Tobias Fitch’s Journal to the Creeks
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The Creek Indians, at the time of Captain Fitch’s mission, were settled chiefly in the region extending west by north from the middle and upper Chattahoochee River to the west border of Alabama. To the north and northeast of them were the Cherokees; to the northwest, the Chickasaws; and to the west and southwest, the Choctaws. Those in the region of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers were known as the Upper Creeks and those on the Chattahoochee as the Lower Creeks. The English at Charleston established a trade with the Creeks even earlier than with the Cherokees. But in 1714 the French built Fort Toulouse at the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. The Creeks thereupon began to trade with the French and although they continued to deal with English traders they assumed toward them an independent and often insolent attitude. President Middleton sent Captain Fitch to counteract French influence and to exact proper treatment of English traders. The Creek-Chickasaw trail ran northerly from Charleston to Dorchester, thence west by north to Fort Moore, westerly across the Ogeechee, Oconee, Ocmulgee, Flint, and Chattahoochee rivers, and again west by north from the Chattahoochee to Oakfuskee on the Tallapoosa.
Little is known of Captain Fitch prior to his discharge of this mission. He succeeded Colonel Chicken as Indian Commissioner and held that post in 1733-1734. In the latter year he was appointed a justice of the peace in Berkeley County.
There is a manuscript copy of his Journal in the Public Record Office, London: C. O. 5, 12, ff. 35-55, and a transcript made from this is in the Library of Congress.
Tobias Fitch’s Journal To The Creeks
After a hard and Tiresome Journey I Arrived at the Oakefusky Town 1Oakfuskee, the principal town of the Upper Creeks, was situated on the west bank of Tallapoosa River, four miles below the mouth of Elkhatchee Creek, in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. in the upper Tallapoop’s 2The Upper Tallapoops were the Creeks inhabiting the region of Upper Tallapoosa River. being 17 days in my Journey there. I Arived Jully the 9th and was Received with a great many Serimoneys; The King of the said Town Takeing me by the hand Lead me To a house Where were Sitting all the head men of the Several Towns there about; And after passing Some Complements there was Some fowls Brought in and Set Before me; And Befor I was Suffered to Eat the King Made The Following Speach: ” I am Glad to see you here In my Town But I am Sory that I Cannot Entertain you With Such as I am Entertained When I go Down to your Great Town; But I hope you will Except of Such as I have and you are very Welcom to it.” My answer That ordinary Fair from On[e] Who is a Freind and has a Strieght heart is more Welcome To me then Greater Dainteys from On[e] Who profest Freindship To my Face But in his heart was my Enemys. On Sunday The 11 Jully the sd King Summonds all his head men To Meet and made the Following Speach:
“Here is a Beloved man Come from the great King of the English and [we] must all provide for him that he may not Want any thing that our Town Can Supplye him with For When I was in his Town they did not think anything Too good for me; I do not Know the Reason of Our Treating White men as we do: For Mally 3Formerly. When any Beloved Man [came] To us we used to go with [him] Wherever he went But now We act like Women more than Head Men; Therefore I hope you wil Take Notice of What I have Said To you and Check This Slight that Two many of you Sho the White men; before It becomes a Coustom to you.”
On Munday the 12th I Tould the King To send for all the Kings and Principale Men belonging To the Abecas 4The Abecas, or Abihkas, were Upper Creeks inhabiting a town on or near the Upper Coosa River. and Tallopoops To met me in Eight days at your house and then [I] shall Deliver to them a great Talk that I have Brought up from my great King and Beloved Men Which was Imediatly don.
On Friday the Sixteenth I went To a Town Called the Oakechoys 5Okchayi was an Upper Creek town on Oktchayi (now Kialaga) Creek, in the southeastern part of Coosa County, Alabama. Where I was very well Received and after being Intertained With the Best that his Town afoard; He Told the Lingister he had Somthing To Say unto me I answered him I was Ready To here anything That he had To say; he then Brought a boundale of Dear Skins and throwed them befor me and gave The following Talk:
“I am a True Freind to the English and always have Behaved my Self as such and I Find that When any of our People goes To your Great King That they Receive presents; I have not such Presents to give as we Receive from you But hope you wil except of Such as I have and through 6Though. I never was Down to see your great King Yet I am as Streight hearted as the Best of them that has been Down; for I do not find that the Talk your great King gives them Lastes any Longer than the present he maks them. As soon as the Present is wore out the Talk is forgotten.”
Answer. “I am Sent here from my great King To know how 7Who. among you is his Freind and how is not; You Say that you are a Freind, I hope I will find you So; But as To your present I must Tell you That my Great King did not Send me here to get presents neithere do I vont 8Want. them. I ame Come To see my Kings Freinds and To know Who they be for as you say that your People minds my Kings Talk no longer then the presents last I Belive its very True and its for that Reason that I am Sent among You; For When your People are with my King they Tell Him that they are his Good Freinds as you Tell me now You are. But when they Come here the[y] Never Mind What They promise To my King When they are with him.”
On Tusday the 20th According to appointment there Met at the Oakefusk’y Town 60 head men Representing Twenty Towns of the Abecas and upper Tallapoop’s.
Answer. “We are all met According to your orders and are now Ready to here What you have to say to us; we have Bin a long Time Threatned with a Talk to be sent among us But its not Comeing after so many promisses we had Now given over Expecting any; But we [are] heartely Glad to see you on our Land and very Thankfull to your Great King for Takeing Such Care of us, as to Send on[e] of his Beloved men To see us, You being the first White man That We have Seen Sent among us Since the peace was Made Through 9Though. we have Been often Threatned.”
Answer. “I am very Glad to See you met According to appointment In order to here the great Talk That my Great King has sent To you by me.” I then proceeded with the part Of my Instructions Where I was Directed To Demand Satisfaction for the Roberry Don Mr. Sharp at the Cherokey’s and with the Following addition:
Pointing To Gogell Ey’s Told him: “you pretend To Excuse that Rogus Action of yours that you was guilty off at the Cherokeys By Saying it was Don Rashly by the young people, But that Excuse will not do With our King for you are a man in years and ought To know better and Since you was the head of them People you Should have prevented thir Rogush proceedings. But you are So farr from Doeing that; That you Imbrace every oppertunity you have of doing us all the prejudice you Can and I Look upon you to be Such a Freind To the English That you had ane Opportunity you would now Serve me as you did the White man at the Cherokeys; But had that White man adyed 10Died. with the Wound that you gave him I do assure you That my King Would Requir no less Satisfaction Then Your Life and the Lives of all the head Men that was With [you]; and if your people should have Denied to Deliver you up Then my King Would have took Satisfaction with the Mussells of their Guns. But Since the man That you wounded is like to do well my King is so good as to be Content With your makeing Satisfaction for the Goods Taken away and your Sincear promisses Never to be guilty of the Like again. If we Should met any of your People from thir Towns, Plunder Them of there Skins, Kill or Wound your People, Could you then Think us To be your Freinds? I Belive not, yet this your People have don to us and at the Same Time Call themselves Freinds. But my King do not understand Such Freindship as that.”
Gogell Eys Answer.
“I was at the first makeing a Peace with the English and have always Behaved my Self Like a freind, I Went Down To Warr against the Yeamases 11Yamasees, who in 1715 effected a general massacre of English traders and settlers on the Carolina frontier, and subsequently, as allies of the Spaniards, continued in active hostility against the English. in Behalf of the English and I have Now Been at warr against the Cherokeys and What you have s[ai]d against the White man is very True. I was not with my people when they Begun to Plunder the White man through I was thire head and When I found What they had Don I Thought that as there was a Breach made it Could not be Recalled and I did take Some of the Remains of The Goods For Which I am heartily Sory and will willingly Pay you for the Same and I do promise before you and The head Men that are here Present That I never Will be guilty of the Like Action While I Live. There is now in Our Possession The Woman and her Children That We took from the White man which you may have and his Best Case of Pistoolls. But as for the Rest Off the Goods they are Cut and Distributed that we Cannot Return them any othere ways than by paying For them in Skins.”
Then Spoke the Oakechoye 12Okchayi. Capt, by order of the Whole Body:
“Since he that was at the head of that Mischieff that Happen’d at the Cherokeys has made so frank a Confession and has promised a Better Behaviour for the Time to Come We will all Contribute To paying of the White man for his Goods. But that this is not a Time of year To pay Debts in For there is not Skins in the Whole Nation To pay Half the Debt But by the Next Spring every on of them Shall be paid Into any hands You will order us.”
“Since it is so with you I will Stay Till the Time you propose, you Delivering me now the Slaves and Pistools. But then you must rember 13Remember. that if you are not Punctual To the Promise you make me How that then all this Talk is To No Purpose and I am of oppinnion That our King will look On you as Enemies and Treat you as such whereever He Metts You.”
Hopeya-ha-chey Being appointed To Receive the Skins Declairs that, “When the Time Drawes near if you do not make Preparation, To pay in the Skins you now promise That I wil then goe Down to the English and let him know it And he may do with you as he thinks fit.”
I then Proceeded To that part [of] my Instructions Relateing To a Peace With the Cherokeys etc.
Hobyhawchey [said]: “The Reason that I did not Send Down To your great King According to my Promise to him When I was Down To sue For a Peace with the Cherokeys Was that at my Return home I Summon’d my People Together And thought To have Consulted them According to your Kings Orders, but Before I Could get them To me[e]t The News Came in of what was Don to the White man at the Cherokeys. I then Thought [it] Needless To Send Down to your King for I Expected Nothing Less then a Warr.
But as for a Peace With the Chericeys 14Cherokees. at this Time we have no thought They haveing Latly Killed Several of the Leading Men of Our Nation; and till we have had Satisfaction We will heare of No peace; But as soon as our Corn is hard We Designe to be with them and after our Return if your King Will undertake To make a peace for us We will Readylie Except of it.”
I then proceeded to that part of [my] Instruction Relateing to the amunition That Lies at Savana Town 15Fort Moore, or Savannah Town, South Carolina, on the Savannah River six miles below Augusta, Georgia. and Designed For the Tallapoops That went against them Yamasses.
Tickhoneby Answers: “We never heared of any amunition For us only once Actcedentaly and then we answered Coll Heastins 16Colonel Theophilus Hastings commanded in 1715 a company of North Carolina militia sent to aid South Carolina against the Indians. In 1716 he was the principal factor of the North Carolina Indian trade. and he Told us there was Non for us; Since That we never thought no more of it, had we knowen of any amunition Being there We should [have] Brought it Long agoe.”
Ane Addition To Instructions.
“I must tell your Young Men that if it had not Been for us, you would not have knowen how to Warr Nor yet Have anything To Warr with. You have had nothing But Boes and Arrow’s To kill Dear; You had no hoes or Axes then What you made of Stone. You wore nothing But Skins; But now you have Learn’d the use of Firearm’s As well to Kill Dear and other Provissions as To War agst Your Enemies And yet you Set no greater Value on us who have Been Such good Friends unto you, Then on yr greatest Enemies this all you that are old men knowes to be True. And I would have you make your young men Sensable of it.”
I then proceeded to the Lower people and Summons’d them To meet me On Munday the Second of August and accordingly the[y] Met, There being present old Brunnis and 45 head Men Who were all the principale head men of the Lower Creekes; I then Delivered the Talk in Relation to ther head Men Not paying their Respect To this Government, of their Being Desireous of other Trade Then what they had from this Government and all Maters Else Contained in my Instructions etca.. Only Omiting that part Where the Tallapoopes did not agree to a Peace With the Cherekeys but I Tould them how far The upper people had Concur’d with it.
Oald Brimins answers: ” The Tallapoop’s and Abecas may do As they please But we have Nothing of Makeing a peace with The Cherokeys. For them men that was killed by the Cherokeys of Mine When the White people were there is not over w[it]h Me as yet, nor never shall be While there is a Cowwataid 17Lower Creek. Liveing.
Ane Addition to my Instructions.
“I am Informed that Some of You have Threatned Tickhonebys Life for goeing to warr against the Yamasses and there Killing On of your Freinds. I must tell you that Tickhonebey was Sent There by our King To Warr against his Enemies and if your Freinds will keep Company with our Enemies I know not how our king Can do to have Yamasses Killed, for as Shure as we Kill A Yamassee, he has a Relation or freind amonge The Creek’s; Therefore Tickhonebe has Dun very will in Following Our kings orders and if you want Satisfaction It’s of Our king that [you] must Seek it, and Since I am here I am Ready To answer every thing That my King has ordered Tickoneby to do or any person alse 18Else. and I desire The man that Vants Satisfaction for the Death of a Yamasse Would now Speak and then I am Shure to know my Freind That Loves the Yamasses so wel. Dont you know very well that our King has offered them Yamasses To make a peace with them and they would not? But why was it? Because the[y] knew they had you to uphold them. But I do assure you that our King is a weary of this unserton peace. I therefore must know how 19Who. amongst you is our Freind’s and Who is not. These Belowed 20Beloved. Freinds of Yours, the Yamasess, you will find befor I goe from hence it Will appear they are the people that have Latly Killed your very Good Freinds as well as ours and so have Lead it on the Floradays. I shal not say much To you about them lest You Should Think that I do it to sett you against them. Through I have heared a great Deal of that affair Since I have Been here, but I leave that To your own Selves To find out. Being Well asshured you will soon do it.”
Oald Brimins answer.
“There is a great many Storys Come into this Nation but from Whence they come I Can not Tell. Somtimes I here that Your King is Joyning the Te???? and Coming To Cut us of[f]. We that are head men give no Credit to these Storys But The Young Men may belive them for What I know and Likewise add to them. But I do now assure you in behalf of these head men that I have [heard] nothing of Leaving your Trade for We Desire there may be a Containu-ance of the Peace that is made. I must Confess we have not obayed orders as we Ought To have Don, But for the Time To Come When your King will order us We shal be Ready, and as For the Yamasees they shal soon know [who] our hearts is With. As my Son hollala is Dead There is not [one] Left of my Family But Sepey Coffee Who is fit To take upon him The Charge that I have, which is Two great a Charge for a man of my age. Tho I must Confess that Sepey Coffee has not been your Freind a great while but Rather a Freind To the French and Spaniards. But he has had so much said To him that he Will now prove as True to you as ever he did To them, and I hope your king will let him Succeed his Brother Since its the General oppinion of my People That he Should.”
Sepe Coffees Speach.
“Tis True I have Been in the French and Spanish Interest A Great While and the first begining of it was When the warr was Brock out with you. The heads of the Whole Nation Sent me to the French and SpanardsTo make a peace wt them, and I did [so] and after That it 21I. Created a farther Acquaintance and I assired 22Assured. them of my Freindship in Particullar and have Containu’d to be their Frend according To my Promise. But Since I find that I disoblidge my Father and all other Freinds by it I have now Left thir Intrest and have not Been [with] any of them for some Time. I am Now Designed To Warr. My Father has oblidged me To go out with him against some of his enemies. Where it is [I] cant Tell But if, [I] Live to Return will. If I Can be admit’d, goe Down and See your great King.” The Old King Confirm’d his Sons Speach.
August the 7th. Arived at the Pallachocola Town 23Apalachicola, a town of the Hitchiti, who were closely associated with the Creeks. It was situated on the west bank of the Chattahoochee nearly opposite the present site of Columbus, Georgia. Two Spaniards, on Negro, and four Commantle Indians where I met them in order to know ther Bussiness. The Spanyard was Shye of Comeing unto the Square for Some Time but The Negro Sat in the Square in a Bould Maner. At Length The Spanyard Came also into the Square. I Received them as Friend[s] knowing that they were Designed To the Cowweetaws 24Kawitas, who had two towns, Kawita (old town) and Upper Kawita, both on the west bank of the Chattahoochee, a few miles below Apalachicola. where I thought my Best Freinds to be. Sepe Coffee Seemed To Show The Spanyard great Favour Which he did to prevent There haveing a mistrust of his Freindship and Discover [what] it is [he] Designes against the Yamasees, as he Informed me afterward. August the 8th. The said Spanyard arived at the Cowweetaws and Brought with them Two Caggs of Spainish Brandy Which Soon put the Town in a Confusion. I went over To Cusseetaw Town 25Kashita, which was on the east bank of the Chattahoochee and two or three miles below Kawita. and the nixt day Summonsed the heads of sd Town To meet; according they did. I then gave them the Following Talk: “There is Arived at the Cowweetawes Two Spanyards, On Negro and four Tommantle Indians. I do not know what their Bussines is But the Negro that they have Brought with them I know to be a Slave Belonging To our Country and therefore Designe This day To goe over and Take him. I do not know whither The Cowweetaw’s will like my Takeing the Negro; I therefore Expect That you that are head men will goe over with me and Carry Som of your Warriours with you that if in Case the Cowweetaws should opose me you may be ready to Stand by me. I hope none of you will Refuse this Since you say you are Freinds To my great King, and by this you will in a great Meassure prove your Freindship.”
Answer from the head men.
“What you have Said is Good and [we] are Ready to goe with you Not only To the Cowweetaws But where Else where you will order us.”
I then went over the River with 100 Cusseetaws and 10 White men heading them with my Flag flying, which put the Cowweetawes in Such a Freight that there was not on head Man to be seen when I Came to the Square. I imediatly Put Two Sentinalls at the Door where the Spanyards and Negro [were] quartered. When the Cowweetawes saw that they found my Designes was against the Spanyards, and then on of the head Men Came to the Square Who I Sent To [tell] Old Brimins, Sepe Coffee, Chiglley, and as many more of head men as was in the Town To Come to the Square; accordingly they Imediatly Came and I gave them the Talk as Followes:
“Here is Two Spaniard Come To your Town and has Brought With them a Negro Beloning To my King who I am now Designed To Take into my Possession and Send Down into my Said King. The Reason that I Call you Together is That as the Negro is now under your Jurisdictione I am not Willing to Take him Till [I] Inform you of the Same, And if there is any among you That has any thing To say against it I Desire to know What it is and Who they be That makes any objections against it. The Negro is a Slave and tho he has Been Taken by the Yamasees and Lived among The Spanyards Yet that dis 26Does. not make him free. The Reason That I Brought These Cusseecaws is because our King has allways had a Better Charrecter of them then You, But I hope that You Will Convince me of that and Show me by your Behaviour That you are as good Freinds To my King as the Cusseetaws are.”
Old Brinimis answers: “We have Nothing To say or doe In this affair. As you Say the Negro is a Slave you must Take him an Do with him what you please for although the is in my Town I have Nothing to Do with him nor no Body Else that is here and as To the Cusseetws being your Best Freinds I know the Reason of it. But I should be Glad if you would Show me on Instance Where the Cusseetaws has Expressed their Freindships in Better Termes Then we have Don.”
I Then Sent and had the Negro [seized] and brought Into the Square, and the Spanyards there apeared in Behalfe of the Negro Assuring me that he was a Good Christian.
A Talk to the Spaniards.
“I am Sent here by the Government of Carolina To See our Freinds, The Creek Indeans, and To Transact affairs here for Our Said Government, and I am not To Suffer any white Man To Reside in this place without giveing me an account of his Bussines. I therefore Demand of you who Impower’d You To Come into This nation and for what purpose are You Come?”
The Spanyards Answer.
“I have a Commission, which I here Lay befor you. To Impower me to Come here. Though I should not have Come here had not old Brinimes Sent for me. He did Send on[e] of his men Down to my Master the Governr of [St.] Augustine Desireing him To Send a man To him That he wanted To here 27Hear. a Talk, and Likewise to Send a Talk To [St.] Augustin[e]; and that is my Arand here but I find that I have no Bussiness here and if I had Thought that I should have Been Received a[s] I am I should not have Come. They sent for a Talk and the Mouth that I Brought to Talk with them they have Suffered you To take from me. But since you say that he is a Slave its Right That every on ougat 28Ought. To have their own. But if you will Take Two Indian Slaves for him I have them Ready for you; if not, let me know his purchase [price] and I will Redeem him to the Spanyard.”
” Its need[less] for you To Contest about the Negro for he is not To be purchased. As To old Brinimis Sending for you its not So, For the old man himself Denies it. But this is only ane Excuse of your Own makeing. I do not Doubt But you have Some Lying Stories To tell the Indians as is Customary for you To do, and I should do you but Justice To Lie 29Seize. you and Send where the Negro is agoeing. But Since I find you have a writeing Which I Belive is from your Governr I shal Excuse you at this Time.”
He then asked live To go him 30Home. in a very Submisive manner. I Told him he might goe Where he pleas’d and So we parted.
On of the head men of Cawweetawes, Takeing Notice of the Discourse Between us, Came to me and asked What the Spanyard had Said.
I Tould him that the Spanyard Declaired that Old Brinimis had Sent for him and that he was Come to here a Talk from Brinimis, But had Brought no Talk with him.
The head mans answer.
“The Spanard Lyes. If you had not Been here we should have had Talk for Two or three days. But Being hear he is afear’d you will Tie him as you have don the Negro. They are often Comeing here with Talk and we never find any of there Talks to be True, and I no of no on here that wonts any of their Talk; And if you Think it good they Shal never find the way home To Fetch an other Talk.”
Answer. “What you Say is True. I Belive The Spanyards brings a great many Lies among You. But they and us is now Freinds, and its not our way to profess Friend[ship] with our Mouths and in our hearts To be Enemies. Altho I do not Doubt But if them Spanyards had Such ane offer against me they would Readylie except of it; But whenever We profess Friendship to any people we are allwise True to Our Words.”
I then proceeded to give them the Following Talk, there being The King of the Tommantles in the Square:
“I am very Glad That I happen’d to be here at this Time To see your Kind Behaviour to the Yamasees who you Know to be our utter Enemies and all Dayly doing us all the Injury they Can. After all your promises to The Contrary, you Can not but think that I Take Notice of this since them very Yamasees That are now Sitting with you would Take my Scalp and all the rest of the White people that are here if they had ane oppertunity; and its you that Protects them In such action, for if you was not their Freinds they Would not Dare be our Enemies; and you can no longer Denie your Freindship to them Since I have now seen it with my own Eyes and must Tell you that I am oblidged To Take notice of this and Informe my King of your Behaviour, and how he will Like it You may Judge after your Repeated Promisses to the Contrary.”
I had no answer made to this which I Found afterwards was for Fear of Discovering their Designe against the Yamassee.
I was then Designed to set foreward To the Abecas but Soon, the 11 August, arived five Indeans from the Sinecaws, 31Senecas. Three of Which had Been Sent to the Sinecaws with a Talk and Been gone nine months which was three months longer Then there Time Limeted. They Brought Two Sineecaws who Brought the Following Talk To the Cowweetawes and other of the Lower Towns.
“In answer to your proposalls of a peace with the Cherokeys we Can by no means Consent To. Neither do you upon any pretence Whatever Conclude a peace with the Cherokeys; Lest we Deem You our Enemies as we do them; for we have no peoble To warr Against nor Yet no Meal To Eat But the Cherokeys. But as You are part of Our Nation we Charge You To keep a peace With the English, you once had a warr with them and you gott Litle by it and had you Contained 32Continued. it Longer it would have Been the worse for you. But as you are now at peace with them we aduise you to Continue so For the English are a people that we have had a long Experience of and have allwise found them to be True and Trusty Freinds and Faithfull To thir promise, which you will Like-wise find if you Behave your Selves as Freinds to them and Continue your Freindship as we have Don.
“As to the Indians that Lives to the Southward of you, make a peace With a[s] many of them as you please, But Take Care That you oblidge all Such as you make a peace with That they Imediatly Remove and Setle naer you. By that you will have all your Freinds Ready To oppose your Enemies. That is the Method that We Take and we would have you do the Same. But be sure to use the White people well That Comes among you and never Forget your freindship to the English. While you do that your Faer 33Father. and ours is on. We here Send you a Token of Freindship.” Which was Some painted garters.
On August the 12th I Sett away from the Cowweetawes and arived at the Lun-ham-ga Town in the Abecas 22d Instant, which is 186 mil’s. I was there Received with a great many Serimony’s and after Being hansomly Treated Hopea-hachey made the Following Speach:
“We are the Uppermost People of this Nation and tho we ar at this Distance Yet our hearts is as naer to you as them that Leve naer then 34Live nearer than. we do; for tho we Latly had a Difference; yet it was never our seeking nor yet our Desire; But we were Brought into it By the Tallopoops Coweetawes and other of the Lower people. But as To the Robing of the White man at the Cherokeys we know nothing of it. Non[e] of our People was there and though the Lower Creeks has once Brought us Into a snare I do assure you we shal take better Care then to be Droven into the Like By the Lower Creeks or any others. We are very glad to see you here and tho we have not Such Intertainment To give you as you give us when we Come to you, yet such as we have we give you Freely; and we are very glad to see that you Can eat such as we Live on. When you are at home your Dyet is kept more under Command, Your Chatle are kept in large pens and Likewise your Sheep; your Turkeys and Ducks are at your Doores. Now with us its not so. We are forced to hunt and Take a Great deale of pains To get our provissiones befor we eat it, but we shall not think any Trouble Too much To get Intertainment for you while you Stay with us be it as long as it will, you Being the first Beloved Man that ever we Saw in our Town.”
Just at this Time it happen’d that 300 of the Tallepoopes was marched To the Lower part of the Abecas on thire Jurney to the Cherekeys and Expected 200 of the Abecas To Joyne in warr against the Cherokeyes. I found that the Abecas was not designd To send any but Young men. I therefore gave them the Following Talk:
“I think that Since none of your head men Designes to Lead your young Men to Warr your Best way will be to put a Stop to thire goeing out, Least they Should be Lead on by the Tallopoopes To be guilty of Such Actiones as themselves has been in plundering our White man at the Cherokeys.”
This Talk put a Stop to the Abecas goeing out and the Tallapoops armey was then Imediatly Reduced to 40 men Who proceeded to the Cherokeys.
Dureing my Stay at the Abecas they were Dayly Terrified by the Cherokeys and Chick’saws who are in Conjnction with them; the Abecas lost five of thire people while I was in thire Towns.
On Septr the 14th I Received aditionale Instructions from the Honable Arthour Middleton Esq., president, pursuant to which I Sumons’d all the head men of the Tallapoopes and Abecas. Accordingly They Mett [and] I gave them [the] Following Talk:
“My great King has Sent me a great Talk to give you which is the Reason that I Sent for you; and I am glad to See that you are So Mindfull of Our King as to Come and here his Talk. The talk I sent to my Great King in which you have promissed To make Satisfaction for the goods your people Took from our White man and 35At. the Cherokeys is well Liked only that my King and Beloved men Expects that you will pay me Some part of them now before I goe from hence, Which Will Convince them that you Really Intend to pay the debt.
Answer. “You know that we have not Skin’s among us, But if that will Convince your King we will gett what Skines is to be found among us and pay you before you leave us.”
Ques. “My Great King Expects likewise that Since he has offered you to make a peace with the Cherokeys and that [they] Refuse it, that you wil not Concern your Self any Further therein Till you apply to him for the Same.”
Answer. “We Cannot say anything about that for our people is not all at home. Some are gone to Warr; but at the Nixt Meeting You Shal have a Talk Relating to the peace w[i]t[h] the Cherokeys.”
“My Great King Desires to know what Assureance You Can Give him that your young men do not Comitt the like Action againe.”
Answer. “We belive that our Young people has and will Suffer So Sevearly for this that they will take Care how the[y] Bring themselves and Freinds in Trouble again. Beside we will Take Care that non of Our people Shal goe out to warr Without Sending Such Leading Men With them as we Can Trust, and if any of Our Young Men Will be So head Strong as not to follow orders and will Committ any Hostilletys on your people at the Cherokeys or Else Where We will then Deliver Such offenders to your King and he may do with them as he thinks fitt.”
Ques. “My King likwise Demands Satisfaction for three of the Avecas that was Taken by the Cherokeys. Our King Saved thir Lives and gave his Cloath for them for which you have promised To pay him and never have don it. This and Some other things has made our King So Cross that he now Say’s that he will not Suffer any more amunition to Come among you unless you will pay him what you owe him.”
Answer. “We must have Some time to Consider of What you have Said to us and if you will appoint a Time to mett we will then give ane answer about the Slave Redeemed from the Cherokeys; for our King Hoby-o-haw-Chey not Being here, we Can say nothing Concerning it; but we hope that your King will not Stop the White mens bringing Goods among us, for unless You Supply us with goods and Anumi-tion we are no people Neither shal we be able to pay Debts unless we Can be Supply’d with Amunition from You.”
Ques. “I do not see how you can Expect any Favour from my king Since your peoples behaviour is Such to him; That Action Don at the Cherokeys, you pretend to say it was Don by Rash Young men. I would not have you think that I am To be Imposed upon by Lying Stories for you yourself know the Sleyamasees cheys warr Talk every Night to His Wariours were that the White people gave the Cherokeys Notice of your designes against them and that if they mett with white men there goods should be Taken from them. Now Is this the Behaviour of a Freind? I Leave you To Judge, and what I say is True, and that you know for what I say I have from on of the people that was there.
So I hope That as there is Gogell eys and Several of his people is gone to warr against the Yamasees that you will be of Oppinion with me at there Return to take from them what Slaves they gett Towards makeing Satisfaction [and] in Case they are not Willing, To take them by Force, for I did not Come here to ask them men for anything that Realy Took the White mans Goods, they Being a percell of Inferriour Fellowes. I am Come to Talk with you that are the head men and its of you that my King Expects to be paid, Which will, and Nothing Else Can prevent my Kings makeing a Warr with you; So I now give you fourty Days To make answer to What I have Said To You, at which Time I hope you will Bring what Skins you Can gett and Comply wt my Kings Demands in Every Respect, That As we have Lived like Freinds So we may part. In doeing of which you will Serve none more then yourselves.”
On Septr the 28th I Returned to the Cowweetawes, Expecting to mett Cherokeys Leech-che, who I had Sent for to mett 36Meet. me with the White English Woman that he keeps as a Slave and Deliver her to me or I should find ways to oblidge him. She was not Come but in Two dayes Time arived on of the Lower town’s people who gave the Following Account:
“Cherokeyes Leech-che was fully Designed to Come up and Bring with him all his Town and live amonge us. But when the Spanish Capt. heard of it he Came to Cherokey Leech Town and assured 37Inquired. Where he was goeing.
Cherokey-leech-che Answered: ‘There is a Beloved man Come from the English to the Creeks and Sent for me to Come to him and I am agoeing to See what he wants wt me.’
The Capt.: ‘But what are you prepareing those Counues 38Canoes. and othere Nessesaries for as you had a mind to leave your Setlemt?’
Cherokeys leech: ‘I designe to goe and here the Beloved English man Talk and if it’s good I Shal Remove and live amonge the Creek’s where I have a great many Relations.’
Capt.: ‘That is what we heard and therefore I am Sent to tell you from my King that the English man Who is at the Creeks was Sent on purpose to Justice You There and then by the assistance of the Tallapoops he is Lie 39Seize. you and Your Women and Childreen Carry you down and Send You over the great Water.'”
This prevented Cherokey’s Leech-ches Comeing to the Creeks as the Lower people affirm. I found that the army agst The Yamasees had Been march’d Eighteen days and that a Message was sent by a Negro from the Governour of moveal 40Mobile. Chargeing the Creeks not to goe Out To Warr against The Yamasees. The Said Negro pursued the Army Two days and Turned Back 70 of the Warriour’s that was Designed against the Yamases.
The old King Brmins Told me He had a Talk left by his Son Sepe Coffee for me Which was as followes:
“I am now goeing against the Yamasees and hope at my return To Show you that I am Realy your Freind and not the Spanyards nor French, and If your King S’ould 41Should. Send a Comlsslon for me and If you Cannot Stay till my Return leave It with my Father. But I should be very glad to See you at my Return.”
Brmins Speach before his head men and Derected To me
“I have now Sent my people against the Yamasees and my order to them Is to take, Kill and Destroy all the Yamasees they meet with and in Case the Sparnyards S’ould assist the Yamases then to the Spanyards as Yamases; but wethar they will [have] any Success I cannot tell for there is a Massage Sent Down to the Yamases from the Lower Towns to give them an account of my peoples goeing out. This Should have Been Long agoe but your King never Sent a Talk to me before you Brought It. There has Been Several talkes here, But I would not have you Belive that I am to take a Talk from any man in this Nation for through 42Though. I am Old yet I am the head of this Nation and my mouth Is good. I do not know the meaning that your King has Left of his former Customs for thire was never a head man made here but such as I would Recomend to your King. But now any young Fellow that gees Down and Tell[s] a Find 43Fine. Story they [get] a Commission and then they Come here and they are head Men and at the Same Time No more [fit] for It then Doges. Where is all these men that has been Such Good Frelnds to you? How many of them is gone Farr against Your Enemies .? I sent to the Capts. and ordered them To gett ready and they would not on man goe out, nay they would not give the Variours 44Warriors. any thing to eat as they past The Town, and these are the people that wants the white peoples goods Cheeper then us because they are your Best Freinds.
Answer. ” I am glad to hire 45Hear. that your People is gone out with so good a Designe and hope they may have as Good Success. But as fore 46For. my King appointing unproper men to be head men I know not how you Can bleam 47Blame. him for these very Cussitawes when they are Down with Our King, They tell him they will goe to Warr With Our Enemies and if they will Talk Streight there and throw the Talk away When they Come here I know not how my King Can help that. Neither do I know Who among you he Can Depend on for by What I Can see the mot 48Most. of you are in one mind this day and another the nixt.”
Octr the 26th. I left the Cowweetaws and on November the 1st I Came to the Oakefuskey town in the upper Tallapoopes which was the Time and place appointed to make payment for the Three Slaves Redeemed and likewise for Mr. Sharpes Goods. I Came here at 9 a Clock at Night and 150 head men and Warriours mett Expecting me, and after passing Some Complemts one Wm. Wood, who is a Tradeour in Said Town, Desird to Speake with me and Said: ”This Company that you see hear has been met two days’ and have not Slept any. We that are White men have Been very much Slighted by them and its my opinion that if you Reherse the same talk that you gave them last that we Shal be all murdered, for I heard a head man say Sitting In the Square that the Beloved man Talked much of Warr In his last Talk, that the White people once had a Warr and: Why did they not keep it if they liked it; But that if the Beloved man would have warr They would give him warr. Ane other Replyed, ‘Be easey, let him Come; We will here his Talk again, it may be Better.’ If You have a mind to be easey you must Tye the Wariours; for they would not be queit else.” An other Reply’d, ‘Take Care What you Say that White man understands you. I do not Care what he understands for if the Beloved man was here himself I would Say As much.’ ”
I then turned to the Square and asked for letter[s] from the Oakechey Capt. whom I had seen 49Sent. to the Chocktaws on purpose to bring me ane account from them how the Tradeours was Rec’d.
Capt. answer[ed]: “The White men are Well but they gave me no Letters. Here is two head men of the Chocktaws that has Brought you a token of peace and hope that your king will look on them as Freinds and when the Whitemen Comes Down Some of the Chocktaws kings Designes [coming] Down to your king to pay thir Respects to him.”
Novemhr the 2d. The head men of Abecas and Talla-poopes mett, Being in Number 150 men; I went to the Square and sd 50Spoke. as followes:
I am very Glad to see so many of you meet according to apointmt. But before We proceed to any talk I must Inquire who among you is Disturb’d at the last talk that I gave You. I am Informed by the White man that Trades in this Town that Some of you have Said I told you much of Warr in my Last talk to you and that if I wanted warr you would give it me. I should have took it well of you if you had told me then what part of my Talk you disliked, for I would then have Satisfied you, and you have had no need to have bore it in mind so long. When my king sent me here he thought he had Sent me to talk with head men and Warriours and therefore he did not send Talks to please Women and Childreen. I dont Doubt but [that if] I had told you that you were the Best freinds to my King and that he Loved you very well but what this would a have pleased you. But then this would not be the way To make all Streight Between my king and you. For you yourselves know that [you] have Been guilty of what you dare not Justifie, and if my king should pass this by and take no notice of it, I am Sure you Could not think that his heart was Streight with you, but must think that [he] would bear it in his mind. I do suppose your discourse before the white man has been to Deterr me from Insisting uppon your promises. Tis true you may Choo’s whither you will pay me what you promised me or no; but unless you do, I Can Assure you as I Told you before that my King will make a warr with you which I have in words from his own mouth, and like it how you will I Cannot help it, for I came here to tell you the Truth and that I shal doe. Tis true you [may] kill a few white men that is among you if you will. But I would not have [you] think that I am affeard to Dye. Since I am Sure my king will Revenge it on you; for if you was to do me any hurt I do assure you my king would never forgive you while on of you was Liveing.”
The King of the Oakfuskys Answer.
“Tis true we [were] Speaking pretty angre in the Square but it was about the Chickesaws and not about you, and the White man dis not understand our Talk. I do asure you We desire to have no Difference with you.”
I then Called for the White man and made him give in the Indean Tongue the same words that he heard spoke in the Square by the head men, which by my Lingister agreed with what he Told me in English. When the Indeans found that he had Rehears’d it they Seem’d to [be] under Some Concern, but Still Denyed the words.
I then proceed[ed] to Receive What Skins they had Brought in, part for Mr. Sharp; then they Delivered 120 Skins telling me, “We are no[t] the people that was Concerned in the Plundering the White Man, nor yet had we any of his Cloths; but to let your king see that we doe Designe to see him paid we brought you these. The people that tooke the Coths are all out, either at warr, or a hunting; and as soon as they Come In, if we find they are not Willing to pay as they have promised then we will take from them Either Slaves or Skins and send them to Savana Town. This you may Tell your king he may depend on.
And as to the three Slaves Redeemed from the Cherokeys the skins has been paid long since, but we find the man in Whose hands the Skins Wes 51Were. lodged has Detained them; but you may depend they shal be paid this Spring.
To 52For. a Peace with the Cherokeys we now apply to your king. For we now find its the Chickesaws that Injur’s us and not the Cherokeys; so that if the Cherokeys will Send all the Chickesaws home out of there nation and bring a white man from your King with them down the Coossaw 53Coosa. River we will Trust them and Receive them in the Cossaw town, but not without a White man being with them.
Answer. “You see that I write everything down that you say, therefore I shal not forget your promisess, and hope that you will Remember as well to Comply with them. I Shal likewise take Care To Informe my king of What you Say in Relation to the Cherokeys.”
Just at this Time arived 40 Warriours from the Cherokeys and Came Directly to me, and Said as followes:
“I have Been to Warr agst the Cherokeys and Lay 15 days about there Towns, waiteing ane opertunity to gett a Scalp, but to no Purpose for they ware in Forts as though they Expected our Comeing, and you must Certainly have given your king [an] Account of [our] Designes and he has Sent it to your Beloved man that is at the Cherokeys. Now I think its Strenge Freindship that you pretend to us When every opertunity that you have of apraizeing the Cherokeys of our Designes against them you make use of it to acquent the Cherokeys of the Same. But Since You Call yourselves our friends, why do not you give us ane account of the Cherokeys Designe against us? But that you never do.”
Answer. “You know that at the first talk I gave you, I promised a peace with the Cherokeys In answer to what you Told me to send to my King and tell him that you Designed once more against the Cherokeys, and then you would Except of a peace if any king Would make it for you.”
“Tis true we did tell you to send to your king, but then we thought we were Sending to our ffreind and not to the Cherokeys.”
“According to your request I sent to my king What you desired me, but I would not have you think that my king ever Sent that newes to the Cherokeys or that he is so much more the Cherokeys freind then yours, for the Custome with us is the Same as with you; when there is any talk Sent down our King Calles the Beloved men Together and when they have Seen the Talk and Considered it amonge themselves then they give it out to Every Body and there might have happen’d Some Cherokeys Tradours down and [they] may [have] Carr[ied] the Talk home to the Cherokeys; for you find the Traders here When they Come from our great Town if they here any thing of the Cherokeys they tell it you, and its as like the others may tell the Cherokeys. But I would not have you think its my Kings doeings, for he is a greater freind to you then You think on.”
Novemhr the 3d. I came down to the lower Tallopoopes and there pursuant to my late Instructions did take a Negro Who as I Resited Turned Back 70 Warriours, the sd Negro Being near the French Fort and amonge those Indians who have the French Commission, Which are the very lower Tallopoopes and Mixt with the Stinging-lingo Indians. I then Sumons’d the head men To meet. Accordingly [they] did. It was a litle Surprizeing to them That I should Desire a meeting being ane English man. They Readily meet, and I gave them the following Talk:
“I am very Glad to see that you are Come to hear my Talk Which Indeed I did not Expect, Since you are Such Slaves to the French that you dare not Suffer our Traders to Come among you for fear of Offending our master the French Capt. Altho at the same time you Cannot get Cloth any other way then Comeing Where Our Traders are and Buy of them, for the French are not able to gett Cloath; And that is the Reasone they order you not to Suffer our White people to Come among you. Now its not soe with us. These people that we Call our Freind, as here is two with me, ask them if I ever Told them not to let the French Come Among them. I do not Endeavour to keep my Freinds like Slaves as the French do you. But I am willing they should be like free men as they be and if the French Can sell as Good Coths as we do and as Cheep let them buy of the French. But my Bussines with you is to tell you that I [have] here Taken a Negro Who is a Slave blonging to my great King and has Been Run from us a great while and lived with the French. Now I Expect that the ffrench will Endeavour to perswad you to take this negro from me if they Can. But I do now Tell you that this [is an] afair that Lives be-tween the French Capt. and my Self, and [as] it dis not Concerne you I shall Expect that you will not medle Eithere on way nor other. If the French Capt. thinks he has a better right to the negro let him Come and Take him Since he has Twenty men in the Fort and I have but Ten here. But I doe Belive that if I should goe away now with the negro, the Capt. would Come and tell you that I Stole him and was Run away with him and that had I Stayed Longer he would Come and take hime from me. Now to Show that my Right to the Negro is good you goe and tell the Capt. That I Shal Stay in this Town four days to see if he has any[thing] to say to me.”
Answer from the head man.
“Your Talk is very Good, and as to the Negro Since you say its your Slave you ought to have him and we have nothin to Say to him; but we will Send the Capt. word of what you Say and if he thinks its good he may Come and Talk wt you about him. For our part we are Indeans and will Differ with no White people.”
Accordingly they Sent to the Capt. of the albaw-man fort. 54Alabama Fort, or Fort Toulouse, which was erected by Bienville in 1714 near the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers.
November the 4th. Capt. Sent the ffollowing Massage by on of his Subjects:
“I am Come from the King of the Al-bawma fort to you To know by what Authority you have taken a Subject Belonging to the Crown of France and ane Inhabiter of the Governmt of Moveall, 55Mobile. and on whome the Governour of Moveall has ane Intire Value for and in case your Right to him is good to know what is the purchase [price] of him.”
“You may goe back and tell your king, as you Call him, that I think his assistance is great to question my authority by which I proceed here. [It] is very Good and that he shall know if he Dispute it, and that I hope to give an account of my proceedings to the Governmt of South Carolina that Sent me here and not To your king, and as to the purchase [price] of the Negro its Two great to 56For. the Governmt of Moveall To obtain.”
November the 8th. I Went Back to the Tallapoopes where I Mett the Death hoop. I Imediatly Enquired the Meaning of it and found that the Abecas and Tallapoopes had Declared Warr against the Chickesaws, and had then Killed on Chickesaw Who lived among the Abecas; and [that it] was designed to Kill all that was Liveing among the Creeks.
Tickhomebey and Sixteen more Chickesaws aplyed themselves To me in this Manner: “Here is the Oakechoye Capt. Come from the Chocktawes and there has heard that the Chickesawes has latly Killed Some of the Creek people and Carried there Scalps to the Chickesaw Towns for which the Creeks has Killed on of our people and Designes to Kill all of us that is here. The Chocksaws 57Choctaws. are not Reconcilled to our nation neither Can they gett Satisfaction of us without the assistance of the Creeks. So I hope as our Natne 58Nation. is at peace with you that you will save our lives for I ame a True ffreind to the English and So will Continue.”
I then Imediatly Sent Runers to the Abecas to forbide their proceedings, and likewise for the heads of the uper Tallopoopes To Come to me. Accordingly they did and on No[vemhe]r the 10th I gave them The following Talk in the Tallasee Towne 59The Upper Creek town of Tallassee was on or near the site of the present town of Tallassee, Alabama. in lower Tallapoopes:
“I understand that You have Declared a warr against the Chickesaws from only a Story that the Oakechoye Capt. have brought me from the Chicktaws. 60Choctaws. We are but Just Getting ane acquantance with the Chocktawes, as yet we do not know them. Its very like that this may be don to set you against the Chickesawes that they may gett Revenge, Since they Cannot do it of themselves. What do you think the head men at the Chickesaws will think of me if I suffer you to kill there people that lives among you as Freinds? Doubtles they will think that I am not their Freind, neither Can I Expect them to use Our White people there as Freinds unless I Show my freindship now to these people that you are agoeing to kill Which I Charge you not to doe, and I am not against your killing those that Live with the Cherokeys. For I see they are Dayly killing of you and if you will goe to war against the Chickesawes I Cannot help it. I have nothing to say to That. But as the Dogg king is now at the Chocktaws I think you would do well to Stay till he Comes and here what he Says. Its like the Captain might mistake.
Answer. “We hear and your Talk is good. We will take it and wait as you say till the dog king Comes and then we shal know the Truth.”
November the 12th. I Left the Tallopoopes and the 15 Instant Came to the Cowweetaws. The day after my arival here there Came a Tommantle man from Cherokeys Leech’s town and gave the Following Account:
“Your people that is gone to War against the Yamases was disapointed finding the Yamases all in Forted. They Turned off and is gone to the Floradays. There is likewise four ships from Carolina loaded with all Sorts of provissions and Tradeing goods on purpose To Suply the Yamases, and there is Two English men Sent to the Yamases from the King of the English to make a Peace with the Yamasees,
Which is don; and there is now ten of the Yamases with them Two english men waiting to Meet your people When they Return and make a Peace With them. The Method proposed is that the Yamases Shal Deliver to you as many men as You lost with holatta to be put to Death and then to make a peace. Then the English proposses to erect a Fort at the fork of Hallatomahaw 61Altamaha. River and there to Supply the Yamases with all Sorts of Goods and in order thereto they have already Brought Great Guns, Some of Which are Brass.” It happen’d a little time before this I was telling Old Brinins of Mr. Spotswoods 62Alexander Spotswood, who was lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1710-1722. Runing to [St.] Agustine With a parcell of Trading Goods Which proved of Service.
Old Brunin’s answer to the Commantle man.
“I am Surprized at your newes. I Cannot tell how to live 63Believe. you. Since here is a Beloved man Who has latly Reed Letters from his king and if this had Been so I Should had heard it from him but you are On of our own Collour and the best of you will Lie. I shal here soon from my people and then shal know more of the Matter.”
My Own answer to the Commantles Speach Derected [to] Brunins and his Beloved men.
” I am very Glad that it happen’d so as we talk of the man that I told you was Run to [St.] Augustine before this Newes Came in, or you might have thought I told you a Lye For if there is any White English man with the Yamases it’s the Same man that I told you of, and the Spanyards has Contrived this Storye to Save the Yamasees by puting this Englishman with them. But I Could wish your people knew my Mind; them Englishmen Should be used as Yamasees that [are] found with them. And as to a peace with the Yamases if my kind 64King, had a mind to make any he Would not
Send to [St.] Augustine for It, but he would Send orders to me, being a more ready way.
The Gun’s being Sent to the fork of halla to mahaw 65Altamaha. River is Like the rest of the Story and I find its Contrived by the Spanyards only to make ane Exchange for Our Freind Hollatta and the rest of our Beloved men that was murdered with him by the Huspaw 66Huspah was the chief of a band of Yamasee Indians of the same name. King and his Warriour’s.
Now I like the proposal they make of Exchanging and giveing you as many Yamases as they have Killed of your people. But we must know what men they will Deliver up, whither they will Deliver the Huspaw King in Lew 67Lieu. of Hollataw and as many Yamases Warriours as we[re] killed with him; but instead of that they will give you Slaves or Some other Inferriour Sort of Fellows that they may Spare without being mist. But I hope you have more Value for your king though he is dead and Respect to his ffather then to Sweep him away as we doe horses for the Spanyards themselves would Laugh at you as well as at the Yamases for Such an act[io]n.
Old Brm’ns Your Talk is good. But I do not know what to think of these Two English men that is with the Yamases. For I know that will Surprize my people and they will not know what to doe, but you have Told us how it is. Lett them agree To what they will it shal be Spoilt at their Return.”
I then proposed Runners to be Sent and apprise the army of this affaire. But the Old King was of Oppinion it would be very Uncertaine where to Meet the Warrioures and the Runners very much Endangered; but while we were Considering of this affair there Came in two Runners from the Warriour’s and gave the Following Account:
“The Pilot that we had, Carried us to a Fort in a Town Where we thought the Yamases were, and we fired at the Said Fort, Which alarmed ten Men that was Placed To Discover us which we past when they were asleep. Our fireing awaked them and they Ran round us and gave Notice to the Yamasees Who was Removed from this town Nigher the Sea and had there Build a new fort which we found and Attacked but with litle Success through 68Though. it happen’d the Huspaw Kings Family was not all got in the fort and we took three of them and fired Several Shott at the Huspaw king and are in hopes have killed him. There Came out a party of the Yamases who fought us and we took the Capt. We waited three days about there Fort, Expecting to get ane oppertunity to take Some More but to no purpose. We then Came away and the Yamases pursued us. We fought them and gained the Batle. We drove the Yamases unto a pond and was Just Runing in after them where we Should a had a great advantage of them but we discover’d about fourty Spanyards armed on horse Back Who made Toward us wt a White Cloth before them and as they advanced toward us They made Signes that we Should fforbear fireing. Some of our head men gave Out orders not to fire, But Steyamasie-chie or Gogel Eys Told them it was spoilt and to fire away. According we did, and the Spanyards fled. After that the Yamases pursued us [and] gave us ane other Batle in which they did us the most Damnadge. We have killed Eight of the Yamases, on of which is the huspaw kings head Warriour and have Brought off all thir Scalps. We have likewise Taken nine of them a Live, Together with Several Guns, Some Cloth, and Some plunder Out of there Churches, Which you will See When the Warriours Come in.”
We have Lost on our Side five men killed dead and six wounded. When I found the Army so nigh there return I was willing to prepare for my Comeing away [and] there being a Negro then in the Pallachochole town Belonging to Andrew Partoson of Port Royal that I thought to have Brought down, I sent five White men to take him and bring him to me. They Accordingly Took the Negro and had him, but the King of the Town Cutt the Rope and threw it into the fire and the King of sd Town Told the White men that they had as good Guns as they, and Could make as good use of them; upon which the white man Returned unto me.
I then thought, as the Warriours was not farr off, to wait till they Came in, before I Said any more about Said Negro.
November the 30th. Thomas Jones arived from the Chocktawes and gave Following Account:
That after Being at the Chocktaws and purchast some Skines the hunters where he was, all went out a hunting, in Number 700, Who was to bring in Skins Sufficient to purchase all his goods. The sd Jones Left Thomas Wiggin and a Considerall qaintity goods in order to Trade with sd Indeans at there Return, and Jones Left the Nation. On John Gallespy being Ready at the Same time to leave the Nation with Jones would not but waited for the Coossaw 69Coosha was an Important Choctaw town on Lost Horse Creek in what is now Lauderdale County, Mississippi. king of the Chocktawes, who had promised Gillespey to Come down to this governmt, and sd Gillespey waited on purpose for him or might have Brought off his Leather and horses as Jones did, but the sd Gillespey the 16th November Left the Chocktawes nation; And the 17 Instant the Chocktaws, as they belive, did fall on said Wiggin who was left in the Nation and did plund[er] and Take from him all the Said goods but with much to do did Escape. The Indeans did pursue the said Gillespey and Took from him Several horses loaded with Skins, wounded Several of the White men, and Killed One. The said Gillespey Came foreward With what horses was left him and mett with the Coosaw king who had apointed to Come Down with him. The Coossaw king Seeing of him Bloody Inquired the meaning of It. Gillespey Related to him what had hapen’d, Only omitting the death of the white man.
The Coossaw king Replyed: “If you will goe Back with me Your goods and horses shal be Restored Back to you againe and you shal not loose on Skin by what has hapen’d.”
Then Gillespey told him that the worst of all, they had killed a White man. This seem’d to Surprize the King and he Said, “Now Its all Spoilt; The horses and goods I Could have gott, but the man Cannot be Brought to Life. I have Been Several years Endeavouring to open the path to the English and thought it was now don, but find it as farr of as ever. There is three men of Ours gon to the Creeks to see your Beloved man and then 70Them. I Give over to be dead.” Gillespey told him that they should not be hurted, for though there was a white man killed He did not belive it was done by the Consent of the Chiefest of the Nation. Accordingly Gillespey mett the Three Indians and Sent Them home w[i]t[h]out hurt.
The Dogg king of the Oakefuskey Came to me at the same time and Said, “What the Chocktaws has Done is not good and I have heard that the Chocktawes makes as good slaves as Negros; if you think it will be good I will soon have some of them here. I have 100 men at my Command who are good Warriours and only wait for your orders.”
“What you Say is Good, but I dare not send you to Warr Till my great King has heard what has hapen’d.”
December the 28th. Hearing that the Warriours was naer the Lower towns I thought to goe down and meet them. I order’d my Lingister to make ready Which he Refused to do. It hap’nd That On William Hoge Just then was Come from the hovanys 71Havana. who was a Better Lingister then the former John Molton. I took the Said hodge as Lingester and vent down to the Lower Towns. Sd hodge Being a Pack horse Driver to on John Cannaday, Who Molton was no ways Concerned with. Notwithstanding the Said Molton followed me to the Lower Town’s and Just as I mett the head man that was Come from Warr, and had Begun to Talk with them, the sd Molton Came litle Better then Drunk and Interupted my Lingester, telling me that William Hodge I was his servant and that I had Stole him, which he would I make me know, and then told the Indeans that I was A Thieff, had Stole his servant and not to mind what I had Said To them for my Talk was not good. He then Turned to me and Told me that what Talks I had given while he was Lingester he would undoe for that the publick Intrust 72Interest. was not So advantageous to him as his Own. I then Charged him to behave himself with more Respect and not to think he was Speaking to a privat man for by the Trust Reposed in me I Represent the Governmt of Carolina. His Reply was, “Dame you and the Governmt Both. The Worst that Can be don is to prevent my Comeing here Which is more than they Can doe for I Will Come.” Which he Bound by his Maker. I was oblidged to Conceal my Lingester from him and Could Not have any Discourse with the Indeans. The day after I Returned to the Cowweetawes where the Said Molton Endeavoured to perswad my Kings not to speak any thing for Me. This he did When he was Sober, and When he found he Could Not prevail with him, he then prevailed with Some of the head men, as I Suppose, not to Talk with me by the said Hodges Interpretation. Accordingly Some of the Indeans Told me they did not hear the Said hodge and Desired they might have Molton to talk with them. I answered them, “I look upon Molton to be a Rogue and Not fitt to be Intrusted with any of my Talk, and if [you] Cannot here this Man You must goe to my king and Talk wt him. For I will Talk with You by noe othere then this.” Sepe Coffee Hott and Chuggilley, who Told me the said hodge Could speak there Tongue neir as well as themselves, asked those that objected against him what part of the Talk they misunderstood and So made them asshamed of there Objections, and then They Could all here the Sd Hodge.
December the 15th. I Sent for all the Lower Towns head men to meet at the Cowweetaw; the Same day the Warriours arived at the Cowweetaws.
Old Brmins Speech to his Warriours.
“You are Returned from Warr and Some of Your men You have Left. Such things as them must hapen or you would Be noe Warriours for if Men Should always goe out To Warr against Enemies and never loose any men then old Women would be good Warriours. But this is What makes you warrioures. That you will goe into such Dangers where you [are] sure some of you will Drop. But I hope this is but a beginning as you have now made a war with the Yamasees I hope you will Continue it while there is a Yamasees Left on the land, Since In that you gett revenge for your Selves and English Both [of] who[m] they have Caused to Shead many tears as well as my self.”
Sepe Coffee answers, “We have had but poor Success but we hope The nixt Time to have Better. But a Warr I do Designe To Continue against the Yamasses While I Can gett Bullets and Powder for Skins. I Cannot say, I will kill them all. Some may goe over the Great Water. But there Shal not One Stay on this Land.”
“I am very Glad to see you Return with no greater Loss than you have which Indeed I did not Expect Since the Yamases had Such Timely Notice of your Designes against them. Its a wounder to me they did not do you a greater deal more Damage But hope that you will Take some Course with those That Sends Such newes to the Yamases. Amonge us Such a man would be Tied to four mad horses and Draven 73Drawn. to pices – as Should give Our Enemies ane Account of Our Designes against them and at the Same Time pretend to be Our ffreind. My king has Sent a Commission to King Sepe Coffee to be Comander in Cheif of this Nation under his Father Emprour Brmin’s Derections, the meaning of which Comission is to Take all orders that shall Come from my king, to hear no talk But What Comes from him, and to be Sure to put all his orders In Execution, and that all men in this Nation is to pay the said Sepe Coffee due obedience as there King dureing the Time that Sepe Coffee Containues to be True and Trusty to my King and no Longer.” And So [I] Delivered his Comission and Likewise [one] to one Capt. Hott, which was Intirely to the Satisfa’ne of all the heads in Generall.
Sepe Coffees Speech at Takeing his Comission.
“I do now take this with a Straight heart and you may Tell your King that I Shal not let it lie much in my house. But that it Shal be put in Execution, that is goe to War against his Enemies and mine and you may tell him that my heart is now Streight with him and So Shal Containue.”
On December the 2d I gave them the following talk being the day I Left the Natione, there being 120 head men of the Lower Townes present:
“My king Sent me into this Nation to see every Town and To know Who among You are his Freinds and who are not. Accordingly I have Been throughout your Whole Natione and I am now agoeing to my king and Shal let him know What I am now agoeing to tell You.
The Negro Which I Took from the Spanyard in this Town did make his Escape from the White man that were Carring him Down and Returned to Squire Mickeo who Imediatly assisted him with Cunnue and provissions sufficient to Carry him to Saint Mallagoes. Now there Sitts the Squire, Let him Denie it if he dares, and then I will prove it to his Face. There is likwise a White girl that Belonges to us Whis 74Who is. detaind by the Dogg King of the Pallachochola Town and is kept over the River in a Remute 75Remote. pleace that no white man shal see her. Then 76When. I Sent down to the Pallachocola Town and had a Negro Tied in order to Carry him to his master, the King of sd Town did Cut the Rope, threw it in the fire, and Told the whiteman That they had as good Guns as they had and Could make as Good use of them.
Now do you think that these lookes like Freindly Actions? Or do you think when I goe home and my king askes me if all the Creeks are his Freinds that I Can tell him they are? Noe I do assure you I Cannot. But I Shall tell him I look upon all people Below Capt. Hotts house to be Reather freinds To the Yamases then to us, for is [it] not plane that Squire Mickeo Sent to the Yamases to let them know of Your Comeing? As I Tould you beffore Such a man with us would be Tore to pl[e]ces with mad horses. Thereffore if these people has a mind to Show thir freindship to my king Let Squire Mickeo’s Town pay for that Negro he assisted away, Let the dog king Deliver the White girl, and let the pallachochola town pay for the Negro their King untied; without which I do not see how you Can Call Your selves freinds to my king. Tis True you may Call yourselves freinds as You [say], but my king wants no Such freindship as is only Exprest with the Tongue and not by the Actions. I Would not have you think that I am Beging your Freindship for my king has Freinds Sufficient w[i]t[h]out you. I only want to know how 77Who. among you will be his Enemies and who [h]is Freinds, so I shal Expect when Seepe Coffee Comes down that he will Bring Satisfaction for the two Negroes and the White girl.”
Sepe Coffee[‘s] Speech to the head men and Wariours.
“You here What the Beloved man say’s. I do not find that any of you Denies what he says thereifore [as] I belive what he says to be all True and [that] his Demands is all Reasonable, So I hope you that are my Warriours will Stand be 78By. me and See that all his Demands are Comply’d with.”
I then left the Natione Leaving 120 Dear Skins in Sepe Coffees possession and four Slaves Belonging to Mr. Sharp which I Should have Brought with me but Receiving a Letter from the honable Coll. George Chicken Esquire where he adwised me of a Chickesaw being killed naer the Savana Town by the Creeks and that the Chickesaws was Resolved to Retal[i]ate it on the Creeks, I inform[ed] The Creeks of the Same, which was the Reason that they did [not] think it safe for the Burdeners To proceed with me But the said goods Should be Left and that Sepe Coffee Would bring them Down in the month of March when he Designes to be Down himself with five other head Men and fourty Warriours with him for a guard. But he Desires that the guard may be Suffered to pass The Savana Garrisson and Came 79Come. as Low as Edisto River for he Lookes upon it as [being as] Dangerous between the Savana town and Edisto [as] any other part of the way.
I Left the Cowweetaws December the 2d and Brought with me a Negro as I have herein Resited and being Within 20 miles of the Savana Town left the sd Negro In Charge of two white men well arm’d and the negro Prisoned. Not-withstanding he got the white mens armes and Shot on John Sergant through the Brest and made his Escape.
As soon [as] the News Came to me at Savana Town I Dis-pactht ane Express to [the] Creek’s and gave ane account of the Negros Escape and promised a peace of Strouds to any Indean that Should Bring the sd Negros head To on Florance Makhone, a Tradour at the Creeks, or a hundered pounds to any White man that Should Take him. Sepe Coffee promised he would do his Endeavour To have him taken and sent Runer To aprize The uper Creeks of the Same. The foregoing proceedings as 80Are. a Just and True account
by Tobias Fitch.
This is a true Copy from the Original]. Exāied 81Examined. this 21st May 1726.
by Hen Hargrave, Depty Secty.
Footnotes: [ + ]
|1.||↩||Oakfuskee, the principal town of the Upper Creeks, was situated on the west bank of Tallapoosa River, four miles below the mouth of Elkhatchee Creek, in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.|
|2.||↩||The Upper Tallapoops were the Creeks inhabiting the region of Upper Tallapoosa River.|
|4.||↩||The Abecas, or Abihkas, were Upper Creeks inhabiting a town on or near the Upper Coosa River.|
|5.||↩||Okchayi was an Upper Creek town on Oktchayi (now Kialaga) Creek, in the southeastern part of Coosa County, Alabama.|
|6, 9, 42, 68.||↩||Though.|
|7, 19, 77.||↩||Who.|
|11.||↩||Yamasees, who in 1715 effected a general massacre of English traders and settlers on the Carolina frontier, and subsequently, as allies of the Spaniards, continued in active hostility against the English.|
|15.||↩||Fort Moore, or Savannah Town, South Carolina, on the Savannah River six miles below Augusta, Georgia.|
|16.||↩||Colonel Theophilus Hastings commanded in 1715 a company of North Carolina militia sent to aid South Carolina against the Indians. In 1716 he was the principal factor of the North Carolina Indian trade.|
|23.||↩||Apalachicola, a town of the Hitchiti, who were closely associated with the Creeks. It was situated on the west bank of the Chattahoochee nearly opposite the present site of Columbus, Georgia.|
|24.||↩||Kawitas, who had two towns, Kawita (old town) and Upper Kawita, both on the west bank of the Chattahoochee, a few miles below Apalachicola.|
|25.||↩||Kashita, which was on the east bank of the Chattahoochee and two or three miles below Kawita.|
|34.||↩||Live nearer than.|
|46, 52, 56.||↩||For.|
|54.||↩||Alabama Fort, or Fort Toulouse, which was erected by Bienville in 1714 near the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers.|
|59.||↩||The Upper Creek town of Tallassee was on or near the site of the present town of Tallassee, Alabama.|
|62.||↩||Alexander Spotswood, who was lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1710-1722.|
|66.||↩||Huspah was the chief of a band of Yamasee Indians of the same name.|
|69.||↩||Coosha was an Important Choctaw town on Lost Horse Creek in what is now Lauderdale County, Mississippi.|