Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Turkey Town Treaty – September 14-18, 1816
Saturday, December 24, 2011
In order to write about the majesty of the Black Warrior or Tuscaloosa ( Tusca means Warrior, Loosa means Black), now known as the William B. Bankhead National Forest, one must first explore the historic roots of such a land. Probably the most powerful group of Indians ever known to exist was the great mound building society of Indians that once inhabited the land that became Alabama. Their society spread east from the mighty Mississippi River, south to Florida, and north to the Great Lakes. At least 100 years prior to Hernando De Soto’s expedition into Alabama in 1540, the great society began to break up. Probably from this society arose the native historic Indians that inhabited the Black Warrior Forest of the Warrior Mountains, the original Alabama Indians collectively called the “Creeks.”
Portrait by Archibald Robertson
According to Carolyn Thomas Foreman (1929), Alexander McGillivray's description is as follows: "He was of slender build, tall, with a commanding figure, and the immobile face which showed his Indian blood. Possessed of inordinate ambition and ability and a keen intellect, he was soon surrounded by warriors and adventurers...He was a very striking looking man, six feet tall, and erect in carriage. He had remarkably fine, piercing eyes and his forehead must have been very noticeable as all writers in describing him speak of the extraordinary expansion which commenced at his eyes and widened to the top of his head. He is said to have been handsome and to have had long tapering fingers with which he wielded a pen with remarkable rapidity. He was dignified and his manners were polished. He ordinarily dressed in a combination of Indian and American garments but he was provided with uniforms of Great Britain, Spain, and the United States which he wore on proper occasions, being careful not to appear in his American uniform when he was to meet Spaniards. In his homes he entertained distinguished visitors with lavish hospitality and while he was ambitious and unscrupulous he had many fine traits, the best of which was his kind heart; he was celebrated for his kindness to captives and his last work in behalf of his nation was an effort to secure teachers for them".
During the American Revolution, Alexander McGillivray was commissioned as a colonel in the British army. He brokered a British Indian alliance with Doublehead of the Lower Cherokees, James Logan Colbert of the Chickasaws, and other Chickamauga leaders. Colonel Alexander McGillivray was a skillful diplomat and a great military strategist, but he rarely participated in battle. At one time, McGillivray wielded great power commanding from 5,000 to 10,000 Creek warriors that became a major faction in the Chickamauga Confederacy.
As John Ridge, a great Cherokee leader, wrote 1835, “Our blood, if not destroyed, will win its course in beings of fair complexion, who will read their ancestors became civilized under frowns of misfortune, and the causes of their enemies,” so lives the remnants of the mighty Creeks of the Warrior Mountains.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
At the time of John Ross' birth his grandfather, John McDonald was corresponding with William Panton of Panton, Leslie and Company, a British supplier of trade goods that had become allied with the Spanish interests. By 1800 through peace treaty agreements with the United States and Cherokees, John McDonald got to move back to his original Chickamauga home some 15 miles south of the Tennessee River near present-day Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was not until turning his home place at Chickamauga over for the establishment of the Brainerd Mission in 1817 that McDonald finally retired to the newly constructed home of his grandson, John Ross.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Eastern Cougar-The eastern cougar was known locally as the "painter or black panther" and struck fear in the early settlers of the Warrior Mountains of north Alabama. In the book Warrior Mountains Folklore, older people remember their grandparents talking about panthers. It is estimated that some 30 wild eastern panthers still roam the swamps of Florida and rank as the most endangered animal in the Southeastern United States.
Carolina Parakeet-The Carolina Parakeet was probably the most colorful and beautiful bird to inhibit our Warrior Mountains. In early 1819, Anne Royalle describes flocks of the birds in Lawrence County with their beautiful green and yellow plumage. The fatal flaw of the Carolina Parakeet was their love for ripening fruit and corn. When one bird was wounded, the others would hover to help. This endeavor caused the whole flock to become easy prey. Eventually, the Carolina Parakeet was totally wiped out, never to be seen again in the Warrior Mountains. The Carolina Parakeet is now extinct.