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and the Creek War, 1813-1814
Introduction: Sam Manac (also known as McNac, Moniac, or Totkes Hajou) was a relative of the Indian merchant and diplomat Alexander McGillivray. He was of mixed Creek Indian and European heritage. He owned a plantation on the Tombigbee River. This deposition was recorded by U.S. Judge Harry Toulmin.
Mississippi Territory} The Deposition of Samuel Manac
Washington District} of Lawful age a Warrior of the Creek nation
About last of October thirty northern Indians came down with Tecumpsee who said he had been sent by his brother the Prophet. They attended our Council at the Tuccabache, and had a Talk for us. I was there for the space of three days, but every day whilst I was there, Tecumpsee refused to deliver his Talk. And on being requested to give it said that the Sun had gone too far that day. The day after I came away he delivered his talk. It was not till about Christmas that any of our people began to dance the war dance. The Muscogees have not been used to dance before war but after. At that time about 40 of our people began this northern custom; and my brother in law Francis who also pretends to be a prophet, was at the head of them.
Their number has very much increased since and there are probably now more than a half of the Creek nation who have joined them. Being afraid of the consequences of a murder having been committed on the mail route; I had left my house on the road and had gone down to my Plantation on the river. I staid there some time. I went to Pensacola with some steers, during which time my Sister & Brother who have joined the war party came and got off a number of my horses and other stock and thirty six of my Negroes. About one or two & twenty days ago, I went up to my house on the road, and found some indians camped near it. Who I tried to avoid but could not. An Indian came to me who goes by the name of High Headed Jim, and who I had been appointed to head a party sent from the Auttacee Town on the Tallapoose, on a trip to Pensacola. He shook hands with me & immediately began to tremble & jerk in every part of his frame, and the very calves of his legs would be convulsed, and he would get entirely out of breath with the agitation. This Practice was introduced in May & June last by the prophet Francis who says that he was so instructed by the Spirit. High Headed Jim asked me what I meant to do. I said that I should sell my property and buy ammunition & join them. He then told me that they were going down to Pensacola, to get ammunition, and that they had got a letter from a British General, which would enable them to receive ammunition from the Governor. That it had been given to the Little Warrior & saved by his Nephew when he was killed and sent down to Francis. High head told me that when they went back with their supply another body of men would go down for another supply of ammunition and that ten men were to go out of each Town and that they calculated on five horseloads for every Town. He said that they were to make a general attack on the American Settlements that the Indians on the Waters of the Coose & Tallapoose & on the Black Warrior were to attack the settlements on the Tombigby & Alabama particularly the Tensaw & fork Settlements. That the Creek Indians bordering on the Cherokees were to attack the people of Tennessee & that the Seminolees & lower Creeks were to attack the GeorgiansThat the Choctaws also had joined them and were to attack the Mississippi Settlements. That the attack was to be made at the same time in all places when they got furnished with ammunition. I found from my Sister that they were treated very rigorously by the chiefs and that many particularly the women among them two daughters of the late General McGillivray, who had been induced to join them to save their property were very desirous to leave them but could not. I found from the Talk of High head, that the war was to be against the whites & not between Indians themselves, that all they wanted was to kill those who had taken the talk of the whites _viz. The Big Warrior, Alex`d Cornell, Capt. Isaac, Wm. McIntosh, the Mad Dragon's son, the Little Prince, Spoko Hauge of Tallasee Thicksico. They have destroyed a large quantity of my cattle & burnt my house & my river plantation as well as those of James Cornells & Leonard McGee.
Signed Samuel SM. Manac
Sworn & Subscribed before me one of the U. States
Judges for the Mississippi Territory this 2nd day
of August 1813.
A true copy
Source: Samuel Manac, Deposition, SPR 26, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama.
Suggested activity using the primary source:
Have your students make a list with two columns:
Have them read the letter and identify who they think was on the American side and who was on the Creek side. Have them explain their answers.
According to Sam Manac, the Creeks wanted to kill all "those who had taken the talk of the whites." How many of these names reflect European/American influence?
How much can one tell about a person by his/her name? (Ask the students to think of their name and those of their classmates.)
Why was Samuel Manac, "a Warrior of the Creek Nation," so disturbed that he made a report to the Territorial Judge, Harry Toulmin?
Have the students research and write a report on the role of the territorial judge in the Mississippi Territory, of which Alabama was a part until Mississippi gained statehood in 1817.