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visions. When I arrived at the nation who were at peace with the Otters, I staid with them till the cold was passed, that I might learn their language, which was common to most of the nations that lived beyond them.
“The cold was hardly gone, when I again embarked on the fine river, and in my course I met with several nations, with whom I generally staid but one night, till I arrived at the nation that is but one day's journey from the great water on the west. This nation live in the woods about the distance of a league from the river, from their apprehension of bearded men, who come upon their coasts in floating villages, and carry off their children to make slaves of them. These men were described to be white, with long black beards that came down to their breast; they were thick and short, had large heads, which were covered with cloth; they were always dressed, even in the greatest heats; their clothes fell down to the middle of their legs, which, with their feet, were covered with red or yellow stuff. Their arms made a great fire and a great noise ; and when they saw themselves out-numbered by red men, they retired on board their large pettiaugre, their number sometimes amounting to thirty, but
“Those strangers came from the sun-setting, in search of a yellow stinking wood, which dyes a fine yellow color; but the people of this nation, that they might not be tempted to visit them, had destroyed all those kind of trees. Two other nations in their neighborhood, however, having no other wood, could not destroy the trees, and were still visited by the strangers; and being greatly incommoded by them, had invited their allies to assist them in making an attack upon them, the next time they should return. The following summer I accordingly joined in this expedition, and, after travelling five long days' journey, we came to the place where the bearded men usually landed, where we waited seventeen days for their arrival. The red men, by my advice, placed themselves in ambuscade to surprise the strangers, and accordingly, when they landed to cut the wood, we were so successful as to kill eleven of them, the rest immediately escaping on board two large pettiaugres, and flying westward upon the great water.
“ Upon examining those whom we had killed, we found them much smaller than ourselves, and very white; they had a large head, and in the middle of the crown the hair was very long; their head was wrapt in a great many folds of stuff, and their clothes seemed to be made neither of wool nor silk; they were very soft, and of different colors. Two only, of the eleven who were slain, had fire-arms, with powder and ball. I tried their pieces, and found that they were much heavier than yours, and did not kill at so great a distance.
“ After this expedition, I thought of nothing but proceeding on my journey, and, with that design, I let the red men return home, and joined myself to those who inhabited more westward on the coast, with whom I travelled along the shore of the great water, which bends directly betwixt the north and the sun-setting. When I arrived at the villages of my fellow travellers, where I found the days very long, and the nights very short, I was advised by the old men to give over all thoughts of continuing my journey. They told me that the land extended still
a long way in a direction between the north and sun-setting, after which it ran directly west, and at length was cut by the great water from north to south. One of them added, that, when he was young, he knew a very old man who had seen that distant land before it was eat away by the great water, and that when the great water was low, many rocks still appeared in those parts. Finding it, therefore, impracticable to proceed much farther, on account of the severity of the climate, and the want of game, I returned by the same route by which I had set out; and, reducing my whole travels westward to days' journeys, I compute that they would have employed me 36 moons; but, on account of my frequent delays, it was five years before I returned to my relations among the Yazoos.'
Thus ends the narrative of the famous traveller Moncachtape. He soon after left Mons. Du Pratz, and returned to his own country. It would have been gratifying, could we have known more of the history of this very intelligent man. The same author brings also to our knowledge a chief called Grand-sun, chief of the Natchez. Although Sun was a commón name for all chiefs of that nation, this chief was particularly distinguished in the first war with the French, which exhibits the compass of our information concerning him, and which we purpose here to sketch.
He was brother to the great warrior, known to the French by the name of Stung-serpent, and like him was a friend to the whites, until the haughty, overbearing disposition of one man brought destruction and ruin on their whole colony: This affair took place in the year 1729. The residence of the Grand-sun was near the French post of Natchez, where he had a beautiful village called the White Apple. M. de Chopart had been reinstated in the command of the post, whence he was for a time removed by reason of misconduct, and his abominable injustice to the Indians became more conspicuous afterwards than before. To gratify his pride and avarice, he had projected the building of an elegant village, and none appeared to suit his purpose so well as the White Apple of the Grand-sun. He sent for the chief to his fort, and unhesitatingly told him that his village must be immediately given up to bim, for he had resolved to erect one a league square upon the same ground, and that he must remove elsewhere. The great chief stifled his surprise, and modestly replied, " that his ancestors had lived in that village for as many years as there were hairs in his double cue, and, therefore, it was good that they should continue there still.” When this was interpreted to the commandant, he showed himself in a rage, and threatened the chief, that, unless he moved from his village speedily, he would have cause of repentance. Grand-sun left the fort, and said he would assemble his counsellors, and hold a talk upon it.
In this council, which actually assembled, it was proposed to lay before the commandant their hard situation, if they should be obliged to abandon their corn, which then was just beginning to shoot from the ground, and many other articles on which they were to depend for subsistence. But, on urging these strong reasons, they met 'only with abuse, and a more peremptory order to remove immediately. This the Grand-sun reported to the council, and they saw all was lost, unless, by some stratagem, they should rid themselves of the tyrant Chopart, which was their final decisjon. The secret was confided to none but the old men. To gain time, an offer was to be made to the avaricious commandant, of tribute, in case he would permit then to remain on their land until their harvest. The offer was accepted, and the Indians set about maturing their plan with the greatest avidity. Bundles of sticks were sent to the suns of the neighboring tribes, and their import explained to them by the faithful messengers. Each bundle contained as many sticks as days which were to pass before the massacre of all the French in the Natchez. And that no mistake should arise in regard to the fixed day, every morning a stick was drawn from the bundle and broken in pieces, and the day of the last stick was that of the execution.
The security of the wicked, in the midst of their wickedness, and their deafness to repeated warnings, though a standing example before them upon the pages of all history, yet we know of but few instances where
they have profited by it. I need cite no examples; our pages are full of them.
The breast of women, whether civilized or uncivilized, cannot bear the thoughts of revenge and death to prey upon them for so great a length of time as men. And, as in the last case, I need not produce examples ; ou our pages will be found many.
A female sun having, by accident, understood the secret design of her people, partly out of resentment for their keeping it from her, and partly from her attachment to the French, resolved to make it known to them. But so fatally secure was the commandant, that he would not hearken to her messengers, and threatened others of his own people with chastisement, if they continued such intiinations. But the great council of so many suns, and other motions of their wise men, justly alarmed many, and their complaints to the commandant were urged, until seven of his own people were put in irons, to dispel their fears. And that he might the more vaunt himself upon their fears, he sent his interpreter to demand of the Grand-sun, whether he was about to fall upon the French with his warriors. To dissemible, in such a case, was only to be expected from the chief, and the interpreter reported to the commandant as he desired, which caused him to value himself upon his former contempt of his people's fears.
The 30th of November, 1729, at length came, and with it the massacre of near 700 people, being all the French of Natchez. Not a man escaped. It being upon the eve of St. Andrew's day, facilitated the execution of the horrid design. In such contempt was M. Chopart held, that the suns would allow no warrior to kill him, but one whom they considered a mean person. He was armed only with a wooden tomahawk, and with such a contemptible weapon, wielded by as contemptible a person, was M. Chopart pursued from his house into his garden, and there met his death.
The design of the Grand-sun and his allies was, to have followed up their success until all the French were driven out of Louisiana. But some tribes would not aid in it, and the governor of Louisiana, promptly seconded by the people of New Orleans, shortly after nearly annihilated the whole tribe of the Natchez. The Choctaws offered themselves, tó the number of 15 or 1600 men, and, in the following February, advanced into the country of the Natchez, and were shortly after joined by the French, and encamped near the old fort, then in possession of the Grand
Here flags passed between them, and terms of peace were agreed upon, which were very honorable to the Indians; but; in the following night, they decamped, taking all their prisoners and baggage, leaving nothing but the cannons of the fort and balls behind them. Some time now passed before the French could ascertain the retreat of the Natchez. At length, they learned that they had crossed the Mississippi, and settled upon the west side, near 180 miles above the mouth of Red River. Here they built a fort, and remained quietly until the next year.
The weakness of the colony caused the inhabitants to resign themselves into the hands of the king, who soon sent over a sufficient force, added to those still in the country, to humble the Natchez. They were accordingly invested in their fort, and, struck with consternation at the sudden approach of the French, seem to have lost their former prudence. They made a desperate sally upon the camp of the enemy, but were repulsed with great loss. They then attempted to gain time by negotiation, as they had the year before, but could not escape from the vigilance of the French officer; yet the attempt was made, and many were killed, very few escaped, and the greater number driven within their fort. Mortars were used by their enemies in this siege, and the third bomb, falling in
the centre of the fort, made great havoc, but still greater consternation Drowned by the cries of the women and children, Grand-sun caused the sign of capitulation to be given. Himself, with the rest of his company, were carried prisoners to New Orleans, and thrown into prison. An in. creasing infection caused the women and children to be tak out and employed as slaves on the king's plantations; among whom was the woman who had used every endeavor to notify the commandant, Chopart, of the intended massacre, and from whom the particulars of the affair were learned. Her name was Stung-arm. These slaves were shortly after embarked for St. Domingo, entirely to rid the country of the Natchez. * The men, it is probable, were all put to death.
Great-mortar, or Yah-yah-tustanage, was a very celebrated Muskogee chief, who, before the revolutionary war, was in the French interest, and received his supplies from their garrison at Alabama, which was not far distant from his place of abode, called Okchai. There was a time when he inclined to the English, and but for the very haughty and imprudent conduct of the superintendent of Indian affairs, among them, might have been reclaimed, and the dismal period of massacres which ensued averted. At a great council, appointed by the superintendent, for the object of regaining their favor, the pipe of peace, when passing around, was refused to Great-mortar, because he had favored the French. This, with much other ungenerous treatment, caused him ever after to hate the English name.
As the superintendent was making a speech, which doubtless contained severe and hard sayings against his red hearers, another chief, called the Tobacco-eater, sprung upon his feet, and darting his tomahawk at him, it fortunately missed him, but stuck in a plank just above his head. Yet he would have been immediately killed, but for the interposition of a friendly warrior. Had this first blow been effectual, every Englishman present would have been immediately put to death. Soon after, Greatmortar caused his people to fall upon the English traders, and they murdered ten. Fourteen of the inhabitants of Longcane, a settlement near Ninety-six,t next were his victims. He now received a commission from the French, and the better to enlist the Cherokees and others in his cause, removed with his family far into the heart of the country, upon a river, by which he could receive supplies from the fort at Alabama. Neither the French nor Great-mortar were deceived in the advantage of their newly-chosen position ; for young warriors joined him there in great numbers, and it was fast becoming a general rendezvous for all the Mississippi Indians. Fortunately, however, for the English, the Chickasaws in their interest plucked up this Bohon upas before its branches were yet extended. They fell upon the by surprise, killed the brother of Greatmortar, and completely destroyed the design. He fled, not to his native place, but to one from whence he could best annoy the English settlements, and commenced anew the work of death. Augusta, in Georgia, and many scattering settlements were destroyed. Those ravages were continued until their united forces were defeated by the Americans under Gen. Grant, in 1761, as we shall have occasion to notice in our progress.Ş The fate of Great-mortar, like many others, is hidden from us.
We have next to notice a chief, king, or emperor, as he was at different times entitled, whose omission, in a biographical work upon the Indians, would incur as much criminality, on the part of the biographer, as an omission of Buskongehelas, White-eyes, Pipe, or Ockonostota; yea, even Alexander M Gillivray, who was, perhaps, one of the most conspicuous, if not one of the greatest, chiefs that has ever borne that title among the Creeks; at least, since they have been known to the Europeans. He flourished during half of the last century, and such was the exalted opinion entertained of him by his countrymen, that they styled him “king of kings." His mother was his predecessor, and the governess of the nation, and he had several sisters, who married leading men. On the death of his mother, he came in chief sachem by the usages of his ancestors, but such was his disinterested patriotism, that he left it to the nation to say whether he should succeed to the sachemship. The people elected him “emperor.” He was at the head of the Creeks during the revolutionary war, and was in the British interest. After the peace, he became reconciled to the Americans, and expressed a desire to renounce his public life, and reside in the U. States, but was hindered by the earnest solicitations of his countryinen, to remain among them, and direct their affairs.
Wynne's Brit. Empire, ii. 283.
M Gillivray was a son of an Englishman of that name who married a Creek woman, and hence was a half Indian. He was born about 1739, and, at the age of ten, was sent by his father to school in Charleston, where he was in the care of Mr. Farquhar M Gillivray, who was a relation of his father. His tutor was a Mr. Sheed. He learned the Latin language under the tuition of Mr. William Henderson, afterwards somewhat eminent among the critics in London. When young M'Gillivray was 17, he was put into a counting-house in Savannah, but mercantile affairs had not so many charms as books, and he spent all the time he could get, in reading histories and other works of usefulness. After a short time, his father took him home, where his superior talents soon began to develop themselves, and his promotion followed, as we have shown. He was often styled general, which commission, it is said, he actually held under Charles III., king of Spain. This was, probably, before he was elected emperor.
“The times that tried men's souls” were his times, and the neighborhood of the Spanish, French and English gave him and his people troubles which ended only with their lives.
On the 23 July, 1790, Col. M'Gillivray, and 29 of his chiefs and warriors, visited New York, accompanied by Col. Marinus Willet. They were conducted to the residence of the secretary of war, Gen. Knox, who conducted them to the house of the president of the U. States, and introduced them to him. President Washington received them “in a very handsome manner, congratulated them on their safe arrival, and expressed a hope that the interview would prove beneficial both to the U. States and to the Creek nation.” They next visited the governor of the state, from whom they received a most cordial welcome. They then proceeded to the City Tavern, where they dined in company with Gen. Knox, and other officers of government. A correspondence between Gov. Telfair, of Georgia, and “ Alexander M'Gilvary, Esq." probably opened the way for a negotiation, which terminated in a settlement of difficulties. From the following extract from M' Gillivray's letter, a very just idea may be formed of the state of the affairs of his nation previous to his visit to New York. “In answer to yours, I have to observe, that, as a peace was not concluded on between us at the Rock-landing meeting, your demand for property taken by our warriors from off the disputed lands cannot be admitted. We, also, have had our losses, by captures made by your people. We are willing to conclude a peace with you, but you must not expect extraordinary concessions from us. In order to spare the further effusion of human blood, and to finally determine the war, I am willing to concede, in some measure, if you are disposed to treat on the ground of mutual con