Piomingo ~ Chickasaw

Published on January 23, 2011 by Casey

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His mother was descended from the Chocchuma tribe, on the Tallahatchie, dwindled away — his father, it is thought, a Chickasaw. When a youth one of the Chickasaws killed a favorite brother & to forget the loss he went & lived with the Cherokees several years & returned to the Chickasaws not long before the breaking out of the first Cherokee war. He was home about 1750 in the “Old Town” & died about 1795 in Long Town. The Chocchumas were conquered by the Trans-Mississippi Indians & divided & joined the Chickasaws & Choctaws. The date of which was beyond the knowledge of Mr. McGee – perhaps a century before his coming to the Nation in 1768. Prior to the then war of ’56 the Chickasaws resided in several separate towns – in that war, the Choctaws were in the interest of the French & the Chickasaws, the English. A war ensued between the Nations – their small war parties frequently met with varied success; a large party of the Choctaws more than once in large armies against the Chickasaws, who left their towns & concentrated in Old Town, on Old Town Creek, in Pontotoc county: Once at least the Choctaws came boldly to the Old Town & burned one [of] their houses, but generally wd. come within gun shot fire & be off. The Choctaws were far the more numerous of the two Nations. A party of Chickasaws living in that [unreadable] joined Gen Oglethorpe in taking St. Augustine & in consideration of their services the Crown of Great Britain bestowed upon them a fine tract of land 10 miles square opposite the City of Augusta, Georgia – upon which is now situated the city of Harrisburg, S. C.. Several Chickasaws went to settle there and some Indians are yet living in [unreadable] born there. By breaking out of the Revolution, they abandoned it, (Vise Haywood Jr. 380, showing that Piomingo in ’93 made a claim). The Chickasaws, very likely, did not think the value of the land in question of sufficient movement to trouble themselves about it & the Revolution over, doubtless the State of S. C. deemed it hers – not by right of conquest for the Chickasaws, this they aided the British at Pensacola in 1781 against the Spaniards, never fought against the Americans as a Nation except perhaps at Ft. Jefferson.
The Chocchuma portion of the Chickasaws were of a fairer skin than the rest of the nation or indeed than any of the Southern Indians & Piomingo partook of this feature. Was a middle sized person – “he couldn’t look a man in the face” & did not pay his debts well so that the traders wdn’t credit him.
When (in ’93, Drake says) the Spaniards at New Orleans engaged an emissary, one Ben Foy, [Benjamin Fooy], a German from Amsterdam, to lure the Chickasaws to their interest – Piomingo & the Colberts, Wm & George, and all living in Long Town, took sides for the Americans; Wolfs Friend & Big Town, the Post Oak Grove for the Spaniards. Old Town where the King resided was neutral, – the smaller towns had, it is thought, no separate voice in the matter, but joined with one or the other of the three chief towns. At all events the American party prevailed & the Wolf’s Friend in a great measure, lost his influence in the nation, subsequently went to Phila. with Gen Wilkinson in 1799 & shot himself shortly after (having long suffered with the gravel), – on Duck River, near the mouth of Piney river, where he & Gen Colbert (and son-in-law) went to reside not long before. When this event occurred, Colbert & their family returned to the nation.
The Creeks made war against the Chickasaws because they wd. not join the former in their war against the U.S.. When the Creeks made peace with the U.S., they still waged war with the Chickasaws – in 1795 (while Gens Colbert & McGee went on to Phila. to ask for aid from govt in their war agst the Creeks, for Gen. Pickens, had given them such hopes at Blount’s Treaty – he & Blount being commissioners – but Govt wd listen nothing to it & finally effected a peace) a small party of Creeks entered the Chickasaw country, and came within gun shot Long Town – at which Chs. Neansker was stationed with 40 men, & a 4 pounder: – (The Creeks coming up so bold, the Chickasaws supposed at first they were from Wolf Friend’s town, viz. Post Oak Grove Town, four miles off – one of the Chickasaws who could speak Creek, mixed with the enemy & asked, mistrusting them their character, one of them in his own tongue to what tribe they belonged? “The Coosa” was their reply, which readily put all doubts to flight, & then the battle commenced) a skirmish ensued – a half-breed, Underwood and 2 women of the Chickasaws were killed & perhaps 3 Creeks, Piomingo wd not consent that Mauscoe & his party, and the main body of his warriors shd pursue, viz. it was only a decoy party to lead them into an ambuscade where the army lay. And it was this little [unreadable] that led W. Colbert, Wm McGilvray, John Brown, & Malcolm McGee to Phila as above stated: (Col. Rob Hays accompanied the delegation). While they were absent a large body of 11 or 12 hundred Creeks, (as Col. Jas White learned in the nation), invaded the Chickasaws nation, & came boldly in September upon Long Town & there the battle commenced. George Colbert, Maj Wm Glover, a half breed, were chief leaders – the day was a drizzly rain – the Chickasaws dashed into the action with great spirit, drove their enemies, who – so sure of taking the town, had brought their packs with them, now dropped them & ran – these were temptations to the Chickasaws, who seized the plunder and made back for the town, some on foot & others mounted. George Colbert was sick at the time, but fought bravely & had a horse killed under him. Had it not been for the love of plunder, the victory wd have been still more bloody, as it was, some forty Creeks were slain, & not more than five Chickasaws. Piomingo was blamed for remaining in town with the cannon – they thought he so great a warrior, ought to have brought forth the “big gun” to the battle field. The old war chief died sometime the following year – 1796 – leaving a widow & son & daughter.

Source: chickasawhistory

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