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The Creek Documents 3


From Benjamin Hawkins, as quoted in Swanton's "Early History of the Creek Indians and their Neighbors" (1922), on the subject of the Auttossee settlement

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

There is [5 miles] below town, one good farm made by the late Richard Bailey, and an orchard of peach trees. Mrs. Bailey, the widow, is neat, clean, and industrious, and very attentive to the interests of her family; qualities rarely to be met with an Indian woman. Her example has no effect on the Indians, even her own family, with the exception of her own children. She has fifty bee-hives and a great supply of honey every year; has a fine stock of hogs, cattle and horses, and they all do well. Her son, Richard Bailey, was educated in Philadelphia by the Government, and he has brought with him into the nation so much contempt for the Indian mode of life, that he has got himself into discredit with them. His young brother is under the direction of the Quakers in Philadelphia. His three sisters promise to do well, they are industrious and can spin. Some of the Indians have cattle, but in general, they are destitute of property.

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

Letters of Benjamin Hawkins regarding the Kidnap & Murder of Jacob Townshend

Cusseta, in the Creek Nation, 20th October, 1797


You are hereby authorized to go into Georgia to recoevr your property. I hope you will find no difficulty in the recovery, as the citizens of Georgia know how to obtain redress for stolen property, as when they confirm to the laws: "The United States, for property taken, stolen or destroyed, guarantee to the party injured one evntual indemnification."


Joshua Howard, an inhabitant of the Natches, called on me with testimonials of his being an orderly and decent man. He brought me a letter from Doctor James White to recommend hm.

Mr. Howard informs me that he left the Natches on the 24th September; that he saw Mr. Ellicot just before he set out; that Mr. Knox had arrived with dispatches from the Secretary of State; that the Spaniards were still in possession of the Natches and Walnut Hills; that Major Minor commanded at the former; that Captain Ginor was at Chickasaw Bluffs, and Colonel Howard on the opposite side of the Mississippi; that he came through the Choctaw lower settlements and passed the Spanish post of St. Stephen; that he visited Mobile on private business, and was there informed that it was expected that the line would be run between the U. S. and Spain; that he came through the Tensaw settlement and gives the following particulars of the murder of Jacob Townshend; that Townshend came there with powers of attorney from some persons in Georgia to claim and take possession of some negroes and property in the possession of some inhabitants of the Tensaw settlement; that Gerald Burns, Adam Hollinger, John Miller and Melton, from some or all of whom he claimed property under his power of attorney. They appointed to meet Townshend at Joseph Thompson's, and while there they took him a prisoner and set out with him; that after riding in a circle, they, near the road, shot him, with two balls, through the body and through the head, and carried the body some distance and throwed it into a reedy branch; that they went to the house of Beard, where they drank freely. The horse of Townshend followed them and it was discovered that the top of his saddle was much marked with a spur, supposed as he fell from his horse. Joseph Stiggins, the next morning, enquired of one of the murderers what had become of Townshend; he answered: He is gone to the Creek nation; that he fired at them and went off; they returned the fire, but knew not whether he was wounded. Stiggins, he replied: You have murdered him. He then retraced them to the scene of action and dscovered the dead body; that an inquest had been held, who brought in a verdict of "willful, premeditated and hidden murder, " that the Commandant of Mobile had sent up an officer and an interpreter to examine into the whole procedure; that nothing had transpired from the officer, and the interpreter was heard to say at Robert Kinchrist's that Townshend had been a troublesome, bad man, and but little notice would be taken trelative to him.

Cusseta, 23rd of October 1797

I omited in my letter of this date to mention to you tahat you must attend with great caution to the execution of Section 10 of the "Act to regualte trade and intercourse with Indian tribes, are to preserve peace on the frontiers." This trading in horses is the source of endless mischief, and unless we can check it and reduce it to the bounds of legal commerce, will totally frustrate the benevolent plans of the government. Mr. Darouzeaux's son, who offered for sale a small horse, which I ordered to be returned, was playing the rogue; he did not own the horse; and since my return, I find that a fat checked Cusseta fellow has sold a horse for a rifle, which did not belong to him; he was without ears and exchanged the horse for a rifle.