muskogee’s (Creeks), who, in a council of the Nation, declined their proposition. They then traveled through Alabama into Mississippi, and proposed to establish a mission among the Chickasaws. They found them on the eve of holding a council of the Nation to elect a king. In that council, held in 1820, permission was granted the missionaries to establish missions in their Nation, and a charter was signed by the newly chosen king. The two missionaries then returned to South Carolina. During the return Mr. Humphries concluded that he was not called to preach to the untaught North American Indians. But the Rev. T. C. Stewart, during the same journey, firmly resolved to undertake the self-denying work, and offered to take charge of the contemplated mission. The Synod gladly accepted, and he at once commenced making preparations to enter upon the life of a missionary to the Chickasaws. In January 1821, he reached the place chosen for a station, and named it Monroe Station, in honor of James Monroe, the then president of the United States. Mr. Stewart was the only missionary. Two men, however, accompanied him...

The Discovery Of This Continent, it’s Results To The Natives

In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portugal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome Monis De Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps and geographical charts, and also wrote, at his dictation, his journals concerning his voyages. Shortly after the marriage of Columbus and Felipa at Lisbon, they moved to the island of Porto Santo which her father had colonized and was governor at the time of his death, and settled on a large landed estate which belonged to Palestrello, and which he had bequeathed to Felipa together with all his journals and papers. In that home of retirement and peace the young husband and wife lived in connubial bliss for many years. How could it be otherwise, since each had found in the other a congenial spirit, full of adventurous explorations, but which all others regarded as visionary follies? They read together and talked over the journals and papers of Bartolomeo, during which Felipa also entertained Columbus with accounts of her own voyages with her father, together with his opinions and those of other navigators of that age his friends and companions of a possible country that might be discovered in the distant West, and the...

The Meeting in 1811 of Tecumseh and Apushamatahah

The meeting in 1811, of Tecumseh, the mighty Shawnee, with Apushamatahah, the intrepid Choctaw. I will here give a true narrative of an incident in the life of the great and noble Choctaw chief, Apushamatahah, as related by Colonel John Pitchlynn, a white man of sterling integrity, and who acted for many years as interpreter to the Choctaws for the United States Government, and who was an eye-witness to the thrilling scene, a similar one, never before nor afterwards befell the lot of a white man to witness, except that of Sam Dale, the great scout of General Andrew Jackson, who witnessed a similar one that of Tecumseh in council assembled with the Muskogee’s, shortly afterwards of which I will speak in the history of that once powerful and war-like race of people. Colonel John Pitchlynn was adopted in early manhood by the Choctaws, and marrying among them, he at once became as one of their people; and was named by them “Chahtah It-ti-ka-na,” The Choctaws Friend; and long and well he proved himself worthy the title Conferred upon, and the trust confided in him. He had five sons by his Choctaw wife, Peter, Silas, Thomas, Jack and James, all of who prove to be men of talent, and exerted a moral influence among their people, except Jack, who was ruined by the white man s whiskey and his demoralizing examples and influences. I was personally acquainted with Peter. Silas and Jack, the former held, during a long and useful life, the highest positions in the political history of his Nation, well deserving the title given him by the...

Bloody Scenes in Alabama and Georgia

At this period, some exciting scenes occurred in the region now known as North Alabama. We have already followed a party of emigrants to the Cumberland. Many others flocked to that country, and it soon became well settled, for a wild country. The Upper Creeks and Cherokees continually made war upon these Cumberland people. The French, upon the Wabash, had, for a long time, carried on a commerce, near the sites of the present towns of Tuscumbia and Florence. So long as M. Viez was at the head of this trade, the Cumberland people were not harassed; but, recently, he had been succeeded by others, who supplied the Indians with arms, and encouraged them to attack the American settlements. The latter had only acted upon the defensive, but it was now determined to advance upon the frontier towns of the Indians. June 1 1787: One hundred and thirty men assembled, from different parts of the Cumberland region, and marched, under Colonel James Robertson, to the Tennessee river, piloted by two Chickasaws. David Hays was dispatched from Nashville with boats, laden with provisions, destined for the Muscle Shoals. Descending the Cumberland, he was furiously attacked by the Indians, at the mouth of Duck River, and, after some of his men had been killed and others wounded, he returned to Nashville with his boats. Owing to this the horsemen were without food during the greater part of the expedition. June 1787: Striking the Tennessee at a point very near the present town of Florence, Colonel Robertson concealed his men. A well-beaten path was discovered, leading down the banks, and on the...

The French In Alabama And Mississippi

After the Spanish invasion of De Soto, to which allusion has so often been made, our soil remained untrodden by European feet for nearly a century and a half. At the end of that long and dark period it became connected with the history of the distant dark period it became connected with the history of the distant French possessions of Canada, which were contemporaneous with the oldest English colonies in America. For more than fifty years the French fur traders of Canada, associated with the enterprising Jesuit Fathers, had continued to advance southwestward upon the great lakes, discovering new regions, different races of Indians, more abundant game, and wider and brighter waters. At length, from the tribes upon the southern shores of Lake Superior, Father Allouez heard some vague reports of a great western river. Subsequently, Father Marquette was dispatched from Quebec with Joliet, a trader of that place, five other Frenchmen, and a large number of Indian guides, to seek the Mississippi, and thus add new regions to the dominion of France, and new missions of the empire of the Jesuits. Ascending Fox River to the head of navigation, and crossing the portage to the banks of the Wisconsin, with birch bark canoes, the adventurers again launched their tiny boats and floated down to the Mississippi river. Descending it to the mouth of the Arkansas, and encountering decided evidences of a southern climate, Marquette finally found himself among the Chickasaws, whose reports that hostile tribes thronged the banks upon thence to the sea, served to arrest his progress. Reluctant commencing his return up the stiff and turbid...

The Spaniards in Alabama and Mississippi

England, having lost her West Florida provinces by the victories of Galvez, and having the American Whigs, as well as the natives of France, Spain and Holland, arrayed against her, was finally forced to retire from the unequal contest. A preliminary treaty of peace was signed at Paris. England there acknowledged our independence, and admitted our southern boundary to be as follows: A line beginning at the Mississippi, at 31° north of the equator, and extending due east to the Chattahoochie River; down that river to the mouth of the Flint, and thence to the St. Mary’s, and along that river to the sea. Great Britain also expressly stipulated, in that treaty, our right to the navigation of the Mississippi River, from its mouth to its source. Jan. 20 1783: Great Britain and Spain entered into a treaty. The former warranted and confirmed to the latter the province of West Florida, and ceded to her East Florida.1 But although England, by the treaty of 1782, assigned to the United States all the territory between the Mississippi and the Chattahoochie, lying between the parallels of latitude 31° and 32° 28′, embracing the same portion of the territory of Alabama and Mississippi, which lay in the British province of West Florida, yet it was not surrendered to us by Spain for years afterwards. Spain occupied it, contending that Great Britain, in the treaty with her, in 1783, warranted the province of West Florida to her, not defining its northern limits, and that England had no right to restrict her limits, even if she had attempted it, for Spain had, before the...

Extreme Perils and Suffering of the Natchez Refugees

During the siege of Pensacola, a series of events, of an interesting and romantic character, began at Natchez, and afterwards ended, with unparalleled sufferings, in the vast Indian wilderness, which extended from thence to the Ogechee River, in the distant province of Georgia. Some citizens of the Natchez district, the most prominent of whom were Philip Alston, Colonel Hutchens, John Alston, Captain Thaddeus Lyman, Thompson Lyman, Jacob Blomont, and Jacob Winfrey, put themselves at the head of a large party of royalists, for the purpose of seizing Fort Panmure, and expelling there from the Spanish troops, who had held it since September, 1780. They had learned that a powerful British fleet was off the Florida coast, whose object was the re-occupation of the country, and, believing that Don Galvez had already been defeated at Pensacola, they resolved immediately to anticipate what they supposed would be the desire of their King. Having assembled a large body of Choctaws, the insurgents assumed a position upon an eminence, above the town of Natchez, in full view of the fort. At night they advanced and planted their artillery so as to bear upon the works; but, when day approached, the Spanish cannonade compelled them to retire. During the succeeding twenty-four hours, the firing continued between the parties. Apr. 29 1781: The commandant sent a flag to Colonel Hutchens, representing the danger of rebellion, and promising the clemency of his government, if the people would disperse, after they should have surrendered the ringleaders. An answer was promised, to be returned the next day. During the interval, the malcontents arrested a man bearing a dispatch...

Governor George M. Troup and the McIntosh Family

At the close of our last chapter it was stated that the first American court held in Alabama was at McIntosh Bluff, which is situated upon the western bank of the Tombigby, between its confluence with the Alabama and the town of St. Stephens. Connected with this bluff, there is, to us, a pleasing historical reminiscence. Alabama has the honor of being the birthplace of George M. Troup, late Governor of Georgia, and who is one of the most vigorous and expressive political and epistolary writers of the age. His grandfather, Captain John McIntosh, the Chief of the McIntosh clan, was long attached to the army of West Florida, and his valuable services were rewarded by the King of England, with the grant of McIntosh Bluff, and extensive tracts of land upon the Mississippi. He had a son, who was also a British officer, and a daughter, a native of Georgia. The latter, while on a visit to England, married an officer of the royal army, named Troup. She sailed from England to Mobile, and, arriving at the latter place, entered a barge, and went up the Tombigby River to the residence of her father at McIntosh Bluff, where, in the wilds of Alabama, Governor Troup was born in September, 1780. She had an uncle, named Roderick McIntosh, or “Old Rory,” as he was familiarly called, a most extraordinary character, a kind of Don Quixote, old Arab Chief, Scottish and Irish Chieftain, the Saladin and Coeur de Leon of chivalry. He was long an officer of his Majesty’s army in Georgia and East Florida. Thus the father, brother, uncle...

Journey of Bartram Through Alabama

William Bartram, the botanist, passed through the Creek nation, and went from thence to Mobile. He found that that town extended back from the river nearly half a mile. Some of the houses were vacant, and others were in ruins. Yet a few good buildings were inhabited by the French gentlemen, and others by refined emigrants of Ireland, Scotland, England, and the Northern British Colonies. The Indian trade was under management of Messrs. Swanson and McGillivray. They conducted an extensive commerce with the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks. Their buildings were commodious, and well arranged for that purpose. The principal houses of the French were of brick, of one story, of a square form, and on a large scale, embracing courts in their rears. Those of the lower classes were made of strong cypress frames, filled in with plaster. Major Farmar, one of the most respectable inhabitants of West Florida, who formerly had much to do with the colonial government, resided at Tensaw, in sight of the present Stockton, where once lived the tribe of Tensaw Indians. The bluff sustained not only his extensive improvements, but the dwellings of many French families, chiefly his tenants, while his extensive plantations lay up and down the Tensaw River, on the western side. Indeed, all up that river, and particularly on the western branch, were many well cultivated plantations, belonging to various settlers, while others were in ruins, having been abandoned by the French when the English took possession of the country. The plantations on the Mobile River, as seen five years before, have already been mentioned. At one of these Bartram stayed...

Hardships of the Early Natchez Emigrants

Taking the reader with us, to the settlements of the distant Natchez region, he will find that emigrants continued to pour in, upon those fertile hills and alluvial bottoms, from all parts of “his majesty’s Atlantic plantations.” Many were the hardships and perils they encountered, in reaching this remote and comparatively uninhabited region. It is believed that the history of one party of these emigrants will enable the reader to understand what kind of hardships and deprivations all the others were forced to undergo. Major General Phineas Lyman, a native of Durham, a graduate of Yale, a distinguished lawyer, and a member of the legislature of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, became commander of the Connecticut forces in 1755. He served with so much distinction, during the Canadian war, that he was invited, by persons high in office, to visit England. He had formed an association composed of his brothers in arms, called the “Military Adventurers,” whose design was, the colonization of a tract of country upon the Mississippi. He sailed to England, as agent for this company, with the sanguine, yet reasonable hope, that the King would make the grant. Arriving there he found, to his astonishment, that land in a wilderness was refused to those who had fought so valiantly for it, and whose contemplated establishment would have formed a barrier against enemies, who might seek to acquire it. In his own country Lyman had never solicited favor, otherwise than by faithful public services. The coolness which he now experienced deeply mortified him — his spirits sank, and he lost all his former energy. Shocked at the degradation...
Page 3 of 6712345678910...2030...Last »

Pin It on Pinterest