Page images
PDF
EPUB

372

OUTACITE.-INTERVIEW WITH GOV. NICHOLSON. (Book IV

the Spaniards, by a Spanish captain. Tooanohowi drew his pistol with his left nand, and shot the captain through the head.

Thus, with the Spaniards upon one hand, and the English upon the other and the French in the midst of them, the Creeks and Cherokees became subject to every possible evil to which the caprice of those several nations gave rise. In 1723, a chief, whose name we find in writers of that day, Wootassitav, Woasatasate, Wootassitau, Wrosetasatou, * &c. is styled “Governor of the Lower and Middle Settlements of the Charikees.” He is presumed to be the same with Otacite, or Otassite, one of the prisoners above enumerated, and from what we are about to relate of him, his eminence will be apparent. In 1721, Francis Nicholson went over as governor of S. Carolina, who was said to have been very successful in managing affairs with the Indians. Soon after his arrival, the Cherokees despatched messengers to Charleston to adjust some difficulties which had for some time existed; and, not long after, another more full and complete deputation arrived. Governor Nicholson opened the council by a long speech to “ Wootassite, King, and to the beads of the Lower and Middle Settlements of the Charokee Nations."

In the course of his speech, he observes, that, when they delivered their acknowledgments and paid their submission to the government, the other day,” they had made mention of 37 towns that had sent down their chiefs for that purpose, and wished to be satisfied that these towns were represented, that his words might be carried to all their inbabitants. After laying much stress on their submission and respect to the king of England, he speaks thus sensibly upon their trading with the wbites, which at the same time discovers to us the origin of former troubles.

After ordering that if either party injured the other, restitution should be made by the aggressor, he says, " Frequent complaints have been made that your people have often broke open the stores belonging to our traders, and carry'd away their goods; and also pillaged several of their packs, when employ'd and entrusted to carry them up; and restitution has never been made, which are great faults: We therefore recommend to you, to take all possible precautions to prevent such ill practices for the future," &c. “And to prevent any injury or misunderstanding, we have pass'd a law, which appoints commissioners that are to go twice a year to the Congaree, or Savana garrison, to hear and redress all grievances.”

Woosatasate being a man in great esteem amongst you, having given frequent testimonies of his affection and firm adherence to this government, and being appointed king over you by the former governor f of this province; so I, who am sent immediately from his majesty, having the same regard to go deserving a man, and in compliance with your own request, that I would constitute proper commanders over you, do now declare the said Woosatasate, your leader and commander in chief over all the lower settlements of the Cherrokees, and give him a commission for that office, under the broad seul of this his Majesty's province," &c. “I expect that you, Woosatasate, do, within a month after your return, call together all the chief men in your district, and that you make them thoroughly acquainted with what I now say to you, and require of you, and shall give directions, that all the Englishmen amongst you shall be at that meeting. That your ancient government may be restored, I recommend to you to keep your young men in that due decorum they us’d to be," &c. This treaty was held 3 February, 1721, 0. S., or this is the date to Governor Nicholson's speech ; but it appears by our account that it was the middle of March before the Indian deputies left Charleston.

Although there were events, in every year, of importance, yet, in this place, we shail tuke up the period rendered more memorable by the distinguished chiefs

* Hewatt, I. 298.

+ James Moore, who, according to Heroatt (I. 276), was put into office in opposition to the regular course, by a kind of revolutionary spirit

. See Oldmiron, who is far more particular, 1. 348.-Mooré was elected in 1701. The author of " The British Dominions," (142,) says the Indians were cruelly treated during his administration. There were several other govern ors before Nicholson, beside Moore.

ATTAKUJ.LAKULLA and OCKONOSTOTA.* The fame of Carolina had, in 1753, drawn a multitude of Europeans to her shores. The same year, on the 26 May, Malachty, attended by the Wolf-king and the Ottasee chief, with about 20 others, and above a hundred of their people, came to Charleston. They were met, on their way, by a troop of horsemen, who conducted them to :he town, by the governor's order, in great state. This was to induce them to make peace and remain their allies, and, to this end, the governor, Glenn, made a very pacific speech, in the Indian' manner. Malachty, who, at this time, seems to have been the head chief among the Creeks, presented the governor with a quantity of skins, and readily consented to a peace with the English; but, in regard to a peace with the Cherokees, he said, that was a matter of great moment, and he must deliberate with his people, before he could give an answer. The Cherokees were already under the protection of the English, and some of them had, not long before, been killed by the Creeks, in the very neighborhood of Charleston. The party which committed this outrage was led by Malachty. Notwithstanding, a cessation of hostilities seems to have taken place, for numbers of each nation joined the English immediately after the capture of Oswego, by the French, in 1756. The Cherokees are particularly named, as having rendered essential service in the expedition against Fort Duquesne ; but a circumstance happened, while those warriors were returning home from that expedition, which involved them in an immediate war with the English, in whose service they had been engaged. Having lost their horses, and being worn out with toil and fatigue, on coming to the frontiers of Virginia, they picked up several of those animals, which belonged to the inhabitants of the places through which they travelled. This, Dr. Ramsayt says, was the cause of the massacre which they suffered at that time. But Mr. Adair, † who lived then among the Indians in those parts, says,

_“ Several companies of the Cheerake, who joined our forces under Gen. Stanwir, at the unfortunate Ohio, affirmed that their alienation from us was because they were confined to our martial arrangement, by unjust suspicion of them—were very much contemned, -and half starved at the main camp: their hearts told them, therefore, to return home, as freemen and injured allies, though without a supply of provisions. This they did, and pinching hunger forced them to take as much as barely supported nature, when returning to their own country. In their journey, the German inhabitants, without any provocation, killed, in cool blood, about 40 of their warriors, in different places —though each party was under the command of a British subject.” It must be remembered that, upon Braddock's defeat, Virginia had offered a reward for the scalps of hostile Indians. Here, then, was an inducement for remorseless villains to murder, and it was impossible, in many cases, to know whether a scalp were taken from a friend or an enemy. Out of this, then, we have no hesitation in saying, grew the excessive calamities, which soon after distressed the southern provinces. Forty innocent men, and friends, too, murdered in cold blood by the backwoodsmen of Virginia, brought on a war, which caused as much distress and misery among the parties engaged, as any since that region of country was planted by the whites.

At one place, a monster entertained a party of Indians, and treated them kindly, while, at the saine time, he caused a gang of bis kindred rustians to lie in ambush where they were to pass, and, when they arrived, barbarously slot them down to a man! The news was forthwith carried to the Cherokee nation, and the effect of it upon the minds of the warriors, was like that of electricity. They seized their tomahawks and war clubs, and, but for the wisdom of Attakullakulla, would have murdered several Englishmen, then in their country upon some matters respecting a treaty. As Attakullakulla was a chief sachem, he was among the first apprized of the murders, and the design

Ouconnostotah, Ouconnostota, Ouconnostata, Wynne.-Occonostota, Ramsuy.-Attakullakulla was generally called the Little carpenter. + Hist. South Carolina, i. 169.

Hist. Amer. Indians, 245. That the Indians' taking horses was no pretext for the murders, even at the time, appears evident. “As (says Captain M'Call, i. 257.) the horses in those parts ran wild in the woods, it was customary, both among the Indians and white people on the frontiers, to catch them and appropriate them to their own use."

374

ATTAKULLAKULLA.-LITTLETON'S ILL CONDUCT. [Book IV

of vengeance. He therefore goes immediately to them, and informed them of their danger, and assisted them to secrete themselves; then, without loss of time, he assembled his warriors, and made a speech to them, in which he inveighed, with great bitterness, against the murderous English, and urged immediate war against them; " and never (said he) shall the hatchet be buried. until the blood of our countrymen be atoned for. Let us not (he continued) violate our faith, or the laws of hospitality, by imbruing our hands in the blood of those toho are now in our power. They came to us in the confidence of friendship, with bells of wampum to cement a perpetual alliance with us. Let us carry them back to their own settlements ; conduct them safely within their confines, and then take up the hatchet, and endeavor to exterminate the whole race of them.” This counsel was adopted. Before commencing hostilities, however, the murderers were demanded, but were blindly refused them, and we have related the consequences.

The French, it was said, used their influence to enrage the Indians; but if that were the case, we should not deem it worth naming, as it appears to us that nothing more could be necessary to inflame them than the horrid outrages of which we have spoken.

It appears from another source,* that Governor Littleton was met at Charleston by a deputation of 32 Cherokee chiefs, among whom was Ockonostota, who, on hearing of the warlike movements at that place, had set out to visit the English, and if possible to prevent a war with them. For although some of their young warriors had committed several acts of violence, yet the great body of the nation were friendly towards the English, and desired peace. But instead of seizing on this opportunity of treating with the chiefs, he insultingly told them, “That he would soon be in their country, where he would let them know his demands." Ockonostota began to speak in reply, “but the governor being determined that nothing should prevent his military expedition, declared he would hear no talk he had to make, neither in vindication of his nation, nor any proposals with regard to peace.” The Lieutenant-Governor Bull saw the bad policy of this step, and urged the necessity of hearing what Ockonostota, the Great Warrior, as he was called, had to say, and seuling their difficulties; but this good advice had no effect on Lilllelon, and he marched from Charleston in October, a few days after At a place of rendezvous, about 140 miles from that place, his force amounted to about 1400 men. The chiefs, by order of the governor, had marched with the army to this place, and, although burning with resentment at their treatment, yet they discovered no signs of discontent. When the army was about to march from Congarees, (this being their place of rendezvous, the chiefs were all made prisoners, and under guard were marched to Fort Prince George.

Their resentment now showed itself; “ stung to the heart by such base treatment,” they cringed in sullen silence, and we may suppose that “they spent their time in concerting plots for obtaining their liberty, and satisfaction for the injuries done them." I

Being now at Fort Prince George with his army, Littleton found himself in about the same repute with his own men as with the injured Indians; he therefore concluded not to carry his conquests any further at present, but to make a treaty, and retain captive Indians enough as hostages to insure its observance. He therefore sent a messenger to Attakullakulla, who was reckoned the wisest man in the nation, or the best friend to the English, requesting him to come to Fort George. He immediately came; and to show the English he was their friend, produced a French prisoner whom he had just taken in an expedition against that nation, and whom he presented to Governor Littleton. A “congress” was now (about 18 December, 1759) held with Attakullakulla, in which a long speech, in which all the grievances he could think of were enumerated by the governor; after which the chief made another, in which he promised to do all he could to persuade his countrymen to give the governor the satisfaction he demanded; yet he said, “it

* Hewatt, Hist. Carolina, ii. 216.

This fort was upon the Savannah River, near the Cherokee town called Keowee. Hewalt, Hist. Carolina, ii. 18.

CHAP. IV.] ATTAKULLAKULLA.—IMPRISONMENT OF HOSTAGES. 375 neither would nor could be complied with, as they had no coercive authority, one over another.” He desired that some of the chiefs then confined might be liberated to aid him in restoring tranquillity; and accordingly Ockonostota, Fistoe, chief of Keowee, and the head warrior of Estatoe, were given up, and two Indians were taken in exchange and put in irons. The other Cherokees present, observing what was going forward, withdrew into the woods, and Allakullakulla, presuming the business must end here, withdrew also. It had been premised, or rather demanded, in the governor's speech, that 24 Indians, who were known to have killed white people, should be given into his hands to be put to death, or otherwise disposed of. Two only had been delivered, and 22 yet remained of the number of the murderers, in their own native forests.

As soon as Littleton knew of Attakullakulla's departure, he sent for hiin, and he immediately returned, and the business of a treaty was renewed, and on the 26 December, 1759, it was signed by ATTAKULLAKULLA,

OTASSITE, OCONNECA, and OUCONNOSTOTA,

KITAGUSTA,

KILLCANNOKEA. By article III. of the treaty,* it was agreed that 22 chiefs, (those who had been treacherously seized,) should remain as hostages, to ensure the delivery of the like number of murderers to the English. There seems, however, to have been but 21 retained, whose names we are able to give below, and who, under the name of hostages, were thrown into a dismal, close prison, scarce large enough for six men, where they remained about two months, and were then masacred, as in the sequel we shall show :

Chenohe, Ousanatanah, Tallichama, Tallitahe, Quarrasattahe, Connasaratah, Kataetoi, Olassite of Watogo, Ousanoletah of Jore, Kataeletah of Cowetche, Chisquatalone, Skiagusta of Sticoe, Tanaesto, Wohatche, Wyejah, Oucahchistanah, Nicolche, Tony, Toatiahoi, Shallisloske, and Chistie.

Things having been thus settled, Mr. Littleton returned to Charleston, where he was received like a conqueror, although what he had done, it will appear, was worse than if he had done nothing.

Ockonostota, for good reason, no doubt, entertained a deep-rooted hatred against Captain Cotymore, an officer of the garrison, and the army had but just lett the country, when it was found that he was hovering about the garrison with a large number of warriors. But it was uncertain, for some time, whether they intended to attack the fort, or whether they wished to continue vear their friends, who were imprisoned in it. However, it is said, that, by some means, a plan was concerted between the Indians without and those confined within the fort, for surprising it. Be this as it may, Ockonostota, on the 16 February, 1760, practised the following wile to effect the object. Having placed a party of his warriors in a dark cane-brake near at haud, he sent a squaw to the garrison to invite the commander to come out, for he had something of importance to communicate to him. Captain Cotymore imprudently went out, accompanied by two of his officers, and Ockonostota appeared upon the opposite bank of the Savannah, with a bridle in his hand, the better to conceal his intentions. He told the captain he was going to Charleston to effict the release of the hostages, and requested that a white man might accompany him; and that, as the distance was great, he would go and try to catch a horse. The captain promised him a guard, and hoped he would succeed in finding a horse. Ockonostota then quickly turned himself about, and swinging his bridle thrice over his head, which was the signal to his men, and they promptly obeying it, about 30 guns were discharged upon the officers at the same moment. Captain Colymore received a shot in his left breast, from which he died in two or three days after, and both the others were wounded. I On recovering the fort, an attempt was made to put the

* It is printed at length in the BRITISH EMPIRE, by Huddlestone Wynne, Esq. ii. 273– 277; an author of no inconsiderable merit on our affairs.

+ Several of these 22 were of the number who had been in England in 1730, and executed a realy with the king, as has been before stated, and as will be seen by comparing the names above with those named in the treaty.

{ "Two Indian women appeared at Keowee, on the other side of the river. Mr. Daherty went out, and accosting them, asked what news ? Ockonostota joined them, pretending some 376

CHEROKEE WAR.-MONTGOMERY'S EXPEDITION. (Bock IV

hostages in irons. An Englishman, who laid hold on one of them for that purpose, was stabbed and slain; and, in the scuffle, two or three more were wounded, and driven out of the place of confinement. The tragedy in the fort had now only commenced; the miserable prisoners had repelled their assassins for the moment, and, doubtless, hoped for deliverance from their friends without, who had now closely besieged the place. But, unfortunately for these poor wretches, the fort was too strong to be carried by their arts of war, and the dastardly whites found time and means to murder their victims, one by one, in a manner too horrible to relate.* There were few persons among the Cherokees who did not lose a friend or relation by this massacre; and, as one man, the nation took up the hatchet, and desolations quickly followed.

Meanwhile, singular as it may appear, Attakullakulla remained the fast friend of the whites, and used all his arts to induce his countrymen to make peace. But it was in vain he urged them to consider that they had more than revenged themselves; they were determined to carry all before them. Atakullakulla was now an old man, and had become much attached to the English, from several causes. On the other hand, Ockonostota was a stern warrior, in the vigor of manhood, and, like the renowned Pontiac, was determined to rid bis country of his barbarous enemies.

The leaders in every town seized the hatchet, telling their followers that the spirits of murdered brothers were flying around them, and calling out for vengeance. All sung the war-song, and, burning with impatience to imbrue their hands in the blood of their enemies, rushed down among innocent and defenceless families on the frontiers of Carolina, where men, women, and children, without distinction, fell a sacrifice to their merciless fury. Such of the whites as fled to the woods, and escaped the scalping-knife, perished with hunger. Every day brought fresh accounts to the capital of their ravages and desolations. But, while the back settlers impatiently looked to their governor for relief, the small-pox raged to such a degree in town, that few of the militia could be prevailed on to leave their distressed families to serve the public. In this extremity, an express was sent to General Amherst, the commander-in-chief in America, for assistance, in terms too pressing to be denied. Accordingly, he ordered a battalion of Highlanders, and four companies of Royal Scots,t under the command of Colonel Montgomery, afterwards Earl Eglinton, to embark at New York for Carolina. In the mean time, Littleton, having been appointed governor of Jamaica, William Bull succeeded him; a change much to the advantage of the province.

Colonel Montgomery arrived in Carolina towards the end of April, to the great joy of the people, who had taken measures to coöperate with bim to the best advantage; but, as the conquest of Canada was the grand object now, General Amherst had ordered Colonel Montgomery to strike a sudden blow for the relief of the Carolinians, and then to return to head-quarters at Albany, without loss of time; and we have scarce an example in military history, where an officer fulfilled his commission with greater promptitude. He soon afier rendezvoused at the Congarees; and, being joined by many gentlemen of distinction as volunteers, besides the principal strength of the country, he marched for the heart of the Cherokee country. After reaching a place called Twelve Mile River, he encamped upon advantageous ground, and marched with a party to surprise Estatoe, about 20 miles from his camp. lu the way, he took Little Keowee, and put every man to the sword. Estatoe ne found abandoned, except by a few that could not escape, and it was reduced to ashes, as was Sugar Town, and every other settlement in the lower nation. About 60 Indians were killed, and 40 taken prisoners; but the matters of business ; he drew from the fort several of the officers to converse with them."Iloywood's Hist. Tennessee, 30.

** A bottle of poison was found with one of the dead hostages, probably intended to be dropped into the well; and several tomahawks were found buried in the earih.” Hurpood, Hist. Tennessee, 30.–Any stories would gain credence among the whites, which went to make the Indians as bad as themselves. Whether the botte spoken of contained poison, may be questioned; and, if it did, it may be reasonably doubted whether the Indians knew any thing about it.

f I am following Heralt, but the Annual Register, ij. 62, says, “a regiment of Highland ers, a battalion of Royal Americans, a body of grenadiers," &c.

« PreviousContinue »