The McIntosh Reserve
The McIntosh Reserve Park is 527 acres, operated by the Carroll County Parks Department. The park includes equestrian trails, camping, several picnic shelters, a river trail, a splash water park, and sweeping views of the Chattahoochee River. It’s very rustic and maintains the historical integrity of the Georgia river wilderness. A log lodge like what would have been McIntosh’s home still sits there, a ghostly structure. Across the street, the grave of McIntosh lays under a tree, whose ancient roots swell above the red Georgia dirt. From atop the Council Bluff the breeze blows upward from the rapid current of the Chattahoochee. This was the plantation home of Chief McIntosh. Here was the primary residence of his family, slaves, his tavern, and his ferry. Probably several of these acres were planted in cotton, as he was also a planter and cotton merchant. At the time of his death in 1825, McIntosh was one of the wealthiest men in Georgia. Some reference sources say the wealthiest.
In the early 1800s, McIntosh was a very influential Chief of the Creek Nation. He was also a Brigadier General with U. S. Military Volunteers. He fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek Indian War of 1813, demonstrating loyalty to the White Men as neighbors. McIntosh negotiated fourteen treaties with the State of Georgia, seeking to broker peace for his people. In 1825, he signed the Indian Springs Treaty on behalf of his people, the Lower Creeks. Prior to this signing the Chiefs had convened and legislated that no more Creek land could be ceded under penalty of death. McIntosh signed this agreement.
Walking a narrow path between the two worlds, McIntosh told his people the White Man had more money, more people, more weapons. “We can stay and fight them and we will all perish. Or, we can sell our land and take their offer of safe passage to new lands in Oklahoma set aside for us, with no government interference. And our people will live.” He was warned if he signed he would be killed.
“What is the value of one man’s life when measured against the life of a Nation? Women, children, and our men will all die. Or only I will die.” He signed the Treaty of Indian Springs; he was killed by the Upper Creeks in 1825. Many of his people perished during the forced removal, contrary to the treaty.
I hope the historical fiction I’ve written for young readers will be enjoyed by readers of all ages. If you enjoyed it, please leave a quick review on Amazon or Goodreads.