In talking about the McIntosh’s of Georgia and more specifically, Fayette County, we are talking about members of the Creek Indian Nation.
The Creek Indians arrived in Georgia as far back as 10,000 years ago but until 1,000 years ago they finally stopped roving and began to become agrarian and stay put in one place. At this time they were known as Woodland Era Indians. What was happening in the world at this time? The Roman Empire was forming and Alexander the Great was conquering Persia.
When they began to settle in Georgia (I always use present place names when I lecture or write) they did so along our creeks. Heaven only knows Fayette County has a lot of those, and thereby acquired that name. When DeSoto came through Georgia about 1540 he is credited with naming the Indians living here the”Creeks.”
In the mid 1700s, three McIntosh brothers arrived from Scotland and settled just south of Savannah, McIntosh County is located there now. One of the brothers, William McIntosh, began to travel through rest of the state, trading with the Creeks. They occupied two-thirds of Georgia and were known as the Lower Creeks and also occupied the first one-third of Alabama by the year 1800. Those living in Alabama were known as the Upper Creeks.
In what is now the Carroll-Coweta area, he met and married a Creek Indian princess, Senoya He-Ne-Ha. She was of the “Wind Clan.”
Yes, Senoia is named for her, but spelled differently. They had a son, William McIntosh, Jr.
His dad saw he was educated in both worlds but eventually returned to a wife in Savannah.
Junior grew up in our part of Georgia and eventually became Principal Chief of the Creek Nation. Because he was well aware of the history of both sides of his family, he could see “further down the road” than pretty much all the other leaders of the Creek Nation. Anyone in politics, then or now, experience some fellow out there who misunderstands them and their intentions and decides to eliminate that leader. In 1821 Chief McIntosh, on behalf of his Nation, sold the land that became Fayette, Henry, Dooley, Houston and Monroe counties. He felt his people might as well get some funds from conceding these lands, as he knew they would eventually just be taken from them.
The Upper Creeks, however, felt differently, and in 1825 assassinated him.
His great grandson’s association with my children and myself, as well as his part in adding to our county history, next week.