Murder of Chief William McIntosh
“This massacre is only the signal for a ferocious Indian war, bursting upon us like a thunderbolt.”
So wrote President John Adams in his diary on May 16, 1825, after learning of the murder of Chief William McIntosh. McIntosh was the son of a Scottish captain in the British Army and a full-blooded Creek Indian woman belonging to the influential Wind Clan. He ultimately became a chief aligned with the lower Creek faction and operated a backwoods plantation, tavern and ferry on the Chattahoochee River.
The Indian War Adams fears did not immediately materialize, but 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.
In 1978, Carroll County acquired 527 acres of land adjacent to the Chattahoochee River. Included in this parkland is the site of McIntosh’s plantation known as Lochau Talofau or Acorn Bluff. It was here on the morning of May 1, 1825, that 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 of “Fire and Blood.” They killed McIntosh and another chief, burned the plantation, destroyed what stock they could not carry off, but spared the lives of all women and children and 1 white man.
Today, visitors to the site can camp, hike and picnic on the ground where 2 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.
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. The park combines recreation activities, preservation of cultural heritage, public education, fish and wildlife management and conservation of the Chattahoochee River Corridor.
This project has been assisted in part by a Land and Water Conservation Grant, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, U.S. Department of Interior.