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People of the Creek War

Soldiers who fought the War of 1812 and the Creek War

Benjamin Hawkins Benjamin Hawkins

 

Benjamin Hawkins had been a prosperous landowner and state senator from North Carolina before accepting the job as Agent to the Creeks. When he agreed to be the Principal Agent for all four southern nations of Indians in 1796, he brought his slaves with him from North Carolina to the Agency through which the Federal Road soon passed. The current city of Macon, Georgia grew up where suttlers stores once stood. They cleared and fenced the rich fields and planted orchards as examples to the Indians of what could be planted and grown. Hawkins even had a cotton gin, a wonderful invention that automated separating the cottonseed from the cotton fiber that had only been invented about ten years ago there at the Agency. One of Hawkins’ favorite projects was teaching Indian women to spin their own cloth out of the cotton they grew, thereby decreasing their dependence on credit at the factory, the government operated trading post. This gave women something they could trade, rather than being totally reliant upon the skins their men provided. 

Judge Harry Toulmin Harry Toulmin

Judge Toulmin was nearly fifty at the time of the Creek War but all the responsibilities and cares of his job had him looking much older. His white hair curled over his stiffly starched white collar escaping the leather strip with which it was tied. Toulmin prided himself on the precision of language and his speech was accentuated by a clipped British accent which some took as British arrogance. Yet his blue eyes shone kindly above a sharply pointed nose and his demeanor bespoke humility. Judge Toulmin was highly regarded both for his wisdom and his humanity. He was a Unitarian minister who had left England to escape persecution for his beliefs and was recommended by his father’s colleague, fellow Unitarian, Joseph Priestly, to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They assisted him in acquiring a position at Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky. He became Secretary of State for the state of Kentucky and compiled the laws for that state. Thomas Jefferson then appointed him judge of the Federal Court for the Mississippi Territory. Toulmin and Benjamin Hawkins were good friends.

Editors note: Judge Toulmin's descendants incluude my Delta Delta Delta sorority sister, Rondi Bates Turner, whose family has remained in the area and influenced the development of Mobile, Alabama.

George Strother Gaines George Strother Gaines

Encyclopedia of Alabama: Note: Younger brother of Edmund Pendleton Gaines

In 1804, Gaines was appointed by the federal government as assistant trader (known then as factor) with the Choctaw Trading House at St. Stephens, Mississippi Territory, in present-day Washington County, Alabama. Federal trading houses, or factories, were expected to provide quality goods at fair prices to local Indians and aid the federal government's efforts to encourage their Indian customers to adopt European American culture. When his new employer, Joseph Chambers, resigned as factor in 1806, Gaines replaced him and established a solid reputation with the tribes, particularly the Choctaws, as well as the settlers along the lower Tombigbee and Tensaw rivers.

He played a prominent role in defending the Mississippi Territory as settlers and Native Americans began to clash over land. Gaines convinced the Choctaws and Chickasaws to help defend the lower Tombigbee and Tensaw settlements after the destruction of Fort Mims by a Creek faction known as the Redsticks in 1813. He actively promoted the Choctaw and Chickasaw alliances and outfitted Choctaw volunteers to fight against the Creeks during the Creek War of 1813-1814.

Edmund Pendleton Gaines Edmund Pendleton Gaines

Mississippi History and Encyclopedia of Alabama:

Married to Francis Toulmin. In 1812, at the outbreak of the War of 1812, Gaines re-enlisted as a major in the Eighth U.S. Infantry and then was promoted to lieutenant colonel and commander of the Twenty-fourth U.S. Infantry. Gaines served with distinction in many battles with British forces along the Canadian border. In 1813, he was promoted to colonel and placed in command of the Twenty-fifth U.S. Infantry and then was named adjutant general under general and future U.S. president William Henry Harrison. In March 1814, Gaines was promoted to brigadier general and took command of Fort Erie, near present-day Ontario, successfully defending it from an attack by 3,000 British troops in the Siege of Fort Erie on August 15, 1814. During the battle, a British shell exploded in Gaines's quarters and injured him badly.

Gaines returned to the southeastern frontier in 1816 and resumed his duties in keeping the peace, this time along the borders of Alabama, Georgia, and Spanish Florida. Gaines's headquarters were located at a stockade built under his direction in southern Georgia at a bend in the Chattahoochee River near the border with present-day Alabama. The soldiers named the post Fort Gaines in honor of their general, and it eventually grew into the town of Fort Gaines, Georgia. From 1816 until 1821, Gaines devoted much of his energy to arbitrating disputes arising from the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which was signed by General Andrew Jackson and Creek leaders in the aftermath of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Squatting by white settlers and the forced cession of 23 million acres of Creek land led to violent clashes along the borders between Alabama and Georgia and Georgia and Spanish Florida. It was often Gaines's responsibility to forcibly evict white squatters and Native Americans from lands to which they had restricted access. Gaines also often corresponded with the governor of Spanish Florida to negotiate the policies of the southeastern frontier region.

Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson  

James Madison

March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817

James Madison President of the United States during the War of 1812 which included the Creek Indian War
Davy Crocket Davy Crockett Served under General John Coffee and as a scout for Jackson during the Creek War
Pushmataha Pushmataha Pushmataha was a Choctaw chief who kept his people out of the Creek War remaining loyal to the Americans. He led his warriors against the Red Sticks at Holy Ground and Horseshoe Bend.
Sam Houston Sam Houston In 1814, Sam Houston was wounded by an arrow in the upper thigh during the Battle of Horseshoe Bend along the Tallapoosa River in Alabama. Maddened by the pain, Houston ordered a comrade at swordpoint to pull the arrow out. The ugly wound never completely healed, troubling Houston for the rest of his life. Texa State Library and Archives
William Weatherford William Weatherford William Weatherford walked confidently in two worlds, the world of his Scottish father, Charles Weatherford, and that of his mother, Sehoy III, a sister of Alexander McGillivray the accepted leader of the Creeks until his death in 1792. They were of the prominent Clan of the Wind. Weatherford and his father at Benjamin Hawkin's direction, captured William Augustus Bowles, adventurer and pirate, who aspired to be the Emperor of the Creek. Weatherford had a plantation and race track at Hickory Ground on the Alabama River. When the War broke out, Weatherford reluctantly chose to fight with the Red Sticks and led the attack at Fort Mims. He helped plan the defenses at Tahopeka also known as Horseshoe Bend.
Menawa Menawa

As war chief, Menawa of Okfuskee had gathered about 1,000 warriors and over 300 women and children inside the loop of the Tallapoosa River known as Horseshoe Bend. With the direction of William Weatherford, he built about 400 feet of breastworks to close the loop on the land side Menawa, forty-seven, was one of the wealthiest of all the Creeks. He was famous for his herds of cattle and horses and his large quantity of hogs. As a youth, he had conducted annual horse stealing forays into Tennessee that brought about his name Hothelepoya or Crazy Trouble Hunter. When he became war chief, he gained the name Menawa. Before the war broke out, he was operating a store and enjoying his prosperity at Okfuskee.

Josiah Francis Josiah Francis and Andrew Jackson Josiah Francis married Hannah Moniac who was William Weatherford's half sister and a cousin of Sapothlane Moniac who became the mother of Weatherford's son, William. Francis became a Red Stick prophet who survived the war. He went down into Florida along with a band of Peter McQueen's family. Francis was hung on the yardarm of a ship by Andrew Jackson during the First Seminole War. He and his wife Hannah went to London with Edward Nicholls, a British officer of the Corps of Colonial Marines with which Josiah Francis fought during the First Seminole War.
Tecumseh Tecumseh Tecumseh a Shawnee Indian from the area of the Great Lakes who saw his father and brother, who fought with Chief Cornstalk, killed by Americans who violated treaty after treaty and continued to overtake Shawnee land. His Indian name was Panther in the Sky because his mother saw a comet in the sky at his birth. Tecumseh's father was a descendant of James McQueen making Tecumseh a nephew of Peter McQueen. He was also related to Josiah Francis. Peter McQueen and Josiah Francis both became Red Stick prophets, taking the talk of Tenskatawa, Tecumseh's brother. Tecumseh spoke before the Creeks at Tukabatchee in October of 1811 and then returned to his home in Ohio where he said he would stomp his foot and a sign would be seen in the sky. A comet appeared in the sky. When an earthquake occurred and the Mississippi ran backwards many took this as a sign of the truth of Tecumseh's talk.