Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/To-mo-chi-chi

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

Appletons' To-mo-chi-chi.jpg

TO-MO-CHI-CHI, Indian chief, b. in Georgia about 1642; d. there, 5 Oct., 1739. He was the chief of a tribe of Creeks that dwelt near Yamacraw bluff, the site of Savannah. He met Gen. James Oglethorpe in 1733 at the fort that the latter built on Savannah river, and with the aid of an interpreter satisfactory arrangements were made with the neighboring tribes by which the English acquired sovereignty over the country that lies between Savannah and Altamaha rivers and extends westward as far as the tide-waters. The Creek chief is represented as ninety-one years old at the time, dignified and grave in manner. Although he had been expelled by the lower Creeks, he was still very influential throughout the confederacy, and this influence he exercised then, and during the remainder of his life, in favor of the English settlers. He presented Oglethorpe with a buffalo-skin on which the head and feathers of an eagle were painted, and explained that these symbols were significant of the swiftness, strength, love for the Indian, and power to protect him, which were English characteristics. He visited England in 1734 in company with Oglethorpe, five other chiefs, and members of his family. As they were the first Indians in London since the appearance of the Iroquois chiefs with Peter Schuyler in 1710, they were objects of wonder and admiration, and were treated with great distinction. To-mo-chi-chi and his queen were robed in scarlet and gold, and were conveyed to an audience with King George in a coach drawn by six horses. He was received graciously, and assured of the friendship and protection of the English monarch. After a stay of four months, during which he received many costly presents, he was conveyed with his family in royal carriages to the ship on which he embarked for Savannah. His funeral ceremonies were very imposing. His body was accompanied to the tomb by a long train of Indians, magistrates, and inhabitants of Savannah amid discharges of musketry. A pyramid of stone was ordered to be erected over his grave in the centre of the city by Oglethorpe.