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In Their Own Words

February 15, 1798

James Jackson Letter on Creek Indians

A month following his inauguration, Gov. James Jackson wrote to the U.S. Secretary of War from the state capitol at Louisville about problems with the Creek Indians:

“Mr. [Benjamin] Hawkins no doubt has informed you of the very horrid and never to be forgotten crime of ravishment of an innocent, virtuous wife by Tuskegee Tustunegau, a principal chief of the Creek Nation. She was a prisoner in their power and in the Nation. This unfortunate lady, a Mrs. Hilton, wife of a worthy citizen of Jackson County, after the kindest treatment toward them, received in return for her own hospitality the fatal stab to her own, and what no doubt she must conceive a thousand times worse, her husband’s peace for life! Too much attention on part of Congress to Indians and too little to the frontier citizens of this state, by the giving up of the Tallassee country and their encouragement at the Colerain Treaty has occasioned this arrogance.

“The Indians have not stopped here. A most glaring and barbarous murder [was] committed a few days since. Mr. Vines, taking a Sunday evening’s walk on the river side, was shot dead across the Oconee, where it is only 100 yards wide, by a party of Indians. His blood almost covered a small boy who was standing near him! The inhabitants collected to retaliate and cross the river. No other man but Colonel Lamar could have restrained their impetuosity and resentment.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 62-63.