« PreviousContinue »
and could be easily drained into the river, which seldom overflows its banks, in spring or summer.
They have no fences; they have huts in the fields to shelter the laborers in the summer season from rain, and for the guards set to watch the crops while they are growing. At this season some families move over and reside in their fields, and return with their crops into the town. There are two paths, one through the fields on the river bank, and the other back of the swamp. In the scason for melons, the Indians of this town and Fooscehat-che show in a particular manner their hospitality to all travellers, by calling to them, introducing them to their huts or the shade of their trees, and giving them excellent melons, and the best fare they possess. Opposite the town house, in the fields, is a conical mound of earth thirty feet in diameter, ten feet high, with large peach trces on several places. At the lower end of the fields, on the left bank of a tine little creek, Le-cau-suh, pretty little village of Coo-loo-me people, finely situated on a rising ground; the land up this creek is waving pine forest.
7. E-cun-hut-ke; from e-cun-nau, earth, and hut-ke, white, called by the traders while ground. This little town is just below Coo-loo-me, on the same side of the river, and five or six miles above Sam-bel-loh, a large fine creek which has its source in the pine hills to the north, and its whole course through broken pine hills. It appears to be a never-failing stream, and fine for mills; the fields belonging to this town, are on both sides of the river.
8. Sau-wa-no-gee, is on a pine forest, three miles below Le-cau-suh, and back from a swamp bordering on the river; their fields are on both sides of the river, but mostly on the left bank, between the swamp and the river, on a vein of rich canebrake land; they are the Shaw-anee, and retain the language and customs of their countrymen to the northwest, and aided them in their late war with the United States. Some Uchees have settled with them; they are industrious, work with their women and make plenty of corn ; they have no cattle, and but few horses and hogs; the town house is an oblong square
cabin, roof eight feet pitch, the sides and roof covered with the bark of the pine ; on the left side of the river.
9. Mook-lau-sau, is a small town one mile below Sauva-noo-gee, on the left bank of a fine little creek, and bordering on a cypress swamp; their fields are below those of Sau-van-no-gee, bordering on the river; they have some lots about their houses fenced for potatoes ; one chief has some cattle, horses and hogs; a few others have some cattle and hogs.
In the scason of floods, the river spreads out on this side below the town, ncarly eight miles from bank to bank, and is very destructive to game and stock.
10. Coo-sau-dee, is a compact little town situated three miles below the confluence of Coosau and Tallapoosa, on the right bank of Alabama ; they have fields on both sides of the river ; but thcir chief dependence is a high, rich island, at the mouth of Coosau. They have some fences, good against cattle only, and some families have small patches fenced, near the town, for potatoes.
These Indians are not Creeks, although they conform to their ceremonies; the men work with the women and make great plenty of corn; all labor is done by the oint labor of all, called public work, except gathering in the crop. During the seasen for labor, none are exempted from their share of it, or suffered to go out hunting.
There is a rich flat of land nearly five miles in width, opposite the town, on the left side of the river, on which are numbers of conic mounds of earth. Back of the town it is pine barren, and continues so westward for sixty to one hundred miles.
The Coo-sau-dee generally go to market by water, and some of them are good oarsmen. A part of this town moved lately beyond the Mississippi, and have settled there. The description sent back by them that the country is rich and healthy, and abounds in game, is likely to draw others after them. But as they have all tasted the sweets of civil life, in having a convenient market for their products, it is likely they will soon return to their old settlements, which are in a very desirable country, well suited to the raising of cattle, hogs and horses; they have a few hogs, and seventy or eighty cattle, and some horses. It is not more than three years since they had
not a hog among them. Robert Walton, who was then the trader for the town, gave the women some pigs, and this is the origin of their stock.
There are four villages below this town on A-la-ba-ma, which had formerly a regular town; they are probably the ancient A-la-ba-mas.
1st. E-cun-chate ; from E-cun-nä, earth, and chāte, red. A small village on the left bank of Alabama, which has its fields on the right side, in the cane swamp; they are a poor people, without stock, are idle and indolent, and seldom make bread enough, but have fine melons in great abundance in their season. The land back from the settlement, is of thin quality, oak, hickory, pine and ponds. Back of this, hills, or waving. Here the soil is of good quality for cultivation; that of thin quality extends nearly à mile.
2d. Too-wos-sau, is three miles below E-cun-cha-te, on the same side of the river, a small village on a high bluff; the land is good about, and back of the village ; they have some lots fenced with cane, and some with rails, for potatoes and ground nuts; the corn is cultivated on the right side of the river, on rich cane swamps; these people have a few hogs, but no other stock.
3rd. Pau-woc-te ; a small village two miles below Toowas-sau, on a high bluff, the same side of the river; the land is level and rich, for five miles back; but none of it is cultivated around their houses; their fields are on the right bank of the river, on rich cane swamp; they have a few hogs and horses, but no cattle; they had, formerly, the largest and best breed of hogs in the nation, but have lost them by carelessness or inattention.
4th. At-tau-gee ; a small village four miles below Pauwoc-te, spread out for two miles
on the right bank of the river; they have fields on both sides, but their chief dependence is on the left side ; the land on the left side is rich; on the right side the pine forest extends down to At-tau-gee creek; below this creek the land is rich.
These people have very little intercourse with white people ; although they are hospitable, and offer freely any thing they have, to those who visit them. They have this singular custom, as soon as a white person has eaten of any dish and left it, the remains are thrown
away, and every thing used by the guest immediately washed.
They have some hogs, horses and cattle, in a very fine range, perhaps the best on the river; the land to the east as far as Ko-e-ne-cuh, and except the plains, (Hi-yuc-pulgee,) is well watered, with much canebrake, a very desirable country. On the west or right side, the good land extends about five miles, and on all the creeks below Attau-gee, it is good; some of the trees are large poplar, red oak and hickory, walnut on the margins of the creeks, and pea-vine in the valleys.
These four villages have, in all, about eighty gun men ; they do not conform to the customs of the Creeks, and the Creek law for the punishment of adultery is not known to them.
11. Hook-choie ; on a creek of that name which joins on the left side of Ki-a-li-jee, three miles below the town, and seven miles south of thlo-tlo-gul-gau. The settlements extend along the creeks; on the margins of which and the hill sides, are good oak and hickory, with coarse gravel, all surrounded with pine forest.
12. Hook-choie-oo-che ; a pretty little compact town, between O-che-au-po-fau and Tus-ke-gee, on the left bank of Coosau; the houses join those of Tus-le-gee; the land around the town is a high, poor level, with highland ponds; the corn fields are on the left side of Tallapoosa, on rich low grounds, on a point called Sam-bel-loh, and below the mouth of the creek of that name which joins on the right side of the river.
They have a good stock of hogs, and a few cattle and horses ; they formerly lived on the right bank of Coosau, just above their present site, and removed, lately, on account of the war with the Chickasaws. Their stock ranges on that side of the river; they have fenced all the small fields about their houses, where they raise their peas and potatoes; their fields at Sam-bel-loh, are under a good fence; this was made by Mrs. Durant, the oldest sister of the late General McGillivray, for her own convenience.
13. Tus-ke-gee; this little town is in the fork of the two rivers, Coo-sau and Tal-la-poo-sa, where formerly stood the French fort Toulouse. The town is on a bluff
on the Coo-sau, forty-six feet above low water mark; the rivers here approach each other within a quarter of a mile, then curve out, making a flat of low land of three thousand acres, which has been rich canebrake; and onethird under cultivation, in times past; the centre of this flat is rich oak and hickory, margined on both sides with rich cane swamp; the land back of the town, for a mile, is flat, a whitish clay ; small pine, oak and dwarf hickory, then high pine forest.
There are thirty buildings in the town, compactly situated, and from the bluff a fine view of the flat lands in the fork, and on the right bank of Coosau, which iiver is here two hundred yards wide. In the yard of the town house, there are five cannon of iron, with the trunions broke off, and on the bluff some brickbats, the only remains of the French establishment here. There is one apple tree claimed by this town, now in possession of one of the chiefs of Book-choie-00-che.
The fields are the left side of Tal-la-poo-sa, and there are some small patches well formed in the fork of the rivers, on the flat rich land below the bluff.
The Coosau extending itself a great way into the Cherokee country and mountains, gives scope for a vast accumulation of waters, at times. The Indians remark that once in fifteen or sixteen years, they have a flood, which overflows the banks, and spreads itself for five miles or more in width, in many parts of A-la-ba-ma. The rise is sudden, and so rapid as to drive a current up the Talla-poo-sa for eight miles. In January, 1796, the flood rose forty-seven feet, and spread itself for three miles on the left bank of the A-la-ba-ma. The ordinary width of that river, taken at the first bluff below the fork, is one hundred and fifty yards. This bluff is on the left side, and forty-five feet high. On this bluff are five conic mounds of earth, the largest thirty yards diameter at the base, and seventeen feet high; the others are smaller.
It has been for sometime a subject of enquiry, when, and for what purpose, these mounds were raised; here it explains itself as to the purpose; unquestionably they were intended as a place of safety to the people, in the time of these floods; and this is the tradition among the old people. As these Indians came from the other side