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William McIntosh

William McIntosh

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{{For|the science fiction author|Will McIntosh}}

{{For|the science fiction author|Will McIntosh}}
{{For|those of a similar name|Wi
{{citations|date=September 2011}}
William McIntosh (1775 – April 30, 1825), also known as Taskanugi Hatke (White Warrior), was one of the most prominent chiefs of the Creek Nation between the turn of the nineteenth century and the time of Creek removal to Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

. While influential, he collaborated with the US Indian Agent
Indian agent
In United States history, an Indian agent was an individual authorized to interact with Native American tribes on behalf of the U.S. government.-Indian agents:*Leander Clark was agent for the Sac and Fox in Iowa beginning in 1866....

 Mitchell on defrauding the Creek of annuity
Annuity (US financial products)
In the United States an annuity contract is created when an insured party, usually an individual, pays a life insurance company a single premium that will later be distributed back to the insured party over time...

 monies, as well as smuggling African slaves into the territory from Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of Florida, which formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire. Originally extending over what is now the southeastern United States, but with no defined boundaries, la Florida was a component of...

. He and eight other chiefs signed the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs
Treaty of Indian Springs
There are two Treaties of Indian Springs with the Creek Indians. The first treaty was signed January 8, 1821. In it, the Lower Creek ceded land to the state of Georgia in return for cash payments totaling $200,000 over a period of 14 years...

, ceding all the Creek land to the United States. Such alienation of tribal communal lands was considered a capital crime. McIntosh and other chiefs, including one of his sons-in-law, were assassinated by Creek opponents in April 1825.

William McIntosh was of mixed Creek and European descent, chiefly Scots. As his mother was Creek, he was raised as a member of her clan within the Creek nation, which was matrilineal. Because of his mother's status, he inherited a leadership position within the tribe, where he became a chief, or miko. His father was Captain William McIntosh, part of the powerful McGillivray family of Savannah, and associated with the clans Chattan and McGillivray in Scotland. The son McIntosh became a wealthy planter
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 and slaveholder; he was influential in both Creek and European-American society. This pattern was similar to that of several of his high-ranking, mixed-race Creek relatives. For generations, Creek chiefs had approved their daughters' marriages to fur traders, to strengthen their alliances and trading power with the wealthy Europeans.

For decades, European-American historians attributed McIntosh's achievements and influence to his Scots/European ancestry; more recently, historians have understood how his power related to the Creek matrilineal culture and his heritage.

Early life and education


Taskanugi Hatke (White Warrior) was born to Senoya (also spelled Senoia and Senoy), a member of the Wind Clan, which was prominent in the Creek Nation. As the Creek had a matrilineal system of property and hereditary leadership, his mother's status determined that of White Warrior. Also called William McIntosh, the boy had a Scots-American father, Captain William McIntosh, connected to a prominent Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

 family.
Captain McIntosh had worked with the Creek Nation to recruit them as allies to the British during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. His mother was Jennet (or Janet in some sources) McGillivray, believed to have been a sister of the Scot Lachlan McGillivray
Lachlan McGillivray
Lachlan McGillivray was a prosperous fur trader and planter in colonial Georgia with interests that extended from Savannah to what is now central Alabama...

, a wealthy fur trader and planter in Georgia, who was of the Clan MacGillivray
Clan Macgillivray
Clan Macgillivray is a Scottish clan. The clan does not currently have a chief therefore it is considered an Armigerous clan.-Origins of the clan:...

 Chiefs Lineage).

White Warrior's mother and her line gave White Warrior status among the Creek, more significant than his paternal connection to the McGillivray clan. Raised as a Creek for much of his childhood, McIntosh had little contact with his father, who was a Loyalist
Loyalist
In general, a loyalist is someone who maintains loyalty to an established government, political party, or sovereign, especially during war or revolutionary change. In modern English usage, the most common application is to loyalty to the British Crown....

 in the American Revolution. White Eagle was born to his mother's clan, and in the Creek tradition, his maternal uncle was more important than the father in rearing him, teaching him Creek male ways and introducing him to mens' societies.

Through both his mother and father, McIntosh was related to numerous other influential Creek chiefs, many of whom at the time were of mixed race. They were descendants of strategic marriages between high-status Creek women and the mostly Scots fur traders in the area. Among them were Alexander McGillivray
Alexander McGillivray
Alexander McGillivray, also known as Hoboi-Hili-Miko , was a principal chief of the Upper Creek towns from 1782. Before that he had created an alliance between the Creek and the British during the American Revolution...

, the son of Sehoy, a Wind Clan mother, and Lachlan McGillivray
Lachlan McGillivray
Lachlan McGillivray was a prosperous fur trader and planter in colonial Georgia with interests that extended from Savannah to what is now central Alabama...

; and William Weatherford
William Weatherford
William Weatherford, also known as Lamochattee by the Creek , was a Creek chief of the Upper Towns who led the Red Sticks offensive in the Creek War against the United States...

 (better known in history as Red Eagle or Lamochatta), also born to the Wind Clan. Both became well established as Creek chiefs and wealthy planters.

Marriage and children


McIntosh married a Creek woman named Susanna Coe, and they had several children, including a son named Chilly. Two of their daughters married the brothers Samuel and Benjamin Hawkins. As a successful Creek man, he took a second wife, Peggy, who was Cherokee. His third wife lived on a plantation 50 miles away. She was Eliza Hawkins, the daughter of Stephen Hawkins..

Career


McIntosh improved a route from Talladega, Alabama to his ferry on the Chattahoochee River
Chattahoochee River
The Chattahoochee River flows through or along the borders of the U.S. states of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. It is a tributary of the Apalachicola River, a relatively short river formed by the confluence of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers and emptying into Apalachicola Bay in the Gulf of...

. Parts of it are still referred to as the McIntosh Road
McIntosh Road
The McIntosh Road is a historic route in northern Alabama and Georgia. The original McIntosh Road, also called, in Alabama, the “Georgia Road,” led from Talladega, Alabama northeasterly, then running along the south side of the Choccolocco Valley and crossing the ridge which contains Cheaha...

.

The Creek Nation struggled with internal tensions after the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 and the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. They were adapting some elements of European culture, as encouraged by the British and Americans. This included education in English; for some, adoption of Christianity; as well as forms of European dress and houses - to show they were equally "civilized". They expanded their farms and some of the elite purchased chattel African slaves to work their plantations. The Creek had allied with the British during both wars, hoping to end the incursions of colonists and later European-American settlers into their lands. They incurred the enmity of the United States. After the wars, European-American settlers were increasingly migrating to the interior of the Southeast from the coastal areas.

Letter to Madison


In 1817 McIntosh wrote to President Madison, telling him that the more influential Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 leaders of mixed blood wanted to swap their land with the US government, which had been pushing for American Indian removal west of the Mississippi River. He wrote that the "not so much civilized" full bloods feared that the mixed-bloods would swap all the Cherokee land, leaving them "without any land to walk on."{{Citation needed|date=May 2010}} The Creek feared that the powerful Cherokee might then take land from the Creek to regain territory in the Southeast, as they had before.

First Seminole War


Remnants of Creek, other American Indian tribes, and fugitive slaves had migrated to Spanish Florida. During the late 18th century, they formed a new tribe, known as the Seminole
Seminole
The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in...

. Georgia slaves had escaped and also taken refuge in Spanish-held Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, where the Crown offered them freedom and land.

The British turned over Fort Gadsden
Fort Gadsden
Fort Gadsden is located in Franklin County, Florida, on the Apalachicola River. The site contains the ruins of two forts, and has been known by several other names at various times, including Prospect Bluff Fort, Nichol's Fort, British Post, Negro Fort, African Fort, and Fort Apalachicola.Listed...

, on the lower Apalachicola River
Apalachicola River
The Apalachicola River is a river, approximately 112 mi long in the State of Florida. This river's large watershed, known as the ACF River Basin for short, drains an area of approximately into the Gulf of Mexico. The distance to its farthest headstream in northeast Georgia is approximately 500...

, to blacks in the area. It was occupied by about 300 black men, women, and children, 20 renegade Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

, and a few Seminole warriors, led by a black named Garcon. Georgia slaveholders called it the "Negro Fort," and worried that the independence of the blacks would encourage their slaves to escape or rebel. McIntosh fought for the United States in the First Seminole War and helped capture Fort Gadsden. When the Americans shot a heated cannon ball into the fort, it struck the magazine and set off a huge explosion. Most of the people within the fort died immediately.

Treaty of Indian Springs
Treaty of Indian Springs
There are two Treaties of Indian Springs with the Creek Indians. The first treaty was signed January 8, 1821. In it, the Lower Creek ceded land to the state of Georgia in return for cash payments totaling $200,000 over a period of 14 years...

, 1825


Under pressure from the United States and the state of Georgia, some Creek chiefs had ceded land. The United States was trying to encourage the Creek and other Southeast tribes to cede their lands in exchange for payments and land west of the Mississippi River, in what was called Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and Arkansas.) The National Council, including McIntosh, passed legislation making it a capital crime to alienate communal land.

On February 12, 1825, McIntosh and eight other chiefs, including his sons-in-law Samuel and Benjamin Hawkins, signed the Treaty of Indian Springs
Treaty of Indian Springs
There are two Treaties of Indian Springs with the Creek Indians. The first treaty was signed January 8, 1821. In it, the Lower Creek ceded land to the state of Georgia in return for cash payments totaling $200,000 over a period of 14 years...

. They ceded all the Creek land in Georgia in exchange for $400,000. The fifth article of the treaty stipulated, "That the treaty commissioners pay the first $200,000 directly to the McIntosh party." Historians continue to argue over whether McIntosh ceded the land for personal gain, or because he believed removal was inevitable, and he was trying to achieve some security for the Creek Nation.

Death


The National Council ruled that the signatories had to be executed for ceding the land. On April 25, 1825, the Red Stick leader Menawa, and 120-150 Law Menders, from towns in the ceded territory, set McIntosh's house on fire. McIntosh escaped from the house with Etommee Tustunnuggee, another Creek chief who signed the 1825 treaty. They were killed by gunfire. Later that day, the Law Menders found the Hawkins brothers; they hanged Samuel and shot Benjamin, but he escaped.

Members of the National Council, including Menawa, went to Washington to protest the 1825 treaty. The US government rejected the 1825 treaty as fraudulent, and negotiated the 1826 Treaty of Washington, which allowed the Creek to keep about 3 million acres (12,140.6 km²) in Alabama. In this new treaty, the Creek received an immediate payment of $217,660 and a perpetual annuity of $20,000. The state of Georgia ignored the new treaty and worked to evict the Creek from their lands.

Further reading


Fiction

  • Betty Collins Jones, Clouds across the Moon (Carrollton, Ga., 1991), romance novel.
  • Billie Jane McIntosh, Ah-ko-kee, American Sovereign (Flagstaff, Ariz., 2002). (Written by a descendant, it is an imaginative romance novel starring one of William McIntosh's daughters, and should not be mistaken for history.)
  • William Gilmore Simms, "The Broken Arrow," in The Book of My Lady: A Melange. By a Bachelor Knight (Philadelphia, 1833). A poem about McIntosh.

External links



{{Persondata
| NAME =Macintosh, William
| ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
| SHORT DESCRIPTION =
| DATE OF BIRTH = 1775
| PLACE OF BIRTH =
| DATE OF DEATH = April 30, 1825
| PLACE OF DEATH =
}}
{{DEFAULTSORT:Macintosh, William}}