Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hey y'all:

Got a phone call Friday afternoon from the infamous "OLD MAN" of Rock & Roll, Paul Cochran.
Paul wants everybody in Zero, Northwest Florida to support Billy Joe Royal's latest album,GOING BY DAYDREAMS.

We couldn't be helping a better fellow than Billy Joe Royal.
Jimmy Dean introduced me to him when he played Cowboy's in Dothan back in '05.
You can't imagine what a laid back cat Billy Joe has turned out to be.
You would never know that this man has been in the spotlight soaking up fame for over 40 years.

Please go to B.J. Thomas' website
and listen to the 30 second samples of Billy Joe's songs &
then go ahead and order this super CD!

Billy Joe Royal's marvelous voice conveys an incredible range of emotions especially on tunes like ECHOES, ONE MORNING TWO PEOPLE & WHERE DID THE SIXTIES GO?
Both he & B.J. Thomas are singing better than ever!

Paul Cochran Passed Out Back In The Day

Cochran has got some wonderful stories to tell.

J.R. Cobb & Buddy Buie

I wanna hear more about the time Paul personally disintegrated Buddy Buie's beloved Martin acoustic guitar because Buie wouldn't quit playing GEORGIA PINES.
The "OLD MAN" also told me that the "behind the scenes" story of the making of the movie MONDO DAYTONA starring Billy Joe Royal, the Swinging Medallions and the Tams could certainly make a great movie itself.
The movie's title was changed when it was released in 1970 with additional footage.

image courtesy of

Any information any of y'all have about Billy Joe will be appreciated because I am preparing to interview Joe Billy for the blog.
So share some your memories of this incredible cat who's been entertaining us for five decades so I can ask all the right questions!

Mo' stuff coming soon concerning Billy Joe and B.J. Thomas!
Go ahead and start saving your pennies for your Billy Joe Royal tickets for his show at Dothan's Cowboys on Friday, October 19.

I plan on being there!

Billy Joe & B.J. have been selling out halls across America with their RAINDROPS TO BOONDOCKS tour.

Ironically, our good friend Robert Nix wrote hits for both of these music legends.
With Bill Gilmore, Robert co-wrote CHERRY HILL PARK for Billy Joe &
B.J. Thomas had a hit with another Nix/Buie composition, MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY.

Now I'm gonna school y'all one mo' again,
So here's another Tri-State History Lesson...

I am baffled by the information contained on a historic marker located near the Chattahoochee on the highway between Shorterville and Ft. Gaines. Here's the text of what I consider a colossal blunder on the part of whoever wrote the text:

Franklin - First Beachhead into East Alabama

Location: Located near the McKemie Bridge on Alabama Highway 10, fourteen miles east of Abbeville, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 21, 1979
Marker Text:
The frontier village of Franklin was established here by Colonel Robert Irwin in 1814 on the site of the Indian town of Cheeska Talofa. It was the first colonial village in east Alabama. Fort Gaines, Georgia, was constructed in 1816 to protect the early settlers in this former Creek Indian Nation, West. Twenty-one blocks were laid off for this promising river port of Abbeville. This prospective early city never recovered from the destructive flood of 1888.

Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Henry County Historical Society, 1978.

There was definitely an important Indian town called Chisca Talofa [various spellings include Cheeska Talofa, Ichiscatalonfa, Chiscotafa and Clisteofa] but it wasn't located anywhere near Shorterville or Henry County. Chisca Talofa was located where the present-day states of Alabama, Georgia & Florida intersect in present-day Houston County southeast of Dothan.

Here's what I have gathered together on this important Indian town that promises to become an superb archaeological site:


1757: Chisca Talofa is the only town in the area of present-day southeast Alabama located on
the 1757 Bonar Map (DeVorsey 1971). Swanton (1922) equated this with Yuchi-speaking
Hogologee indicated on earlier maps.

1761: Swanton(1922) lists a 1761 census figure of 30 for this town's population.

1764: John Stuart, British Indian agent for the Southern District, held a conference at St. Marks on September 13, 1764 which included leaders of Chisca Talofa located on the Chattahoochee above the fork.

1768: Pittman describes a crossing place for the Pensacola-St. Augustine trail on the river at the village of Ichiscatalonfa located on the west bank of the river, forty miles above the fork. (The 31st parallel [Alabama-Florida line] crosses the river 26.2 miles above the fork of the Chattahoochee and the Flint.)

1778: The Purcell map of the Pensacola-St. Augustine trail includes the notation Chisca Old Fields just north of Ekanachatte or Red Ground. This site was located by Boyd (1958) south of Irwin's Mill Creek adjacent to present-day Neal's Landing.

1799: Stephen Minor, Spanish commissioner during Ellicott's survey of the Southern Boundary of the United States,
names the village at the end of the compass line on the west bank of the Chattahoochee
as Chiscotofa or Clisteofa. The conflict which led to the survey being abandoned began
in this camp at the surveyor's observatory. This conflict was the beginning of the
unrelenting hostility of the Seminoles to the U.S.
In his Journal, Andrew Ellicott fails to mention that this international boundary line
between the U.S. & Spain cut Chisca Talofa in two. This was the only village along the
381 mile survey of the 31st latitude between the Mississippi and the Chattahoochee cut
in two by the first Southern Boundary of the U.S.
Here's a description of Chisca Talofa in August of 1799:

"Now from one side to the other of the river along almost the entire extent
of the road to this camp may be found Indian plantations of which may
be seen good fields of corn, rice, peas, beans, potatoes, melons,
watermelons, cucumber, etc., and most of them have chickens, pigs,
and cattle in abundance. Some of them have very good herds [along] with
Negro slaves, indicating to me that they live in reasonable comfort.
The river abounds with various delicious fish. All these details convince
me that white settlements in these areas would prosper greatly. I am sure
that on the eastern bank of the Mississippi there are no better lands on
which to raise cattle."
English translation of a letter from Stephen Minor to
Spanish West Florida Governor Gayoso (Minor to
Gayoso, August 5, 1799, Archivo General de Indias,
Papeles de Cuba, Seville, Legajo 2355)

1799: Between July 25, 1799 and August 19, 1799, Ellicott made 44 observations of
seven stars to determine a mean latitude of 31 degrees 1' 9.4" for his observatory on the
west bank of the Chattahoochee. Ellicott laid off a line 7110.5 feet south and ended his
survey of the 31st parallel which established the present day boundaries shared by
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

1799: In October, William Augustus Bowles,
self-proclaimed Director General of the Nation
of Muskogee, returned to Wekiva, six miles north of the Florida line. He called a general
council of the Lower Creeks and Seminoles to distribute gunpowder and rum which
had been salvaged from the wreck of the British sloop Fox.
Here on the east bank of the
Chattahoochee just northeast of Chisca Talofa, Bowles reestablished his influence after
escaping from seven years of imprisonment by the Spanish.

1804: At Chisca Talofa on May 25, 1804, James Innerarity and William Hambly represented
John Forbes & Co. in negotiations for a land grant. The company sought this payment
from the Indians to counterbalance Bowles' destruction of the company's Wakulla store
and the tribe's accumulated debt. This deed of cession was signed by 24 chiefs and
ultimately deeded to John Forbes & Co. 1,200,000 acres east of the Apalachicola.
Under the terms of this pact, the company agreed to immediately open a store at
Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola near present-day Sumatra, Florida. This store
led to the later establishment of Nichol's British Fort, the Negro Fort and U.S. Fort
Gadsden near Prospect Bluff.
Click here to see a large map of the Forbes Purchase

1810: At Chisca Talofa on April 10, 1810, Edmund Doyle, principal agent of John Forbes & Co.
on the Apalachicola, and William Hambly, interpreter & representative of the
company, secured the cession of three more tracts of land that joined the original 1804
grant. This included St. Vincent Island. These Indians also ceded to John Forbes
personally an island in the Apalachicola River. This 9,811 acre island is known
today as Forbes Island.

1814: On August 9, 1814, the chief of Chisca Talofa was one of the Creek chiefs who signed
the Treaty of Ft. Jackson which ceded over 20 million acres of present-day Alabama
Georgia to the United States.

1816: At Chisca Talofa on April 17, 1816, William Hambly attempted to unite the Upper
Towns friendly to the Americans and the Lower Towns friendly to the British in an
attack upon the Negro Fort on Prospect Bluff. This meeting was a disaster and Hambly
was forced to flee.
The Negro Fort was destroyed by the U.S. Navy on July 27, 1816.
270 of the fort's occupants were killed instantly by a single explosion
of the fort's powder magazine. Captured British arms and supplies were
valued at not less that $200,000



1818: Captain Hugh Young, a soldier with General Jackson's U.S. Army, included
Chisca Talofa on a town list for the First Seminole War. It was listed as one of
four Seminole towns on the lower Chattahoochee. He estimated the population at
580 persons (65 warriors) under the halfbreed chief Yaholamico. He located the
town on the west bank of the Chattahoochee two miles above the Florida line.

CHATTAHOOCHEE did "not extend even to the top of the river bank
in the vicinity of this site[Chisca Talofa], consequently...had little chance
of identifying this site."

My niece, Lana Henry, of Cottonwood
image courtesy of

image courtesy of

"My first dove with Hank...1-16-99 - 7-10-2007"

Lana & her Daddy after tearing up the shellcracker on Lake Seminole in their air boat

My nieces, Leslie & Lana

My son,Christopher, before he was awarded his Eagle.

CHRISTOPHER image courtesy of

Lana Down Home

July 18, 1943

Paul Register Dies In Dothan Hospital.

Paul Register, eighteen, died in a Dothan hospital at 6:10 a. m. yesterday following a long illness. He was graduated from Dothan High School last spring and since that time had been employed by the Tri-States Publishing Co.

Surviving are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W Y Register; two brothers, Earl Register, U S Army, stationed in North Africa, and Page Register, Dothan.

Funeral will be held at the Ward-Wilson Chapel at 9:45 a.m. today with the Rev. T W Wilson of Dothan officiating. Burial will follow in the City cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Bobby Clements, Lawrence Coe, Roland Thomas, Woodfin Riley, LaBruce Tidwell and Pete Williams.

Johnny Cash God's Gonna Cut You Down Lyrics

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God'll cut you down
Sooner or later God'll cut you down

Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler,
The gambler,
The back biter
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down

Well my goodness gracious let me tell you the news
My head's been wet with the midnight dew
I've been down on bended knee talkin' to the man from Galilee
He spoke to me in the voice so sweet
I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel's feet
He called my name and my heart stood still
When he said, "John go do My will!"

Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler,
The gambler,
The back biter
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God'll cut you down
Sooner or later God'll cut you down

Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin' in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What's done in the dark will be brought to the light

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God'll cut you down
Sooner or later God'll cut you down

Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler,
The gambler,
The back biter
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut you down
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut you down
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut you down

image courtesy of
Check out this article on Mountain Girl, Jerry Garcia's widow...
Got the photos from Nix of the Skynyrd show in Tunica

Medlock,Van Zant, Rossington

Alison & Nixo with SKYNYRD


Friday, September 07, 2007

image courtesy of

“Poe captures the essence of Duane Allman.
He did his homework and got it right.
Skydog is a fitting tribute to one of the best and most influential musicians to ever come out of the South.”

– Chuck Leavell,
Rolling Stones keyboardist/former member of the Allman Brothers Band

image courtesy of
is the near-legendary party band based out of Dothan, AL. They are known for their high-energy shows, expert musicianship, and putting on shows that not only rock the house, but will have you shaking your booty as well.
231 SOUTH has recently reunited with longtime frontman
Shane Owens, and added Dan Whigham on keyboards and backing vocals to the band.
Together they are tearing up clubs and festivals all over the Southeast, and winning new fans all across the region.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hey y'all:

Patty Duke felt butterflies...
Have you ever felt butterflies?

Dog Fight In A Living Room On The 2600 Block of 21st Street In Tuskeeloosee

I was helping this old woman get out of a car over in High Forest this morning.
She'd just had knee surgery and needed an arm to hold like a crutch.
As we were walking, she said, "My daughter finally found out who you is!
She said, 'That man is hilarious' "

What a compliment!

Well it got me to thinking.


I wanna to print a thing called FRIDAY.

You know, no matter how hung over I wake up,
I try to get to a Rippy Mart, cop a dollar & cents cup of coffee & buy the B'ham Snooze.
Well, it's the fault of the cashier in the Rippy Mart.
She always wants to ask something like,
"So what's happenin"
& I start talkin' shit and talk shit until about 5 in the afternoon and
then I buy a 12 pack of Milwaukee's Beast Ice at the RiteAid
at the corner of MLK Jr. Blvd. & 15th Street....
Then I become
the B-52 of bullshit...

I take bull to the next level.

My favorite joke on Friday morning when I buy coffee is,

Everbody go, "Huh?"

Ever' Friday
a holiday in Tuskeeloosee!"

So I wanna do a thing about Friday in Tuscaloosa.

We go up to these folks on a Friday before the shoot and tell 'em what we're gonna do.
No contracts. No releases.
Only agreement is they get the first stills from the shoot.
Next Friday,
we hit the schedule and we photograph
every living room
barber shop, beauty parlor, barroom & casino in Tuscaloosa.

This thing will work.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Robert, Alison & Alec

image courtesy of
Evan, Robert, Alison, Jeff, Will


In the sizzling heat of August in Florida, Alison Heafner and band put on a performance that was cool...very cool.
The style of Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks may have influenced Alison's singing, but the soul of the music is all Memphis, the home of 'Rock & Roll'. The remake of some of our favorite cover tunes kept the crowd on their feet, but it was the original music that took us to another musical level.
Along with Alison, you get one great band too.
For ThunderBeach this fall, we have chosen Alison and the guys to perform for the fall rally that will draw about 60,000 bikers to our area.
When those bikers leave, I feel it will be this music that they will remember.
Beverly Hill
Ms. Newby's
Panama City Beach, FLA


Monday, September 03, 2007

LaJuana from PCB via Wicksburg & Mortgage Avenue sent us this link to this wonderful historical Dothan clip

images courtesy of

MUCHAS a Ray Hutto for the link below:

Cars we drove in the 50’s and 60’s (or wished we had). There are sounds (GOOD sounds) so turn up your speakers.

Click on the link sit back and enjoy my era, maybe yours, too.

Soundcheck at Miz Newby's with Will, Alison & Evan
Would you please in the next few days send me individual copies of everything you have posted lately regarding Alison and me. Separate e-mails would be great. Thanks.
Can't wait to see you in PCB @ PCB THUNDER BEACH MISS NEWBY'S! Robert...........
.P.S. Just hung backstage with Lynyrd Skynyrd last Sat. nite @ Tunica, Mississippi Grand.........Gary Rossington dedicated the show to Alison and me.
Then Johnny Van Zant sang 'Tuesday's Gone' and thanked Mr. Nix for playing on his brother's original recording.
I got all teary-eyed!
I'll send you pix soon of Alison and me with LS!
Check out these two Charlie Daniel's promo shots we got off of one of Nix's emails...

You & I have been corresponding now for about 10 years.
Now I'd like to axe you some queerstions just like all those students do.
-- Robert Register

Question #7:
What do you remember about the moment this photo was taken?
The ancestral mansion at last
with plumes of red and blue and green smokescreens
swirling about the towers and lawns
and Cassady calling, "Here's comes the Wiesenheimer,"
talking about me extolling upon the marvels of the palatial mannerisms but not for long for we had been up too long
on the many furlong miles behind miles
to go yak me fast yak me slow and nap upon the lawn
and bathe in the creek, under the waterfall, tootle your flute,
Highly Visible, go yon to mystery third floor,
Sound Man, scratch betwixt the toes,
Swash Buckler, tap the ground with your staff not much ryhthm
but you gotta dance with em, Intrepid Traveler,
contemplate the lovely lass, Equipment Hassler,
days are long and many corridors still to explore.

Hey y'all:

Got a call here from Greg Haynes, author of THE HEEEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC

Please consider contributing to this fundraiser:


Got this wonderful compliment in an email from an old South Alabama gal:

I checked out your website.

You have us covered.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hey y'all:
How 'bout dat CRIMSON TIDE!!!!

image courtesy of

Watch AEA @ PCB
at 8 tomorrow
on CourtTV

I absolutely luv that fabulous Sea Doo in the logo...

When I first wrote the following article in Old Tuscaloosa Magazine ten years ago, I knew I was stretching the truth but I came to realize I stretched it to the point of
"Whoa! Ya 'bout to bust somethin'!"
(in case you'd actually like to read an accurate academic treatment of this subject please click on )

So here's my correction for posterity:

Captivity and Sufferings of Mrs. Crawley
by Robert Register

Ten years ago I wrote "On a June night in 1812, the Black Warrior's Town, located about where Tuscaloosa now stands, was not a very comfortable place for a U.S. citizen to spend the evening."

I wrote that under the assumption that the secondary historical sources I had consulted were correct. These sources included the text of an historical marker that used to be located on the north side of U.S. 11 near Friday Oil. We used to read it when I first came here when we drove out for steaks at Nicks. It is my understanding that the City of Tuscaloosa now has the marker in storage.

It reads:

Black Warrior's Town

One-half mile north was the Creek Indian village known as Black Warrior's Town, on which Oce-Oche-Motla was chief. After Tecumseh's visit in 1811, these Indians became hostile to white settlers. In 1812 Little Warrior brought Mrs. Martha Crawley of Tennessee to this Indian Village as a captive. She was rescued by Tandy Walker, a blacksmith, and taken to St. Stephens. This was one of the incidents which led to the Creek War. The village was destroyed in October 1813 by Colonel John Coffee and his Tennessee Volunteers, on of whom was Davy Crockett.

Probably the most accurate statement on that marker is
"This was one of the incidents which led to the Creek War."
Anyone with any walking around sense (that ABSOLUTELY excludes most all currently living academic shitheads ) who has studied this subject is amazed at the inaccuracies which have been printed about Mrs. Crawley's story as well stories about all of the incidents which led to the Creek War of 1813-1814 here in Alabama.

In 1919, Bureau of American Ethnology researcher, J.R. Swanton, located Black Warrior's Town
at the point where Sipsey Fork meets Mulberry Fork up above Sumiton in Walker County.
That is a long, long way from Tuscaloosa.

But let's continue with my narrative from '97...

The Creek-American War had not begun, but war clouds could be seen on the horizon. Congress had issued a declaration of war against Great Britain on June 18, so news could not have reached Hillabee Haujo's men at Black Warrior's Town, but one did not need a formal declaration of war to assess the hostile disposition of the young Creek Warriors who gathered around the cooking fires on that warm evening one hundred ninety five years ago.
(Here's the other big problem with this story. Pickett blamed Little Warrior with killing the seven at Duck River and the abduction of Mrs. Crawley. This was an inexcusable mistake because he had access to the American State Papers:Indian Affairs Vol. 1 when he wrote his History of Alabama. Well, Pickett's problem is now our problem because umpteen different historians have blamed Little Warrior for Mrs. Crawley where his crime was the massacre of families at the mouth of the Ohio almost a year later. )

Mrs. Martha Crawley of Humphrey County, Tennessee, certainly appreciated the threat these eleven young men represented as she stirred their hominy cooking on the fire. Three weeks earlier this courageous pioneer woman had witnessed these fellows' skills of destruction with fire and gunpowder. These angry, thoughtless young punks were ungovernable and their indiscretions would lead their tribe into a bloody civil war of annihilation.

Mrs. Crawley was in her home waiting for her husband to return when she heard the monstrous screams of the young Indians coming through her open door. Quickly shutting the door, she held it against the attacking Creeks. Her visitor, Mrs. Manly, sat in the living room of the house clutching her eight-day old infant. The last thing she told Mrs. Crawley was that it would be impossible to keep the Indians out. At that moment the war party burst through the door, slamming Mrs. Crawley behind the door and hiding her. From the temporary sanctuary of the space behind the door, she witnessed acts that would "chill the blood of any human being."
Helplessly, she watched one of her own children hide in the potato cellar as one of the Creeks snatched Mrs. Manly's baby from her arms and threw it into the fireplace. Mrs. Manly was then shot and scalped. Mrs. Crawley witnessed two of her own children, two of Mrs. Manly's children and a young man name Hays brutally murdered.

When discovered hiding behind the door, Mrs. Martha Crawley begged for her life. The Indians let her live. Maybe they needed her to cook for them on the trail south to Black Warrior's Town, or maybe those boys had their fill of killing that day.

The captive Mrs. Crawley and Hillabee Haujo's men took three weeks to cover the trail to the beautiful falls of the Black Warrior. It was now June and they had been back only one day when one of the squaws told Mrs. Crawley that the men were digging her grave and that she would be put to death right after she'd cooked supper. No longer needed for her cooking skills on the trail, Mrs. Crawley knew time was of the essence and the boiling pot of hominy was central to her plan of escape.

There are many sources that detail her captivity and escape, but the most compelling document is her own sworn deposition. On August 11, 1812, Mrs. Martha Crawley appeared before the Justice of the Peace of Humphrey County, Tennessee, and testified about her treatment during her captivity. According to her testimony, Mrs. Crawley was hurriedly taken by her captors to the mouth of Duck River, where bark canoes stashed on the river bank enabled the party to escape the Nashville militia which was assembling seventy miles to the east.

Mrs. Crawley spent her first night tied to a tree by her neck and arms. The next day they headed south for Bear Creek on the Tennessee River. After a twelve day journey, they arrived at the point near the northern terminus of the Alabama-Mississippi state line. At this place, the men spent the day smoking and drinking with some Chickasaws headed by George Colbert. Colbert, for whom Colbert County takes its name, had a family that ran a ferry across the Tennessee River on the Natchez Trace. As Chief of the Chickasaws, Colbert probably regretted ignoring Mrs. Crawley while enjoying refreshments with her gangster captors, especially after he received a letter from Andrew Jackson dated June 5, 1812. Jackson was not happy with the report that the rumor mill was sending him concerning Chickasaw Chief Colbert's indifference to Mrs. Crawley's distress. Jackson wrote:

Friend and Brother!
Mark what I tell you!
The white people will do no wrong to the Indians and will suffer the Indians to do no wrong to them. The Creeks have killed our women and children:
We have sent to demand the murderers, if they are not given up, the whole Creek nation shall be covered with blood:
fire shall consume their towns and villages:
and their lands shall be divided among the whites.

Friend and Brother!
You tell us you are the friend of the whites.
Now prove it to me.
Send me the names of the Creeks who have killed our women and children:
Tell me the towns they belong to; and the place where they carried the women.

I am your friend and brother.
Andrew Jackson
5 June 1812

After leaving Bear Creek, another week on the trail took the Indians and their captive across the Tennessee Valley Divide, down the Tombigbee and east to Black Warrior's Town. Soon word that a captive American woman was being held at the falls of the Black Warrior traveled downriver to St. Stephens and into the Choctaw Indian Trading House of George Strother Gaines. The bearer of the news was Tandy Walker, Choctaw agency blacksmith and one of the most extraordinary backwoodsman on the Alabama frontier. Since 1811, Walker had secretly informed Gaines of Ocheocheemotlas schemes to support the British in a new war where Ocheocheemotlas would pillage Gaines store at St. Stephens on the Tombigbee.

Gaines' wife also heard Tandy Walker's information and she pleaded with this daring frontiersman who spoke the Muskogee language to rescue Mrs. Crawley and bring her down the river to St. Stephens.

While Tandy Walker paddled up the Black Warrior to attempt the rescue of Mrs. Crawley, there was no time to be lost in getting her out of Black Warrior's Town. The squaw's warning about the freshly opened grave let Martha know it was time to act. After stirring the thick hominy, Martha Crawley told one of the men by sign language that the hominy was too thick and she asked permission to take a tin cup to the spring for water.

She made her escape in the dark woods but instead of wandering aimlessly through the night, she hid in a hollow log. Daybreak found her uncertain and confused. It was afternoon before she decided upon her strategy. She would follow the setting sun toward the Tombigbee. Martha knew where that river was located. She and her captors had traveled south down the Tombigbee after leaving Bear Creek and she was certain that this pioneer trade route from the Tennessee River to the settlements around St. Stephens was her only hope for finding Americans who could protect her from the Indians.

Hungry after two days of subsisting on blackberries as well as wet and weary from her attempt to cross the swamps, Martha turned back east. By nightfall she approached an Indian town on the Black Warrior. The first Indians she saw gave her some exciting news. Her prayers had been answered. The Indians signaled that there was someone in their town who spoke English.

Could this be an American trader capable of effecting her rescue? Filled with anticipation, this pioneer woman followed the Indians to their town and she entered the dark door of the English speaker.

Anticipation turned to panic. There was no English being spoken in that house. In the dimly lighted cabin room, all Martha saw was a bunch of Indians.

Immediately she used sign language to tell the squaw she needed to step outside. With the squaw's permission, Mrs. Crawley began her second attempt to escape and ran into the night.

This time she did not seek the refuge of a hollow log. Now she walked all night and into the next day. At about one o'clock in the afternoon, an Indian with a gun walked up to Mrs. Crawley as she walked through the woods. He signaled for her to follow him back to the town on the Black Warrior. Martha refused. A little animal noise came from the armed Indian's lips and it was answered immediately by an identical noise from the woods. Martha Crawley and her new captor were soon joined by other Indians and for the third time she was heading back to the Black Warrior.

On this second trip back to town, Martha did meet an English speaker. He was standing by a cowpen. Tandy Walker had arrived from St. Stephens under the pretense of coming upriver for a beef cattle buying trip. By offering a reward of $25 to anyone who could find Mrs. Crawley, Tandy had turned his buying trip into a dramatic rescue of a captive American woman.

With war with the Creeks inevitable, Walker probably never squared up with the Indians over the $25 reward. He and Martha took his canoe down river and soon Mrs. Crawley was mending her sore hands and feet in the comfort of Strother Gaines' Choctaw Indian Trading House located in the old Spanish fort of St. Stephens.

After recovering, Martha returned to her home on the Duck River with a group of Mr. Gaines' friends who were heading north to Tennessee through the wilderness.

Mrs. Crawley's story does not end with her return to Humphrey County and to the smiling faces of her surviving children. In the newspapers and political offices of the Old Southwest, Martha had become a cause celebre'. On June 25, 1812, Willie Blount, Governor of Tennessee, wrote Secretary of War John Armstrong to demand an invasion of the Creek Nation and claimed Martha had been stripped and paraded naked through the Indian villages along the route south to the Black Warrior's Town(In his extensive research on the Creek War published in Petitioner's Exhibit No. 410, Creek Nation East of the Mississippi versus the United States, Dr. James Doster, professor of history at the University of Alabama, writes,"I find nothing in the published statements of Mrs. Crawley or other eye witnesses to support this [Blount's] statement). The Tennessee legislature also believed that it was a time "to kill or be killed," and called for troops to eliminate the Creeks.

A Nashville newspaper, THE CLARION, declared that the Creeks "have supplied us with a pretext for the dismemberment of their country."

Andrew Jackson, enraged by President Madison's delay in delivering him his commission to be a Major General of United States Volunteers, wrote Governor Blount on July 10:

When we make the case of Mrs. Manly and her family and Mrs. Crawley our own-
when we figure to ourselves our beloved wives and little prattling infants, butchered, mangled, murdered, and torn to pieces, by savage bloodhounds, and wallowing in their gore, you can judge of our feelings. What feelings can a government have, who can hear the recital, and await the slow progress of dispatches thro the channel of a mail to an Indian agent..

Ironically, the actions of the Creek Indian agent, Benjamin Hawkins, may have contributed more to war than Jackson's threat to "penetrate the Creek towns, untill the Captive, with her Captors are delivered up, and think myself Justifiable, in laying waste their villages, burning their houses, killing their warriors and leading into Captivity their wives and children, untill I do obtain a surrender of the Captive, and the Captors." Agent Hawkins assembled a Creek council that administered the death penalty to Mrs. Crawleys captors in August of 1812. This kind of leadership of the Creek Nation by Hawkins split the Indians and led to the formation of the Red Sticks.

One year later Jackson got his wish. The Creek-American War commenced when the Red Stick forces of Red Eagle (a.k.a. Billy Weatherford). More than 300 people "were butchered in the quickest manner... The children were seized by the legs, and killed by batting their heads against the stockading. The women were scalped, and those who were pregnant were opened, while they were alive, and the embryo infants let out of the womb."

Angie Debo in her book on the Creeks, THE ROAD TO DISAPPEARANCE, writes about the impact of Ft. Mims,"...when the savage din died down, one hundred-seven soldiers, one hundred-sixty civilians and one hundred Negroes were lying dead and their bloody scalps were dangling from the belts of their exultant foes." The Creek Nation had been unable to restrain their own young hoodlums so now the militias of Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi with their unquenchable appetite for Indian land had the excuse they needed to burn and murder Indian friends and foes alike.

On about September 12, 1813, Colonel John McKee, later to become Tuscaloosa County's first U.S. Representative, was in Nashville when the messenger from General E.P. Gaines, Strother Gaines' brother, arrived with the news of Fort Mims. One of General Jackson's first orders directed McKee to gather Choctaw and Chickasaw warriors to march a diversionary force against Black Warrior's Town at the Falls of the Black Warrior.

McKee, with the assistance of John Pitchlynn, who lived on the Tombigbee near the mouth of the Oktibbeha, assembled six hundred Choctaws and Chickasaws for the Black Warrior expedition, and on January 7, 1814 this army reached its objective.

They found Black Warrior's Town deserted. Standing at the falls of the Black Warrior as his men burned what was left of the abandoned town, which was twice ordered burned by General Andrew Jackson, the professional land surveyor in McKee must have considered how nature had provided that the falls of the Black Warrior would make it the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico
for the Tennessee Valley. In dealing out vengeance for Mrs. Crawley, Colonel McKee had sealed his own fate.

Four years later he began building his plantation, Hill of Howth, near the junction of the Black Warrior and the Tombigbee. Three years after that he became Tuscaloosa's first prominent citizen when he opened the land office and sold the first lot in downtown Tuscaloosa.

So the next time you consider the rocky shoals underneath the backwater of the Black Warrior River, think about the Indian captive at the Black Warrior's Town and how her torment shaped Tuscaloosa history.

Top 20 - 1967

1. To Sir With Love, Lulu

2. Happy Together, Turtles

3. Windy, Association

4. Ode To Billie Joe, Bobby Gentry

5. I'm A Believer, Monkees

6. Light My Fire, Doors

7. Somethin' Stupid, Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra

8. The Letter, Box Tops

9. Groovin', Young Rascals

10. Kind Of A Drag, Buckinghams

11. Little Bit O' Soul, Music Explosion

12. I Think We're Alone Now, T. James & The Shondells

13. Respect, Aretha Franklin

14. I Was Made To Love Her, Stevie Wonder

15. Come Back When You Grow Up, B. Vee & The Strangers

16. Sweet Soul Music, Arthur Conley

17. Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Frankie Valli

18. Never My Love, Association

19. Soul Man, Sam & Dave

20. Expressway To Your Heart, Soul Survivors




PM 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea The F.B.I. The ABC Sunday Night Movie
CBS Lassie Gentle Ben The Ed Sullivan Show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Mission: Impossible
NBC AFL Football (from 4:30 EST) Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color The Mothers-in-Law Bonanza The High Chaparral

[edit] Monday

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Cowboy in Africa The Rat Patrol Felony Squad Peyton Place The Big Valley
CBS Gunsmoke The Lucy Show The Andy Griffith Show Family Affair The Carol Burnett Show
NBC The Monkees The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The Danny Thomas Hour I Spy

Note : On NBC, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In replaced The Man from U.N.C.L.E., effective January 22, 1968.

[edit] Tuesday

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Garrison's Gorillas The Invaders N.Y.P.D. The Hollywood Palace
CBS Daktari The Red Skelton Hour Good Morning, World CBS News Hour / CBS Reports
NBC I Dream of Jeannie The Jerry Lewis Show Tuesday Night at the Movies

[edit] Wednesday

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC The Legend of Custer The Second Hundred Years The Wednesday Night Movie
CBS Lost in Space The Beverly Hillbillies Green Acres He & She Dundee and the Culhane
NBC The Virginian Kraft Music Hall Run for Your Life

Note : CBS decided in September to replace Dundee and the Culhane in December with Jonathan Winters.

[edit] Thursday

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Batman The Flying Nun Bewitched That Girl Peyton Place Good Company Local
CBS Cimarron Strip The CBS Thursday Night Movies
NBC Daniel Boone Ironside Dragnet 1968 The Dean Martin Show

Note : Good Company, an interview show hosted by F. Lee Bailey, did so poorly in the Nielsen ratings that ABC decided not to bother replacing it.

[edit] Friday

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Off To See the Wizard Hondo The Guns of Will Sonnett Judd, for the Defense
CBS The Wild Wild West Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. The CBS Friday Night Movies
NBC Tarzan Star Trek Accidental Family The Bell Telephone Hour / Actuality Specials / NBC News Reports / American Profile

[edit] Saturday

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC The Dating Game The Newlywed Game The Lawrence Welk Show The Iron Horse ABC Scope
CBS The Jackie Gleason Show My Three Sons Hogan's Heroes Petticoat Junction Mannix
NBC Maya Get Smart NBC Saturday Night at the Movies

The Top 20 As Of September 20th, 1967

1. The Letter - The Box Tops
2. To Sir With Love - Lulu
3. Ode to Billie Joe - Bobbie Gentry
4. Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie - Jay & the Techniques
5. Never My Love - The Association
6. How Can I Be Sure - The Young Rascals
7. Come Back When You Grow Up - Bobby Vee
8. Dandelion - The Rolling Stones
9. Reflections - Diana Ross & the Supremes
10. Expressway to Your Heart - The Soul Survivors
11. You're My Everything - The Temptations
12. Higher and Higher - Jackie Wilson
13. Funky Broadway - Wilson Pickett
14. (I Wanna) Testify - The Parliaments
15. People Are Strange - The Doors
16. Gimme Little Sign - Brenton Wood
17. I Dig Rock and Roll Music - Peter, Paul & Mary
18. San Franciscan Nights - Eric Burdon & the Animals
19. All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
20. Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song) - The Buckinghams
Click on the above for lots of ZERO, NORTHWEST FLORIDA photo archives. There's a five second slide show option which is kewl to use for viewing.

Happy Labor Day!