The Creek Stories 2

Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek, or Muscogee Indians by Thomas S. Woodward, of Louisiana, formerly of Alabama. - 1859 on the subject of the McGillivrays and their friends and kin

..We might go back to Lauchland McGillivray; he was a Scotchman, as was Tate. and not long before or after Tate had left the nation for Augusta, McGillivray took his two children, Sophy and Alexander, and started for Savannah; the Americans lay around Col. Campbell's camp or fort in such numbers that he was forced to send his children back to the nation by his negro man Charles. Charles lived with and about me for years, and I have heard him and other who corroborated his statement, tell it often. Sophy was the oldest of the two. So, you see, you and I differ widely as to the time Alexander McGillivray came into existence, because Alex. McGillivray's mother was not the daughter of a Frenchman or French soldier. She was a full blooded Tuskegee Indian. Your history says Alexander was the first born of Lauchlan McGillivray and Sehoy Maraschand. I speak nothing but the truth-when I tell you that I know my opportunities for information on this subject have been much better than yours, and that Sophy was the oldest child and an own sister to Alexander, and that will do away with the dream of so much books and papers. Your history says that the mother of Tate and and Weatherford was a sister to Alexander McGillivray. I will now tell you how you have3 been led into that error; I see you speak of the Wind tribe of Indians, and I also see that you give Barret Deboys' versions of it; he never could tell the difference between clan as family and a tribe.

pg 57
...I never heard him (Dave Tate) say that McGillivray was a man of letters. But he has often said to me that McGillivray lived pretty much upon the property of his father, and that the man Daniel McDonald, that I have before spoken of who came to the country with Lauchlan McGillivray and John Tate, that after the disappearance of Lauchlan McGillivray from the country, he (Daniel McDonald) assumed the name of Daniel McGillivray, and fell heir to most of McGillivray's property that he left in the nation. This I have learned from others, as well as Davy Tate.

This man Daniel McDonald, or Daniel McGillivray, was the father of the chief known as Bit Nose Billy McGillivray. The Gen. Leclerk Milfort you frequently refer to as authority, I never heard of, though I have often heard of a little Frenchman by the name of Milfort Dusong, who had lived in the nation before I knew it; this man Milfort had an Indian wife and left one son, Alexander or Sandy Dusong. I knew him; he emigrated with the Creeks to Arkansas in "36 and "37.....
I knew Alexander McGillivray's children well; his daughter Peggy was the wife of Charles Cornels, and died before Cornels hung himself. His daughter Lizzy lived by me for years; I purchased hers and her son's land......I lived many years by Mrs. McGirth; she was McGillivray's last wife; spoke good English...

pg 95
The next important trader was Laughlin McGillivray. I have given you an account of him before. Daniel McDonald, who was the principal pack-horse man for McGillivray, assumed the name of Daniel McGillivray, and got considerable property by it. McDonald was the father of Bit- nose Billy McGillivray, as he has been called and known by many.

Page 95-6
James McQueen was the first white man I ever heard of being among the Creeks. He was born in 1683-went into the Nation in 1716, and died in 1811. He married a Tallassee woman. The Tallassees then occupied a portion of Talladega county. In 1756 he moved the Tallassees down opposite Tuckabatchy, and settled the Netches under the chief Chenubby and Dixon Moniac, a Hollander, who was the father of Sam Moniac, at the Tallassee old fields, on the Tallasachatchy creek. McQueen settled himself on Line creek, in Montgomery county. I knew several of his children--that is, his sons, Bob, Fullunny and Peter. Bob was a very old man when I first knew him. He and Fullunny had Indian wives. Peter, the youngest son, married Betsy Durant. They raised one son, James, and three daughters, Milly, Nancy and Tallassee. The Big Warrior's son, Yargee, had the three sisters for wives at the same time, and would have taken more half sisters. After Peter McQueen died, his widow returned from Florida and married Willy McQueen, the nephew of Peter, and raised two daughters, Sophia and Muscogee, and some two or three boys. Old James McQueen had a daughter named Ann, commonly called Nancy. He called her after the Queen of England, whose service he quit when he came into Nation. Of late years it was hard to find a young Tallassee without some of the McQueen blood in his veins.

This daughter, Ann, raised a daughter by one Copinger, and called her Polly. She was the mother of Ussa Yoholo, or Black Drink-- but better known of late as Oceola--who aided in the murder of my old countryman, General Thompson. And for the capture of Oceola, Gen. Thomas S. Jessup deserves as much credit as Peter Francisco would, had he flogged his grand-mother. Oceola, as he was called was born in Macon county, on the East side of Nafawpba *(now known as Euphaubee) creed, and not far from where the West point Railroad crosses. If I ever return to Alabama, I will mark the spot for some one. His great grand-father, James McQueen, lies about a mile off, and on the West side of the creek.

pg 97
Vicey Cornells, the second daughter of Joe Cornells, married Alexander McGillivray; and after he died, she married Zach McGirth, and raised several daughters--one married Vardy Jolly, one Ned James, one Aleck Moniac, one Bill Crabtree, and the youngest, Sarah, went to Arkansas.
pg 98
(Dick Cornells)..Charles was their oldest son, who hung himself in 1827 or 28. He had Peggy McGillivray for a wife, the daughter of Alexander McGillivray....Charles left several children. But long befodre Charles hung himself, his wife, Peggy McGillivray, died and hee married the widow of Bob Mosely; her name was Sumerly.

The next is Ben or Peter Durant--he was called by both names--who was a Sosuth Carolinian of French origin. He came to the Nation and married Sophia McGillivray, sister of Alexander. They raised three sons, Laughlin, John and Sandy. Laughlin married a Miss Hall, who was born and raised at or near the Cow-ford on St. Johns river, East Florida, where Jacksonville is now. John and Sandy went off with Peter McQueen to Florida. After the old Creek war, Sandy died at Tampa Bay; John went to the Island of New Providence. Laughlin Durant raised several children. His daughter Sarah, brought up pretty much by Davy White in Mobile, married Sam Adams, who once run a line of stages from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico, and afterwards run a line through the Creek Nation, and was with Jim Greene the night he was killed and the first stages were burned.

The daughters of Ben Durant were Rachel, who married Billy McGirth, son of Daniel McGirth, of revolutionary memory; they raised one son named Billy. After McGirth's death, she married Davy Walker, and raised two sons, Davy and Ben; after Walker died, she married a man by the name of Bershins, and was living among the Choctaws the last I knew of her. Polly the second daughter, married a full blooded Tallassee, named Cochirny, and lived like all other Indians. Sophia married a Mr. Macomes; Betsy married Peter McQueen, which I have already mentioned.


Printed under the caption: Marriages and Deaths of considerable Persons," in the issue of August, 1793, London, Vol. LXIII, p. 767

Obituary Notice in the Gentleman's Magazine

Feb. 17. At Pensacola, Mr. McGillivary, a Creek chief, very much lamented by those who knew him best. There happened to be that time at Pensacola a numerous band of Creeks, who watched his illness with the most marked anxiety; and when his death was announced to them, and while they followed him to the grave, it is impossibel for words to describe the loud screams of real woe which they vented in their unaffected grief. He was, by his father's side a Scotchman, of the respectable family of Drumnaglass, in Invernesshire. The vigour of his mind overcame the disadvantages of an eduaction had in the wilds of America; and he was well acquainted with all the most useful European sciences. In the latter part of his life he composed, with great care, the history of sevearl classes of the origianl inhabitants of America; and this he intended to present to Professor Robertson, for publication in the next edition of his History. The European and the American writer are no more; and the MMS of the latter, it is feared, hjave perished, for the Indians adhere to their custom of destroying whatever inanimate objects a dead friend most delighted in. It is only since Mr. MacGillivray had influence amongst them, that they have suffered the slaves of a deceased master to live.

Panton to Lachlan McGillivray, April 10, 1794
Printed in Pickett, "History of Oklahoma, 430-31, from a document found in the papers of the District Court at New Orleans.

1794, April 10 Pensacola

.... Your son, sir, was a man that I esteemed greatly. I was perfectly convinced that our regard for each other was mutual. It so happened that we had an interest in serving each other, which first brought us together, and the longer we were acquainted, the stronger our friendship.

I found him deserted by the British, without pay, wothout money, without friends, and withouit property, saving a few negroes, and he and his nation threatened with destruction by the Georgians, unless they agreed to cede them the better part of their country. I had the good fortune to point out a mode by which he could save them all, and it succeeded beyond expectation.

... He died on the 17th February, 1793, of complicated disorders -- inflamed lungs and the gout on his stomach. He was taken ill on the path coming from his cow-pen on Little River, where one of his wives, Joseph Cornell's daughter, resided, and died eight days after his arrival here. No pains, no attention, no cost was spared to save the life of my friend. But fate would have it otherwise, and he breathed his last in my arms.

.... He died possessed of sixty negroes, three hundred head of cattle, with a large stock of horses.

.... I advised, I supported, I pushed him on, to be the great man. Spaniards and Americans felt his weight, and this enabled him to haul me after him, so as to establish this house with more solid privileges than, without him, I should have attained. This being the case, if he had lived, I meant besides, what he was owing me, to have added considerably to his stock of negroes. What I intended to do for the father, I will do for his children. Thos ought not to operate against your making that ample provision for your grandson, and his two sisters, which you have it in your power to make. They have lately lost their mother, so that they have no friends, poor things, but you and me. My heart bleeds for them, and what I can I will do. The boy, Aleck*, is old enough to be sent to Scotland to school, which I intend to do next year, and then you will see him

* There are a few letters in the Panton papers that mention Aleck's schooling at Banff. John Innerarity of London acted as his guardian; Innerarity wrote to Wm. Panton in 1798, about Aleck, "he bids fair to make a good scholar and what is better a good man." Four years later John Leslie wrote to Forbes that "poor Aleck McGillivray labours under a consumption, " and that the doctor gave the young man only three months to live. (Florida Historical Society Quarterly, XIV, 116-19)

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