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at the feet of a people whom, shortly before, they despised and marked out for destruction ?"
Leaving Panton and the Spanish authorities in considerable pain lest he should in some way put himself into the hands of the Americans, McGillivray, with two thousand warriors, met the American anthorities at Rock Landing on the Oconee; and with his usual polite courtesy, so encouraged the commissioners that they considered it safe to explain the treaty they desired, which, as usual, stipulated that the boundary required by Georgia should be acknowledged; and for other concessions from the Indians. McGillivray, after the form of consulting with his chiefs, astounded the commissioners next morning by coolly refusing their terms as unjust; and in spite of their efforts he broke up his encampment and departed, writing them a curt letter of explanatiov, which ended as follows:
“We sincerely desire a peace, but cannot sacrifice much to obtain it. As for a statement of our disputes, the honorable Congress has long since been in possession of it, and has declared that they will decide on them, on the principles of justice and humanity. 'Tis that we expect.”
The commissioners had to return in dissatisfaction. President Washington, unwilling to undertake a war, whose expense he computed at fifteen millions, resolved to attempt a personal interview with McGill
TREATY AT NEW YORK.
ivray; and Col. Marinus Willet, dispatched on a secret agency to negotiate for his journey to New York, and succeeding, returned with him overland, the distinguished chief being everywhere received and treated with the utmost attention and honor.
The Spanish governor, in great alarm, sent an agent to New York to embarrass their proceedings, who however was so closely watched as to be unable to do any harm. A treaty was at last concluded, August 1790, by which McGillivray recognized the boundary line claimed by the Georgians, and stipulated to substitute for his existing relations with Spain, similar ones with the United States, for which an annual payment of fifteen hundred dollars was to be made to the nation, and their territory guaranteed to them. There was, however, a secret treaty signed by Washington, Knox, McGillivray and the chiefs with him, providing for salaries and medals to the chiefs of the negotiating tribes; and for the halfbreed ruler himself, the appointments of United States agent, and brigadier-general, with twelve hundred
dollars a year.
He returns with half a year's pay in advance. The terms of the treaty being published, for the first time McGillivray begins to lose the confidence at once of his tribe, of the Spaniards, and of Panton. A freebooting adventurer, named Bowles, a man of many strange experiences, in the English interest, intrigues within
the nation against the chief, who, however, journeys about and negotiates awhile, first procures Bowles to be sent to Madrid in irons and then receives from his Catholic Majesty the appointment of superintendent-general of the Creeks, with an annual salary of two thousand dollars, soon increased to thirty-five hundred.
Thus supported by the two powerful nations whom he played against each other, and even firmer than ever in his own hereditary authority, he spent a year or two in his natural atmosphere of diplomacy and intrignie, bamboozling the American authorities with multiplied excuses for delaying to execute the treaty of New York, and still privately maintaining his close relations with the Spaniards; seemingly with perfect ease, avoiding to commit himself into the hands of either, and skillfully and wisely supporting his home administration. He died in February, 1793, of a complication of disorders ; probably chiefly of an inflammation of the lungs, and of gout in the stomach.
“General McGillivray,” says Pickett,“ was six feet high, spare made, and remarkably erect in person and carriage. His eyes were large, dark, and piercing. His forehead was so peculiarly shaped that the old Indian countrymen often spoke of it; it commenced expanding at his eyes, and widened considerably at the top of his head; it was a bold and lofty forehead.
CHARACTER OF MCGILLIVRAY.
His fingers were long and tapering, and he wielded a pen with the greatest rapidity. His face was handsome, and indicative of quick thought and much sagacity. Unless interested in conversation, he was disposed to be taciturn; but even then was polite and
For the control of men, and the conduct of political intrigues, McGillivray was probably the greatest man ever born
this continent. He was, as seems to have been necessary to diplomatic success, pretty thoroughly unscrupulous as to the means he used; and, indeed, was in his public character a false and crafty man; but such characteristics are the less to be wondered at in one of Indian blood, whose life was spent in maintaining a small and feeble nation amid the encroachments, intrigues, and attacks of others immeasurably stronger. As an individual, he was honorable, courteous, hospitable, and generous even to chivalry. At his residence at Little Tallase and the Hickory Ground, he was accustomed nobly to entertain all reputable strangers and visitors of public character.
Three wretches, an Indian, a white renegado, and à negro having waylaid and slain a party of his guests, he sent promptly in pursuit, and although two of them succeeded in escaping, he caused the third to be carried to the place of his guilt, and there hung. A poor Choctaw Indian being sick, apprehended that the native doctors had given him over. In this case the gentlemen of the savage faculty were accustomed to verify their diagnoses by recommending that the patient be forthwith put out of his pain, whereupon two of the nearest relatives, in full reliance upon their professional skill, jumped upon him and strangled him out of hand. Crawling desperately off to escape this prescription, while the consultation was progressing before his door, the poor wretch managed to reach the Creek nation, was kindly received by McGillivray, and by him caused to be cured. He returned home, but arrived only in time for the final ceremonies of dancing round his empty death-scaffold, and burning it, whereupon they all ran away, one man only, cornered in his house, insisting that he was a ghost, and exhorting him to hurry back to the land of spirits. Fearing that he should really be sent thither, he returned to the Creeks and spent the rest of his life under their protection.
A party of unhappy fugitives from amongst the insurgents of 1781, in the Natchez district, arrived, all haggard with their desperate forest journey, at the Hickory Grouind. In imminent danger from the warriors, who believed them whigs, the Creeks being then in arms for the royal cause, they were only saved by the presence of mind of McGillivray's negro body-servant, Paro, who, his master being