Thursday, March 04, 2004


Wrote a long email to ya last night, copied it, and hit "paste" by accident. "Poof" it was gone.

Jack Wingate has lived near the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee all his life. He has plundered more artifacts from Fort Scott and Fort Recovery (See Mark Boyd's environmental impact document on Lake Seminole) than anyone else and, as far as I know, no academic or scientist has ever looked at his artifacts seriously. He puts on this big country hick act but he is really sharp. Check out his website

Now let me probe into my stack of stuff....

One of the reasons I love studying Chiskatalofa is because during the survey of the first Southern Boundary of the U.S., Ellicott built his astronomical observatory there in August of 1799. Sylvio Bedini describes the construction of an observatory for a zenith sector in his book on Benjamin Bannaker but the best description is in Thomas Pynchon's Mason and Dixon. Pretty sure I got this quote from there, "Sharing a Fate, directed by the stars to mark the Earth with geometric scars." You could do a great plantetarium program on Ellicott's and Stephen Minor's (Spanish commissioner) observations at Chiskatalofa and the Indian conference held there at about the same time.

Got a biography of Philip Keyes Yonge (namesake for P.K. Yonge Library and U. of FL). The Yonge's worked for Panton in the Bahamas and in Fernandina and they were one of the first families to settle on the Forbes Purchase. Henry Yonge founded Abbeville, Alabama (near my Mother's birthplace) and Geneva, Alabama (near my Father's birthplace). Some of the Carnochans also settled on Forbes Purchase but their plantations failed.

There's a pretty good summary of the business practice of Panton, Leslie and the Forbes Purchase in this book on Steamboats of the Apalachicola. Have the xerox copy but no bibliography note.(I'll get it later) The author includes a schedule of trade charges at the Prospect Bluff store. Indians were paid 25 cents per pound for deer skins, $3 for otter skins, $1 for cow hides; wildcat skins 25 cents. Corn and peas were at 75 cents per bushel. A cow was $8 and a cow and calf were $10.

Have a bunch of letters from Coker's Papers of the Panton, Leslie & Co. Special Collections at Bama has all 22 reels and the directory. UWF has a lot of the stuff but they haven't helped me at all. The librarian emailed me a bunch of bull about copyrights.

The Hispanic American Essays
book has some wonderful stuff on the travels of the Forbes Purchase papers. The best is " Diplomatic Missions of the United States to Cuba To Secure the Spanish Archives of Florida" by A.J. Hanna. One of the characters in all this activity is John Forsyth, the U.S. Minister at Madrid, at the time of the transfer of Florida to the U.S. My Grandfather Register's older brother, John Forsyth Register, was named after him. John Forsyth Register participated in the defense of Mobile during the Civil War and was elected the second sheriff of Geneva County. The Leonia Community in northern Holmes County, FL. is named after Uncle John's first wife.

Another essay in the same book is "The Odyssey of the Spanish Archives of Florida" by Irene A. Wright. The West Florida Spanish Archives were taken out of Pensacola when it fell to the Yankees and ended up in Montgomery at the end of the Civil War.

"The Public Domain in Territorial Florida" by Sidney Walter Martin is in the May, ' 44 issue of The Journal of Southern History. Pretty good summary of the subject.

Outposts on the Gulf : Saint George Island and Apalachicola from Early Exploration to WWII by William Warren Rogers describes a lot of the consequences of the Forbes Purchase up to 1923.

Got a FHQ article with Forbes Purchase stuff but no citation. It is entitled "Panton, Leslie and Company Indian Traders of Pensacola and St. Augustine " by J.A. Brown.

A Terrific Book! Guide To the Materials For American History in Cuban Archives by Luis Marino Perez (July, 1907). This describes all the neglect and movement of archives during the Spanish-American War.

The July ' 85 Alabama Review has a good summary article by Douglas Barber entitled "Council Government And the Genesis of the Creek War."

Knocked me out when I noticed that Anne Gometz did the index for the reprint of Frank S. Jones' History of Decatur County, Georgia. Lots of Perryman info. One of my favorites.
My father's family's town Geneva was connected to Bainbridge by stagecoach and steamboat and my Grandfather, Will Young Register, was the conductor on the Judy, the Atlantic Coast Line train which connected Enterprise, Alabama, with Chattahoochee, Florida, via Bainbridge. I used to ride his train with him. He hauled freight, passengers and mail back in the fifties.

And from the Innerarity International Family Website, a letter dated Nassau {found out today that I'm going to Nassau in June!!!!} July 14, 1812 which appeared in FHQ. James Innerarity to Alexander Gordon.....

The long pending question to whom shall the Floridas belong appears now on the point of decision, until that takes place the plan of importing Highlanders to the Appalachicola cannot be resolved on. It is one that I much approve of, but if the Country remain to Spain, I apprehend the permission of the Cortel, or at least the Captn Genl. of Havannah would be necessary. If it passes into the hands of the U.S. there will be no obstacle to the settlement, and we must then set about it with energy. A more correct plan of the land, including the two Cessions [both cessions executed at Chiskatalofa in 1804 and 1811], is now here. The former one which gives a good general idea of it will be sent home in yr. Schooner Swift to your address. Upwards of 30,000 acres have been laid off in Sections for Sale on the West bank of Wakhulla, from Kinnard's place to the Sea...

Let me know if ya want copies of the any of this.
Robert Register

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Mr. Perkins:

Jim Tiger, an attorney from Slayton, Oregon, and a direct descendent of some of the Indian chiefs who signed the Forbes Purchase, is working with me on a bibliography. I sent him an article today by Robert Cotterill. The first paragraph of that article gives you some idea of the importance of the Forbes Purchase. Below this message you may read my message to Jim.

It would be nice if some professional journalist in his psychosis of political correctness suddenly took an interest in the true story of Alabama but it doesn't matter whether they do it or not. The true story of Alabama will prevail.

Our Alabama History is now the victim of cultural genocide but we will not give it up without a fight. You can't find anything of value on the Web concerning a high school curriculum on Alabama History and you certainly won't find anything concerning Alabama History being taught in any of Alabama's public high school classrooms.That's because Alabama History was eliminated as a graduation requirement in all our public high schools in February of 1998 during the Fob James administration. Alabama History has now been virtually annihilated in all of Alabama's public high schools. What passes as an "Alabama History supplement for American History" is a farce and the woman and others who wrote that sham ought to be ashamed of themselves but they are so brainwashed that they are way beyond such emotions as shame(Every one of them ought to go out in the yard and cut their own peachtree switch).

The Seniors of ' 02 were the first Alabama high school graduates in our lifetime to receive their diplomas without passing an Alabama History class. That ought to let you know how low we have gone.(If you really want to know how low we have gone, walk into ANY classroom in ANY school in the Birmingham Public Schools and witness all the "progress" which has been achieved in the "Tragic City")

I don't take one iota of responsibility for what others think of me so nothing is going to prevent me from shining a spotlight on our rich Deep South heritage and letting the Yankee loving skalawags who run our schools and other institutions know that I have no use for them or the cultural amnesia they promote with their every breath.(The Houston County Centennial Celebration was a classic example of how a people whose recorded history goes all the way back to 1676 can fall victim to historical/hysterical amnesia. The downtown murals are great but a picture is NOT necessarily worth more than a thousand words)

These anniversaries like the Bicentennial of the Forbes Purchase are going to continue to pile up and each one is like a magnifying glass where people in Alabama who love who we are can focus the rays of truth and burn the hide off those who would love to see our story disappear.

No matter how long we are ignored by those who consider themselves professional journalists, teachers and media producers, we will never go away and as technology advances we will find more ways to tell our story and in the end, we will have the last laugh and our ancestors story will prevail !
Best wishes,
Robert Register

Just addressed the envelope to your law office and will copy the article tonight and have it in the mail tomorrow.

As a teaser I'll give you Cotterill's entire first paragraph. It's a KILLER!

Perhaps no land speculation in our history is better known than that of the Forbes Purchase in Florida; certainly none has given rise to more litigation or has more often taken up the time of the courts. The Forbes Purchase, however, was but a minor incident in a huge effort to collect from the southern Indians the trading debts which they had contracted to Panton, Leslie and Company, the famous British firm which dominated the Indian trade in the Floridas and adjoining areas during the closing years of the eighteenth century. This collection campaign was long and persistent, and in its final ten years it had the co-operation of the United States government. It became involved in the Mississippi question, the West Florida controversy, and the War of 1812. It contributed to the final downfall of that notorious adventurer, William Augustus Bowles, and for a time claimed the participation of the even more notorious James Wilkinson. It is a thread running through southern history from 1794 to 1812 and touching in its course foreign policy, Indian administration, frontier defense, and private intrigue.

Tonight I'll pull out my "Florida Papers in Cuba" file. I know I'll have some more stuff you'll want.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Thanks loads for the bibliography and the James Innerarity letter.

Have you ever been to the site of the Kinnard plantation on the Wakulla? The Panton store Bowles raided in 1792 and 1800 was located near where U.S. 98 crosses the Wakulla. I would think some archaeology had been done there but don't know of any. The people in Tallahassee ignore me. Upchurch cites an archaelogical study of Ft. Gadsden that has info about the Prospect Bluff store. Bill Coker told me that he'd been to the site but I have no idea how to get there. It's near the Ft. Gadsden park.
There's a great opportunity for archaeology at the site of Chiscatalofa. There's a small pond there called the 90 foot Spring that has produced all sorts of artifacts and the area is also the site of Ellicott Mound #381 and Ellicott's astronomical observatory from the summer of 1799. The Fitch family has found numerous artifacts while farming the area.
Keep in touch and maybe we'll get someone's attention before it's all over.

I'm posting everything on the weblog

The Forbes Purchase Bibliography:

Cline, Howard F. (Compiled and edited by David A. Horr) Florida Indians II Garland Publishing 1974

Coker, William S. and Shofner, Jerrell H., Malone, Myrtle D. (Editor) FLORIDA from the Beginning to 1992 Pioneer Publications, Inc. 1991 - #

Coker, William S. Historical Sketches of Panton, Leslie and Company University of West Florida, Pensacola 1976

Coker, William S. & T.D. Watson Indian Traders of the Southeastern Borderlands University of West Florida Press 1986;

Coker, William S. John Forbes & Company and the War of 1812 in the Spanish Borderlands Perdido Bay Press 1979

Coker, Williams S. (Editor) John Forbes’ Description of the Spanish Floridas, 1804 Perdido Bay Press 1979

Coker, William S. (Editor) The Military Presence on the Gulf Coast Gulf Coast History and Humanities Conference, Pensacola, Florida 1978

Coker, William S. and Inglis, Douglas G. The Spanish Censuses of Pensacola, 1784-1820: A Genealogical Guide to Spanish Pensacola Perdido Bay Press 1980

Doster, James F. The Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands 2 vols., New York 1974;

Fairbanks, Charles H. (Compiled and edited by David Agee Horr) Cherokee and Creek Indians: Ethnohistory Report on Royce Area 79:

Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek; Cherokee Treaties, John H. Goff; Commission Findings; Indian Claims Commission Garland Publishing 1974

Fairbanks, Charles H. (Compiled and edited by David Agee Horr) Florida Indians III – Ethnohistory Report on the Florida Indians Garland Publishing 1974;

Saunt, Claudio A New Order of Things – Property, Power, and the Transformation of the Creek Indians, 1733 –1816 Cambridge University Press 1999; .

Florida Historical Quarterly
Vol Issue Article/Author

IX 2/October 1930 The Creek Nation, Debtor to John Forbes & Co., Successors to
Panton, Leslie & Co.; A Journal of John Innerarity; List of Debts
Due by the Traders and Factors; Obligation of the Chiefs and Head-
Men of the Upper Creek Towns to John Forbes & Co.; John
Innerarity, 1783-1854, pp. 67 – 95.

X 2/October 1931 Article, “The Forbes Purchase: A Letter from James Innerarity
to William Simpson,” includes references to John and William Kinnard and
their plantation; pp. 103, 105, 106, 107.

XLVIII 2/Fall 1969 Article, by John C. Upchurch, “Aspects of the Development and Exploration of the Forbes Purchase,” pp. 117-139.