7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Oconee Indian Wars, Part 1

by Denise Weimer

Since the back story uncovered by my modern characters as they restore a log cabin in the third book of my Restoration trilogy dates to 1790, my research delved into the history of the early settlers and Creek Indians of Middle Georgia. Many Georgia settlers were Scots-Irish not so welcome in staid New England communities who traveled down the Great Wagon Route and Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap. By 1730, Carolina offered “head right” grants, and ships began to sail there instead of Pennsylvania. The 1773 Treaty of Augusta unofficially opened lands east of the Oconee River to settlement. In 1783, Georgia leaders notified 100 Creek Indian towns of a meeting that only two Creek chiefs attended in defiance of Supreme Chief Alexander McGillivray, who had demoted them. They signed away Creek and Cherokee lands west of the Oconee. McGillivray denied both the subsequent Galphinton and Shoulderbone treaties and by 1786 prepared for war.
Map of Frontier GA Forts
The 1773 treaty had established Cherokee Corner, a spot on the Cherokee Trading Path at the junction of Wilkes and Washington Counties, as the edge of the Indian boundary. According to an early Oglethorpe County history book, block houses along this route saw many early attacks. A PG-13 violence warning should accompany one of these! A certain mother outside Fort Knox made the fatal mistake of taking a warning of approaching Indians as another false alarm. The Indians scalped her, beat her baby's brains out against a tree, and took her two young sons into a dense swamp. Settlers tracked and recovered the boys, finding the son with long black hair unharmed, while the other had been scalped. Though he survived, he forever had to wear a wig in public.
A certain Mrs. Fielder had better success in June 1787 when Indians attacked her farm in the absence of her husband, a scout and hunter. She and a Negro woman held off the raiding party by firing their guns from the cabin and shouting in such a way that the Indians believed a number of men to be ensconced. That same year, 20 braves approaching from the west on the Augusta trail attacked and burned the frontier town of Greensborough. They launched flaming pitch arrows to demolish the store, blacksmith shop, new school and courthouse and numerous cabins. Thirty-one were killed, 20 wounded and four women and two slaves taken captive. (This will come into play in my novel, Witch: 1790!)
Burning of Greensborough, photo by Jimmy Emerson

Oconee Indian Wars continued in my next blog post …


  1. The sadness of history! :( So devastating! The people of the day were so strong to move on to unknown wilderness.

  2. Thanks for posting this and all the wonderful research you have done! My ancestors were very early settlers in Wilkes, Baldwin, Hancock, Jones and other counties in Georgia. Did you know there was a devastating tornado in ... I think it was 1805 through this area. If you haven't looked him up, you might want to take a look at the travels of an early traveling minister, Lorenzo Dow.


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