Prominent mix-blooded Indians
Among the names of prominent white men who mingled their blood with that of the Red man, was William Moniac ( a Hollander) who came with a remnant of Natchez Indians to the Creek nation in 1756. He took a Tuskegee woman, Polly Colbert, for his wife. One of their sons, Sam Moniac, married William (Red Eagle) Weatherford's sister. He and Sam Moniac were men of fine sense and indominable courage, strict integrity and enterprise, had considerable influence over the Indians. When Sam Moniac went with Gen. McGillivray to New York to see Washington, Moniac was presented by Washington with a medal that was buried with him at Pass Christian in 1837.
Sam Moniac was the father of Maj. David Moniac who was killed in the Florida war in 1836, and of whom Gen. Jessup said, that he was as brave and gallant a man as ever drew a sword or faced in enemy. He (David Moniac) was a nephew of Weatherford and David Tate, and a graduate of West Point. His descendants are highly respected citizens pf Alabama and Mississippi. His wife was a cousin of Oscelola the Florida chief, who commanded the Florida Indians when Maj. Moniac was killed. Moniac had resigned his commission in the U. S. A. many years before the Florida war of 1836, and had entered the army as a private with a Company from Claiborne, Ala., he soon rose to the rank of Major by Brevet, and was in command of 600 Creeks and Choctaws when killed, having13 bullets piercing his body, as he fought against the Seminoles in the Florida War of 1836.
His mother was Red Eagle Weatherford's siter, which would lead to the conclusion that Weatherford sprang from heroic stock, and his uncle, Gen. McGillivray was said by Judge John R.Campbell to be a regular descendant of a noble Scotch family of a heroic clan in Scotland.
Sam Moniac, operated an "inn" on the Federal Road at Catoma Creek in Southwest Montgomery County (just south of Montgomery). When his son, David was only a year old in 1803, Sam Moniac was approached by Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins to go with a group of men to capture William Augustus Bowles, "a bizarre character," who was a Maryland Tory who resigned his British Army commission at Pensacola in 1778 to live among the Creeks. Bowles proclaimed himself "Director General" of the Creeks, and contended against Alexander McGillivray and others for Creek influence. Bowles travelled with sixty body guards, and despite a $4,500 reward put up by Vicente Folch, the Spanish Governor at Pensacola, "no Indian attempted to win the award" until Moniac and his group did.
Moniac and his brother-in-law, Red Eagle, and Hawkins traced Bowles to an Indian Council in May of 1803 at Hickory Ground. When Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins announced he had come to arrest Bowles, the Bowles supporters showed signs of resistance. Nevertheless, Hawkins told Red Eagle and Sam Moniac to arrest Bowles, and "to the sound of scores of rifles clicking to the cocked position", Moniac and Red Eagle, with reckless courage, seized Bowles, spirited him out of the most sacred spot in Indian territory, and put him in a pirogue and paddled down the Alabama River. Four nights later, camping on an island near Salem, Bowles stole the boat and escaped, but they caught him in the cane across the River, took him to Pensacola and delivered Bowles to Spanish Governor Folch, who handed over the $4,500 reward, and put Bowles on a succession of ships which landed him in New Orleans and on to Cuba, where he died in a military hospital.
Murder near the Inn
In the Spring of 1812, a murder occurred near the Moniac's Inn, which became one of several "widely reported murders of whites by Indians." Thomas Meredith, Sr., "a respectable old man", was travelling with his family to the Mississippi Territory, when he was killed by Maumouth, and old Autossee (Creek) chief and some other Indians. Sam Moniac called the killing an accident, but Meredith's son, an eyewitness, called it murder whilst the Indians were "in liquor". Problems with the Creeks got worse and worse. Indian "prophets" like Josiah Francis began to stir up the Creeks toward war in the 1812-1813 period, and young David Moniac -- then eleven -- was most likely witness to a scene of high drama. David's father Sam Moniac and Sam's brother-in-law William (Red Eagle) Weatherford returned from a cattle trading expedition in Mississippi in early summer of 1813, and at Tallewassee Creek near Red Eagle's plantation, the families of Moniac and Red Eagle were assembled (probably as hostages) with Red Stick chiefs and prophets taking "the black drink".
The Red Stick leaders included Peter McQueen, High-Headed Jim, and the Prophet Josiah Francis, husband of Sam Moniac's half-sister Hannah Moniac. These Red Sticks told Sam Moniac and Red Eagle that unless they joined the Red Sticks, they would immediately be put to death in front of their families. Weatherford (Red Eagle) stayed. Sam Moniac, however, refused and mounted his horse to run away. His brother-in-law the Prophet Josiah Francis grabbed his bridle, but Sam Moniac snatched Josiah Francis' war club and clubbed him hard, riding off in a shower of rifle bullets. From that point Red Eagle fought with the Red Sticks, and Sam Moniac with the whites. On July 26, 1813, after the massacre of the whites at Burnt Corn Creek on the Road to Pensacola,U.S. Army Brigadier General Ferdinand Leigh Claiborne asked Sam Moniac, Dixon Bailey, and David Tate to lead parties in searching for the stragglers or remains of the white troops, and after fifteen days, found Col. Caller and Major Wood lost and delirious in the woods. Even more celebrated was to follow on December 23, 1813 when Sam Moniac guided General Claiborne at the Battle of Holy Ground.
David Moniac's West Point Career
In 1816, at the ripe age of fourteen, young David Moniac was the first so-called "non-white" to be appointed to West Point. He went to Washington to learn to read and write under Irish tutor John McLeod, and entered West Point on September 18, 1817 at age fifteen. He graduated 39th in a class of 40 on July 1, 1822, and was commissioned brevet Second Lieutenant in the Sixth Infantry.
After six months of leave, on December 31, 1822, David Moniac resigned his Commission. Apparently, his father, Sam Moniac had been drinking heavily, and had lost much of his property and fled into the Creek nation to seek immunity from debtor and tax collectors.
Samís wife, Elizabeth ("Betsy") Weatherford, managed to hold onto her property, but David's uncle David Tate wrote for him to come home and take care of family affairs. David Moniac resigned his commission, returned home, acquired property, built a home, farmed cotton, and raised thoroughbred racehorses.
Maj. David Moniac was killed in the Seminole Florida War in 1836.
In Hancock County, many of the Indians who live there are named Favre, and many of the Favre's claim to be Indian.
Many of the mix blooded Indians dropped their native names in favor of their European family name and discreetly remained concealed in the wooded areas. Not unusually, these names were Favre, Dedeaux, Cuevas, Ladner, Dubuisson, etc. Farve, or Favre, is a common name for many of today's Indians who live in Hancock County.
As reported by Jerry Heitzmann, the first Favre to arrive at the Coast was Jean Baptiste Favre, Jr. originating from Rouen, France. He married his first wife Magdeleine on July 2, 1714 and then to Marie Anne Arlut in 1720. He left four children at his death, one of whom was Jean Claude Favre who was the official Government Interpreter, who during his extensive travels, sired many children. He also produced five legitimate children by his wife Marguerite, a daughter of a Swiss soldier. One of these was Simon Favre who also became an official government interpreter and traveled the whole of Mississippi. His descendants reported to a local genealogist, that Simon had many illegitimate children -- white, red, and black -- scattered from New Orleans to Mobile and throughout eastern Mississippi. Simon Favre settled along the Pearl River in 1806 following the searchings of his predecessor, Jean Claude Favre, who cultivated some of the area as early as 1767. Simon Favre was sufficiently educated and participated in the negotiations and signing of many Indian Treaties. He also served as one of the four magistrates appointed by Governor W.C.C. Claiborne in 1811. He played a prominent part in currying the Choctaw Nation to the American cause, however, he died before the Battle of New Orleans took place.
Indians are now, few in number along the Gulf Coast and much of the Indian heritage has been forgotten. However, we might justly remind ourselves that many of the names of towns, counties, rivers and bayous, and even the State name of Mississippi proclaims the omnificense of their progeny.
For the amateur archaeologist, or Indian lore seeker, there are still traces of native Indian inhabitants along the Coast. Archaeological components in Mississippi are unfortunately based entirely by results of limited excavations, thereby providing limited data. However, some Indian shell piles called middens still have potential historical significance.
Thus, the early Indians who created these mounds, had done so long before DeSoto ever made his Pasada or bloody trek from Florida to the Mississippi River in 1541.
Above exerpts from: Alabama Historical Reporter ó March 1884
By J. D. Driesback, July 9th, 1883
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