John Houstoun petition

John Houstoun petition

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Houstoun, John, 1744-1796
Title: John Houstoun petition
Dates: 1783
Quantity: 0.1 Linear feet (1 portfolio)
Coll. Number: ms2457

Biographical/Historical Note

John Houstoun was twice governor of Georgia, the first mayor of the city of Savannah, and an early supporter of independence from Britain. He commanded the Georgia militia in the invasion of Florida during the American Revolution (1775-83) and represented Georgia in the Continental Congress.


William McIntosh Jr., also known as Tustunnuggee Hutkee ("White Warrior"), was born around 1778 in the Lower Creek town of Coweta to Captain William McIntosh, a Scotsman of Savannah, and Senoya, a Creek woman of the Wind Clan. He was raised among the Creeks, but he spent enough time in Savannah to become fluent in English and to be able to move comfortably within both Indian and white societies.

McIntosh was among those who supported the plans of U.S. Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins to "civilize" the Creeks. Slaveowning, livestock herding, cotton cultivation, and personal ownership of property were examples of changes to traditional Creek ways of life that McIntosh promoted. He himself owned two plantations, Lockchau Talofau ("Acorn Bluff") in present-day Carroll County, and Indian Springs, in present-day Butts County. Both are maintained today as historic sites. While McIntosh's support of civilization efforts earned him the respect of U.S. officials, more traditional Creeks regarded him with distrust.

Whatever his motivations were, McIntosh's participation in the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs cost him his life. According to a Creek law that McIntosh himself had supported, a sentence of execution awaited any Creek leader who ceded land to the United States without the full assent of the entire Creek Nation. Just before dawn on April 30, 1825, Upper Creek chief Menawa, accompanied by 200 Creek warriors, attacked McIntosh at Lockchau Talofau to carry out the sentence. They set fire to his home, and shot and stabbed to death McIntosh and the elderly Coweta chief Etomme Tustunnuggee.

New Georgia Encyclopedia. ( Retrieved 6/3/2011.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of a partly printed document signed, one and a half pages, legal folio, undated, which details a petition brought against William McIntosh by John Houstoun, the Governor of Georgia. As the Chief Justice of Georgia, George Walton signs a document in which "William McIntosh the Younger... became bound to the... Government of the State... in the penal Sum of three hundred and fifty pounds..."

Index Terms

Actions and defenses--Georgia.
Houstoun, John, 1744-1796
Legal documents.
McIntosh, William, d. 1794
Walton, George, 1749 or 50-1804

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Houstoun petition. MS 2457. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

1Petition, 1783