May 2012 Trail of Tears Meeting at McIntosh Reserve Park
By Linda Baker
The next meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM at McIntosh Reserve Park in Carroll County, Georgia. The speaker is yet to be announced.
In 1978, Carroll County acquired 527 acres of land adjacent to the Chattahoochee River. Included in this parkland is the site of Chief William McIntosh’s plantation, known as Lochau Talofau, or Acorn Bluff. McIntosh was the son of a Scottish captain in the British Tory Army and a full-blooded Creek Indian woman belonging to the influential Wind Clan of the Creek Nation. He ultimately became a chief aligned with the Lower Creek faction and operated a backwoods plantation, tavern and ferry on the Chattahoochee River. During the Creek Indian War of 1813-14, McIntosh distinguished himself under the command of future president Andrew Jackson at the pivotal battle of Horseshoe Bend in what is now Alabama. Ironically, near the end of his life, his paternal cousin George Troup was elected governor of the state of Georgia on the platform of removing all Native Americans from the state. On the morning of May 1, 1825 Upper Creek Indian warriors, under the command of Menawa, a Redstick who had fought against McIntosh and Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, carried out the Creek National Council’s orders to kill McIntosh and another chief, burn the plantation and destroy what stock they could not carry off. The controversy surrounding the death of McIntosh during the period of removal of the Creeks and Cherokees from Georgia created a crisis between the federal government and the state of Georgia.
McIntosh Reserve was developed as parkland by Carroll County in order to provide for the public enjoyment of this site’s natural and cultural resources, while at the same time ensuring the preservation of these resources. Today, visitors to the site can camp, hike and picnic on the ground where two diverse cultures collided, causing the death of an important historic figure. Displays and signs within the park help the public understand this violent period in our history.
The Trail of Tears Association was created to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail established by an act of Congress in 1987. The TOTA is dedicated to identifying and preserving sites associated with the removal of Native Americans from the Southeast. The Association consists of nine state chapters representing the nine states that the Cherokee and other tribes traveled through on their way to Indian Territory.
Our meetings are free and open to the public. You need not have Native American ancestry to attend our meetings, just an interest and desire to learn more about this fascinating and tragic period in our country’s history. For more information about the TOTA, visit the National TOTA website at www.nationaltota.org and the Georgia Chapter website at www.gatrailoftears.org. For more information about the May meeting, contact Leslie Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 770-757-0931.
For more information about McIntosh Reserve Park, contact the park at 770-830-5879 or the park ranger at email@example.com. More information and directions can be found at http://www.carrollcountyga.com/pages/mcintosh_reserve_park/