William McIntosh, son of (Scottish) Captain
William McIntosh and Senoia Henneha of the Coweta-Cussitta Towns of the
Lower Creeks, was born about 1775 near Tuetumpla (now Alabama). McIntosh
was raised by his mother's brothers, who taught him the life skills
necessary to survive in the wilderness on his own.
McIntosh also spent much time with his
father and stepmother in the Savannah area. It was here that he learned
to read, write and speak English. He learned his business skills from
his father as well. Feeling comfortable with both his mother's people
and his father's people helped McIntosh to gain the confidence necessary
to become a leader.
His mother was of the Wind Clan, the clan
from which leaders are usually chosen. McIntosh became a Micco (king) of
the Lower Creek villages. That is, he was elected orator, or chief
spokesman for these loosely aligned villages.
White's Historical Collections of
Georgia, an early Georgia history, described McIntosh as intelligent and
brave. In person he was tall, finely formed, and of graceful and
commanding manners. His first cousin was George Troup, who served as
Governor of Georgia.
McIntosh's military rank was earned by
fighting with American forces under the command of Andrew Jackson in the
War of 1812. He fought well at the battles of Autossee, the Battle of
Horse Shoe and in the Florida campaign. His rank was Brigadier General.
An astute businessman, McIntosh amassed
considerable wealth. His plantation in Carroll County was the home of 40
slaves, many head of cattle, and sheep, as well as much land under
cultivation. McIntosh was married three times: to Susanna Coe (a Creek
woman), Peggy (a Cherokee), and Eliza. Each lived in her own home on a
By 1823 when the first of the treaties
for land in Georgia was being signed, McIntosh was aware that the
Americans were going to acquire more and more land. Having fought along
side them, McIntosh felt strongly that the Creeks should sell their land
and take the money and land promised in the West. It was to this end
that he signed the Treaty of 1825 at the Indian Spring Hotel.
Unfortunately, McIntosh was unable to convince the leaders of the Upper
Creek villages or the Cherokee at New Echota. He wrote to his cousin,
Governor Troup asking for support, but the promised troops never
arrived. While the treaty was being signed on the bar, leaders of the
Upper Creek villages stood outside the hotel and swore revenge on
McIntosh was traced to his home in
Carroll County where he was found and killed. His slaves were run off,
his crops burned, and his cattle slaughtered. His plantation was burned.
McIntosh fought valiantly but was mortally wounded and driven by fire
from his home. After falling, McIntosh was scalped. His wife Susanna
threw herself over his body and protected it for three days until troops
arrived and buried McIntosh on the spot.
The Hotel is being restored to the
1823-1833 time period under the direction of an historic consultant.
Already completed is an 1830's garden with summerhouse dedicated to
Georgia First Lady Elizabeth Harris in 1990.
Thanks to The
Americana SmorgasBoard for this story