The Account of Lamhatty


An old manuscript of unusual interest, relating to the Creek 
Indians in 1706 and 1707, is preserved by the Virginia Historical 
Society at Richmond. It forms No. 13, vol. iv, of the Ludwell 
Papers, and is now printed for the first time. 

The manuscript is an account of an Indian from the town of 
Towasa who was taken captive by a band of " Tusckaroras " and 
carried northward through many Creek towns ; later he was sold 
to the Souanoukas [Shawnees] , whose village was across the moun- 
tains toward the east. Still later he accompanied a party of Shaw- 
nee on a hunting trip northward along the foot of the mountains. 
They evidently entered the valleys of the Blue Ridge and the Alle- 
ghanies in Virginia, beyond the headwaters of the streams flowing 
into the Atlantic. Soon he escaped from the Shawnee and made 
his way down the Mattapony to the English settlements. 

The account was either written or dictated by Robert Beverley, 
the historian, two years after the first edition of his History of Vir- 
ginia was published. If is written on a single sheet of paper, and 
on the reverse is a map of the country through which Lamhatty 
passed, his route being shown by a dotted line. The map is repro- 
duced in facsimile, though slightly reduced, in plate xxxv. 

The manuscript reads as follows : 

" Mf Robert Beverleys A ceo! of Lamhatty 
" Lamhatty an Indian of Towassa of 26 years of age comeing naked & 
unarmed into the upper inhabitants on the north side of Mattapany in 
very bad weather in y! X! mass hollidays anno 1707 gives this acco! 

" The foregoeing year yf Tusckaroras made war on y' Towasas & 
destroyed 3 of theyr nations (the whole consisting of ten) haveing dis- 
posed of theyr prisoners they returned again & in y' Spring of y" year 
1707 they swept away 4 nations more, the other 2 fled, not to be heard 
of 'twas at this second comeing that they took Lamhatty & in 6 weeks 
time they caryed him to Apeikah from thence in a week more to Jabon, 



from thence in 5 days to Tellapousa (where they use canoes) where they 
made him worke in y° ground between 3 & 4 months. Then they 
carryed him by easy Journeys in 6 weeks time to the Opponys, from 
thence they were a month crossing -f mountains to Souanouka's where 
they sold him. 

" A party of y* Souanouka's comeing northward under the foot of y° 
mountains took him with them, there were of y° Souanoukas, 6 men 2 
women & 3 children, he continewed with them about 6 weeks, & they 
pitched thier Camp on y° branches of Rapahan : River where they pierce 
•f mountains, then he ran away from them keeping his course E b S & 
E S E. Crossing 3 branches of Rapahan : River & thrice crossing Matta- 
pany till he fell in upon Andrew Clarks house which he went up to & sur- 
endered himself to y' people they being frightned Seized upon him 
violently & tyed him tho' he made no manner of Resistance but shed tears 
& shewed them how his hands were galled and swelled by being tyed 
before ; where upon they used him gentler & tyed y' string onely by one 
arme till they brought him before L! Coll" Walker of King & Queen 
County where is at liberty & stays verry contentedly but noe body can yet 
be found that understands his language. 

' ' Postscript [torn] after some of his Country folks were found servants 
[torn] he was sometimes ill used by Walker, became very melancholly after 
fasting & crying several days together sometimes useing little Conjura- 
tion & when warme weather came he went away & was never more 
heard of." 

Many of the towns through which the path led have been iden- 
tified ; but others cannot be traced.^ 

The towns, beginning with Towasa, are : 

1. Towasa. The narrators of the De Soto expedition relate that 
on the 1 2th of September, 1 540, they reached the town of Toasi, at 
some point eastward of where it was situated in 1707. "Too-wos- 
sau, is three miles below E-cun-cha-te, on the same side of the river 
[A-la-ba-ma] a small village on a high bluff." — Hawkins, p. 36. 

2. Socsobky. Not identified. 

3. Apeicah. " Au-be-coo-che . . . This town is one of the 

oldest in the nation ; and sometimes, among the oldest chiefs, it 

' I desire to express my indebtedness to Mr James Mooney of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology, for assistance in the identification of the various names. The works quoted 
are: A. S. Gatschet, A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians, vol. I, Phila., 1884; 
vol. II, St. Louis, 1888. Benjamin Hawkins, The Creek Confederacy, in Coll. Georgia 
Hist. Soc, vol. Ill, pt. I, Savannah, 1848. 

AM. ANTH., N. S., 9-37. 

570 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [n. s., io, 1908 

gives name to the nation, Au-be-cuh." — Hawkins, pp. 41-42. 
" Abi'hka . . . one of the oldest among the Upper Creek towns. 
... It certainly lay somewhere near the Upper Coosa river." — 
Gatschet, vol, i, p. 1 24. 

4. Jabon. Not identified. 

5. Alabdchehati. Not identified. 

6. Tellapousa. Tallapoosa, a term usually applied to the Upper 
Creeks, although there may have been a town of that name. 

7. Tockhousa. Not identified. 

8. Cheeawbole. Probably Ho-ith-le Waule, which stood on the 
right bank of the Tallapoosa. — Hawkins, p. 32. 

9. Caweta. " Kawita, a Lower Creek town on the high western 
bank of Chatahochi river, three miles below its falls. The fishery 
in the western channel of the river, below the falls, belonged to 
Kawita, that in the eastern channel to Kasi'hta." — Gatschet, vol. i, 
p. 134. " Cow-e-tugh, on the right bank of Chat-to-ho-che, three 
miles below the falls, on a flat extending back one mile." — Hawkins, 

P- 52. 

10. Awhissie. Not identified. 

1 1. OUqudney. Possibly the Okoni, who appear to have moved 
from place to place and to have lived, at an early time, on Oconee 
river, in the eastern part of Georgia. 

12. Oukfusky. " Okfuski (better Akfaski), an Upper Creek 
town, erected on both sides of Tallapoosa river, about thirty-five 
miles above Tukabatchi. ... In 1799 Okfuski (one hundred and 
eighty warriors) with its seven branch villages on Tallapoosa river 
(two hundred and seventy warriors) was considered the largest com- 
munity of the confederacy." — Gatschet, vol. i, p. 139. 

13. Smvanouka. Referring to the Shawnee. (The Creek form 
is Savanogi, the Cherokee Sawanuki.) The village is shown on 
the map east of the mountains and evidently represents a Shawnee 
settlement on upper Savannah river. 

14. Poehussa. Not identified. 

The towns through which Lamhatty passed, were, according to 
the text : 

1. Towassa. (On map Towasa.) 

2. Apeikah. (On map Apeicah.) 



N. 8., VOL. 10, PL. XXXV 

om the Original Manuscript in possession of the Virginia Historical Society.) 

bushnell] the account OF LAMHATTY 57 1 

3. Jdbon. (On map Jabon.) 

4. Tellapousa. (Same on map.) 

5. Opponys. (Possibly the OQquaney on the map. They may 
also have been the Saponi of North Carolina.) 

6. Souanouka's. (On map Sowanouka.) 

In addition to the towns already mentioned as having been on 
the route followed by Lamhatty, there are eight others bearing 
names. As all are shown to have been situated in the southern 
part of the country, they, together with Towasa and Socsooky, may 
have constituted the ten nations, or rather bands, of the Towasa 
which are referred to in the text The names of the eight towns 
are : 

1. Pouhka. Hawkins (p. 36), refers to a small town called 
Pau-woc-te near the later site of Towasa. This may be the same as 
Pouhka, and if so the two were probably removed at the same time, 
as they are shown close together on the map in 1707. 

2. Tomobka. This may refer to a settlement of the Timucua, 
originally resident in northern Florida, known to the English as 

3. Sowbolla. May possibly be Saw-woo-ge-lo. (Hawkins, p. 

4. Auledly. Not identified. 

5. Ephippick. Not identified. 

6. Ogolaughoos. Not identified. 

7. Choctbuh. Possibly the village of the Chato or Chatot tribe, 
afterward settled near Mobile. 

8. Sonepdh. Not identified. 

Several other towns are indicated on the map, but no names 
are attached to them. 

Ouquodky is g^ven as the name of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Names are given various streams as : 

\. . . . bly Netuckqua. Evidently the Appalachicola. 

2. Chauctoubab. The position of this river on the map corre- 
sponds with that of the Flint, which, together with the Chattahoochee, 
forms the Appalachicola. 

3. Wichise. If the hypothesis be correct regarding the two pre- 
ceding streams, this must necessarily refer to the Chattahoochee. 

572 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [n. s., io, 1908 

The name is probably identical with that of Ochesi, a Lower Creek 
or Seminole town of the lower Chattahoochee region. 

4. Sowoblla-oubab. Not identified. 

5. Sayehte Alatam oiibab. Not identified. 

6. Alatam. This may be Duck river, on later maps. 

7. Matapani. The Mattapony, which, with the Pamunkey, 
forms the York river, in Virginia. 

8. Rapahan:. Probably the Rappahannock. 

The names are in the Hitchiti dialect, the suffix oubab evidently 
meaning river, or water. 

The principal value of the manuscript, aside from its general in- 
terest, is the reference to the dissolution of the Towasa tribe, which 
in Hawkins' time {ca. 1 799) we find incorporated with the Creeks. 
Also it throws new light on the size of that nation. It is said that 
during the year 1705 the Towasa moved to Mobile, to be near the 
French : 

" At the beginning of this year 1705 a savage nation called the Tou- 
achas came to M. Bienville at Mobile to beg of him a place in which to 
establish themselves ; he marked out for them a place at a distance of 
one league and a half below the fort where they remained as long as we 
were estabUshed at Mobile. ' ' ' 

The slight variance in dates does not detract from the value of 
the manuscript : it must be remembered that it was written by an 
Englishman, as told by an Indian, far from the places mentioned. 

II. Caweta in 1740 
As Caweta was mentioned as being on the route followed by 
Lamhatty in 1 707, the following brief account of a visit to that town 
thirty-three years later is of special interest. The description forms 
part of an unpublished manuscript in the British Museum (Stowe, 
792), which is a journal kept by a member of General Oglethorpe's 
expedition to the Creek towns in 1740. Only the portion relating 
to the Indians is quoted : 

' ' We camped at Ocmulgas River where are three mounts raised by 
the Indians over three of their Great Kings who were killed in the 
wars . . . 

iMargry, Dhouvertes, Paris, 1883, pt. v, p. 457. 


"Aug 8th We encamped about two miles from the Indian town. 
The Indians sent Boys and Girls out of their Town with Fowls, Venison, 
Pompions, Potatoes Water Melons & Sundry other things. 

" About ten of the Clock we set forward for the Indian Town & were 
met by the Indian King and some of their Cheifs. The King had Eng- 
lish Colours in his hand. We Saluted them & they returned our Salute 
and then shaking hands with the General & Company. The King very 
gracefully taking him by the Arm led him towards the town & when we 
came there they brought us to Logs which they had placed for that pur- 
pose covered with Bears Skins and desired us to sit down which when 
we had done The head Warriors of the Indians brought us black Drink 
in Conk shells which they presented to us and as we were drinking they 
kept Hooping and Hallowing as a Token of gladness in seeing us. This 
Drink is made of a leaf called by the English Casena (and much resem- 
bles Bohea Tea)' It is very plenty in his Country, afterwards we went 
to the Kings House or rather Hut where We Dined, at night we went to 
the Square to see the Indians dance. 

" They dance round a large Fire by the beating of a small Drum 
and Six men singing, their Dress is very wild & frightful, their faces 
painted with several sorts of colours, their hair cut short except three 
locks one of w""" hangs over their Forehead like a horses fore top. They 
paint the short Hair and stick it full of Feathers. They have Balls 
[? bells] and rattles about their Waist and several things in their hands. 

" Their dancing is of divers Gestures and Turnings of the Bodies in a 
great many frightful Postures. 

" The women are mostly naked to the waist wearing only one short 
Peticoat w"" reaches to the Calves of their Legs. Their Houses or Hutts 
are built with Stakes and Plaistered w* clay Mixed with Moss which makes 
them very warm and Tite. They dress their Meat in Large pans made 
of Earth and not much unlike our Beehives in England.^ They do not 
make use of Mills to grind their corn in but in lieu thereof use a Mortar 
made out of the Stock of a Tree which they cut and burn hollow and 

1 Casena, or Black drink, was prepared by many Southern tribes from the leaves of 
of Ilex cassine. Conch shells, large univalves, were used as drinking cups. Mr Clar- 
ence B. Moore found remains of such cups in mounds in Alabama ( Moundville Revis- 
ited, 1907, p. 395). Many writers refer to the use of shells and the drink, and one of 
the best accounts is in Haywood's Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee, Nash- 
ville, 1823, p. 156. 

2 Mr Holmes has illustrated various examples of large earthen vessels, from the 
southern Appalachian area, with rounded or pointed bottoms. These, if inverted, would 
closely resemble the old style conical beehives even now used in rural England. 

574 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [n. s., io, 1908 

then Pound their Com therein and when its pounded sufficiently they sep- 
arate the husks from the meal by Sifting thro' a Sieve made of Reed or 
Cane . . . 

"Aug the 1 2'" We set out from this Town which belonged to the Cou- 
ettan's \Cow-e-tuh. — Hawkins, p. 52] to go to a Town of the Causettans 
\Cus-se-tuh. — Hawkins, p. 57]." 

Washington, D. C. 

The Account of Lamhatty