Creek Stories 13


Description by Benjamin Hawkins, 1799, of Hickory Ground, 6 years after the death of Alexander McGillivray (and printed in Swanton's Early History of the Creek Indians):

O-che-au-pe-fau: from Oche-uh, a hickory tree, and po-fau, in or maong, called by the traders, hickory ground. It is on the left bank of the Coosa, 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 border 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 amile further up are the remains of Old Tal-e-see, formerly the residence of Mr. Lochlan and 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.

Three people are, some of them, industrious. They have forty gunmne, 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 Macnack [Moniac], 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 managemnet. In possession of forteen working negroes, she seldom makes bread enough, and they live poorly. She can spin and weave, and is making some feebnle 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 Tait [Tate?] who has been educated in Philadelphia and Scotland. He promises to be better.