WILLIAM MCINTOSH CREEK INDIAN (MUSKOGEAN)


Charles Bird King’s portrait of William McIntosh

To begin at the beginning we find Captain John McIntosh who came from Badenock Scotland in 1736. John arrived at a town in Georgia called New Inverness, now known as Darien, Georgia.

John was the son of Benjamin McIntosh, who was the son of William McIntosh, famous for his part in the 1715 Jacobite uprising in Scotland. Capt. John McIntosh married Catharine MacGillivray, from this union came a son William McIntosh who became a Tory captain in the British service during the War of Revolution in the colonies. Captain William McIntosh lived among the Creek native peoples. While living with the Creeks Captain McIntosh married two Creek women. One was called Senoya (also spelled SENOIA) This Creek woman was the mother of William McIntosh Jr. who was to become a chief of the lower Creek peoples.

Born about 1775 at Coweta on the Georgia frontier on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River. As was the custom of many native people young William was raised by his mother and her eldest brother. His father Capt. McIntosh was left out completely and left his son and returned to the Georgia coast where he remarried.

The young William was schooled in the ways of the Creek peoples by his mother and uncles. At some point in time the young William taught himself to read and write English. He spoke fluent English and spent time in Savannah, Georgia where he felt at ease with both Creek and white societies. William McIntosh was known as Tustunnuggee Hutker (White Warrior). During the war of 1812 the Creek Nation split, the upper Creeks supported the British, the lower Creeks supported the United States from 1813 to 1814. This split led to the Creek Indian wars.

During this conflict William McIntosh led the lower Creeks against their upper Creek brothers and was with Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. For his service in the victory at this battle he was commissioned a brigadier general in the U.S. Army. He was deeply respected by the lower Creek peoples. In the surviving upper creek towns his esteem was less than sterling. Chief McIntosh also fought on the side of the U.S. in the first Seminole war. It has been said that during the war he played a major role in the capture of Fort Gadsden on the lower Apalachicola.

In the years following his battles on the side of the United States Chief McIntosh made many land cessions by signing treaties in 1814-1818 and 1821. All of these giving away Creek land – for signing the Treaty in 1821 McIntosh got 1,000 acres of land at Indian Springs, GA. He also received another 640 acres on the Ocmulgee River. McIntosh signed all these treaties despite the Creek law stating anyone who sold or gave away Creek land would be killed.

On February 12, 1825 six Creek chiefs plus Chief McIntosh signed the Treaty of Indian Springs. This gave away all Creek lands in Georgia and a large tract in Alabama. This would also move the Creek peoples west. This was done for a payment of $400,000.00 of which the McIntosh party would receive $200,000.00 plus Chief McIntosh would be paid $25,000.00 for his land at Indian Springs. After this the Creek met and sanctioned McIntosh’s execution.

An old enemy named Menawa who had survived the defeat at Horseshoe Bend led 170 warriors on May 31, 1825 to McIntosh’s home which they burned to the ground. They killed Chief McIntosh and two other people who had signed the treaty. Thus ended the story of the Scottish-Creek Indian, William McIntosh Jr.


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