William McIntosh

William McIntosh

William McIntosh (1775 – April 30, 1825)Hoxie, « McIntosh, William, Jr. »] , also known as "White Warrior," was the son of Captain William McIntosh, a member of a prominent Savannah, Georgia family sent into the Creek Nation to recruit them to fight for the British during the Revolutionary War (Captain McIntosh's mother was a sister of Lachlan McGillivray of the Clan MacGillivray Chiefs Lineage). His mother, a Creek named Senoya (also spelled Senoia), was a member of the Wind Clan. Raised as a Creek, he never knew his Tory father. Because among the Creeks, descent was determined through one's mother; the fact that his father was white was of little importance to other Creeks. In the Muskogean mindset (and the mindset of related groups), McIntosh's father was not as important as eldest brother of his mother, who was seen as the more prominent relative (aside from the mother). McIntosh was a cousin of William Weatherford (who eventually sided with the Upper Creeks) and Georgia Governor George M. Troup.

The War of 1812 and the Creek Civil War

During the War of 1812, a civil war between the Upper and Lower Creeks broke out, and McIntosh was selected to lead part of the forces established by Benjamin Hawkins, a Creek agent, to deal with the nativistic Creek Red Sticks. He gained the enmity of (Alabama's) the Upper Creek Indians by leading General Andrew Jackson's Creek volunteer troops during the Creek Indian War of 1813 - 1814, during which the Upper Creeks were defeated. For his services at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and elsewhere, he was commissioned a Brigadier General in the United States Army.

After the Creek Indian War, McIntosh built a plantation on the Chattahoochee River in Carroll County called Lockchau Talofau (Acorn Bluff) that was worked by 72 slaves. It is near Whitesburg and is today maintained as a park, McIntosh Reserve, by Carroll County.

Letter to Madison and First Seminole War

In an 1817 letter written to President Madison and signed by McIntosh, Madison was told that, while the more influential Cherokees of mixed blood wanted to swap their land, the "not so much civilized" pure bloods feared the mixed-bloods would—as they did—swap all their land, leaving them "without any land to walk on." The Creeks feared that these Cherokees might, as they already had done before, take land from the Creeks.

McIntosh also fought for the United States in the First Seminole War. He gained fame during this war by playing a major role in the capture of Fort Gadsden, located on the lower Apalachicola. (Georgia slaves escaped and took refuge with the Seminoles in Spanish-held Florida.) The fort was occupied by about 300 black men, women, and children, 20 renegade Choctaws, and a few Seminole warriors. Its defenders were led by a black named Garcon. The downfall of the fort was brought about by an American cannon ball heated red hot setting off a tremendous explosion when it landed in the fort's magazine.

Despite the fact the Upper Creeks (including McIntosh) had vowed to kill anyone who signed away any more Indian land, McIntosh, along with eight other chiefs, on February 12, 1825 signed the Treaty of Indian Springs; thus relinquishing all the Creeks' land in Georgia in exchange for $400,000. According to the fifth article of the treaty it stipulated, "That the treaty commissioners pay the first $200,000 directly to the McIntosh party." Whether he signed the treaty for personal gain or because he believed signing it was in the best interests of the Creek Nation is still argued.


Despite the promise of Governor Troup (His biological cousin) to protect him, just before daybreak on April 30th, 1825, around 200 Creeks lead by Menawa, one of the few Red Stick leaders who had survived the Creek War, set fire to McIntosh's plantation and executed him. After having been stabbed in the heart and continuously shot, McIntosh was scalped and his body thrown in the river. Ironically, McIntosh had planned to leave that morning to look over land promised to him along the Arkansas River.



*« McIntosh, William, Jr. » in Hoxie, Frederick E. "Encyclopedia of North American Indians" Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. ISBN 9780585077642
*Adapted from an article on William McIntosh at [http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~cescott/parks/chief.html Rootsweb ©] with permission of the author.
*Benjamin W. Griffith, "McIntosh and Weatherford, Creek Indian Leaders" (University of Alabama Press, 1998) ISBN 0-8173-0340-5 (Page 238, 248, 249)
*Floripedia [http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/docs/j/jacks04.htm]

External links

* [http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/naind/html/na_021800_mcintoshwill.htm McIntosh bio in the Encyclopedia of American Indians] ; password required.
* [http://www.newgeorgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Multimedia.jsp?id=m-2646 New Georgia Encyclopedia]

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