View Full Version : Chickasaws

vance hawkins
01-06-2004, 09:41 AM
I am gonna copy and a paste a file here mainly because it is very intresting reading.

As I have said before, "some of" my ancestors lived in the Chickasaw Nation on ther Alabama/Mississippi border -- thesde are NOT the ancestors who lived in the Virginia area that I know of. Surnames Gist, Roney/Raney, Loney/Looney, Joiner, McNutt, Brown, Black -- but maybe they did live there too. I have noticed some surnames that were in Va in 1790 are in NorthCentral and Northwest Alabama in 1820, along the Tennessee River. Later my ancewtors were near what is now uncan Oklahoma in 1880s and they leased lands from a Chickasaw man named Belton/Benton Colbert. Colberts were a prominent Chickasaw family that produced many red chiefs. My ancestors that were in N Alabama went to Arkansas where they met and married the people I usually talk about here, the Richey's and Waylands, Woods and Discsons that were in SW Va.

But since were were in the Chickasaw Naiton I have looked them up. They too -- as well as the "friendly Indians who helped build Fort Blackmore" -- they sided with the US government "most of the time" (but not always). So there would be this in common between the two peoples. It is a long article so I'll break it up into a few messages, starting with the next message.

In the following article, one white man interviewed another white man named McGee. Mr. McGee was born in 1760 and lived most of his life with the Chickasaw.

Interesting things are he mentions Piomingo wouldn't look a man "in the eye". Many Indian people here today won't look a man in the eye or shake a mans hand "firmly" believiing to do so it to try to control another man and is considered impolite. So I thought that was interesting that they mention that. Also It mentions at one point the Indians wore blankets. I recall as a child my grandma (Loney Richey Hawkins 1883-1963), said her parentsor grandparents were "blanket Indians". My older sister asked her what that meant and she was said to have said "cause that's what they wore!" There are other interesting cultural things in the reading & I thought that it might be interesting to anyone. Also mentions the French and the Spanish some.

vance hawkins
01-06-2004, 09:43 AM

[Note: The following is a transcription of lengthy notes made by historian Lyman Draper from an interview with Malcom McGee and includes some references to other research - the original pages were often hard to read - as Malcom McGee died 5 NOV 1848, the interview would have had to take place sometime before that date, See the letter following from Mrs. M. J. Stewart to Draper which dates the McGee interview in 1841. McGee spent nearly his entire life among the Chickasaws and was considered their main interpreter and because of this fact his accounts of Chickasaw history are invaluable. The researcher should be aware that as McGee was born in 1760, he would have been 81 years old in 1841, and allowances for inaccuracies as to dates should be made due to a aging memory. It should also be noted that McGee at times seems to change historical accounts to put a better light on events not particularly favorable to his beloved Chickasaws, the most notable example of this is where he states that the French officers who were burnt to death by the Chickasaws in fact through themselves into the fire. -- Italic notes by KMA]:

From Malcom McGee

The Colberts

James Colbert was a native of one of the Carolinas, probably S. C. & came into the Chickasaw Nation prior to 1750, was adopted into an Indian family, sometime afterwards became a trader & made property, took a wife; & had several children - six sons and two daughters - all dead save one of the girls - had three wives - the daughter, Wm, by his first - by his second, George, Levi, & Joseph - all had Chickasaw mothers & James & Susan had a half breed mother.

Mr. McGee does not recollect that old Colbert ever was made chief - is pretty certain not. He was of commanding influence among them - could speak their tongue fluently - & became a through Indian himself. In 1781 was on the expedition to Fort Jefferson, (there cd. have been no Choctaws along - they never cd. have claimed the land), wounded in the arm, as stated by N[unreadable]Butler: But few, if any were killed, Mr. McGee thinks, or he wd. have heard of it - & he thinks too, it must have been prior to June 1781 - & were likely in 1780 - for in June '81 he returned to the Nation from the Choctaws, where he went in '78. He thinks Piomingo must have been in that expedition - for he was a chief then. And in the Spring of '81 - When the Spaniards took Pensacola, McGee saw Colbert there among the Chickasaws, headed by Mincohoma, [Mingo Homa or Tascapataoo], or the Red King, then King of the Nation - Piomingo was not at Pensacola. Perhaps abt. 100 Chickasaws, & nearly 1000 Choctaws headed by James Davenport a Scotsman, then Agent, Gen Campbell also a Scotsman commanded at Pensacola. Some eleven hundred men under him, with but a single small frigate - Sent for the Indians, as above. The Spaniards vessels, 100 sail, with 30,000 men, it was said from Texas & Mexico etc, entered the harbor the 9th March, kept up a siege until the 11th May, when Gen Campbell surrendered. The Spaniards encompassed the place, trenches, breastworks. The Indians were camped near the town, & as the Spaniards approached, they would man the garrison on the hill - finally went up to Escambia just before the surrender; the frigate had provisionally been sent up June, 30 miles with provisions. Prior to their departure, the Indians was several skirmishes with the Spaniards. There were also a small party of Creeks that came to the relief.

In 1784, or near that time, old James Colbert was killed while on his way from the nation to Georgia, as was supposed, by one of his own negros, who was along & returned to the Nation with the story that the old man's horse had thrown & killed him. The negro was of bad character - & Wm Colbert took him to Natchez, sold the negro, Cesar - & he was among the number who went from that place perhaps to Texas at that early day & was Killed.

Wm Colbert had the old man's property. Wm's first war exploits was in the Red Nation - had joined the Cherokees & aided in their warfare against the whites, under Dragging Canoe in 1776 at the Tatum Flats - then abt. 16 - & his father was a long. Afterwards Colbert was with Piomingo in St. Clairs defeat, George led a party of forty men & with him was McGilvary, [William McGillivray], a Chickasaw & kin to the great Creek. St. Clair placed them under Captain Sparks - not exactly in the defeat, but not far off, probably on a scout, fearing the soldiers wd. kill them. Piomingo & Wm Colbert with a large reinforcement reached the army just after the defeat.

Mr. McGee thinks Piomingo may have joined the Choctaws, & went to Waynes army - but not the Colberts.
Wm Colbert had a commission of Maj Gen from Gen Washington - & all the head warriors of the Chickasaws had commissions from the U.S.. Probably got his commission as Judge Pinsom represents: that he gone on to Phila. & made a long visit to Pres. W. - interchanged civilities very plentifully, & finally Colbert made known his errand, that Gen Washington shd. remove Piomingo, & bestow the place upon him. Washington told him, he had no power to do that but he wd. make him a greater man & commissioned him Major General.

Wm C. died, at his then residence in the Chukatuukcha Creek, where he had lived a year or two, in the present county of Chickasaw, Miss, in the autumn of 1823. A day or two before his death, he had himself dressed up in his [unreadable] in anticipation of death. He had lived two or 3 miles above the present Plymouth in Lowndes County, on the edge of the prairie. He died as a warrior dies. Was born abt. 1760 - honest, brave, & respected - but the fire water lessened the respect entertained for him. A middle sized, black eyes, full pleasant face, full of animation & never dulled - possesed of wit & pleasantry.

In the war of 1812, 350 Chickasaws joined Gen Jackson - Wm & George Colbert & other leaders. Each Indian town had its commanders - the towns were viz. the Big Town, or Chu-kwillissa, Chuckafalla or Long Town - Teshatulla or Post Oak Grove - Hummalala - Tuskaroilloe - Hussinkoma or Red Grains - Shiokaya or "Stand by it", smallest town - not more than half a dozen houses, & twenty five or 30 persons. The first three towns were of the most importance.

Gen Wm Colbert was once wounded in the head in a foray with the Northern Indians - for Mr. McGee says the Wabash tribes viz. Piaikeshaws, Miamis, Kickapoos, Delawares, Shawnees, Wyandotts, Chippawas, etc - were at war with the Chickasaws from the time he first came into the Nation in 1768, until Waynes Treaty - Piomingo was out & distinguished himself though not as much so as Wm Colbert.

vance hawkins
01-06-2004, 09:47 AM

His mother was descended from the Chocchuma tribe, on the Tallahatchie, dwindled away -- his father, it is thought, a Chickasaw. When a youth one of the Chickasaws killed a favorite brother & to forget the loss he went & lived with the Cherokees several years & returned to the Chickasaws not long before the breaking out of the first Cherokee war. He was home about 1750 in the "Old Town" & died about 1795 in Long Town. The Chocchumas were conquered by the Trans-Mississippi Indians & divided & joined the Chickasaws & Choctaws. The date of which was beyond the knowledge of Mr. McGee - perhaps a century before his coming to the Nation in 1768. Prior to the then war of '56 the Chickasaws resided in several separate towns - in that war, the Choctaws were in the interest of the French & the Chickasaws, the English. A war ensued between the Nations - their small war parties frequently met with varied success; a large party of the Choctaws more than once in large armies against the Chickasaws, who left their towns & concentrated in Old Town, on Old Town Creek, in Pontotoc county: Once at least the Choctaws came boldly to the Old Town & burned one [of] their houses, but generally wd. come within gun shot fire & be off. The Choctaws were far the more numerous of the two Nations. A party of Chickasaws living in that [unreadable] joined Gen Oglethorpe in taking St. Augustine & in consideration of their services the Crown of Great Britain bestowed upon them a fine tract of land 10 miles square opposite the City of Augusta, Georgia - upon which is now situated the city of Harrisburg, S. C.. Several Chickasaws went to settle there and some Indians are yet living in [unreadable] born there. By breaking out of the Revolution, they abandoned it, (Vise Haywood Jr. 380, showing that Piomingo in '93 made a claim). The Chickasaws, very likely, did not think the value of the land in question of sufficient movement to trouble themselves about it & the Revolution over, doubtless the State of S. C. deemed it hers - not by right of conquest for the Chickasaws, this they aided the British at Pensacola in 1781 against the Spaniards, never fought against the Americans as a Nation except perhaps at Ft. Jefferson.

The Chocchuma portion of the Chickasaws were of a fairer skin than the rest of the nation or indeed than any of the Southern Indians & Piomingo partook of this feature. Was a middle sized person - "he couldn't look a man in the face" & did not pay his debts well so that the traders wdn't credit him.

When (in '93, Drake says) the Spaniards at New Orleans engaged an emissary, one Ben Foy, [Benjamin Fooy], a German from Amsterdam, to lure the Chickasaws to their interest - Piomingo & the Colberts, Wm & George, and all living in Long Town, took sides for the Americans; Wolfs Friend & Big Town, the Post Oak Grove for the Spaniards. Old Town where the King resided was neutral, - the smaller towns had, it is thought, no separate voice in the matter, but joined with one or the other of the three chief towns. At all events the American party prevailed & the Wolf's Friend in a great measure, lost his influence in the nation, subsequently went to Phila. with Gen Wilkinson in 1799 & shot himself shortly after (having long suffered with the gravel), - on Duck River, near the mouth of Piney river, where he & Gen Colbert (and son-in-law) went to reside not long before. When this event occurred, Colbert & their family returned to the nation.

The Creeks made war against the Chickasaws because they wd. not join the former in their war against the U.S.. When the Creeks made peace with the U.S., they still waged war with the Chickasaws - in 1795 (while Gens Colbert & McGee went on to Phila. to ask for aid from govt in their war agst the Creeks, for Gen. Pickens, had given them such hopes at Blount's Treaty - he & Blount being commissioners - but Govt wd listen nothing to it & finally effected a peace) a small party of Creeks entered the Chickasaw country, and came within gun shot Long Town - at which Chs. Neansker[?] was stationed with 40 men, & a 4 pounder: - (The Creeks coming up so bold, the Chickasaws supposed at first they were from Wolf Friend's town, viz. Post Oak Grove Town, four miles off - one of the Chickasaws who could speak Creek, mixed with the enemy & asked, mistrusting them their character, one of them in his own tongue to what tribe they belonged? "The Coosa" was their reply, which readily put all doubts to flight, & then the battle commenced) a skirmish ensued - a half-breed, Underwood and 2 women of the Chickasaws were killed & perhaps 3 Creeks, Piomingo wd not consent that Mauscoe & his party, and the main body of his warriors shd pursue, viz. it was only a decoy party to lead them into an ambuscade where the army lay. And it was this little [unreadable] that led W. Colbert, Wm McGilvray, John Brown, & Malcolm McGee to Phila as above stated: (Col. Rob Hays accompanied the delegation). While they were absent a large body of 11 or 12 hundred Creeks, (as Col. Jas White learned in the nation), invaded the Chickasaws nation, & came boldly in September upon Long Town (**) & there the battle commenced. George Colbert, Maj Wm Glover, a half breed, were chief leaders - the day was a drizzly rain - the Chickasaws dashed into the action with great spirit, & drove their enemies, who - so sure of taking the town, had brought their packs with them, now dropped them & ran - these were temptations to the Chickasaws, who seized the plunder and made back for the town, some on foot & others mounted. George Colbert was sick at the time, but fought bravely & had a horse killed under him. Had it not been for the love of plunder, the victory wd have been still more bloody, as it was, some forty Creeks were slain, & not more than five Chickasaws. Piomingo was blamed for remaining in town with the cannon - they thought he so great a warrior, ought to have brought forth the "big gun" to the battle field. The old war chief died sometime the following year - 1796 - leaving a widow & son & daughter.

Mr. McGee thinks Gen. Colbert never went to Phila save that once in 1795.

Col George Colbert

Died in 1839 - born abt 1764, abt 75 when he died. He was always inimical to the whites, & very likely murdered persons on the Natchez Trace for their money - Tho McGee does not believe it nor as applicable to any of the nation, or the Choctaws. He was twelve years head chief of the Nation, & had the management of

the affairs of state: Naturally the smartest man of the Colberts.
For his services he was granted by the Treaty of 30 July 1805, held be Gen Robertson & Silas Dinsmoor, one thousand dollars. His name stands as Head Chief annexed to their treaty held in the nation: but to the Treaty of 1816, of wh. Gen Jackson, Gen David Merriwether, & Jesse Franklin were comrs, his name appears, but several names below Head Chief. In the latter treaty, he had given him a fine tract of land, on the north bank of the Tennessee, opposite his ferry. Wh. tract he sold for some $40,000. In the Treaty of 1816, an annuity of one hundred dollars was granted to Gen. Wm Colbert during life, "for his long services and faithful and adherence to the United States government." Wm Colbert's name is appended to the treaties of 1816 & 1818 - Levi's to those of 1805 - '16 & '18. In the treaties of 1816 & '18, Tishomingo & Maj Wm Gilvray & Levi Colbert are set down as "Chickasaw Chiefs" - Tishomingo being Head Chief, & at the same times, Maj Wm Glover, Col George Colbert & Majr James Colbert "military leaders." - When George Colbert relinquished his place as Head Chief, Levi was chosen chief - Tho Tishomingo was elected Head Chief.

Levi Colbert died near the Buzzard Roost on his way to Washington to get an amendment to the Treaty of '32, in the spring of 1834, & he anticipating his end, appointed his brother George to go and to complete the mission; & Judge Pinson adds, again received for himself a large land reservation. Mr McGee is decidedly of the opinion that the nation was not displeased with his reservation on the Tennessee per Treaty of '16. He wanted 10 miles square, but the nation wd. not agree to so much, probably 6 X 4 miles. Two tracts of 40 acres ea. were granted to Maj. Levi Colbert on the Tombigbee river 2 1/2 ms. below Cotton Gin Port in a very modest [unreadable], & so the Comrs thought Levi was greatly beloved - his management of the nation evidenced better statesmanship than any chief before or after him, except George his brother, who Mr McGee thinks deserves the highest claim.

Samuel Colbert was only a common man in the nation, was killed by the Northern Indians in their national wars, soon after the Revolution. The party he was with, led by Gen Wm Colbert - Levi was along - had killed some of their enemies on the war path & returning to their nation rather unguarded were surprised & Samuel killed. Joe the youngest died when a young man, at Colbert's old ferry (5 or 6 miles below the ferry) on the Tennessee - he kept the ferry for his brother George - James died since the emigration, abt 1842. Was less stable & less talented than George, Wm & Levi.

vance hawkins
01-06-2004, 09:53 AM
The Old French & Indian War

This war in [BLANK]. Mr McGee recollects hearing several old Indians when he first came to the nation, speak of being in this war. That the French on the Illinois were to embody, & those in the mobile region, & unite their forces in the Chickasaw country at a specific time. The Illinois army marched first - with a large body of Northern Indians as allies. The French reached Big or Old Town, there their allies abandoned them - the French attacked the upper end of the town, the Chickasaws sallied out & a hot battle ensued & the French defeated - all killed or taken, Mr McGee thinks - one old Indian told him he took six prisoners. A large number were taken prisoners. The French general & "the parson" were burned & Indian women brought large quantities of wood as the surviving French supposed to burn them, & thinking fire their doom, some of the poor desponding French threw themselves into the fire on their own accord, the sooner to haste an end to their wretched existence. Mr McGee thinks quite likely all the others were burned. Prior to this battle, the French had erected a fort some three miles west of Old Town, & up the creek, on the southern bank of which on the edge of the prairie - from the fort they finally marched out to the Indian town, & the battle was fought just above Old Town. It was certainly before the battle that their allies abandoned them.
The Southern French Army were also unsuccessful. The French had a fort some 20 miles below the mouth of Noxubee creek & on the western bank of the Tombigbee - this army made this fort, & there recruited and rested. They had brought with them wool bags, probably from Mobile - & at the fort they gave them a trial, & found them bullet proof. They marched & Attacked Long Town - in which the Chickasaws were forted. The French war had grenades, ( a kind of hand bomb-shells, to be thrown by hand into the Chickasaws fort). In the fort with the Indians was an Englishman who showed the Indians how to throw the hand grenades back again - & thus the French, not the Indians, were the chief sufferers from this mode of war fare. Nor did the wool sacks answer fully their purpose the French had hoped - for the Indians "legged them", viz., fired at their unprotected legs. When the French fled - & the Chickasaws followed in hot pursuit - & old Ben Seely, a white man who came into the Nation when a boy, some years after told McGee that he said the bones of the French scattered for six miles below Long Town. The French doubtless abandoned their Fort - & this ended the French invasion. Old Seely died on the Tallahatchee at the mouth of Tippah, at a very great age, soon after the war of 1812. He was a Virginian - his son Samuel, a half breed, became a chief, & his name appears to the Treaties of 1816 & 1818; & died soon after the Treaty of 1832, on Yocking Patata creek.

The Creek & Chickasaw War

About the year 1769, the Creeks made war upon the Chickasaws. The first event - some Creeks came & killed several Chickasaw women who were out in the woods some 3 miles south of Old Town, at work in a potatoe patch. This war was carried on by small war parties; & finally made peace, perhaps in 1770 or '71. Don't recollect further.

The Treaties of '83 & '92

The Treaty of 1783 at Nashville, Mr McGee was present. The Comrs were Jos Martin, Col. John Donaldson - Col. John Bowman was also appointed but did not attend - his sister, who married a Dutchman, & lived on Roanoke high up, told McGee since, that her brother was sick & could not attend. Red King, Piomingo - the King's nephew, Tuskiatoka, [Tascautaca or Taski Etoka], afterwards the Hair Lipped King, & succeeded his uncle, - concluded a Treaty. At the conclusion of the Revolution, the English sent word to the Chickasaws, to go themselves & make peace with the Americans, as they, the English had made no provision for them. The Chickasaws sent Chumubee, [Chinnubby], a chief with Jack Deuford, a half breed interpreter, to Gen. Robertson - who sent them to Gen. Clark in Troy - & through his intervention the Gen. of Va. appointed Commissioners as above to meet the Chickasaws at Nashville in 1783. A Treaty of peace was effected. Piomingo visited the President, ([unreadable] Haywood Jr. 411 & '13-), who made him a present of a large quantity of powder & lead which was conveyed to the mouth of the Tennessee by Lieut. Wm Clark, afterwards Gov. Clark - there the Chickasaws rec'd it. This powder & lead was kept as public property, in expectancy of a war with the Creeks - & though this war did not break out till '95, this very ammunition "Saved the Nation"; as McGee says ([unreadable] Haywood Jr. 437).
In the Spring of '84 measles broke out among the Chickasaws, the Red King died, and large numbers - nearly half of Long Town. Also among the numbers was Pimataha, [Paya Mattaha], the great war chief of the nation - very aged, a hundred perhaps. It was he who gave the first notice to his nation of the landing of the Northern French invading army, at what is now Memphis. Pimataha, or the White Man Killer, was then a very young man, & fought the invaders - & of the beloved family; rose to his rank from his war exploits, very active in '56 to '63 agst the Choctaws, then very old. His death & that of the Red King were much mourned. The Red King had also distinquished himself in war with the Choctaws - & was some 50 when he died. The meaning of the name Pimataha is one Who has attained the highest character for war exploits - "the last of the leaders' greatmen." His boy name Nuholubbe - he killed a white man - ubee, to kill.

The Treaty of '92

This treaty was at Nashville, or rather near Gen Robertson's on Richland Creek. Blount & Pickens comrs. Chinumbee, [Chinnubby], a brother of the Hair Lipped King, was chief man in the Treaty, then Head Chief. Piomingo, Wm & George Colbert, perhaps other Colberts - & a large number of Chickasaws - & a large Choctaw delegation, who made a separate treaty. The Government had sent the Chickasaws a present for the services under St. Clair - received it & made treaty.
James Adair, who subsequently pub'd a book about the Southern Indians, was an Irishman, first established himself among the Chickasaws as a trader abt 1769, remained a year or so, & then settled among the Cherokees.

vance hawkins
01-06-2004, 09:55 AM
The Chickasaw History Continued

The tradition of their origin is this. That they came from the west - in search of the Land of Life - stuck up a pole & which ever way that fell, wd. direct their course. It fell to the East - they traveled on to within some 8 miles of the present Huntsville, Ala - there the pole fell back - then came on to Old Town & there the pole stood erect, & there they pitched their town & home. One of the head men of the Orikanas, tribe in the Oregon country, told Mr. McGee, who was sent by some 13 tribes to visit the American government, in 1806 - Saw him at Washington - said that the original Chickasaw nation lived in the Oregon country, "the Ubchicasaws" - that they lived just below the Orikanas, & the Spaniards just below the Ubchickasaws.

Prior to the wars of '56 to '63, the Chickasaws, as elsewhere said lived in several towns - then the Choctaws siding with the French & waring with their neighbors for being in the interest of the English, compelled the Chickasaws to concentrate at Old Town. They did not branch out again till about 1772, when wood was not easily obtained, & had to dig for water - the "Old Fields" lay on the Southern bank of Old Town creek, stretching from some four or 5 miles above Old Town to down four or five miles below Long Town - making it some 13 or 14 miles long by about 4 broad, with here & there a copse of wood to dot the wide & long extended expanse. Long Town was 4 miles down Town creek from Old Town, & the Post Oak Town was about the same distance in a southernly direction on Coppertown viz Techatulla creek.

Wh. said the Chickasaw drove the French from Fort Alliance & Mr. McGee has after heard the tradition related in Haywood page 412, that they got their first horses from the Shawnees then residing at Bledsoe's Lick - this must have been very long before he, McGee came to the nation in 1768. On this latter date, they had horses, some kept swine, & plenty dunghill fowls, no cattle of any kind. John McIntosh, who was appointed Chickasaw Agt. just after the French war, & brought cattle into the nation from Mobile about 1770, & soon after old James Colbert from the same region - & others were subsequently brought from Natchez & Nashville. What few hogs they had in '68, the owners kept up in pens & fed them on weeds during the summer. They were kept up to keep them out of the corn - & so the owners of horses had to watch them to prevent their intruding upon the corn - for it was a law that the squaws had a right to kill all hogs & horses thus intruding; & sometimes horses were either killed or crippled by the squaws hatchets. For the large fields had no fences. The horses wd. be hitched by ropes to fed upon cane along the branches; & when they had eaten all within their reach, then removed them to a new spot.

When Mr. McGee first came to the Nation there were about 500 warriors - since wh. they have increased to something perhaps like 800 prior to emigrating westward. To pay their traders they relied chiefly upon game - a good hunter wd. kill a hundred deer during the hunting season - some more than that, & he was esteemed a poor hunter who couldn't kill fifty - dressed skins sold for 2 shillings sterling per pound. Raw skins - 3 bits per pound - these prices what the traders got in Mobile: but the Indians got much less - besides in buying, the traders reckoned 18 ozs to the pound. Some caught beaver & otter; & on Wolf River they cd. kill buffalos for the skins for household purposes & for the meat. For their skins they would get a drink bottle of taffy (detafea), Spanish rum, the cheapest kind of rum, less than a quart, at two dollars a bottle: half a dollar a pint for powder; half a dollar for 30 bullets or 10 flints. In '68 they had nothing but old fusees, made for the African trade, the stocks fantastically decorated with painted designs - then soon after rifles, first introduced by John McIntosh, the agent, who gave an Indian a good English rifle for a live young buffalo some six months old. Other Indians soon learned to appreciate the better qualities of the rifle over their old fusees. McIntosh was a Scotchman - was under Oglethorpe & the taking of St. Augustine, & had a finger cut off with a sword - was then a cadet - died in Pon. Co. on the Old Natchez Road, a little below the union of Pontotoc & other creeks wh. made Chiwappa at a little fort, in March 1780, the hard winter; & there buried, The next agent was Sam'l Mitchell of E. Tenn. - prior to whose appointment Col. John McKee of Va. had the superintence of them by order of the Sec. of War until a regular agt was appointed. Next Thos Wright, died abt 2 yrs, a quaker of Baltimore. Major James Neely from East Tenn; Gen Jas Robertson - Col. Cocke, Col. H. Sherburne, Col. Nicholas of Ky - Ben Smith, Natchez - Col. Ben. Reynolds & Upshaw.


1st the Red King - [2nd] the Hair Lipped King: died abt 1795 - 3rd Chenumbee, [Chinnubby], whose name appears to the treaties of 1805, '16 & '18, & died in 1819 very old & the brother of the Hair Lipped King; Chehopistee, not more than 20 & died shortly after, a nephew of the two proceeding & the present king Stehiotophpa, [Ishtehotopah], and their nephew.

Gen. Robertson - moral temperate - died of the pleursy, in the autumn of [BLANK] at the Chickasaw Agency, now in Chickasaw County, Miss. Mrs Robertson & the youngest son were present. His remains were taken to Nashville several years after. The Chickasaws thought much of Gen. R.

Aaron Reynolds

Was born abt the year 1747, & died about at 80 in Delany Co. Tenn. His oldest son Col. Ben. Reynolds, was in the Creek war, rose from a Leuteneut to Major, & was dangerously wounded at the battle of the Horseshoe. - Subsequently represented [unreadable] County in the Tennessee Senate - Chickasaw Agent in 1830 until they emigrated in '37. Buried in Franklin Co. Al. Sept 20th "43, in his 60th year.

Malcom McGee was born in 1760, the latter part of the year, in N. Y. City - his father was a Highlander in the great battle of Ticondaroga & was killed there. She married a Wm McClay abt 1764, while yet with the army. McGee has some recollections of Fort Edward - shortly after went to New York thence by sea, touching Havanna, Mobile and New Orleans & up the Mississippi (with the troops under Major Fender to take possession of the Illinois country in 1767, per result of the French War) to Fort Chartres. While going up a large number of Chickasaws met them at the Chickasaw Bluffs, now Memphis, & some 14 were persuaded to go along to hunt game for the English, & the Agent McIntosh also went along. At Fort Chartres, he persuaded Mrs. McGee to let him have little Malcom, promising to give him a good education wh. he failed to do, & at the age of 17 McGee left him. She lost her other son while first going up the Mississippi above N. O. - She went to Fort Pitt in about 1790 started to visit her Malcom - got a severe fall in a batteaux & died at Ozark or Arkansas Post a Spanish fort. She left two daughters by her last husband. - Malcom does not know what became of them. When abt 9 Malcom was sent to school, but the man with whom he was placed made a servant of him. McGee was a pack horseman to Mobil after 17, finally a trader - then interpreter.

When McGee first came, the Red King & Pimatah, [Paya Mattaha], were the only rulers - there were war leaders besides. Afterwards in George Colbert's time about 1805, there were about 5 or 6 - & at the Treaty of 1816, some 3 or 4 new ones were created.

Chiefs: The Head Chief, like the King was in some measure hereditary, the head chief being from the beloved family. Pimataha, a nephew succeeded but soon died, then Wolf's Friend - then Chunubee or Mingatuska, a nephew of old Pimataha & one of the mission with Piomingo to the Hopewell Treaty, 10th Jany 1786 (& Latopoia, the other on the mission, was a military leader, & was the same to whom McIntosh gave the first rifle owned in the nation, only a common warrior at the time).

Chumubee or Choomubee's name appearing to the Treaty of 1805, it was not to the Treaty of 1816. After these came Mingo Nataha. But Piomingo was never head chief - never any chief at all, McGee thinks, but a great war leader, or military leader. So George Colbert was never Head Chief, but apt by the King to act as principal chief in all matters with the U.S. government, as his knowledge of English better fitted him for such services than the others & Levi Colbert was appointed precisely as was George & for the same purposes - George was apt about 1800.

vance hawkins
01-06-2004, 10:04 AM
Capt D. Smith & the Chickasaw War of '95

In the Treaty of 19th Oct 1818 - Shelby & Jackson comrs - stipulates that the U.S. shall pay two thousand dollars, one by [unreadable] nation of Indians to Capt David Smith now of Kentucky, for sums by him expended in supplying himself & 45 soldiers, from Tennessee, in the year 1795, when assisting them at their request and invitation, in defending their towns against the invasion of the Creek Indians.

Mr. McGee is certain no captive was ever burned by the Chickasaws after he came into the Nation. Nor does he recollect ever hearing any tradition that any were ever burned after the French captives of the French army from Illinois. They uniformly treated their prisoners well - when they brought them to the towns, the prisoners did not run the gauntlet, but were made to sing & dance, & then adopted into some family, who may have purchased those of the capture by goods or horses, and if he behaved well, he was as much respected as any of the nation.
The Chickasaws believed in a Supreme Being, but had no religious festivals.

They had no green-corn dances as had the Creeks, but like other nations, before going to war, had their war dances - fast four days & nights, all the war party occupying one house & at intervals enjoining in the dance; a little hominy or a little beated corn broth, & then march on their adventure. If successful & return together, they go through the fasting & dancing; but if they come home each by himself they go to their respective lodge & this ends the matter. But after starting on an expedition: if their leader has an unpropitious dream, he & all the party return to their separate place of abode. Some good doctors, especially for [unreadable] wounds. Conjurers, to whom if any one has an article lost or stolen, he wd. go to find out what had become of it. They wd. have "ball plays" perhaps three or four times during the summer. Such of which wd. last a whole day & sometimes longer - commonly one town wd. play against another & large bets wd. be pending their result. Sometimes their ball-plays occurred at one town, & sometimes another. They also had their dances with music - both sexes, as often as their inclination prompted. A gourd rattle box, a drum made of an earthen pot with a dresses deer skin, or a copper kettle; & a kind of cane flute or ooskullah - "the sound of the cane" - cd. play tunes, but scarcely no two alike.

The Chickasaw were as clannish as the Scotch. It was considered disreputable to marry in their own family clan - it is but seldom done & when so the one who breaks in upon the custom, is looked upon as having degraded himself. The old customs of the nation relative to courtship is this: The lover goes to young maiden's mother & her brother, who upon consultation advise the young squaw according to their views in the case & this generally decides the matter - & if accepted, the lovers mother or sister is generally the messenger to notify him of the event - & then all that remains to consummate the marriage is to become his bride -no ceremony, no presents. He is expected to clothe & support her. If not pleased with each other, they can dissolve the partnership at any time. The majority of the nation were content with one wife - some, however, had two - & even more, & Mr. McGee knew a doctor who had seven & all lived in separate lodges, alternated his time with them. Occasionally an Indian ran away with another's wife, copied from the whites; it is not regarded by the deprived husband, save as a pretty certain evidence that his [unreadable] wife wishes to consider their matrimonial connection as at an end. In the matters of courtship it shd. be added that some of the bolder young men make their addresses direct to their fair one, & if she receives them the match is made without further difficulty, & at other times, the lover will send a dress to his lady love, if she receives it, she thereby accepts him for her liege lord. But the more timid of the young men prefer to avail themselves of the old custom. They too had their proud and unfeeling coquettes, who could play their fascinations but to see their victims [unreadable] under their disappointments.

When murder was committed, the nearest kin of the deceased were the avengers of blood. Whenever & wherever they could find the criminal. If the guilty escaped to some other nation, then his nearest blood relative suffered the penalty of his crime. When George Colbert had so influential a part in administering the affairs of the government, he had this part of the laws of the Nation done away. If an Indian stole, he was, if able, compelled to make it good. They hated, and no little esteemed, a thief or a liar as the whites. & female chastity was as much regarded. For an unmarried female to have a child was a burning disgrace.
When Washington was President he sent & gave them farming implements - sent them a blacksmith & weaver, & there then for the first they began to plough, & [unreadable] & hoe, & use axes: & then began to make fences. It was a great era - for now the men chiefly made the corn - previously the women with their hoes wh. cost two dollars. When he first came the women used these iron hoes, in very early times before traders had introduced them, the squaws used a kind of forked stick with which to did small holes & plant corn & attend it.

When he first came, there were five traders, James Colbert, John Buckles, John Highrider & James Bubby - all whites. Buckles & Bubby - English, Colbert a Carolinian & Highrider a Dutchman. All had been here many years, the two former probably the longest because they all had children grown. James Adair came soon after- remained two or three years & then went to the Cherokees. All had Chickasaw wives - one each except Colbert who had three. They had from time immemorial made pottery ware. When looms were first introduced, an Indian after examining it closely, went & made one himself, & wove a good article of cloth before anyone else was aware of it. He had it set up in the thicket on the Creek near Dr. Harris, in Pon. Co.

Indian Names

No translation for Chickasaw: Pontotoc, cattail plume; Tippah, to eat one another: Tishomingo, - the King's waiter; Itawamba, the wooden bench; Pouketocaula, hanging up grapes, the real name of where Pontotoc - & real Pontotoc is some five miles South East of the present Pontotoc; Lappatubbee, the buck killer; Chihappa, the roaring water; Tallahatchie, stoney creek on river; Yalobusha, plenty of tadpoles; Noxubee, fishing waters; Cohoma, Red Cat or Tiger; Wm McGilviray; Tuniea, a name of a tribe. Coneweah (a branch of Chiwappa) ripe polecat; Tullabonela, the rock to get over; Buttahatchie, Sumac River; Lasa Crohah, Little Black; Tookapinlla, a blackguard man; Pistallatubby, he went & saw & killed him; & of Artacoce, McGee knows nothing.

vance hawkins
01-06-2004, 10:06 AM
Religious Ideas

They believed in a Great Spirit or Father above & in a future state. That when they died, they would go to a kind of paradise of wh. they had but a vague notion, that it was - a kind of [unreadable] heaven of sensual happiness - where were beautiful hunting grounds - but that bad Indians would go to a cold sterile country, where, but little or poor game exists. But that this did not apply to the Chickasaws for they were all good Indians. Tunopoia, an aged Indian once told an instance to the missionary T. C. Stuart, of an Indian who once died, is seemed to die and afterwards made his appearance among the living, & represented that when his spirit left his body, it was caught up quite a distance & there placed upon a straight & most beautiful road bearing to the west, followed it a long distance & still found it equally straight and beautiful, but finally turned back & returned to his people again. Tunopoia wanted to know if white people ever had any such deaths & glances at futurity? Such stories wd. doubtless have great impressions upon the superstitious mind of Indians.

With them was buried their property or the most of it - thinking their departed spirits wd. stand in need of them, hatchets, knives, clothes, finery, sometimes guns & more frequently money.

While Gen Wm Colbert was on his dying bed, he sent several miles to the agency for his one hundred dollar annuity, it was thought to bury with him. It was not infrequent to have their favorite riding horse killed when about to die. Mrs. Martin Colbert, a wealthy half breed, when supposed to be on her dying bed, had, urged by her Indian mother, her silver table spoons placed in one hand & her silver tea spoons in the other, but in this instance the good lady unexpectedly recovered & yet lives.

A missionary, a Congregationalist, from N. E., Mr Bullin, [Bullen], - came out abt 1795, with some assistant teachers, remained about a year, and not meeting with success from want of proper management, there abandoned the field. Mr. Stuart came in 1820, the nation consented - established a school at which many of the youths were educated & some 30 or 40 were converted to Christianity. The part breed educated seemed to make better use of it than the full bloods, who too generally returned to their Indian habits - retaining however, a respect for education wh. made them desire to educate their children.

In the Treaty of Hopewell, 10th Jan 1786, Piomingo styled head man & first minister of the Chickasaws the latter part must be erroneous.

Long Town is in Itawamba County - James Colbert died in 1841 abt 60 or 65 yrs old - Wm McGillviray emigrated west - his assumed Indian name was Cohoma, the Red Cat. Seely here died abt 1835.

"Okahoma" - strong or fire water - applied to spiritous liquors.
(James Boyd lived most of his life of abt 45 years with the Chickasaws & married a fine looking educated, yellow flaxed haired half breed - Nancy Love & now resides near [unreadable], in Marshall County, Miss.)

When McGee first came to the country, the Indians had very good cabins, such as I have seen. Then dressed themselves in goods & blankets; & the squaws in calico - linen, all covered with broaches.
The old trader, Highrider died in the nation, Bubby got drowned on a beaver hunt; & Buckles, it is believed went to Mobile.
They were great believers in witchcraft & often told of seeing marvelous sights.

Tishomingo died in 1841.
It was a long time before the Indians wd. call Pontotoc anything but Pauketocaula.
In the Treaty at Pontotoc, the King attended some days in the spring of the year, finally his only negro came in for him to aid in plowing & when the King, Hotophpa, [Ishtehotopah], made known he must go & for what, wh. created some laughter; & as his name & office was wanted to all transactions, they comd to hunt around & secure some laborer & send them to the King's farm. His queen did not think it beneath her dignity to go to mill with a [unreadable] of corn - a horse mill at the Missionary station. There were no horsemills in the Nation until recent years & then two or three - one at Mr. Loves, Pontotoc, at the missionary station & perhaps another.
4 districts - Levi Colbert in the S. En - Seely in the So Wn, Tishomingos in the No En & McGilviray or Cohoma was in the N. Wn. These were principal chiefs - no Kings - Mrs Stuart.

Piomingo: From the Judge & [unreadable]N. G. Pinson

Piomingo was never chief, but the power behind the throne. The Judge says, his uncle Oliver Williams always spoke in the highest terms of Piomingo - how much he risked in coming to Nashville to make peace in '82 or '83, in danger from being killed by the whites. That he crept up carefully with his white flag & was almost upon Gen. Robertson at his residence before the General saw him & the treaty was made of most benefit to the Cumberland people, & the Chickasaws faithfully adhered to it with a faithfulness indeed that might well put more enlightened nations to shame. But the British could not have advised this treaty as McGee represents.

Mrs. M. J. Stewart, (daughter of Rev. Thomas Caldwell Stuart), to Lyman Draper - 6 NOV 1882:
[Italic notes by Draper]

Tupelo, Miss
Nov. 6, 1882
Mr. Lyman C. Draper
Dear Sir
I feel that I must write & thank you for your very kind & friendly letter to my father. It was written on the very day, 9th Oct of his death. I am grateful to a kind Providence that he was not left as you had heard, but that I, his only child was spared to minister to his old age. He died as he had lived, a humble follower of his blessed Lord, and now rejoicing with joy unspeakable. I am now left as you thought he was, without any of those ties so dear to the human heart, a widow & childless, but I trust in him who has promised to be a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow. All the gentlemen whose names you mentioned have long since passed away except Coker Leland who died last January after having been laid aside many years by ill health. Col Bolton is the only one left of the old citizens. The book & pamphlets you sent have been received. Please accept my thanks. I have read many of the articles with much interest.
Your letter of the 9th Oct was not the first time of hearing from you. Some time since a letter came to this place directed to Rev. H. Patton, which was taken out by a friend of his here and sent to my father. We both remembered distinctly your visit to our house [1841] to see Mr McGee & were quite pleased to hear of you again. I asked him about his recollections of what he had heard of Tecumseh's visit to the Chickasaws, & I fully meant to write you, but his information was so meager, & I was so occupied that I neglected it.
I remember questioning Mr McGee on the same subject. All he seemed to know about it was that during one of his [McGee's] frequent absences, with some of the Chiefs at Washington City - he was national interpreter - Tecumseh, accompanied by his brother, The Prophet, or conjurer, visited the Chickasaws and laid his plans of an Indian Confederacy before their National Council. They refused to join upon the ground of their friendship for the White Man.
It was their boast, that the Chickasaws had never shed a drop of English blood. The French were their hereditary foes. According to Mr McGee's account, the chief [Tecumseh] then visited the more Eastern Tribes, with what result he did not know. Before they left, Tecumseh or his brother told the people, that when they reached home, Tecumseh would stamp three times upon the ground, which would cause the earth to tremble, by which they might know that he was at home. As it was in 1811, the year I think of the prevalence of earthquakes in the valley of the Mississippi, he could make such an assertion with some certainty of its proving to be true. As you wish to know something about Mr. McGee, I will, when I have more leisure, write out my recollections of him & send them to you. I do not remember anything about Levi Colbert's death. I have heard my father say that he happened to go to Gen. Wm Colbert's house just as he was breathing his last - he was dressed in his best suit ready for burial, all his personal effects were collected, which were afterwards put in his grave - and his riding horse was hitched at the door to be shot as soon as he expired. This occurring soon after my father came to the nation which was in 1820.
If you still have them, & it is entirely convenient - I should like very much to have the opportunity of reading what you learned of the Chickasaws from Mr. McGee. Rev. F. Patton now resides in Clarendon Ark.
Very sincerely yours
(Mrs.) M. J. Stewart

01-07-2004, 01:41 PM
Greetings to All,
Is there anyone among us familiar with VA Colberts .Colberts owned slaves in Culpeper/Rappahannock Va,bought some from a Rixey family.Some of which were my ancestor(s)whom one of them took up with and produced a child . I'am a descendant of the off-spring.These Colberts seem to pop-up in this Va area
around the late 1700s-early 1800s claiming to have been originally from Chickasaw territory.??Help please

vance hawkins
01-07-2004, 10:14 PM
Hi --

I am a "Richey" also and there was a Solomon Richey in Amhurst County, Va described as a "Freer Person of Color" in 1810. Could Rixey and Richey be the same thing?

Also I have Wayland ancestors and there were many Waylands on the Rapidan River in Orange and Culpepper County . . . hmmm . . . I think mine left there around 1740 or 1770s??? But I can not even prove they were ever there - - I have just found evidence and that's it -- no proof.

If you read the Chickasaw post above, you'll see there were Chickasaw in South Carolina, and it says some of them were still there -- they remained there.

My ancestors leased land from a Colbert here in Oklahoma in the 1880s and 1890s. In the 1790s when you say your COlberts came to Virginia, the Chickasaw Colberts probably did go East to sign treaties about that time.

Were your ancestors in NW Al or NE Ms? Or were they in the lands in South Carolina that were given to the Chickasaws?

Please tell me more about your family. The father of the Chickasaw Chiefs named Colbert was a Tory who helped Dragging Canoe and he made trips to Pensacola and elsewhere to purchase ammunition for the Chickamauga and others who were wanting to fight the colonists.


01-08-2004, 05:00 PM
Well,the Colbert line is maternal.My grandmothers people are Timber(s),White, Jenkins,Colbert/Rixey and Nickens.They are based in VA back to the late 1600s/Timbers,White & Nickens line.In doing my research none of my maternal VA ancestors were ever (to my knowledge) in S.C. but This "Robert Colbert" was supposed to have left his family in MS and purchased land in VA,where he eventually moved to with his
wife and (2) sons Robert Jr & Silous. My
paternal bloodties are in S.C. My fathers people are Croatan thru the Chavis/Mack
line.In fact I'm a tribal member of the Croatan Indian Tribe/Old Orangeburg district descendant.

In Blood

vance hawkins
01-09-2004, 07:31 AM
James Logan Colbert was the father of these Chickasaws. It says he was born probably in South Carolina (said he came to Chickasaw Naiton prior to 1740). They say he had 8 kids, and name most of them -- but after saying he had six sons he proceeds to list 5 of them, William, George, Levi, Joseph, nad James.

Your Robert Colbert might have been a son of one of these sons listed above, or a son of the sixth one -- do you know aproximately when he was born? Maybe he was the sixth son that is not listed my Mr. McGee.


vance hawkins
01-09-2004, 07:52 AM

Here is a website with tons of Chickasaw Colbert genealogy material. There are "Roberts" but I didn't see one early enough to be yours. I might have over looked it, tho. good luck. Hopefully somehting will ring a bell . . .


01-09-2004, 04:19 PM
Thanks so much for your help.

In Blood

01-09-2004, 04:21 PM
Thanks so much for your help. I got my
Roberts mixed up,he's the gg-grandson of "James Colbert",whom left IT with his wife and (2) sons for VA. One of James's son's name was Robert. So many Colbert
males have the first name Robert it can get confusing. James was born in the early to mid 1700s exactly when I don't know.

In Blood

vance hawkins
01-09-2004, 06:13 PM
Glad to be of help. :)

I think I did see some Robert Colbert's that might fit the generation you are talking about. But as you said, there was more than one Robert. . . hope you find yours.


ps -- you mention a link between your Rixey's and Colbert's. It was some of my "Richey" relations that leased land from a Chickasaw named "Benton Colbert" near what is now Duncan, Ok. in the 1880s. That might be just a coincidence.

01-09-2004, 09:02 PM
That is "strange" how our families although hundreds of miles apart share
such name interaction/exchange familarities. My Rixeys sold some of "my", "their" bloodkin to Colberts,whom eventually "mixed" with that strain...
Like the land Colberts sold to you Richeys.....MMMMMM????

In Blood

04-30-2008, 11:24 AM

Your Chickasaw Colbert download is very interesting.

There's a story in our family that the Colberts who owned Colbert's Ferry in MS saw Jackson approach to get his militia across the river. Colbert admitted he charged Andrew Jackson double or triple the price he charged everone else protesting Jackson's treatment of Native Americans. Jackson signed the contract and said the government would reinburse Colbert but he was never paid for ferrying the army across the river. This was his way of telling Andrew Jackson that he was a scoundrel and he knew Jackson knew what it meant.

And!!!!! my 2nd Great Grandfather, George W. Risner. b 1816 TN lived next door to the Colbert Chickasaw Family in Bryan Co., OK in the mid 1800's, then the Choctaw Nation. I have a Great Uncle named after the Colberts - Atwood Colbert Risner. The Risners and Colberts were very friendly but I have found no direct relationship by marriage, as yet.

07-07-2008, 11:33 AM
When I was in Mississippi on the Trail, I stopped at a little State Park building and began talking to the ranger there. He had files in the back room that included a family history of the Colburts in the eastern states but not much on families west of the MS. I remember his name was Johnnie. This was not too far from Colburt's Ferry.

07-09-2008, 03:55 AM
I have Looney's on both sides of my family, though they were just intermarried. They go back to a Annie Princess Littlefoot who married a Looney. If I can locate this info I'll try to enter it IF anyone is interested.