A Description of the Towns on Coosau and Tallapoosa Rivers

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Tal-e-see, from tal-o-fau, a town, and e-see, taken. Situated in the fork of Eu fau-le on the left bank of Tal-la-poo-sa, opposite Took-au-bat-che. Eu-fau-be has its source in the ridge dividing the waters of Chat-to-ho-che, from Tal-la-poo-sa, and runs nearly west to the junction with the river; there it is sixty feet wide. The land on it is poor for some miles up, then rich flats, bordered with pine land with reedy branches, a fine range for cattle and horses.

The Indians have mostly left the town, and settled up the creek, or on its waters, for twenty miles. The settlements are some of them well chosen, and fenced with worm fences. The land bordering on the streams of the right side of the creek is better than that of the left; and here the settlements are mostly made. Twelve miles up the creek from its mouth it forks; the large fork of the left side has some rich flat swamp, large white oak, poplar, ash and white pine. The trading path from Cus-se-tuh to the Upper Creeks crosses this fork twice. Here it is called big swamp, (opil-thluc-co.) The waving land to its source is stiff”. The growth is post oak, pine and hard shelled hickory.
The Indian- who have settled out on the margins and branches of the creek, have, several of them, cattle, hogs and horses, and begin to be attentive to them. The head warrior of the town, Peter McQueen, a half breed, is a snug trader, has a valuable property in Negroes and stock and begins to know their value.

These Indians were very friendly to the United States, during the revolutionary war, and their old chief, Ho-bo-ith-le Mic-co, of the halfway house, (improperly called the Tal-e-see king,) could not be prevailed on by any offers from the agents of Great Britain, to take part with them. On the return of peace, and the establishment of friendly arrangements between the Indians and citizens of the United States, this chief felt himself neglected by Mr. Seagrove, which resenting, he robbed and insulted that gentleman, compelled him to leave his house near Took-au-bat-che, and fly into a swamp. He has since then, as from a spirit of contradiction, formed a party in opposition to the will of the nation, which has given much trouble and difficulty to the chiefs of the land. His principal assistants were the leaders of the banditti who insulted the commissioners of Spain and the United States, on the 17th September, 1799, at the confluence of Flint and Chat-to-ho-che. The exemplary punishment inflicted on them by the warriors of the nation, has effectually checked their mischief-making and silenced them. And this chief has had a solemn warning from the national council, to respect the laws of the nation, or he should meet the punishment ordained by the law. He is one of the great medal chiefs.

This spirit of party or opposition prevails not only here, but more or less in every town in the nation. The plainest proposition for ameliorating their condition is immediately opposed; and this opposition continues as long as there is hope to obtain presents, the infallible mode heretofore in use, to gain a point.

Took-au-bat-che, The ancient name of this town is Is-po-co-gee; its derivation uncertain; it is situated on the right bank of the Tallapoosa, opposite the junction of Mu-fau-be, two and a half miles below the falls of the river, on a beautiful level. The course of the river from the falls to the town, is south; it then turns east three-quarters of a mile, and short round a point opposite Eu-fau-be, thence west and west-by-north to its confluence with Coosau, about thirty miles. It is one hundred yards wide opposite the town house to the south, and here are two good fords during the summer. One just below the point of a small island, the other one hundred yards still lower.

The water of the falls, after tumbling over a bed of rock for half a mile, is forced into two channels; one thirty, the other fifteen feet wide. The fall is forty feet in fifty yards. The channel on the right side, which is the widest, falls nearly twenty feet in ten feet. The fish are obstructed here in their attempts to ascend the river. From appearances, they might be easily taken in the season of their ascending the rivers, but no attempts have hitherto been made to do so.

The rock is a light gray, very much divided in square blocks of various sizes for building. It requires very little labor to reduce it to form, for plain walls. Large masses of it are so nicely fitted, and so regular, as to imitate the wall of an ancient building, where the stone had passed through the hands of a mason. The quantity of this description at the falls and in the hill sides adjoining them is great; sufficient for the building of a large city.

The falls above spread out, and the river widens to half a mile within that distance, and continues that width for four miles. Within this scope are four islands, which were formerly cultivated, but are now old fields margined with cane. The bed of the river is here rocky, shoally, and covered with moss. It is frequented in summer by cattle, horses, and deer; and in the winter, by swans, geese and ducks.

On the right bank opposite the falls, the land is broken, stoney and gravelly. The hill sides fronting the river, exhibit this building rock. The timber is post oak, hickory and pine, all small. From the hills the land spreads off level. The narrow flat margin between the hills and the river is convenient for a canal for mills on an extensive scale, and to supply a large extent of flat land around the town with water. Below the falls a small distance, there is a spring and branch, and within five hundred yards a small creek; thence within half a mile, the land becomes level and spreads out on this side two miles, including the flats of Wol-lau-hat-che, a creek ten feet wide, which rises seventeen miles from its junction with the river, in the high pine forest, and running south-south-east enters the river three miles below the town house. The whole of this flat, between the creek and the river, bordering on the town, is covered with oak and the small hard shelled hickory. The trees are all small; the land is light, and fine for corn, cotton or melons. The creek has a little cane on its margins, and reed on the small branches; but the range is much exhausted by the stock of the town.

On the left bank of the river, at the falls, the land is broken pine forest. Half a mile below there is a small creek which has its source seven miles from the river, its margins covered with reed or cane. Below the creek the land becomes flat, and continues so to Talesee on the Eu-fau-bee, and half a mile still lower, to the hills between this creek and Ca-le-be-hat-che. The hills extend nearly two miles, are intersected by one small creek and two branches, and terminate on the river in two high bluffs; from whence is an extensive view of the town, the river, the flat lands on the opposite shore and the range of hills to the northwest; near one of the bluffs there is a fine spring, and near it a beautiful elevated situation for a settlement. The hills are bounded to the west by a small branch. Below this, the flat land spreads out for one mile. It is a quarter of a mile from the branch on this flat to the residence of Mr. Cornells, (Oche Haujo,) thence half a mile to the public establishment, thence two miles to the mouth of Ca-le-be-hat che. This creek has its source thirty miles to the east in waving, post oak, hickory and pine land; in some places the swamp is wide, the beach and white oak very large, with poplar, cypress, red bay, sassafras, Florida magnolia, and white pine. Broken piny woods and reedy branches on its right side; oak flats, red and post oak, willow leaved hickory, long and short leaf pine and reedy branches on its left side. The creek at its mouth is twenty-five feet wide. The flat between it and the river is fine for corn, cotton and melons, oak, hickory, and short leaf pine. From this flat to its source, it is margined with cane, reed, and palmetto. Ten miles up the creek, between it and Kebihatche, the next creek below and parallel with this, are some licks in post and red oak saplin flats; the range on these creeks is apparently fine for cattle; yet from the want of salt or moss, the large ones appear poor in the fall, while other cattle, where moss is to be had, or they are regularly salted, are fat.

They have 116 gun men belonging to this town; they were formerly more numerous, but have been unfortunate in their wars. In the last they had with the Chickasaws, they lost thirty- five gun men; they have begun to settle out in villages for the conveniency of stock raising, and having firewood; the stock which frequent the mossy shoals above the town, look well and appear healthy; the Indians begin to be attentive to them, and are increasing them by all the means in their power. Several of them have from fifty to one hundred, and the town furnished seventy good beef cattle in 1799. One chief, Toolk-au-bat-che Haujo, has five hundred, and although apparently very indigent, he never sells any; while he seems to deny himself the comforts of life, he gives continued proofs of unbounded hospitality; he seldom kills less than two large beeves a fortnight, for his friends and acquaintances.

The town is on the decline. Its appearance proves the inattention of the inhabitants. It is badly fenced; they have but a few plum trees, and several clumps of cassine yupon; the land is much exhausted with continued culture, and the wood for fuel is at a great and inconvenient distance, unless boats or land carriages were in use; it could then be easily supplied; the river is navigable for boats drawing two and a half feet in the dry season, from just above the town, to Alabama. From the point just above the town to the tails, the river spreads over a bed of flat rock in several places, where the depth of water is something less than two feet.

This is the residence of Efau Haujo, one of the great medal chiefs, the speaker for the nation at the national council. He is one of the best informed men of the land, and faithful to his national engagements. He has five black slaves, and a stock of cattle and horses; but they are of little use to him; the ancient habits instilled in him by French and British agents, that the red chiefs are to live on presents from their white friends, is so riveted, that he claims it as a tribute due to him, and one that never must be dispensed with.

At the public establishment there is a smith’s shop, a dwelling house and kitchen built of logs, and a field well fenced. And it is in the contemplation of the agent, to have a public garden and nursery.

The assistant and interpreter, Mr. Cornells, (Oche Haujo,) one of the chiefs of the Creek nation, has a farm well fenced and cultivated with the plough. He is a half breed, of a strong mind, and fulfils the duties enjoined on him by his appointment, with zeal and fidelity. He has nine Negroes under good government. Some of his family have good farms, and one of them, Zachariah McGive is a careful, snug farmer, has good fences, a fine young orchard, and a stock of hogs, horses and cattle. His wife has the neatness and economy of a white woman. This family and Sullivan’s, in the neighborhood, are spinning.1

Aut-tos-se, en the left side of Tallapoosa, below and adjoining Ca-le-be-hat-che. A poor, miserable looking place, fenced with small poles; the first on forks in a fine and two others on slakes hardly sufficient to keep out cattle. They have some plum and peach trees; a swamp back of the town and some good land back of that, a fiat of oak, hickory and pine. On the right bank of the river, just below the town, they have a fine rich cove of land which was formerly a cane brake, and has been cultivated.

There is, below the town, one good farm made by the late Richard Bailey, and an orchard of peach trees Mrs. Bailey, the widow, is neat, clean and industrious, and very attentive to the interests of her family; qualities rarely to be met with in an Indian woman. Her example has no effect on the Indians, even her own family, with the exception of her own children. She has fifty bee-hives and a great supply of honey every year; has a fine stock of hogs, cattle and horses, and they all do well. Her son, Richard Bailey, was educated in Philadelphia by the Government, and he has brought with him into the nation so much contempt for the Indian mode of life, that he has got himself into discredit with them. His young brother is under the direction of the Quakers in Philadelphia. His three sisters promise to do well, they are industrious and can spin. Some of the Indians have cattle; but in general, they are destitute of property.

In the year 1766 there were forty-three gun men, and lately they were estimated at eighty. This is a much greater increase of population than is to be met with in other towns! They appear to be stationary generally, and in some towns are on the decrease; the apparent difference here, or increase, may be greater than the real; as formerly men grown were rated as gun men, and now boys of fifteen, who are hunters, are rated as gun men; they have for two years past been on the decline; arc very sickly, and have lost many of their inhabitants; they are now rated at fifty gun men only.2

Ho-ith-le Waule, from Ho-ith-le, war, and wau-le, to share out or divide. This town had, formerly, the right to declare war; the declaration was sent first to Took-au-bat-che, and thence throughout the nation, and they appointed the rendezvous of the warriors. It is on the right bank of the Tallapoosa, five miles below Aut-tos-see. In descending the river on the left side from Aut-tos-see, is two miles across Ke-bi-hat-che; thence one mile and a half O-fuc-she, and enter the fields of the town; the fields extend down the river for one and a half miles; the town is on the right bank, on a narrow strip of good land; and back of it, under high red cliffs, are cypress ponds. It borders west on Autoshatche twenty-five feet wide.

These people have some cattle, and a few hogs and horses; they have some settlements up O-fuc-she; the increase of property among them, and the inconvenience attendant on their situation, their settlement being on the right side of the river, and their fields and stock on the left, brought the well-disposed to listen with attention to the plan of civilization, and to comment freely on their bad management. The town divided against itself; the idlers and the ill-disposed remained in the town, and the others moved over the river and fenced their fields. On this side the land is good and level, and the range out from the river good to the sources of 0-fuc-she. On the other side, the high broken land comes close to the river. It is broken pine barren, back of that. The situation of the town is low and unhealthy; and this remark applies to all the towns on Tallapoosa, below the falls.

O-fuc-she has its source near Ko-e-ne-cuh, thirty miles from the river, and runs north. It has eight or nine forks, and the land is good on all of them. The growth is oak, hickory, poplar, cherry, persimmon, with cane brakes on the flats and hills. It is a delightful range for stock, and was preserved by the Indians for bears, and called the beloved bear-ground. Every town had a reserve of this sort exclusively; but as the cattle increase and the bears decrease, they are hunted in common. This creek is sixty feet wide, has steep banks, and is difficult to cross, when the waters are high.

Kebihatche has its source to the east, and is parallel with Ca-le-be-hat-che; the margins of the creek have rich flats bordering pine forest or post oak hills.

Foosce-hat-che; from foo-so-wau, a bird, and hat-che, tail. It is two miles below Ko-ith-le-wau-le, on the right bank of Tal-la-poo-sa, on a narrow strip of flat land; the broken lands are just back of the town; the cornfields are on the opposite side of the river, and are divided from those of Ho-ith-le-wau-le by a small creek, Noo-coose-chepo. On the right bank of this little creek, half a mile from the river, is the remains of a ditch, which surrounded a fortification, and back of this for a mile, is the appearance of old settlements, and back of these, pine slashes.

The cornfields are narrow, and extend down, bordering on the river.

Coo-loo-me, is below and near to Foosce-hat-che, on the right side of the river; the town is small and compact, on a flat much too low, and subject to be overflowed in the seasons of floods, which is once in fifteen or sixteen years, always in the winter season, and mostly in March; they have, within two years, begun to settle back, next to the broken lands; the cornfields are on the opposite side, joining those of Foosce-hat-che, and extend together near four miles down the river, from one hundred to two hundred yards wide. Back of these hills there is a rich swamp of from four to six hundred yards wide, which, when reclaimed, must be valuable for corn or rice, and could be easily drained into the river, which seldom overflows its banks, in spring or summer.

They have no fences; they have huts in the fields to shelter the laborers in the summer season from rain, and for the guards set to watch the crops while they are growing. At this season some families move over and reside in their fields, and return with their crops into the town. There are two paths, one through the fields on the river bank and the other back of the swamp. In the season for melons, the Indians of this town and Foosce-hat-che show in a particular manner their hospitality to all travelers, by calling to them, introducing them to their huts or the shade of their trees, and giving them excellent melons, and the best fare they possess. Opposite the town house, in the fields, is a conical mound of earth thirty feet in diameter, ten feet high, with large peach trees on several places. At the lower end of the fields, on the left bank of a fine little creek, Le-cau-suh, is a pretty little village of Coo-loo-me people, finely situated on a rising ground; the land up this creek is waving pine forest.

E-cun-hut-ke; from e-cun-nau, earth, and hut-ke, white, called by the traders white ground. This little town is just below Coo-loo-me, on the same side of the river, and five or six miles above Sam-bel-loh, a large fine creek which has its source in the pine hills to the north, and its whole course through broken pine hills. It appears to be a never-failing stream, and fine for mills; the fields belonging to this town, are on both sides of the river.

Sau-wa-no-gee, is on a pine forest, three miles below Le-cau-suh, and back from a swamp bordering on the river; their fields are on both sides of the river, but mostly on the left bank, between the swamp and the river, on a vein of rich canebrake land; they are the Shaw-a-nee, and retain the language and customs of their countrymen to the northwest, and aided them in their late war with the United States. Some Uchees have settled with them; they are industrious, work with their women and make plenty of corn; they have no cattle, and but few horses and hogs; the town house is an oblong square cabin, roof eight feet pitch, the sides and roof covered with the bark of the pine; on the left side of the river.

Mook-lau-sau, is a small town one mile below Sau-va-noo-gee, on the left bank of a fine little creek, and bordering on a cypress swamp; their fields are below those of Sau-van-no-gee, bordering on the river; they have some lots about their houses fenced for potatoes; one chief has some cattle, horses and hogs; a few others have some cattle and hogs.

In the season of floods, the river spreads out on this side below the town, nearly eight miles from bank to bank, and is very destructive to game and stock.

Coo-sau-dee, is a compact little town situated three miles below the confluence of Coosau and Tallapoosa, on the right bank of Alabama; they have fields on both sides of the river; but their chief dependence is a high, rich island, at the mouth of Coosau. They have some fences, good against cattle only, and some families have small patches fenced, near the town, for potatoes.

These Indians are not Creeks, although they conform to their ceremonies; the men work with the women and make great plenty of corn; all labor is done by the joint labor of all, called public work, except gathering in the crop. During the season for labor, none are exempted from their share of it, or suffered to go out hunting.

There is a rich flat of land nearly five miles in width, opposite the town, on the left side of the river, on which are numbers of conic mounds of earth. Back of the town it is pine barren, and continues so westward for sixty to one hundred miles.

The Coo-sau-dee generally go to market by water, and some of them are good oarsmen. A part of this town moved lately beyond the Mississippi, and have settled there. The description sent back by them that the country is rich and healthy, and abounds in game, is likely to draw others after them. But as they have all tasted the sweets of civil life, in having a convenient market for their products, it is likely they will soon return to their old settlements, which are in a very desirable country, well suited to the raising of cattle, hogs and horses; they have a few hogs, and seventy or eighty cattle, and some horses. It is not more than three years since they had not a hog among them. Robert Walton, who was then the trader for the town, gave the women some pigs, and this is the origin of their stock.

There are four villages below this town on A-la-ba-ma, which had formerly a regular town; they are probably the ancient A-la-ba-mas.

E-cun-chate; from E-cun-na, earth, and chate, red?. A small village on the left bank of Alabama, which has its fields on the right side, in the cane swamp; they are a poor people, without stock, are idle and indolent, and seldom make bread enough, but have fine melons in great abundance in their season. The land back from the settlement, is of thin quality, oak, hickory, pine and ponds. Back of this, hills, or waving. Here the soil is of good quality for cultivation; that of thin quality extends nearly a mile.

Too-wos-sau, is three miles below E-cun-cha-te, on the same side of the river, a small village on a high bluff; the land is good about, and back of the village; they have some lots fenced with cane, and some with rails, for potatoes and ground nuts; the corn is cultivated on the right side of the river, on rich cane swamps; these people have a few hogs, but no other stock.

Pau-wos-te; a small village two miles below Too-was-sau, on a high bluff, the same side of the river; the land is level and rich, for five miles back; but none of it is cultivated around their houses; their fields are on the right bank of the river, on rich cane swamp; they have a few hogs and horses, but no cattle; they had, formerly, the largest and best breed of hogs in the nation, but have lost them by carelessness or inattention.

At-tau-gee; a small village four miles below Pau-woc-te, spread out for two miles on the right bank of the river; they have fields on both sides, but their chief dependence is on the left side; the land on the left side is rich; on the right side the pine forest extends down to At-tau-gee creek; below this creek the land is rich.

These people have very little intercourse with white people; although they are hospitable, and offer freely anything they have, to those who visit them. They have this singular custom, as soon as a white person has eaten of any dish and left it, the remains are thrown away, and everything used by the guest immediately washed.

They have some hogs, horses and cattle, in a very fine range, perhaps the best on the river; the land to the east as far as Ko-e-ne-cuh, and except the plains, (Hi-yuc-pul-gee,) is well watered, with much canebrake, a very desirable country. On the west or right side, the good land extends about five miles, and on all the creeks below At-tau-gee, it is good; some of the trees are large poplar, red oak and hickory, walnut on the margins of the creeks, and pea-vine in the valleys.

These four villages have, in all, about eighty gun men; they do not conform to the customs of the Creeks, and the Creek law for the punishment of adultery is not known to them.

Hook-choie; on a creek of that name which joins on the left side of Ki-a-li-jce, three miles below the town, and seven miles south of Thlo-tlo-gul-gau. The settlements extend along the creeks; on the margins of which and the hill sides, are good oak and hickory, with coarse gravel, all surrounded with pine forest.

Hook-choie-oo-che; a pretty little compact town, between O-che-au-po-fau and Tus-ke-gee, on the left bank of Coosau; the houses join those of Tus-ke-gee; the land around the town is a high, poor level, with highland ponds; the corn fields are on the left side of Tallapoosa, on rich low grounds, on a point called Sam-bel-loh, and below the mouth of the creek of that name which joins on the right side of the river.

They have a good stock of hogs, and a few cattle and horses; they formerly lived on the right bank of Coosau, just above their present site, and removed, lately, on account of the war with the Chickasaws. Their stock ranges on that side of the river; they have fenced all the small fields about their houses, where they raise their peas and potatoes; their fields at Sam-bel-loh, are under a good fence; this was made by Mrs. Durant, the oldest sister of the late General McGillivray, for her own convenience.

Tus-ke-gee; this little town is in the fork of the two rivers, Coo-sau and Tal-la-poo-sa, where formerly stood the French fort Toulouse. The town is on a bluff on the Coo-sau, forty-six feet above low watermark; the rivers here approach each other within a quarter of a mile, then curve out, making a flat of low land of three thousand acres, which has been rich canebrake; and one-third under cultivation, in times past; the centre of this flat is rich oak and hickory, margined on both sides with rich cane swamp; the land back of the town, for a mile, is flat, a whitish clay; small pine, oak and dwarf hickory, then high pine forest.

There are thirty buildings in the town, compactly situated, and from the bluff a fine view of the flat lands in the fork, and on the right bank of Coosau, which river is here two hundred yards wide. In the yard of the town house, there are five cannon of iron, with the trunions broke off, and on the bluff some brickbats, the only remains of the French establishment here. There is one apple tree claimed by this town, now in possession of one of the chiefs of Book-choie-oo-che.

The fields are the left side of Tal-la-poo-sa, and there are some small patches well formed in the fork of the rivers, on the flat rich land below the bluff.

The Coosau extending itself a great way into the Cherokee country and mountains, gives scope for a vast accumulation of waters, at times. The Indians remark that once in fifteen or sixteen years, they have a flood, which overflows the banks, and spreads itself for five miles or more in width, in many parts of A-la-ba-ma. The rise is sudden, and so rapid as to drive a current up the Tal-la-poo-sa for eight miles. In January, 1796, the flood rose forty-seven feet, and spread itself for three miles on the left bank of the A-la-ba-ma. The ordinary width of that river, taken at the first bluff below the fork, is one hundred and fifty yards. This bluff is on the left side, and forty-five feet high. On this bluff are five conic mounds of earth, the largest thirty yards diameter at the base, and seventeen feet high; the others are smaller.

It has been for sometime a subject of enquiry, when, and for what purpose, these mounds were raised; here it explains itself as to the purpose; unquestionably they were intended as a place of safety to the people, in the time of these floods; and this is the tradition among the old people. As these Indians came from the other side of the Mississippi, and that river spreads out on that side for a great distance, it is probable, the erection of mounds originated there; or from the custom of the Indians heretofore, of setting on rich flats bordering on the rivers, and subject to be overflowed. The name is o-cun-lt-ge, mounds of earth, or literally, earth placed. But why erect these mounds in high places, incontestably out of the reach of floods? From a superstitious veneration for ancient customs.

The Alabama overflows its flat swampy margins, annually; and, generally, in the month of March, but seldom in the summer season.

The people of Tuskogee have some cattle, and a fine stock of hogs, more perhaps than any town of the nation. One man, Sam Macnack, a half breed, has a fine stock of cattle. He had, in 1799, one hundred and eighty calves. They have lost their language, and speak Creek, and have adopted the customs and manners of the Creeks. They have thirty-five gun men.

O-che-au-po-fau; from Oche-ub, a hickory tree, and po-fau, in, or among, called by the traders, hickory ground. It is on the left bank of the Coosau, two miles above the fork of the river, and one mile below the falls, on a flat of poor land, just below a small stream; the fields are on the right side of the river, on rich flat land, and this flat extends back for two miles, with oak and hickory, then pine forest; the range out in this forest is fine for cattle; reed is abundant in all the branches.

The falls can be easily passed in canoes, either up or down: the rock is very different from that of Tallapoosa; here it is ragged and very coarse granite; the land bordering on the left side of the falls, is broken or waving, gravelly, not rich. At the termination of the falls there is a fine little stream, large enough for a small mill, called, from the clearness of the water, We-hemt-le, good water. Three and a half miles above the town are ten apple trees, planted by the late General McGillivray; half a mile further up are the remains of Old Tal-e-see, formerly the residence of Lochlan McGillivray and his son, the general. Here are ten apple trees planted by the father, and a stone chimney, the remains of a house built by the son, and these are all the improvements left by the father and son.

These people, are some of them, industrious. They have forty gun men, nearly three hundred cattle, and some horses and hogs; the family of the general belong to this town; he left one son and two daughters; the son is in Scotland, with his grandfather, and the daughters with Sam Macnac, a half breed, their uncle; the property is much of it wasted. The chiefs have requested the agent for Indian affairs, to take charge of the property for the son, to prevent its being wasted by the sisters of the general, or by their children. Mrs. Durant, the oldest sister, has eight children. She is industrious but has no economy or management. In possession of fourteen working Negroes, she seldom makes bread enough, and they live poorly. She can spin and weave, and is making some feeble efforts to obtain clothing for her family. The other sister, Sehoi, has about thirty Negroes, is extravagant and heedless, neither spins nor weaves, and has no government of her family. She has one son, David Tale, who has been educated in Philadelphia and Scotland. He promises to do better.

We-wo-cau; from we-wau, water and wo-cau, barking or roaring, as the sound of water at high falls. It lies on a creek of the same name, which joins Guc-cun-tal-lau-has-see, on its left bank, sixteen miles below that town. We-wo-cau is fifteen miles above O-che-au-po-fau and four miles from Coosau, on the left side; the land is broken, oak and hickory, with coarse gravel; the settlements are spread out, on several small streams, for the advantage of the rich flats bordering on them, and for their stock; they have cattle, horses and hogs. Here commences the moss, in the beds of the creeks, which the cattle are very fond of; horses and cattle fatten very soon on it, with a little salt; it is of quick growth, found only in the rocky beds of the creeks and rivers north from this.

The hills which surround the town are stoney, and unfit for culture; the streams all have reed, and there are some fine licks near the town, where it is conjectured salt might be made. The land on the right side of the creek, is poor pine barren hills, to the falls. The number of gun men is estimated at forty.

Puc-cun-tal-lau-has-see; from E-puc-cun-nau, a may-apple, and Tal-lau-has-see, old town. It is in the fork of a creek which gives name to the town; the creek joins on the left side of Coosau, forty miles below Coosau town.

Coosau; on the left bank of Coo-sau, between two creeks, Eu-fau-lau and Nau-che. The town borders on the first, above; and on the other below; they are a quarter of a mile apart at their junction with the river. The town is on a high and beautiful hill; the land on the river is rich and flat for two hundred yards, then waving and rich, fine for wheat and corn. It is a limestone country, with fine springs, and a very desirable one; there is reed on the branches, and pea-vine in the rich bottoms and hill sides, moss in the river and on the rock beds of the creek.

They get fish plentifully in the spring season, near the mouth of Eu-fau-lau-hat-che; they are rock, trout, buffaloe, red horse and perch. They have fine stocks of horses, hogs and cattle; the town gives name to the river, and is sixty miles above Tus-ke-gee.

Au-be-coo-che, is on Nau-che creek, five miles from the river, on the right bank of the creek, on a flat one mile wide. The growth is hard-shelled hickory. The town spreads itself out and is scattered on both sides of the creek, in the neighborhood of very high hills, which descend back into waving, rich land, fine for wheat or corn; the bottoms all rich; the neighborhood abounds in limestone, and large limestone springs; they have one above, and one below the town; the timber on the rich lands is oak, hickory, walnut, poplar and mulberry.

There is a very large cave north of the town, the entrance of which is small, on the side of a hill. It is much divided, and some of the rooms appear as the work of art; the doors regular; in several parts of the cave salt petre is to be seen in crystals. On We-wo-cau creek, there is a fine mill seat; the water is contracted by two hills; the fall twenty feet; and the land in the neighbor-hood very rich; cane is found on the creeks, and reed on the branches. From one or two experiments, tobacco grows well on these lands.

This town is one of the oldest in the nation; and some-times, among the oldest chiefs, it gives name to the nation, Au-be-cuh. Here some of the oldest customs had their origin. The law against adultery was passed here, and that to regulate marriages. To constitute legal marriage, a man must build a house, make his crop and gather it in, then make his hunt and bring home the meat; putting all this in the possession of his wife, ends the ceremony and they are married, or as the Indians express it, the woman is bound, and not till then. This information is obtained from Co-tau-lau, (Tus-se-ki-ah Mic-co,) an old and respectable chief, descended from Nau-che. He lives near We-o-coof-ke, has accumulated a handsome property, owns a fine stock, is a man of much information, and of great influence among the Indians of the towns in the neighborhood of this.

They have no fences, and but a few hogs, horses and cattle; they are attentive to white people who live among them, and particularly so to white women.

Nau-chee; on Nauchee creek, five miles above Au-be-coo-che, below the fork of the creek, on a rich flat of land, of a mile in width, between two small mountains. This flat extends from the town three-quarters of a mile above the town house. The settlements are scattered on both sides of the creek for two miles; they have no worm fences, and but little stock. One chief, a brother of Chin-a-be, has a large stock of hogs, and had ninety fit for market, in 1798.

This town is the remains of the Natchez who lived on the Mis-sis-sip-pi. They estimate their number of gun men at one hundred; but they are, probably, not more than fifty. The land, oft’ from the mountains, is rich; the flats on the streams are large and very rich; the high, waving country is very healthy and well watered; cane grows on the creeks, reed on the branches, and pea-vine on the flats and hill sides. The Indians get the root they call tal-e-wau, in this neighborhood; which the women mix with bears’ oil, to redden their hair.

Eu-fau-lau-hat-che, is fifteen miles up that creek, on a flat of half a mile, bordering on a branch. On the left side of the creek, the land is rich and waving; on the right sides are steep hills sloping off, waving, rich land; hickory, oak, poplar and walnut. It is well watered, and the whole a desirable limestone country; they have fine stocks of cattle, horses and hogs.

Woc-co-coie; from woc-co, a blow-horn, and coie, a nest, these birds formerly had their young here. It is on Tote-pauf-cau creek, a branch of Po-chuse-hat-che, which joins the Coo-sau, below Puc-cun-tal-lau-has-see. The land is very broken, sharp-hilly and stoney; the bottoms and the fields are on the small bends and narrow strips of the creek; the country, off from the town, is broken.

These people have some horses, hogs and cattle; the range good; moss, plenty in the creeks, and reed in the branches. Such is the attachment of horses to this moss, or as the traders call it, salt grass, that when they are removed, they retain so great a fondness for it, that they will at-tempt, from any distance within the neighboring nations, to return to it.

Hill-au-bee; on Col-luffa-de, which joins Hill-au-bee creek, on the right side, one mile below the town. Hill-au-bee joins the Tallapoosa on its right bank, eight miles below New-yau-cau. One chief only, Ne-hau-thluc-co Haujo, resides in the town; the people are settled out in the four following villages.

  1. Thla-noo-che au-bau-lau; from thlen-ne, a mountain, oo-che, little, and au-bau-lau, over. The name is expressive of its position. It is situated over a little mountain, fifteen miles above the town, on the northwest branch of Hill-au-bee creek; the town house of this village is on the left side of the creek.
  2. Au-net-te chap-co; from au-net-te, a swamp, and chapco, long. It is situated on Choo-fun-tau-lau-hat-che, which joins Hill-au-bee creek, three miles north from the town; the village is ten miles above the town.
  3. E-chuse-is-li-gau; (where a young thing was found.) A young child was found here, and that circumstance gives it the name. This village is four miles below the town, on the left side of Hill-au-bee creek.
  4. Ook-tau-hau-zau-see; from ook-tau-hau, sand, and zau-see, a great deal. It is two miles from the town, on a creek of that name, a branch of Hill-au-bee, which it joins a quarter of a mile below Col-luffa-dee, at a great shoal.

The land on these creeks, within the scope of the four villages, is broken and stoney, with coarse gravel; the bottoms and small bends of the creeks and branches are rich. The upland is generally stiff, rich and fit for culture. Post oak, black oak, pine and hickory, all small, are the growth. The whole abounds in veins of reeds, and reedy branches. They call this the winter reed, as it clusters like the cane.

The villages are badly fenced, the Indians are attentive to their traders; and several of them are careful of stock, and have cattle and hogs, and some few have horses. Four half breeds have fine stocks of cattle. Thomas has one hundred and thirty cattle and ten horses. Au-wil-au-gee, the wife of O-pi-o-che-tus-tun-nug-gee, has seven cattle. These Indians promised the agent, in 1799, to begin and fence their fields; they have one hundred and seventy gun men in the four villages.

Robert Grierson, the trader, a native of Scotland, has by a steady conduct, contributed to mend the manners of these people. He has five children, half breeds, and governs them as Indians, and makes them and his whole family respect him, and is the only man who does so, in the Upper Creeks. He has three hundred cattle and thirty horses; he has, on the recommendation of the agent for Indian affairs, set up a manufactory of cotton cloth; he plants the green-seed cotton, it being too cold for the black-seed. He has raised a quantity for market, but finds it more profitable to manufacture it; he has employed an active girl of Georgia, Rachael Spillard, who was in the Cherokee department, to superintend, and allows her two hundred dollars per annum. He employs eleven hands, red, white and black, in spinning and weaving, and the other part of his family in raising and preparing the cotton for them. His wife, an Indian woman, spins, and is fond of it; and he has a little daughter who spins well. He employs the Indian women to gather in the cotton from the fields, and has expectations of prevailing on them to take an active part in spinning.

Hill-au-bee creek has a rocky bottom, covered in many places with moss. In the spring of the year, the cattle of the villages crowd after it, and are fond of it. From thence they are collected together by their owners, to mark and brand the young ones.

The climate is mild; the water seldom freezes; they have mast every other year, and peaches for the three last years. The range is a good one for stock. The owners of horses have a place called a stomp. They select a place of good food, cut down a tree or two, and make salt logs. Here the horses gather of themselves, in the fly season. They have in the villages a few thriving-peach trees, and there is much gravelly land, which would be fine for them.

Oc-fus-kee; from Oc, in, and fuskee, a point. The name is expressive of the position of the old town, and where the town house now stands on the right bank of Tal-la-poo-sa. The town spreads out on both sides of the river, and is about thirty-five miles above Took-au-bat-che. The settlers on the left side of the river are from Chat-to-ho-che. They once formed three well settled villages on that river. Che-luc-co ne-ne, Ho-ith-le-ti-gau and Chau-kethluc-co.

Oc-fus-kee with its villages, is the largest town in the nation. They estimate the number of gun men of the old town, at one hundred and eighty; and two hundred and seventy in the villages or small towns. The land is flat for half a mile on the river, and fit for culture; back of this, there are sharp, stoney hills, the growth is pine, and the branches all have reed.

They have no fences around the town; they have some cattle, hogs and horses, and their range is a good one; the shoals in the river afford a great supply of moss, called by the traders salt grass; and the cows which frequent these shoals, are the largest and finest in the nation; they have some peach trees in the town, and the cassine yupon, in clumps. The Indians have lately moved out and settled in villages, and the town will soon be an old field; the settling out in villages, has been repeatedly pressed by the agent for Indian affairs, and with considerable success; they have seven villages belonging to this town.

New-yau-cau; named after New York. It is on the left bank of Tallapoosa, twenty miles above Oc-fus-kee; these people lived formerly at Tote-pauf-cau, (spunk-knot,) on Chat-to-ho-che, and moved from thence in 1777.

They would not take part in the war between the United States and Great Britain, and determined to retire from their settlements, which, through the rage of war, might feel the effects of the resentment of the people of the United States, when roused by the conduct of the red people, as they were placed between the combatants. The town is on a flat, bordering on the river; the adjoining lands are broken or waving and stony; on the opposite side they are broken, stony; the growth is pine, oak and hickory. The flat strips of land on the river, above and below, are generally narrow; the adjoining land is broken, with oak, hickory and pine. The branches all have reed; they have a fine ford at the upper end of the town; the river is one hundred and twenty yards wide. Some of the people have settled out from the town, and they have good land on Inn-nook-fau creek, which joins the right side of the river, two miles below the town.

Took-au-bat-che tal-lau-has-see; this village received in part a new name in 1797. Tal-lo-wau mu-chos-see, (new town.) It is on the right bank of the river, four miles above New-yau-cau; the land around it is broken and stony; off from the river the hills are waving; and post oak, hard shelled hickory, pine, and on the ridges, chesnut is the growth.

Im-mook-fau; (a gorget made of a conch.) This village is four miles west from Tookaubatche Tal-lau-has-see, on Immookfau creek, which joins the right side of Tallapoosa, two miles below New-yau-cau. The settlers are from Thu-le-oc-who-cat-lau and Sooc-he-ah; they have fine rich flats on the creek, and a good range for their cattle; they possess some hogs, cattle and horses, and begin to be attentive to them.

Tooh-to-cau-gee; from tooh-to, a corn house, and cau-gee, fixed or standing. The Indians of Oc-fus-kee, formerly built a corn house here, for the convenience of their hunters, and put their corn there for their support, during the hunting season. It is on the right bank of Tal-lapoosa, twenty miles above New-yau-cau; the settlements are on the narrow flat margins of the river, on both sides. On the left side the mountains terminate here, the uplands are too poor and broken for cultivation; the path from E-tow-wah, in the Cherokee country, over the tops of these mountains, is a pretty good one. It winds down the mountains to this village; the river is here one hundred and twenty yards wide, a beautiful clear stream. On the right side, off from the river flats, the land is waving, with oak, hickory and pine, gravelly, and in some places large sheets of rock which wave as the land. The grit is coarse, but some of it is fit for mill stones; the land is good for corn, the trees are all small, with some chesnut on the ridges; the range is a good one for stock; reed is found on all the branches; on the path to New-yau-cau, there is some large rock; the vein lies south-west; they are in two rows parallel with each other, and the land good in their neighborhood

Au-che-nau-ul-gau; from Au-che-nau, cedar; and ul-gau, all; a cedar grove. These settlers are from Loo-chau po-gau, (the resort of terrapins.) It is on a creek, near the old town, forty miles above New-yau-cau. This settlement is the farthest north of all the Creeks; the land is very broken in the neighborhood. West of this village a few miles, there are large reedy glades in flat land; red, post and black oak, all small; the soil is dark and stiff, with coarse gravel, and in some places stone; from the color of the earth in places, there must be iron ore; the streams from the glades form fine little creeks, branches of the Tallapoosa. The land on their borders is broken, stiff, stony and rich, affording fine mill seats, and on the whole it is a country where the Indians might have desirable settlements; the path from E-tow-woh to Hill-au-bee passes through these glades.

E-pe-sau-gee; this village is on a large creek which gives name to it, and enters the Tallapoosa, opposite Oc-fus-kee. The creek has its source in the ridge, dividing the waters of this river from Chat-to-ho-che; it is thirty yards wide, and has a rocky bottom; they have forty settlers in the village, who have fenced their fields this season, for the benefit of their stock, and they have all of them cattle, hogs and horses. They have some good land on the creek, but generally it is broken, the strips of flat land are narrow; the broken is gravelly, with oak, hickory and pine, not very inviting. Four of these villages have valuable stocks of cattle. McCartney has one hundred; E-cun-cha-te E-maut-lau, one hundred; lote-cuh Haujo, one hundred, and Tools Micco, two hundred.

Sooc-he-ah; from Sooc-cau, a hog; and heah, here, called by the traders, hog range. It is situated on the right bank of Tallapoosa, twelve miles above Oc-fus-kee. It is a small settlement; the land is very broken; the flats on the river are narrow; the river broad and shoally. These settlers have moved, and joined Immookfau, with a few exceptions.

Eu-fau-lau; on the right bank of Tallapoosa, five miles below Oc-fus-kee, on that side of the river, and but two in a direct line; the lands on the river are fit for culture; but the flats are narrow, joined to pine hills and reedy branches.

They have hogs and cattle, and the range is a good one; they have moss in the shoals of the river; there are, belonging to this town, seventy gun men, and they have begun to settle out for the benefit of their stock. This season, some of the villagers have fenced their fields. They have some fine land on Hat-che-lus-ta, and several settlements there but no fences; this creek joins the right side of the river, two miles below the town. On Woc-cau E-hoo-te, this year, 1799, the villagers, five families in all, have fenced their fields, and they have promised the agent to use the plough the next season. On black creek, Co-no-fix-ico has one hundred cattle, and makes butter and cheese. John Townshend, the trader of the town, is an honest Englishman, who has resided many years in the nation, and raised a numerous family, who conduct themselves well. His daughters, who are married, conduct themselves well, have stocks of cattle, are attentive to them, make butter and cheese, and promise to raise cotton and learn to spin. The principal cattle holders are, Conofixico, who has one hundred; Choc-lo Emautlau’s stock is on the decline, thirty; Well Geddis Taupixa Micco, one hundred; Co Emautlau, four hundred, under careful management. John Townshend, one hundred and forty, and Sally his daughter, fifty.

Ki-a-li-jee; on the right side of Kialijee creek, two and a half miles below the junction with Hook-choie. This creek joins the right side of Tallapoosa, above the falls; all the rich flats of the creek are settled; the land about the town is poor and broken; the fields are on the narrow flats, and in the bends of the creek; the broken land is gravelly or stony; the range for cattle, hogs and horses, is the poorest in the nation; the neighborhood of the town and the town itself, has nothing to recommend it. The timber is pine, oak and small hickory; the creek is fifteen feet wide, and joins Tallapoosa fifteen miles above Took-au-bat-che. They have two villages belonging to this town.

Au-che-nau-hat-che; from au-che, cedar; and hat-che, a creek. They have a few settlements on this creek, and some fine, thriving peach trees; the land on the creek is broken, but good.

Hat-che chub-bau; from hat-che, a creek; and chub-bau, the middle, or half way. This is in the pine forest, a poor, ill-chosen site, and there are but a few people.

Footnotes

  1. January 1st, 1801. Mr. Cornells has a flock of sheep presented to him by the agent, of which he is very careful. His farm is in fine order, the fences well made and straight, his garden 150 feet square, well paled, laid off and planted with the variety usual in good gardens. He has a nursery of peach trees, and two bushels of peach stones to plant, by order of the agent, for a public nursery. He is very attentive to all improvements suggested to him, and has now prepared a field of two acres for cotton. He has a field of rye which looks well, and is about to sow a field of oats. He retains his Indian dress, but has the manners of a well bred man. 

  2. January 1st, 1801. Richard Bailey being dead, much of the Indian appears. The fifty bee-hives are reduced to one, and his son Richard is neither an Indian nor white man; yet he promises to mend, as the agent for Indian affairs is soon to reside in his neighborhood. The date to the calculation of numbers is here noted from a British return, but it is probably erroneous. 



MLA Source Citation:

AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 16 September 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/description-towns-coosau-tallapoosa-rivers.htm - Last updated on Aug 26th, 2014

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One Response to “A Description of the Towns on Coosau and Tallapoosa Rivers”

    1. jschooner
      12:14 pm on September 16th, 2014

    My grand father was a full blooded Mohawk Indian who was born along the banks of the Sandusky river in Ohio. He was a part of the Mingos also known as the Seneca of Sandusky. When the Indian removal act of 1831 was enacted a treaty was made moving all of the these Indians to Oklahoma which is known as the Seneca-Cayuga reservation. My grand father refused to go. I cannot find his name on any Indian rolls. I have documents showing his heritage. Is there anyway I can get a CDIB card. Many of the old census records of my relations show for race as either black, negro, or mulato. Any help would be appreciated.

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