Georgia Genealogy Trails
"Where your Journey Begins"
INDIAN CIVILIZATION THE INDIANS IN PULASKI COUNTY AND CENTRAL GEORGIA
When the first people arrived in Georgia, how, or whence, they came, no antiquarian knows: and they themselves did not know. When Columbus and the Spaniards discovered America at the close of the fifteenth century, people were found living here whom Columbus mistakenly called "Indians," thinking he had arrived at islands off the coast of India. The earlier explorers into the interior of Georgia, as well as in other parts of America, found these people living in all regions in tribes, though in sections the population was very sparse. They also found large mounds of earth, or tumuli, in many places.
Archaeologists and historians of repute differ as to whether these mounds were originally built by the Indians, or by a race who antedate the Indians as residents of this continent. Coulter says that it is a generally accepted fact that the mound builders and the Indians were the same people, and that dawning intelligence made clear to them the futility of piling up earth.
From skull and other measurements of remains they seem to be of the same racial stock.
But Jones Bartram, L. L. Knight, and others, declare that the mounds were the work of an earlier, different people. Certainly, if there was such a race, the mounds and their contents, and a few old Indian traditions are the only records that remain; and for lack of an ethnological name defining their contents, and place in the human family, they have been called "Mound Builders." The Indians whom the Europeans found here were a nomadic people, and it seems that no migratory race would have undertaken the erection of such huge earthworks, involving such great labor, and designed to endure for long ages. Moreover, no tribe of American Indians had in the sixteenth century the means of subsistence, man-power, organization or leadership necessary for such tasks.
The mounds or tumuli found along the Ocmulgee River, the Flint, the Savannah, and in Bartow County around Cartersville, are of the same type or form as those found in Mississippi. Arizona, and along the Ohio River, in Illinois and Northern Mexico. Some antiquarians consider them very ancient sepulchral monuments; others claim that some of the larger mounds found on lowlands close to rivers subject to inundations during spring or autumn freshets were refuge mounds raised for retreat when the high waters drove the inhabitants from their villages.
The Indians found inhabiting what is now Georgia claimed that the mounds were there when their tribes came into the region, and were ignorant as to when or by whom they were erected. Knight, following Jones, Adair and Bartram, divides the tumuli, mounds, and remains of Georgia into three groups: 1. Those which were the work of the Mound Builders: 2. Those purely Indian. The Creeks and Cherokees probably built a very few of the smaller mounds in Georgia; 3. Those which are Indian in origin, but modi-fied by contact with Europeans. Some of the mounds now being excavated in Bibb County have been found to contain, on successive levels, relics and remains of two, three, or even five civilizations, belonging to entirely different culture eras.
Some mounds are without doubt burial mounds; for human bones, fragments of pottery, pipes, stone axes, and soapstone ornaments, as well as arrow-heads, have been found in them. Only a few years ago an Indian mound still stood just above Hartford, and another was located nearby. Still others have been found on the "Coley Place," and on the "Goose Neck Farm" and camp place of Mr. W. N. Parsons, lying along the banks of the Ocmulgee River several miles to the north of Hawkinsville. Numerous arrow-heads and bits of pottery have been collected.
The Indians inhabiting North America knew their origin only through traditions, and of these there were many versions. The Indians found in what is now Georgia agree in their traditions that the country west of the Mississippi was their original habitat, and this is confirmed by such authorities as Drs. Protz, Bernard, Adair, Bartram, and Hawkins.
Cortez and his Spanish troops found living in Mexico in 1519. the Aztecs, with their high civilization, their luxurious though idolatrous splendor, with Montezuma as their king. In northwest Mexico the Muskogee Indians were living. They joined the Aztecs in their efforts to repel the Spanish invaders, were defeated, and thousands of their warriors perished. The discouraged remnant of the Mus-kogee tribe migrated eastward, conquering the Alabama?. Shawnees, and Yamasees, and incorporating them into their confederacy. Still moving eastward, they settled below the falls of the Chatta-hoochee, and later moved on to the banks of the Ocmulgee, the Oconee, and the Ogeechee. They pushed on lowurd the coast, and along the Savannah they encountered the lichees, ancient inhabitants, and a very intelligent tribe. But, being inferior in numbers. they were soon defeated by the warlike Muskogees, and forced to join their confederacy.
The interior country, now Georgia, was thus held by the Muskogee and other tribes of their confederacy, to whom the English, when they explored the country, gave the name "Creeks," because of the many rivers and smaller streams which flowed through their domains.
The Uchees were settled on the western banks of the Savannah River at the opening of the eighteenth century, according to Lossing in his Field Book of the Revolution. According to Gatlatin their language was guttural and uncouth, difficult to express in the English alphabet. Other tribes could never master it, though the Uchees readily learned the Creek dialect. They clung tenaciously to their own customs and speech, however, and refused to be assimilated by their conquerors, who nevertheless dictated where they might camp and appropriated gifts sent by the British government. The Uchees were always friendly to Oglethorpe; and he in turn sought to protect their corn fields from encroachment by the cattle of the Salzbergers and other early settlers. Uchees were in the armed expedition which he led to St. Augustine to fight the Spaniards in 1740.
As the English settlements along the coast grew more numerous and moved inland the Uchees migrated westward into the interior, living in permanent villages on river banks, where there was abundance of fish and game, and where lands could be cleared for corn patches. They had developed the arts of basketry and pottery— making baskets of cane and splints. A characteristic of their pottery was its gourd shape.
A Uchee town called Intuchculgue (Beaver Dam) was located, according to J. R. Swanton, in the northwest corner of the present Macon County, on Buck Creek, and an old Indian path went close by this town. One of their favorite meeting places was Miona Springs, whose waters they believed to have healing properties, and were held sacred. The Uchees at one time hold the lands from the Oconee to the Flint Rivers.
But the four main tribes or nations of Indians on Georgia soil were the Chcrokees, Creeks, Chickasaws, and Choctaws. The latter resided to the westward, in that part of Georgia's original grant which later became Alabama and Mississippi; the Creeks and Cherokees were Indians with whom the English settlers dealt in colonial days. The Cherokees were mountaineers, dwelling on each side of the lower Appalachians. Their domain on the eve of the Revolution embraced some 40,000 square miles, including North Georgia. East Tennessee, and portions of Alabama, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. The capital of their nation was New Echota in what is now Gordon County.
The Creeks, or Muskogees, were the strongest Indian power south of New York; they were the dominant tribe in a great confederacy which included the Coosa; Kawita (Coweta); Hitchiti (or Flints), who. when English traders and agents reached Central Georgia, were located between the Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers; the Oconee, a branch of the Hitchiti; Yamasi; Natchez; and the Uchees, a conquered clan. The Seminoles ("Wanderers") of Florida were an offshoot; and the Yamacraws, with whom Oglethorpe treated on his arrival in Savannah, were a detached Creek tribe, under Tomochichi.
The Oconees and the Hitchiti had fought bloody battles in their efforts to save their towns and hunting grounds from the invading Muskogeans, when, during the sixteenth century, they pushed eastward into Georgia. At last peace was made. The invaders gained hunting grounds and the Oconees became a part of the Creek confederacy, as did the Uchees. The old Uchee trail probably was the route followed by the Hartford road. There was also a lower Uchee trail leading from the Ogeechce to the Oconee River at Carr's Bluff, above Dublin; and a continuation of the trail crossed Palmetto or Turkey Creek, thence by the present town of Cochran, and on to the crossing of the Ocmulgee at Hartford. The trail was named for Uchee Billy, a chief, who sold and granted much land to the whites, and who was eventually hanged as a traitor by his tribe in 1823. These were the branches of the Creeks, who inhabited that portion of Georgia destined to become Pulaski County.
All of the Creeks were banded together in their loose confederacy, which restrained the acts of the individual tribes very little. As a rule they lived in small villages, located on running streams, or where springs provided abundant water. Only a few centers were large enough to be called towns. Doubtless for a long time tents or wigwams of skins and poles furnished them shelter; but as these Indians in the southeast developed agricultural activities they became more attached to the land, and more nearly approached civilization than other Indians in the United States area, though not so close as the Aztecs in Mexico. They built log frame houses plastered with mud; and sometimes adobe brick was used; and they had crude chimneys with fireplaces.
The Indian village usually centered around an open square which waa used for public gatherings, feasts, and dances. There were usually four structures enclosing this court. The Council House occupied one corner. It was conical in shape, and some 25 or 30 feet in diameter. Here the Indian chief or Mico held his council.
Each town or village, though bound in a loose way to the other communilies of the tribe, was a separate jurisdiction within itself. Local self-government was a natural instinct and a deeply imbedded principle among Georgia Indians, and it frequently happened when a tribe was at war that some village would send no warriors. It was only against a common danger that there was concerted action in the nation.
Besides the Mico, chosen for life by the warriors from a certain family, each village had its war chief who commanded all military expeditions. No chiefs were ever deposed. New ones were added until finally the number among the Muskogeans was limited to 500. The Council was composed of all the town fathers and warriors.
War was the never-ending occupation of the Indians. The various tribes were constantly fighting over territory, hunting grounds, fertile fields, and springs. Usually attacks were by comparatively small bands at night or from ambush; and the slain in the battle were always scalped, since a warrior's reputation for valor depended on the number of scalps he took. Captives were often tortured, sometimes burned at the stake. The Indians were proud and stoical in endurance of hardships and suffering in war.
Georgia Indians were great hunters. The chief occupation of the men besides fighting was hunting and fishing. An abundance of game prevailed along the rivers and creeks of interior Georgia; the deer, the red fox, the grinning opossum, wild turkey, squirrels, duck, and many varieties of birds; and the beaver built his dam, and the streams teemed with fish. Particularly was the Ocmulgee swamp a huntsman's paradise. Many years of the white man's guns have not yet succeeded in entirely destroying the wild life of ihat region.
The lands, especially along the streams, were fertile; and even as early as DeSoto's visit Georgia Indians were to some extent agriculturists. The most of the work was done by the women. They cultivated corn or maise in small patches, also beans, pumpkins, and tobacco, universally used.
The Indians, before the coming of the whites, had developed skill in making arrow-heads, spear-heads, stone hammers, mortar for grinding corn, and various other utensils. They were adepts in making pottery—urns, jars, bowls, and pipes. They had great skill in dressing skins, basketry, spinning and weaving. Their industrial arts were checked by the coming of the white man, who supplied them with these things in exchange for their dressed skins—the furs which Europeans valued so highly.
Both the Creeks and the Cherokees, in an early period, interred their dead in mounds, but not colossal ones. R. P. Brooks says that the Creeks of a later period buried their dead in a pit under the cabin of the deceased. The body was placed in a sitting position, and gun, tomahawk, and pipe were deposited with the corpse, with sometimes even food. None of the Southern Indians were idol worshipers. They worshiped a Great Spirit, and the Sun as a manifestation of that Spirit. In fact, their religion was animism—a spirit-infested world, with evil spirits to be appeased by incantations and the charmings of the medicine man. They believed in the soul's immortality and a future life. To them, paradise was a happy hunting ground.
The fact that America was inhabited by the Indians was an inducement to Europeans to come over, rather than an obstruction. Here were heathens to be converted, money to be made in trade, and. they fondly believed, gold to be found, for the Indians had gold trinkets.
Undoubtedly the Spaniards were the first white men to appear on Georgia soil. There is no proof that Ponce de Leon, who discovered Florida for Spain in 1512, came as far north as Georgia, though the Spaniards wrote "Florida" across the whole southeastern region of North America. Twenty-eight years later, Hernando DeSoto..Spanish nobleman, led an expedition of some 600 well-armed men through Florida, crossing a river identified as the Ochlochnee on to Georgia soil, March 7, 1540. Chas. C. Jones, in his History of Georgia, and Jas. Moony, in his Myths of Cherokees, have both worked out itineraries of DeSoto's wanderings through Georgia from accounts of Ranjel, secretary of the expedition, and the Portuguese "Gentleman of Elvas." Coulter, in his History of Georgia, calls this itinerary tracing "an engaging guessing contest."
Both Knight and Evans follow Jones, and the route traced is most interesting. March 21, 1540. the Spaniards came to the Indian town Toalli, probably in Irwin County, at some point south of the Ocmulgee River. There they remained three days, also visiting the village of Achese, probably near the present Abbeville. Albert Gallatin, in a synopsis of Indian tribes, says Achese is the Muskogcan word for Ocmulgee. Most of the natives fled. A friendly chief informed DeSoto that further on to the north a powerful chief reigned over a country called Ocute. So on April 1 DeSoto resumed his march, skirting the edges of a river whose shores were thickly inhabited; and, crossing that river—the Ocmulgee—probably at Abbeville, or at Hawkinsville, certainly passed through portions of the future Pulaski County.
On the tenth day Ocute was reached, and Jones places it in Laurens County, the principal town near Dublin. Swanton, in his early history of the Creek Indians, identifies the site of Macon as Ocute, and some Macon antiquarians uphold this claim. As the Spaniards approached the town, 2,000 Indians came to meet them, bearing gifts of wild game—turkeys, partridges, squirrels. After resting and feasting for a few days they departed, marching on through the towns of Cofagui, which Victor Davidson thinks was Oconee Town, and Palofa. Everywhere the natives were friendly; but the Spaniards requited their generosity with despoliation. They forced the men to serve as beasts of burden, mistreated the women, and took supplies of all kinds, particularly all gold, jewels and ornaments, even robbing temples and the tombs of the dead.
DeSoto did not remain long on Georgia soil, failing to find gold in any quantities. By July 1, after visiting towns further north, probably as far as Augusta, he left for the West where, after discovering the great Mississippi, "Father of Waters," he died, May, 1542, and his body was lowered into the waters of that river. Forty gaunt survivors of his once proud army at last reached Mexico, September, 1543, after untold hardships.
Meanwhile, French Huguenots had founded a colony on St. John's River, at Fort Caroline, and Spain determined to lay strong hold on the entire Southeastern country, and root out the French "heretics." So Mcnendez founded St. Augustine in 1565, and from that fortified position Spaniards worked up along the coast with their twin method—the presidio and the mission. Spanish priests had at one time a mission among the Indians south of the junction of the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers. In 1602, the missionary Pareja mentioned them as the Oconee tribe. In 1608, Ibarra. Governor of Florida, again mentioned them in a dispatch. No further record is found of the Oconees until 1695. In that year seven Spaniards led 400 Indian allies into this section to avenge depredations of the Oconees into their lands. Among the towns captured was Oconee Town. The Oconees had an undying hatred of the Spaniards, as the Iroquois of New York had for the French; and the invasion of 1695 intensified this enmity. It is possible that this hatred of the Oconees and their allies prevented Spain from getting a strong foothold in interior Georgia, and that this was a factor in the ultimate possession of the territory by England, and not Spain. They were a remarkable tribe. Their loyalty to their allies was quite as strong as their hostility to enemies. The English from their settlements in Carolina maintained friendships with these Oconees.
The Oconee chief, Oueekachumpa, or "Long King," was present at the council called by General Oglethorpe at Savannah in 1733. He was succeeded by SecofFee (Cow-keeper), who continued the friendship with the English settlers. The records disclose that he spent much time in fighting the Spaniards, moving even into Florida for that purpose. His nephew, Payne, was given a silver crown by the British for his service during the Revolution. The Oconees moved permanently from south-central Georgia into Florida, be-coming a nucleus of the Seminole nation.
The first permanent colony in the New World was not planted until 1607, at Jamestown, Virginia, and it was half a century later before England showed interest in the lands further south. In 1663, Charles II of England, granted the entire region to eight noblemen of his court, entirely ignoring Spanish claims and actual settlements.
England and Spain then began their long contest for the territory of the Southeast, especially that lying between Charlestown and St. Augustine, which was never settled until the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French and Indian war in 1763. France also had claims to the territory extending eastward from New Orleans and other posts on the Mississippi. It was not only the possession of the land, but the rich trade in furs with the Indians, which was coveted by the nations.
It was in 1733 that General Oglethorpe and his philanthropic trustees founded the British colony of Georgia, as a place where honest debtors could get a new start in life. Certainly the imperialistic motive was present in the minds of George IPs court. A permanent English settlement in this disputed region would be the most powerful factor in securing that territory for England. Oglethorpe secured the lands for his settlers from the Indians in definite grants.
In 1738 a group of Creeks came to Savannah, swearing their allegiance to the English, and promising 1,000 warriors if needed against the Spanish. They informed General Oglethorpe that both Spanish and French agents had been busy among their people fomenting resentment and enmity against the English. A great gathering of Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Cherokees, and others, was to be held, they said, at Coweta Town, on the Chattahoochee, the next year, and they invited Oglethorpe to be present. The Creek confederacy was most important, affording a real buffer state between the English settlements in Georgia and Carolina, the Spanish in Florida, and the French in Louisiana.
So, to cement English friendship with the Indians, and to gain their aid in the fast-approaching crisis with Spain, Oglethorpe undertook the long trip, 200 miles into the interior. He set out, accompanied by Lieutenant Dunbar, Ensign Lemon, and Cadet Eyre, taking gifts worth some 200 pounds for distribution among the Indians. At Uchee Town, 25 miles above Ebenezer, Indian traders and guides met him. So he set out on horseback, with no military pomp or army, and with pack horses bearing the gifts for the Indians, carrying only a few personal needs. So began the long ride of more than 200 miles through the trackless forests and across unbridged streams. His diary states that for much of the distance the party encountered no human being and no habitation of man. They were exposed to the summer sun, and the fogs and dews of night. Historians cannot with any exactitude trace his route, but a course taken steadily westward from a point some twenty miles above Ebenezer across Georgia to Coweta Town would undoubtedly cross the Ocmulgee at one of the three fording places known and used by the Indians at Macon, Hawkinsville, or Abbeville, with the central one, Hawkinsville, the more reasonable.
Then his diary records that forty miles from Coweta the Indians met him with much-needed provisions and showed great delight in his coming. This meeting probably occurred at the Flint River in Macon County. At the Coweta Town council there were assembled to meet General Oglethorpe representatives of King George II of England, the chief men and warriors of the confederated tribes: Chickeley Nenia, Chief King of Coweta Town, Malatche, Mico, son of Brim, late Emperor of the Creek nation; Hewanange Thalukeo, chief man of the Ocmulgees, the king of the Oconees, and others, all accompanied by bands of their warriors.
General Oglethorpe explained away their grievances against dishonest English traders, made new treaties of alliance cementing the friendship of the Indians for the English, and induced them to extend the boundary of cessions from the Altamaha to the St. John's River. He then smoked with them the calumet, hallowed pipe of peace, drank with them their black Foskey, and was initiated into many of their ceremonials.
Having thus thwarted the plots of Spanish and French spies, and prevented certainly many Indian raids and massacres, he returned by way of Augusta, having some conferences with the Cherokees en route. The English retained the loyalty of Creeks and their allies throughout the entire colonial period.
Indian traders of the early colonial period in Georgia were important factors in English expansion into the interior, and in English relations with the Red Men. In the summer of 1685. Dr. Henry Woodward, from Carolina, made his way as the accredited proprietary explorer to the court of Coweta. Both at Coweta, the Lower Creeks' war town, and Kashita. their "peace town," English traders were cordially welcomed. In fact, the Lower Creeks migrated eastward toward the Ocmulgee in order to he nearer the source of English trade. After 1690 and prior to 1715, the first objective of Southern Indian traders was the Ocmulgee River, especially above Tobesofkee (reck. Along the river were located ten or eleven towns, about ten miles apart, and connected by trails or paths. Chiaha has been located near where Hartford now stands, and was a favorite fording place. Tamali and Hitchiti were lower down on the river.
There was great international rivalry over the Indian trade. Indeed, practically a state of war existed in the Georgia wilderness, the Spaniards using every means to expel the Carolina traders. During Queen Anne's War, 1701-1713, there was much fighting. Spaniards and their Indian allies undertook an expedition to destroy the Carolina settlements, and were driven back by the English with the aid of their Creek allies. A Carolina force drove the Spaniards from their St. Mary's fort, and later, under Governor Moore, burned St. Augustine. In another expedition, 1704, Governor Moore, with a small force of Carolinians and some 1,000 Indian allies, marched down through Georgia to defeat the Spanish near Tallahassee. This route is problematical. After destroying a dozen Spanish missions and posts, as well as villages of hostile Indians, he returned to Carolina. The Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the European War, did not settle the territorial problems and claims in Southeast America.
The lands south of Savannah were desirable for the expanding ntations, but at first more desirable for the lucrative trade with the Creeks in furs. By 1716, Savannah Town, or Fort Moore, was established on the site of the present city of Augusta. An agent, Capt. Theophilus Hastings, was placed in charge, and special licenses were required to engage in Indian trade. Then, upon the establishment of the Georgia colony in 1733, new posts were set up to control the trade in Georgia, and traders became more numerous, penetrating into the interior, to the towns of the Creek nation.
Among the traders of the colonial period were George Galphin, "high trader in the confidence of both colonists and savages." whose daughter later married John Milledge, Governor of Georgia in 1802. Galphin's post, in 1761, as principal agent for Indian affairs, was at Coweta Town, on the Chattahoochee. Then there was the canny Scot, John Mcintosh, whose son, William, was later famous in the time of treaties making cessions of Creek lands in Western Georgia. Lachlan McGillivray, Scotchman, became immensely rich as a trader and was powerful as a trusted interpreter and principal temporary agent for Indian affairs south of the Ohio. His settlement was on the Flint River in Macon County.
Many of the traders married into the Indian tribes, usually marrying the daughters of chiefs, and reared halfbreed families. These alliances pleased the Indians, and the sons were acclaimed chiefs of the tribes of their mothers, since the Indians were metronymic and descent was traced through the mothers. Conspicuous among these halfbreed Indian chiefs were: Alexander McGillivray, Indian leader, and at the same time British Colonel, Spanish Colonel, and later United States Brigadier—an example of his clever dealings.
Having received a commission from the British Government as Colonel, it became his duty to keep the Creek Indian warriors on the warpath against the Georgia settlements. How well he succeeded is told in the history of Georgia's bloody days during ihe Revolution.
Lachlan McGillivray, father of Alexander, had fled the state, and his enormous holdings were promptly seized. Seeing the wealth of his father which he hoped some day to inherit swept into the hands of the Georgians, McGillivray gave himself up to that hate for Georgia of which the Indian nature is so capable.
His English allies were no longer in reach, but there was Spain in Florida and Louisiana. Coing to Pensacola, he entered into a treaty granting to the Spaniards the trade of the Creek nation and forming an alliance through which Spain agreed to aid the Creeks with arms and ammunition and to give McGillivray a commission as Colonel in the Spanish army.
In a short time McGillivray was enabled to turn warriors against the Georgia settlements on the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers. His repeated demands as his price for peace were that the Georgians retire from the lands to lines formerly occupied by the British.
So helpless was Georgia that massacres occurred in the very shadows of her forts. The war grew worse and the Federal authorities sent James White as commissioner to make a treaty with the Indians. He met with many of the chiefs, but McGillivray was in complete control of this meeting, and instead of peace arrangements being made, the former treaties were repudiated in most emphatic terms, the Indians threatening immediate war unless the Georgians retire. War followed.
The power and influence of McGillivray over the Creeks waxed stronger and stronger. No man knew how to play upon the Indian prejudices better than he. It was well for this section along the Oconee that he was a chieftain better skilled in diplomacy than in leadership in battle. Otherwise history might have told a different story.
McGillivray s dreams began to expand and he was now planning a far greater Indian confederacy than that of the Creeks, with himself at the head.
While the Indian massacres were at their height, McGillivray played another stroke of diplomacy in having Spain to file protests to the American government over the alleged mistreatment of the Creeks by the Georgians. This at one lime threatened to lead to war between the United Slates and Spain.
But a new movement was on foot. McGillivray, master diplomat that he was, kept his ear to the ground. Foreseeing the growing strength of the American Republic, and knowing the weakness of the Spanish colonies, he recognized the fact that it would be io his advantage to become allied with the Americans.
In the meantime, all efforts to abate the fury of the Creeks proved unavailing. McGillivray, in a very diplomatic letter to Governor Pinckney listing the grievances of the Indians in a very convincing manner, assured him that all efforts were being made to have the truce kept.
However, hostilities broke out anew, and new Federal commissioners, Osborne and Pickens, were dispatched to the Creeks with a new invitation for a treaty. McGillivray refused to meet, but agreed to a truce until September 15th, when another meeting would be held.
The new commissioners arrived in the afternoon of the 20th, and at once sent a note to McGillivray with their respectful compliments. McGillivray waited until the next day to acknowledge this, and then replied in the courteous manner for which he was so well noted. He sent three of his most prominent chiefs to welcome the commissioners and assure them of their earnest desire for peace.
From the very beginning there was always evident the masterful tactics of the great Indian chieftain in putting the commissioners on the defensive. He frankly admitted his alliance with Spain, slating that it had been of great benefit to the Creeks, but he adroitly insinuated his willingness to renounce his allegiance to Spain if something better should be offered.
In drafting the proposed treaty which followed, the commissioners fell into McGillivray's trap. He had skilfully created a feeling that all their demands would be accepted by the Indians.
When the treaty had been drawn up, McGillivray suggested that the commissioners meet at the Indian camp. The draft of the treaty was left with the Indians for their action, the commissioners believing their mission fully accomplished.
McGillivray was now absolutely master of the situation, and the treaty was promptly rejected. The chief, declaring that the Indians were dissatisfied with the terms, suggested that a truce be maintained and also that presents be supplied to the Indians. This was refused.
The commissioners answered with a letter in the form of a threat, to which McGillivray replied courteously: "We sincerely desire a peace but we cannot sacrifice much to obtain it."
This master in the art of diplomacy had now achieved his ends. He had shown America how necessary it was to have his allegiance. Likewise, he was causing much apprehension among the Spaniards at the prospect of losing his allegiance. At the same time he had averted all prospects of a war against the Creeks.
President Washington, however, had already decided that war would be too costly, and determined to buy McGillivray. The Creek chief was invited to visit him. The result was the treaty of New York, which gave the chief a commission as Brigadier General and other emoluments, and the return to the Creeks of the Tallahassee country, the claim to the Oconee lands to be relinquished by the Indians. McGillivray made a most excellent bargain for the Creeks, and especially for himself.
But criticism of this treaty and of the chief himself began to break out among the Creeks. McGillivray had never presented the treaty to the Creeks for their ratification.
Rallying to Bowles, who haled both Spain and the English companies even more than Georgia, and who was absolutely fearless and a born leader—a leader after the Indians' own heart—the Indians deserted McGillivray. The treaty of New York had proved his Waterloo.
McGillivray, no longer able to wield his authority over his people, was forced to see the powerful Creek nation slip back into confusion and split into factions and himself to lose utterly the confidence of the American authorities as well as of the Spanish. Small wonder that this once powerful monarch should slip away and spend the few remaining months of life in seclusion at Pensacola. Florida, dying in February, 1793.
William Mcintosh was chief of the Coweta. His nephew, George Troup, later became Governor of Georgia, at the height of the struggle to remove the Indians from Georgia soil. Noble Kennard, cousin of Mcintosh, aided in the development of the first mission school organized by William Capers of South Carolina, Methodist missionary to the Creeks. When Andrew Jackson led his famous expedition through Georgia and on into Florida, 1818-19, against the Seminoles, Mcintosh commanded the right wing of his army, and Kennard the left. Timpoochee Barnard, son of Timothy, was an interpreter, signed many treaties, became a Major in the United States army, and a hero of the Battle of Challibee, in the War of 1812. His mother was of the Uchees, and his father was adopted as a member of that tribe. Barnard's settlement on the Flint River near the present Oglethorpe was an important center for trade, and for control of the Indians, for over forty years.
When Benjamin Hawkins, Princeton graduate and United States Senator from North Carolina, was appointed "principal agent for Indian affairs south of the Ohio*' by President Washington in 1796, one of his first moves was to visit Timothy Barnard, from whom he learned much about the tribal holdings, customs, and language of the Indians. He found Barnard living in feudal abundance with his Indian wife, eleven children, and several slaves. He cultivated much land, owned a herd of cattle and many horses. The grandson of an English baronet, there were books and papers in his home, where he dispensed profuse hospitality. Barnard became Hawkins' chief counsellor and agent, as well as interpreter, for which he received a salary of $700.00 a year. He acted as interpreter at the signing of the famous treaty of Colerain, June 29, 1796, when the boundaries of the Creek nation were established. Hawkins once wrote concerning Barnard: "The while and red men are much indebted to his constant, persevering and honest exertions to do justice to all."
Barnard blazed a trail from the Uchee Town in Alabama, passing Coweta Town paralleling for twenty miles the ancient Horse Path, and running through Muskogee, Chattahoochee, Marion and Schley Counties into Macon County, to his store on the Flint. There the path forked, one branch crossing Flint Kiver at Barnard's crossing, later called Traveler's Rest, and following the old River Road along the banks of the Flint, through Old Drayton in Dooly County, through Crisp and a southern corner of Turner County, through northern Dougherty, crossing Ocmulgee Town Path and turning east, thence southeastward to the St. Mary's River, and the towns there. It was a main thoroughfare from the Chattahoochee to the ocean.
Another trail called "Old Slosheye Trail" led from Hartford on the Ocmulgee to Drayton, and connected there with Barnard's path. These were the first established trails in South Georgia, and contributed much toward its development. They were the links between Indian villages and English settlements, and with the Spanish settlements to the south. The Indians used them constantly and white pioneers traveled them to take up new lands.
Benjamin Hawkins, though he treated with other tribes, did his greatest work among the Creeks. He established his headquarters at the Old Agency on the Flint, about twenty miles up the river from Barnard's settlement. There he operated a great plantation, owning many negro slaves and a great herd of cattle, milking some 500 cows. He entertained with lavish hospitalily all white visitors, and kept open house to the Indians, who often came in whole tribes.
Hawkins was most influential in securing important cessions of lands to Georgia from the Indians. Although in 1732 King George II had so generously granted vast lands south of Carolina, and extending "to-the South (Pacific) Sea," actually the territory was inhabited by the Indians, whose first official cession to Oglethorpe in 1733 was of a very small area around Savannah. After the conference of 1739 at Coweta there was not another cession until 1763, when lands to the Ogeechee and Altamaha were secured. In all, thirteen different grants were made by the Indians, covering a period from 1733 to 1835, before all the territory of Georgia was actually free of Indian holdings.
The land now embraced within the limits of Pulaski County was a part of the capital of the Creek confederacy, Ocmulgee Old Fields, which probably extended from a point opposite Macon at least as far as Hartford. In 1802 Georgia had ceded to the United States her claims to public domain west of the Chattahoochee, and by the terms of that treaty the United States Government promised to remove the Indians from the State of Georgia as fast as it could be done "peaceably and on reasonable terms." So a definite cession was made November i. 1804, at the Creek agency on the Flint by the chief men of the Creek nation, treating with Benjamin Hawkins. The grant embraced the territory on the east of the Ocmulgee River. The treaty was signed at Washington, December, 1805 and ratified in June, 1806. A number of chiefs had gone to Washington to represent the Creeks, and Henry Dearborn, Secretary of War, signed for the United States in the presence of President Jefferson. The Creeks also then agreed to allow "the navigation and fishery of the Ocmulgee . . . free to the white people, provided they use no traps for taking fish." A horse path was also to be kept open through the Creek country, and travelers were to be given safe passage. In consideration of these things, the United States agreed to pay to them annually for eight years, $12,000.00, and smaller amounts for succeeding years.
As the State of Georgia became possessed of new lands new counties were rapidly surveyed, and a new land policy was adopted "to plant men the faster" on the soil, as Governor Troup declared. The land lottery system divided the land into parcels of 202 1/2 acres, and these tracts were offered to the public in the form of a lottery, in which each citizen had one chance; the head of a family, two.
The progress of settling the State westward was marked by a series of Indian cessions, territory thus secured being immediately laid out into counties. From 1800 to 1809 fourteen new counties were erected; from 1809 to 1819, nine counties; 1820 to 1829. twenty-nine counties. Pulaski County was laid out from Laurens County in 1808, on the east side of the Ocmulgee River, with a length of 32 miles, width of 17, and an area of 544 square miles. Laurens County had been laid out in 1807. the lands included being part of the Creek cession of 1804-05. In 1826 a part of Dooly County was added. The lands of Pulaski County, lying west of the Ocmulgee, were ceded to the whites by the Indian Springs treaty of January 8, 1821. It required three later treaties: the Indian Springs treaty of February 12, 1825, which William Mcintosh signed; the Washington treaty, January 24, 1826; and the treaty signed at the Creek agency, November 15, 1827, before all Creek lands in Georgia became the property of the State. Then the Creeks unwillingly and sadly migrated to reservations west of the Mississippi leaving Georgia to develop her great State, forever free of the Indians, first inhabitants of her fertile lands.
When Pulaski was first laid out, in 1808. the General Assembly divided Laurens by a north and south line, running midway between the Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers, and the western part became Pulaski County, named for that gallant Polish count who gave his life in the cause of American independence. At that time Wilkinson, embracing what is now Twiggs, extending westward to the Ocmulgee, was the northern boundary; and Telfair, whose limits extended a little north of the present site of Eastman, was the southern. For years all of Pulaski lay on the east side of the river. On the west side, the Indians still lived, and trade was brisk with them.
When Houston and Dooly Counties were created in 1821, Houston extended easterly its entire length to the river, and as far south as the land on which Hawkinsville was afterwards located. "The King-dom of Dooly," as it was called, extended almost into Hawkinsville. It was not until 1826 that the upper part of Dooly was added to Pulaski. Then in 1828 the General Assembly gave to Pulaski a portion of Houston.
Pulaski County thus became a large county; but in 1857 Wilcox was created, and took considerable territory to the south. Then, when in 1870 Dodge was made, Pulaski gave up another generous slice of her lands. In 1912, after a hard fight, the remaining terri-tory was divided almost in half, and out of the eastern portion Bleckley County was created.
So, the borders of Pulaski County have undergone numerous changes since its formation; at present about two-thirds of the county lies on the west side of the river which originally marked its western boundary.
Among the original settlers of Pulaski County, according to White, were: Joseph Reeves, Edmund Hogan, S. Golson, George Walker, William Hawthorn. J. W. Taylor, E. Blackshew, and Mark Mason.
Among the early settlers were: Jeremiah Coney, James 0. Jelks, Robert A. Ragan. Alexander Ragan, Colonel Charles T. Lathrop, Curtis Joiner, Robert Anderson, his son, Capt. R. W. Anderson, Thomas McGriff, his son, P. T. McGriff, Mathias McCormick, James L. Walker, J. Kitchens, Hardy Powers, and I. Pipkin.
Between the date of laying out the county and the Confederate War, the Blackshears. the Jordans, the Ryans. the Snells, the Phillips, the Brockwells the Walkers, the Taylors, the Reeves, the McGriffs, the Coleys, and others, had opened up plantations between the river and Allentown, and Longstreet was the name of a prosperous section where a class of large planters lived. Further down, on the same side of the river, the Dykes, Booths, Mullis's, Hollands, Pursers and the Grahams had opened up lands, and near the river on the east side the Harrells, Lumpkins, Bohannons, Mitchells, Carruthers Gilstraps, Gatlins and McGehees. Around Hartford had settled the Bembrys, Lancasters, Tooks, Buchans, DeLamars, and Claytons. A little later than these, who were among our first white residents, there were on the west side of the river, the Mayos. Rawls, Pickets, Jelks, Newmans, Colliers, Polhills. McCormicks, Loves, Andersons, and St. Georges, who had their plantations on the west and north of Hawkinsville, while to the south of Hawkinsville there came the Duprees, Whitfields, Fulghums, Fountains, Hendleys, Coneys, Dennards, Bozemans, McLeods, Dormineys, Reynolds, Finleysons, Lampkins, Andersons, and Browns and others, who made permanent settlements and acquired large holdings.
Quite a number of descendants of these, the pioneers of Pulaski County, are leading and influential citizens today.
Source: History of Pulaski County, Georgia : official history. Atlanta, Ga.: Press of W.W. Brown Pub. Co., c1935.