Monday, October 26, 2015

William McIntosh Jr 1778-1825

McIntosh and Menawa

Real history is always more complex and multilayered than the history told by the modern media and even in most basic academic history books.  The relationship between the Scots-Irish and certain Indian tribes was complex.  The often were are war with one another, yet they also intermarried, made alliances, and lived together and shared the same values;  Clan, tradition, blood, a warrior culture, honour, were of paramount importance to both peoples.

William McIntosh Jr. 1778-1825


William McIntosh Jr. 1778-1825, also known as Tustunnuggee Hutkee (White Warrior), was born around 1778 in the Lower Creek town of Coweta to Captain William McIntosh, a Scotsman of Savannah, and Senoya, a Creek woman of the Wind Clan. He was raised among the Creeks, but he spent enough time in Savannah to become fluent in English and to move comfortably within both Indian and white societies.

He was a leader of the Lower Towns, the Creek who were adapting European-American ways and tools to incorporate into their culture. He became a planter who owned slaves and also had a ferry business. McIntosh was among those who supported the plans of U.S. Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins to "civilize" the Creeks. While McIntosh's support of white civilization efforts earned him the respect of U.S. officials, more traditional Creeks regarded him with distrust and contempt.

He was instrumental in the United States victory at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. In the wake of that war, the Creeks suffered famine and deprivation for many years.  In 1825 cousins William McIntosh, a Creek leader, and George Troup, the governor of Georgia, signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, which authorized the sale of Creek lands in the state to the federal government. McIntosh allied himself with Indian agent David B. Mitchell, Hawkins's successor, to coordinate the distribution of food and supplies from the U.S. government to the Creeks. This alliance assured McIntosh's control over resources and he became a very wealthy man.

In 1821 the new Indian agent severed McIntosh's access to resources, weakening McIntosh's influence among the Creeks, who were then compelled to sell some of their land to pay debts and acquire food and supplies. However, for his role in the Treaty of Indian Springs, McIntosh received 1,000 acres of land at Indian Springs and another 640 acres on the Ocmulgee River. He himself owned two plantations with slaves, Lockchau Talofau (Acorn Bluff) in present-day Carroll County, and Indian Springs, in present-day Butts County.

McIntosh's participation in the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs cost him his life. According to a Creek law that McIntosh himself had supported, a sentence of execution awaited any Creek leader who ceded land to the United States without the full assent of the entire Creek Nation. Just before dawn on April 30, 1825, Upper Creek Chief Menawa, accompanied by a large force over 100 Creek “Law Menders” (warriors), attacked McIntosh at Lockchau Talofau (McIntosh’s home and plantation overlooking the Chattahoochee River near Whitesburg, worked by 72 slaves and also served as a tavern and inn, owing to its location on the Federal Road and a strategic crossing of the river) to carry out the sentence.

They set fire to an outbuilding in order to light up the yard so as to prevent anyone from escaping. They called to the white guests and women to come out, saying they would come to no harm. McIntosh's son Chilly and another mixed-blood escaped from an outbuilding they were sleeping in because there wasn't room for everybody in the main house.

Shot in the front doorway of his home, McIntosh managed to climb the stairs to the second floor, from which he began shooting at his assailants. Forced to leave when they set fire to the house, he was shot and dragged some distance from the house. Raising himself on an elbow, he gave them a defiant look as he was stabbed in the heart. An eyewitness estimated that his corpse was shot about 50 times. After destroying what they could not carry away; slaves, horses, and cattle, produce, the assassins left.

Later that day they caught Samuel and Benjamin Hawkins, his sons-in-law and also signatories to the treaty. They hanged Samuel and shot Benjamin, but he escaped.


Menawa (1765-1836), was second in command of the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, when they were defeated by General Andrew Jackson commanding militias of Tennessee, Georgia and the Mississippi Territory, as well as allied Cherokee. More than 800 Red Stick warriors died. Menawa was wounded seven times during the battle, but he escaped and survived his wounds. By his own account he lay among the dead until nightfall and then crawled to the river, climbed into a canoe, and disappeared into the darkness.

Some major Creek chiefs passed a resolution to kill McIntosh, and Menawa headed the assassination party. McIntosh was surrounded at his tavern on the old Federal Road in Georgia and shot to death.
By 1836 the Creek Indians had been repressed and were defeated a second time trying to save their ancestral lands. The U.S. was planning a general removal of the Nation. Menawa proposed that the Creek Nation give up their collective rights, though each individual who wanted to remain be given a plot of land. This proposal was defeated and the removal was commanded. Menawa had been given an exclusion from relocating by the U.S. but a local judge ordered him to join the exiles to the west.
Menawa reportedly stayed up all the night watching sunset and sunrise over his home Oakfuskee (located on the Tallapoosa River in present-day Alabama). As he joined his people traveling to an unknown place he said, "Last evening I saw the sun set for the last time and its light shine on the treetops and the land and the water, that I am never to look upon again."

Heartbroken, Menawa died on his way to the new Creek territory in the west. His burial place is now unknown. Menawa was not only brave and skillful, but was a gentleman in appearance and manners. Although he was a savage in the field, or in the revel, he could at any moment assume the dignity and courtesy proper to his high station. In after years, he regretted his role with the Creek Law Menders in 1825, saying that he would freely lay down his life, if by; so doing, he could bring back to life Billy McIntosh.

(credit:  John Stewart Longhunter Facebook page)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Henry McWhorter

Henry McWhorter 1760-1848 was born in New Jersey son of Gilbert McWhorter (1742 -1767) who was a linen-weaver by trade, hailed from Northern Ireland and settled in New York. His father died leaving his mother in extreme poverty with six small sons; James, Henry, John, Thomas, Robert and Gilbert, all born between 1760-1765 and later known as the “The Orange County McWhorter Boys.” Since times were hard, the children were bound out. Henry was apprenticed to a millwright. He enlisted as a Minuteman at age 15 to fight in the Revolutionary War. After his term of service expired, he volunteered six more times in a 22 month time span. His brothers Thomas and James served in the same regiment with him under Sergeant Hugh McWhorter (1735-1812), their uncle and brother of their father.

Afterwards, he lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he married Mary Fields in 1783. In 1786, the couple moved to Hampshire County, (West) Virginia. Three years later, Henry sought a home in the wilds of McKinneys Run a branch of Hackers Creek in Harrison County, (West) Virginia.

In 1793, the McWhorters moved again, this time building a log house near West’s Fort on the south bank of the murky Hackers Creek, where they reared three sons. A mill was erected on the creek near his cabin home, and the place became known as McWhorter's mill, which is now known as Jane Lew, West Virginia. To this mill came the settlers from a radius of many miles to get their corn ground. And it is a traditional fact that at one time the settlements were suffering from a scarcity of breadstuff, and parties came from distant settlements and offered him over $1.00 per bushel for all the corn stored in his mill, which offer he refused, giving as his reason that if he did so his neighbors and friends would suffer.

Henry's brother, John, died in 1797 at the age of 35, one month before his daughter Hannah was born. His widow was left with seven young children. Henry went by horseback to New Jersey to visit his people and having no daughter of his own, offered to take Hannah, the little daughter of his dead brother home with him. He did and raised her as his own.

Eventually, a saw mill was added on the property as the population in the West’s Fort area grew. Henry was a Methodist and was a class leader for 50 yrs. Very often the services were held in his home, as there was no church there at the time.

Henry made frequent trips to Fort Pitt in flat boats, via the West Fork and Monongahela Rivers, exchanging furs, jerked venison, etc., for ammunition and other home necessities. On one of these trips he was accompanied by Jesse Hughes, the most noted Indian scout and fighter in Western Virginia.

Three generations of the McWhorter family were born in their cabin during the forty years they lived on Hacker’s Creek. The family was forced to leave the homestead in 1827 and return to McKinney’s Run after a series of security debts put the family in a bad financial situation. It was there that Henry died in 1848. Henry was buried on his farm beside his wife, in the quiet country cemetery where sleep six McWhorter generations.

His eldest son, John (1784-1880), became a barrister and never married. The second son Thomas (1785-1815), inherited part of the home farm on McKinney's Run and was a prosperous farmer, and the third and youngest son, Walter (1787-1860), inherited with his brother Thomas, the homestead on McKinney's Run in Harrison County. He was a Major in the militia, a noted athlete and never met his equal in wrestling, jumping or foot racing. He fathered 17 children.

The McWhorter log homestead and the mill were sold to Edward Jackson, a cousin of Stonewall Jackson. The cabin remained in the Jackson family for many years. In time it became the property a Jackson descendent who decided to turn the cabin back into the hands of the descendants of the original owner and builder of the condition that the cabin be removed and preserved. With leadership provided by Minnie McWhorter, a great-great-granddaughter of the pioneers, the cabin was moved to Jackson’s Mill and dedicated there on August 14, 1927. The cabin was rededicated by the McWhorter Family Association to the state of West Virginia on July 24, 1993.

Source; John Stewart, Longhunter 1744-1770


Sunday, October 18, 2015

McCain's Corner: Iníon Dubh

McCain's Corner: Iníon Dubh: Iníon Dubh (said, Nee-an doo) is one of the most remembered and beloved heroines in Irish history.  Iníon Dubh was her pet name which means ...