Transcribed from: The Tuskegee News, Tuskegee, Alabama, 20 November 1952; vol. 88, no. 33, p.1, col 4 (continued to P. 8, col 1).  Transcribed  by Glenn Drummond.  Used with permission of The Tuskegee news.

 

OUR YESTERDAYS – County Has Historic Past - Dr. J.M. Glenn


Macon County is directly connected with events in an extremely far more distant past than many of its present residents may realize.  That is shown by a map issued some years ago by the Alabama Department of Conservation revealing a number of early Indian paths in the state.  Among those trails is one marked “Creek Indian Migration Route,” showing the route of the Creek Indians – about halfway the state from north to south – from Mississippi (and some way from Mexico) directly through Macon County, and some went on to Georgia.  The map does not give any past or present names of places, but the trail ran near Tuskegee, and in places may have coincided with, or was a little above, a part of what much later become the noted “Old Federal Road,” which was about six miles below Tuskegee.  That great migration was in prehistoric days – a fact preserved by Indian traditions.

Another memorable fact about Macon County is that through it ran the northern line (32 degrees and 28 minutes north latitude) of what was known as British, and later Spanish, “West Florida” back in the 1700’s.  That line ran a little above Selma, a bit farther north of Montgomery, below Wetumpka, and in Macon County between Tuskegee and Notasulga, seemingly about Chehaw.  Among my numerous old maps, extending back for some 200 years, one has the territory north of that line of 32 degrees and 28 minutes marked as the “Illinois County,” named for the Illinois tribes and extending far toward the Great Lakes region, thus including the northern part of our Macon County.  Likely a good many Maconites of the present day may not know that they are residing in what once upon a time was both British and Spanish territory, and others may not know that their section of the county ever had any connection with the “Illinois County.”  Maybe not.

 Incidentally, in speaking of those early days, it may not be amiss to remember that until after the Revolutionary War all of Alabama above the 31st degree of north latitude (our east-west dividing line from Florida) and up nearly to Tennessee, was a part of “Georgia,” hence a part of the “original 13 colonies” which then gained their independence.  Until after that war Georgia extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, and as Georgia’s two places on our national flag (a star and the lower stripe) we of the great part of Alabama can also claim two places, a star and a direct interest in that lower stripe.  Let us not forget that fact of history, even if many Alabamians may not be aware of it.

The name of “Creek Stand” in Macon County reveals what tribe was predominate there.  The Creek Indians derived their name from the many streams, some of them small, in their country.  Sometime they are called Mushogees and that name means “damp or Swampy Ground,” so the two names have a similar meaning.

The name of “Warrior Stand” community comes from Big Warrior, a noted Creek chief, who was friendly toward the whites, and to whom the whites owed much in the stormy days of the past.  He was present when Tecumseh, the celebrated Shawnee chief, spoke at Tuckabetchee (1811) trying to incite the Indian tribes against the whites.  He led in greeting Tecumseh there (about six miles below Tallassee) and steadfastly counseled the Alabama Indians not to be swayed by Tecumseh’s fiery appeals, although Tecumseh’s parents of Alabama, his father a Shawnee and his mother a Creek, and they had migrated to the Great Lakes region, seemingly about the time of his birth.

Big Warrior and other friendly Indians rendered great aid to Gen. Jackson in the 1813-14 fighting, including the decisive battle of the Horse Shoe Bend in March 1814, and he was present when Chief Weatherford (Lamo Chattee, or Red Eagle) surrendered to Jackson some months later at Fort Jackson, formerly Fort Toulouse, below Wetumpka.

One of Big Warrior’s sons-in-law, Captain Kendall Lewis, in later days kept the tavern at Fort Bainbridge, about half a dozen miles eastward from Creek Stand, in old Boromville, in the edge of Russell County, and among other notables entertained there was General LaFayette in his triumphant trip across Alabama in 1825.  That night a son was born in the tavern to Captain and Mrs. Lewis, and he was named LaFayette Lewis in honor of the celebrated general who helped the Americans so notably in the Revolutionary War.

 Macon County records are worthy of preservation.


Date of Publication                            Title

September 11, 1952                                 Backtrails Through History – Old Cotton Valley Historic Site

November 27, 1952                                 Our Yesterdays – Origin of Alabama Told

September 17, 1953                                Glimpses of Yesterday – Tales of Old Creek Stand

October 22, 1953                                      Views and Interviews 

November 19, 1953                                 Glimpses of Yesterday - Warrior Stand Anecdotes