Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/McIntosh, William

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McINTOSH, William, Creek chief, b. in Coweta, Ga., in 1775; d. near there, 29 April, 1825. His father, William, was a British officer, and his mother was a Creek Indian. The son was carefully educated and became a principal chief of his nation. During the war of 1812 he commanded the friendly Creeks who were in alliance with the U. S. government, did efficient service at the battles of Autossee and Horseshoe Bend, was promoted major, and was in the Florida campaign. In 1825 U. S. commissioners were appointed to meet Indian delegations to treat for the sale of their lands within the limits of the state of Georgia. McIntosh agreed to sell, sustaining his position with statesmanlike reasons. He said: “The white man is growing. He wants our lands; he will buy them now. By and by he will take them, and the little band of our people will be left to wander without homes, poor and despised, and be beaten like dogs. We will go to a new home and learn like the white man to till the earth, grow cattle, and depend on these for food and life. This knowledge makes the white men like leaves; the want of it makes the red men few and weak. Let us learn to make books as the white man does, and we shall grow again and become again a great nation.” McIntosh's proposition was accepted by the greater part of the Creeks; but Tuscahachees, headed by the chief Hopothlayohola, who had been his opponent during the war of 1812, refused to agree. Their hostility to McIntosh culminated in a conspiracy for his assassination. Fifty warriors and Hopothlayohola were selected for this purpose. One night they knocked at his door, but, knowing their purpose, he declared to his son that he would meet his doom like a warrior, and, taking his rifle, he opened the door, fired on them as he gave the war-whoop, and fell dead, pierced by twenty balls.