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In Their Own Words

March 17, 1793

Letter Described Creek Indian Raids

From St. Marys, Ga., James Seagrove wrote to Gov. Edward Telfair about deadly raids by Creek Indians on white communities:

“I take the earliest opportunity of informing Your Excellency of a most alarming and unfavorable event which took place on this frontier on the 11th of this instant. A party of Creek Indians, in number about thirty from the lower part of Flint River, entered the store of Robert Seagrove at Traders’ Hill on this river on the evening of the 11th instant and in the most brutal and savage manner murdered Mr. John Fleming, the storekeeper, and Mr. Daniel Moffet. A man of the name of Upton is missing, supposed to be taken off a prisoner. On being informed of this on the evening of the 12th, I pursued with a small party of volunteers from this town well mounted, but, our distance being fifty miles from Traders’ Hill, the lapse of time gave the murders too great a start of us. On our arrival at the above place we found the store robbed of goods to the amount of £2000 Sterling and the corpses of the two unfortunate victims of savage barbarity which we had buried. My party returned the 13th to Colerain where the public stores are kept, and next morning, Thursday the 14th, I received advice that some people had been killed the day before about six miles from that place. There being now twenty-two volunteers well mounted, we proceeded without a moment’s delay and in less than an hour came [to] where we found three men and a little girl murdered and one of the men scalped. We did not wait to bury them but took the trail of the savages and pursued all that day and night for upwards of fifty miles but could not come up with them. We returned on Friday afternoon to where the last mentioned people were murdered and buried them. Those unfortunate people appear to have been coming in to settle in this country. They had a wagon with their property, the horses carried off by the murderers, and it is thought a woman and child, who are missing, are prisoners.We are taking every means in our power to prevent this promising country from breaking up, but as our numbers are few should the war become general we must give way unless we receive aid from other quarters. We rely on Your Excellency’s care of us and that you will order us assistance. Could we have a company of fifty horsemen on Continental pay it would be a means of saving our country! … I am putting Colerain in a state of defence and in a few days hope to have it in such a situation as to bid defiance to all Indian attacks. The cause of this sudden and unexpected attack on us I cannot account well for. I cannot believe that the Creek Nation are acquainted with it. The source of the evil is from another quarter, but this I shall know in a few days… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 54-55.