Thursday, January 08, 2009

image courtesy of the Sunday, Nov. 16, 1975 issue of THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS

Hey roberto, got this back from janice hathaway who lives in Hawaii now.

How odd but I think that is me.


From the FRONT PAGE of the Tuscaloosa-Northport, Alabama issue of the TUSCALOOSA NEWS on Monday, December 12, 1966.

Roots in Tuscaloosa

by Ed Watkins
News Staff Writer

A 68-year-old scale company official from Shreveport, La., makes frequent trips to Tuscaloosa, stopping to check on his warehouse here. He leaves quietly and few people know that he is father of the famed author Truman Capote.

His name is Arch Persons. He once lived in Tuscaloosa and still owns property here.

Capote's IN COLD BLOOD- the story of a Kansas family and the two men who murdered them- made him millions. A movie of the "non-fiction novel" is planned.

He was 23 years old when his first novel, OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS, was published. His novel, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY, first ran in Esquire magazine, and then was published as a book and made into a movie.

He lives in a swank New York apartment. It is reported the apartment cost $62,000 to buy and has a $600 monthly maintenance fee.

Today Persons rarely sees his famous son. "He has his own life and I have mine," said Persons.

But he is proud of his son and points with pride to a book, SELECTED WRITINGS OF TRUMAN CAPOTE, given him by his son. Inscribed on the flyleaf are the words, "For my dearest and ONLY father from his dearest and ONLY Child- be he ever so naughty. Truman."

Capote has been described as the darling of the international society set. Persons came to The News editorial office recently after a picture lay-out ran on the front page showing a masked ball given by Capote and attended by such people as Gloria Vanderbilt, Arlene Francis, Joan Fontaine, and designer Valentina.

Persons said he wanted to let the paper know of Capote's local connection.

"Truman's grandfather, the late Arch Persons Sr., was head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama for 10 years from 1898 to 1908," he said.

Once he gets started, Persons can talk for hours about his famous son and his writing.

There is a strong resemblance of father and son. Persons was in the Sokol Furniture Store one day when Morris Sokol walked up to Persons and said: "I saw your son up at the hotel (old McLester Hotel)."

"I wasn't expecting a visit from Truman and Sokol had never met him," Persons said. "I went on up to the hotel and sure enough there stood Truman in the lobby," he said.

Persons married a Monroeville, Ala., beauty, the former Lillie Mae Fauk, in 1923. They lived in New Orleans where Persons was employed by a pleasure steamboat company.

Truman, the couple's only child, was born the next year. Eight years after the Persons were married, Mrs. Persons entered her picture in a nationwide beauty contest. She was 27 years old at that time. She won the contest and received a trip to New York and course in beauty culture.

It was in New York that she met Joseph G. Capote, a wealthy New York industrialist. Several months later she divorced Persons and married Capote. Capote adopted Truman when he was a boy of about 10 years of age, thus his name was changed to Truman Capote. Truman's mother died in 1957.

Persons left New Orleans in 1936, moving to Shreveport and establishing a coin-operated scale company. He remarried in 1945. He moved to Tuscaloosa in1948, purchased a home here and lived here for several years. He still owns the house and rents it.

Today Persons is a Vice President of Sales of the Watling Scale Company of Chicago. The company has had a warehouse here since 1948. It deals in coin-operated scales.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dear Sir,
I am the great great grandson Of James Innerarity and I have a photo of him if you would like a copy of it?
James A Innerarity

Mr. Innerarity:
I would certainly appreciate the photo. I am leaving Tuscaloosa tomorrow for Dothan and on Sunday morning I plan to drive to Dauphin Island. Maybe I can convince my hardheaded wife to visit John's grave in Pensacola. I'm thinking that James is buried in Mobile.
I really admire James a lot. I have done extensive archaeological research at Chiskatalofa where the present-day states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida intersect. This is where James negotiated the Forbes Purchase on May 27, 1804 (one year to the day after the capture of Bowles at Hickory Ground). It is also the location of Ellicott's Astronomical Observatory from August of 1799 and Ellicott Mound # 381 which was the last mile marker built east of the Mississippi on the first U.S. Southern Boundary commissioned by President George Washington in 1796 and considered by many to be the greatest accomplishment of his presidency.
The property is owned by Ansley Whatley, owner of Ansley's Building Supply in Dothan. I have permission to visit the site and I would be able to go there on Saturday. It would be a privilege to visit this historic ground with you.
I have done extensive research on the Forbes and Innerarity plantations in Matanzas Province, Cuba and I would be glad to share this information with you.
Best wishes,
Robert Register


On May 25, 1804, one year to the day after they decided to seize that Prince of Plunder, the disgraceful freebooter, William Augustus Bowles, and turn him over to the Spanish, the Creek Indians met at Chiskatalofa near the point where the present-day states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida intersect and agreed to the terms to probably the greatest real estate deal in American History. By agreeing to extinguish their title to over 1.2 million acres along the banks of the Apalachicola River to cancel a $66,533.05 debt, these 22 chiefs ,who signed what is known today as the Forbes Purchase, sold their land for about a nickel an acre at an Indian conference held in present-day Houston County, Alabama, 200 years ago this month.
It can also be shown that the unfortunate man who closed this deal to collect his company's debt, James Innerarity of Mobile, paid a handsome price ten years later when the British Navy, out of vengence toward their fellow countryman Innerarity, decided to build their Negro Fort on Prospect Bluff near the unprofitable store the Mobilian was forced to open in 1804 under the terms of the Forbes Purchase which was signed 200 years ago May 25 at Chiskatalofa, an Indian village located in the extreme southeastern corner of present-day Houston County, Alabama.

Wekiwa was located below Paul and Don Thomley family's property over on the Georgia side of the river. Bowles used this as a capitol when he made some of his proclamations. There may be evidence of earthwork fortifications in that area. A Confederate navy yard was near there and the gullies near the 84 bridge have the biological phenomena where northern plants thrive as a surviving remnant of the ice age like in Ft. Gaines and at the caverns in Marianna. The vegetation on Bryant's creek (the Solomon property) is spectacular. Tall palmettos and a magnolia with a chest high trunk circumference of over 9 feet. It's one of prettiest places in Houston County.

Chiskatalofa was located along the river on the Fitch place and Ansley's property down to the mouth of Irwin's Mill Creek.


The Shulers in Apalachicola are supposed to have some original Forbes Purchase documents.

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.

May 25, 2004
marked the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Forbes Purchase at Chiskatalofa, an Indian village located around Ellicott Mound #381 (survey mile marker built during the survey of the first U.S.
Southern Boundary in 1799.) This village was located 381 miles east of the Mississippi River near the point where Alabama, Florida and Georgia intersect on the west bank of the Chattahoochee in present-day Houston County, Alabama just south of Dothan. This deed of cession of 1.2 million acres east of the Apalachicola River to John Forbes & Co. began an entire series of treaties where Indians paid their debts with the only thing they possessed, their land.(Chiskatalofa was also the site of the 1811 negotiations with the Indians which expanded the Forbes Purchase to include St. Vincent Island)
Since Forbes got the land for about 5 cents an acre, this transaction is considered by many to be the greatest real estate deal in American History and it occurred in Houston County, Alabama.

So what's this got to do with Pensacola?
Well on December 3, 1804, Governor Folch confirmed the Indian cession in Pensacola. This is a 200th anniversary that ya'll can commemorate because it represents the advent of debt collection by way of land cession from the Indians.

Since John Forbes moved to his sugar plantation, Canimar, in Matanzas Province, Cuba in 1817, many of the business transactions and lawsuits associated with the Forbes Purchase occurred in Cuba. When Forbes died in 1823, his son-in-law,Francisco Dalcourt(husband to Forbes' daughter, Sophia) was appointed executor of Forbes's estate in Cuba. Money from the sale of the Forbes Purchase became tied up in a series of lawsuits filed in New Orleans and Matanzas by those claiming to be owed money by the Forbes's estate. Litigation over the property granted to John Forbes by the Indians at Chiskatalofa in 1804 remained in the courts until 1923, a century after Forbes had died, when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that submerged land in Apalachicola Bay granted by the Forbes Purchase was owned by the State of Florida.

After being appointed Receiver of Pubic Monies in the General Land Office in 1825, Richard Keith Call sailed to Havana to examine the original Forbes Purchase documents . From then on, Call argued to overturn the Forbes's Purchase. According Coker and Watson:

At Call's urging, the U.S. Supreme Court delayed hearing the case until 1835. In the interim, the government sent Jeremy Robinson to Havana to obtain documents to support the government's arguments. Fully briefed by Call[my note: in Marianna], Robinson spent two years in Havana locating and identifying documents, but he died in 1834 before any of these papers were sent to Washington. Nicholas Philip Trist succeeded Robinson and uncovered forty-five documents in Havana, which the Supreme Court refused to admit as evidence.

This was Justice Marshall's last case and he upheld as perfectly legal the Forbes Purchase land grant.
The only people who have tried to help me with this are the members of the Innerarity Family forum at They are interested because their ancestor, James Innerarity from Mobile negotiated this cession of Indian land at Chiskatalofa in 1804. In order to close the deal, Mr. Innerarity had to promise to build a John Forbes & Company store at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River. Nichols chose to build his "Negro Fort" near there in 1814 and Andrew Jackson built his Fort Gadsden on top of the ruins of this fort during the First Seminole War.

I found an article in the Panama City News Herald about Ft. Gadsden which quoted Mr. John G. Hentz as saying that the land where Ft. Gadsden stood was the most important historic spot in Florida. I agree with Mr. Hentz and I had a very long phone call with him about this subject .

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone and please help us to commemorate this important anniversary in May. After all, John Forbes also had a Spanish land grant giving him title to the entire coast from Apalachicola to East Pass at present-day Destin (not quite that far- East Pass in the 1800's was where the Holiday Inn of Destin now stands, east of the city of Destin). This land grant was annulled by U.S. courts because the date of the transaction had been forged in order to qualify under the terms of the Adams-Onis Treaty that gave Florida to the U.S. All this land therefore went directly into public domain after the Treaty of Moultrie Creek in 1823 extinguished Indian title.


Here's the ' 23 court case where Popham argued that the Forbes Purchase included the land submerged by Apalachicola Bay. Even though the Florida Supreme Court ruled against him, one of the justices wrote a dissenting opinion which agreed with the idea that the Indians had the right to deed John Forbes & Co. the bottom of Apalachicola Bay.

Other cases which cite this case go all the way up to 1998 so the litigation over the Forbes Purchase has continued for almost 200 years!

Colin Mitchell's lawsuit against the U.S. which gave him clear title to the Forbes Purchase.

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

I feel it entirely appropriate that I begin the Forbes Purchase project on this first birthday of my blog.

My work now has the hefty title of An Annotated Bibliography of Documents Related To The Grand Strategy of John Forbes & Co. To Collect The Debt of The Southeastern Indian Tribes.

James Doster, The Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands (New York, 1974),p. 249- 251.

This extensive, two volume report [Petitioners' Exhibit 400] from Indian Claims Commission Docket 280 was prepared by James F. Doster, Professor of History at the University of Alabama. This lengthy report was written to counter claims that the Seminoles should be considered as a separate tribe from the Creeks. A key portion of this argument that "Seminole" and "Creek" are interchangable terms received special treatment in an appendix Dr. Doster placed in his report to the Indian Claims Commission.

This 21 page appendix deals with how the Forbes Purchase of May, 1804 fit into the John Forbes & Co. strategy to secure payment of the large Creek Indian debt due their business. Pages 249, 250 and 251 deal with the conference Indians held with representatives of John Forbes & Co. at Chiskatalofa which resulted in the cession of Indian land known to this day as the Forbes Purchase.

It is impossible for the reader of Dr. Doster's work to examine the petitioners' or defendent's exhibits cited in his report because Garland Publishing Company did not include them in the two volume copy of the report they published without Dr. Doster's permission in 1974. Thankfully, we can find identification of each of these exhibits at

This index and digest of exhibits was compiled by Jim Tiger.

It is hoped that the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Forbes Purchase at Chiskatalofa on May 25, 2004, will focus attention upon Dr. Doster's important work and result in its proper publication including the appropriate illustrations and corrections.

The authorized publication of James F. Doster's Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands will also be an excellent opportunity to commemorate the life and impassioned leadership of Calvin W. McGee, the first chairman of the Tribal Council of the Poarch Band of Creeks. After all, Dr. Doster's Petitioners' Exhibit 400 was prepared and submitted in the case of Indian Claims Commission Docket 280: C.W. MCGHEE, ET,AL.,Petitioners vs. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

Jim,please feel free to make any suggestions and please feel free to forward this first installment of the Forbes Purchase bibliography to anyone.
Best wishes,
Robert Register

A Creek Indian Bibliography, by Anne Gometz. The Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands 1740-1823, by James F. Doster. Identification of Indian Claims Commission Exhibits.
by James F. Doster.

I'm going home tonight and pull out the article I wrote for the Dothan Progress back in '99 and the speeches I made for the dedications of the Southern Boundary of the U.S. historical marker located south of the Alabama Welcome Station on U.S. 231 and the Florida Line sign on the banks of the Chattahoochee put up by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission in 2001.
I have a chronology of all the important events which occurred on Ansley's property between 1763 and 1816. I need to get it on the Web but for right now I'll copy it and send it to you. Please send me your mailing address.
Off the top of my head, here's some of the reasons Ansley's property and Chattahoochee State Park are important:

1] This property is part of the Lime Sinks region of Alabama. This is a common physiographic region and Georgia and Florida, however, only about 1000 square miles of Alabama are in the Lime Sinks. This makes this region and its flora and fauna unique for our state.

2]Chiskatolofa, a Creek village of Yuchi[Euchee] origins, was located on Ansley's property. This village was an important crossing point on the Old Spanish Trail between St. Augustine and Pensacola. The trail branched east of the Natural Bridge in Marianna Caverns with the northern branch crossing the Chattahoochee anywhere between the U.S. 84 bridge and Neal's Landing. This crossing point was open all year long even in floods. It also sent the traveler directly east toward present day Bainbridge,Georgia which was the crossing place on the Flint for the Old Spanish Trail.

3] All of the villages around Chiskatalofa on both sides of the river from the U.S. 84 bridge down to the river junction were the center for the rebellion against the Spanish and the Creek National Council which lasted from about 1790 until 1803 and was headed by the notorious adventurer, William Augustus Bowles.

4] Chiskatalofa and the villages near it were the home of the Perryman family. Bowles married a Perryman girl. The Perryman's have been leaders the Creek Nation for over two centuries. Two Perrymans were subjects of Caitlin's important portraits of Indians made in Oklahoma in the 1840s and two Perrymans were chiefs of the Creek Nation in the nineteenth century. Perryman's Town was flooded by Lake Seminole but it was located near Fairchild's Landing on the Georgia side. Dr. Perry {Perryman} Mobley of Haleburg is descended from this family and a Perryman family cemetery is located near his home.

5] When Ellicott and Minor of the U.S. and Spanish boundary commissions arrived there in August of 1799, they built their astronomical observatory for their zenith sector near the north end of Ansley's property. I am pretty sure this zenith sector is preserved in the Smithsonian Institution. Ellicott and Minor had important conferences with the Seminoles at Chiskatalofa and after they left there to go down river, their party was plundered near present day Chattahoochee, Florida and they were forced to abandon their survey. This disaster led to the boundary controversy between Georgia and Florida which was not resolved until after the Civil War.

6] On May 27, 1804,one year to the day after the Creeks decided to turn Bowles over to the Spanish at the present day Creek Indian Bingo Parlor near Wetumpka, the Indians at Chiskatalofa deeded John Forbes 1.2 million acres of land. This deed of cession was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and is considered a basis for contract law in this country.It has been called "The Greatest Real Estate Deal in American History" because a private citizen received clear title to 1.2 million acres for about a nickel an acre.
In order to get the Indians to close the deal, Forbes' agent, James Innerarity of Mobile, had to agree to build a John Forbes & Co. trading post at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River. This became the location where the British built the Negro Fort for fugitive slaves during the War of 1812. This slave insurrection produced by these fugitives brought Andrew Jackson to Florida for the First Seminole War.

7] In 1848,F.A.P. Barnard of the University of Alabama [Barnard College in NYC is named after him] discovered Ellicott Mound #381 during his investigation of the boundary controversy between Alabama and Florida. In 1854, James Whitner built the witness mound you saw during your visit to Ansley's property. Prior the 1854, all the land below the dirt road you came in on on the Fitch property[the St.Stephens Base Line] was considered to be in Florida. To this day, this land is the northern most land which has its legal description based upon the Tallahassee Base Line. This base line controls the legal description of land as far south as Key West and the Dry Tortugas.
The reason Chattahoochee State Park is still owned by the Alabama Public Schools is probably due to the fact that it is a fractional 16th section of Florida land dedicated to the support of Florida public schools which is land now located in Alabama.

Call spent about two months in Havana [after arriving from Key West on January 5, 1830] and there enjoyed the pleasures of Cuban society. The American merchant Vincent Gray seems to have been his chief host, and the two men spent long hours recounting event of the War of 1812. Gray claimed that it was his intelligence which informed Jackson on British plans to attack New Orleans. In March, 1830, Call returned to the United States arriving in Tallahassee about the twentieth. He was "mortified" at the delay which had attended his mission but expressed satisfaction that he had done everything possible to protect the public interests of Florida land cases. He reported that most of the grants " bear on their face conclusive evidence of their fraudulent character", and the "prejudices in behalf of the claimants" were clearly apparant among the Spanish officials.

The papers which Call produced relating to the grant to Don Fernando de la Maz Arredondo indicated that although the grant was a genuine one, it had been made on condition that two hundred families be settled on the tract within three years. The documents relating to the Forbes grant indicated a more complex situation. In the first place, the so-called "Forbes grant" was really a series of claims based upon several alleged grants to the commercial house of Panton, Leslie and Company and its successor John Forbes and Company, as well as to John Forbes individually. One large grant, estimated at about 1,500,000 acres, and located between the Apalachicola River and Choctawhatchee River[all of the Gulf Coast between Destin and Apalachicola], was granted by the Captain-General of Cuba to John Forbes and Company for services rendered to the Spanish government and losses sustained by the company. This was the only obviously fraudulent grant, bearing on its face a clumsy alteration of the date of execution. Under the treaty by which Florida was ceded to the United States all grants made after January 24, 1818, were "declared and agreed to be null and void." the alteration of dates was attempted in an effort to validate this grant.
The other grants to Panton, Leslie and Company, John Forbes and Company, and to John Forbes individually, took in most of the land between the Apalachicola and St. Marks Rivers and were estimated to have a total acreage of about 1,200,000 acres. These grants were made by Florida Indian tribes in payment of debts owed to the commercial houses, and were confirmed by the Spanish governor of West Florida. These grants were presented for adjudication by Colin Mitchel, a Havana merchant who claimed American, English, and Spanish citizenship, who had purchased the rights of the original grantees. One historian of the Supreme Court says that the real promoters of the Mitchel claim were George Griswold, a New York shipper, "combined with other capitalists and with some of the most noted politicians in the country." A conservative historian of the Court observes that " a large number of these Spanish claims had been assigned to and were being prosecuted by bankers, financiers, and speculators in New York and London" thus giving Andrew Jackson, in his fight upon the money power, a vivid interest in the outcome of the cases...

...Many have been critical of the course of the Court in the Florida land cases and the decision in the Mitchel case did raise questions worth pondering. The Court apparantly closed its eyes to the hindrances which the Spanish officials put in the path of those who sought to uncover original documents. It would be interesting to know why, in the face of contrary evidence, the aged Chief Justice stated that no difficulty had been put in the way of American agents and that every facility had been accorded them.....

One historian of the Supreme Court, Gustavus Myers, saw the decisions in the Florida cases as part of a pattern of decisions by which "judicial dictator" John Marshall designed to strengthen the governing and capitalist classes. The more conservative Charles Warren viewed the decisions as designed to protect private property rights and preserve the national honor of the United States by strict adherence to the article of the treaty of cession which recognized property rights existing before 1818. A third historian, Ernest Sutherland Bates, points out the the rights of Spain were not at issue in any of the claims because the actual claimants were American capitalists not Spanish citizens. It is his contention that the Court was governed less by respect for treaties that by the formalisitic procedure established in the Yazoo land fraud cases whereby it refused to consider the evidence of fraud behind a formal grant....

.....After the signing of the treaty of cession in 1819 a genuine boom in Florida lands set in, Niles Register reporting a price rise of from 500 to 1,000 per cent, with city lots selling from $500 to $7000. About the time of the transfer in 1821 Call managed to secure several tracts near Pensacola. In partnership with James Innerarity he purchased 800 arpents of land on Santa Rosa sound and a like amount on Escambia Bay in partnership with Henry M. Brackenridge. An arpent in Spanish Florida was slightly more than an acre. In the city of Pensacola Call secured one town lot.

Great stuff from John Sugden's "The Southern Indians In The War of 1812: The Closing Phase":

Before Nicolls reached Apalachicola Bay in August 1814, a new development had increased the prospects of the Indians engaging the American forces, and they were, themselves, the cause of the changing circumstances. Andrew Jackson, district commander of the American troops, had viewed with alarm the resurgence of the Indian cause. He complained to Governor Mateo Gonzalez Manrique of Pensacola that the British had been allowed to mobilize upon Spanish soil against the United States, and that the Spaniards themselves were harboring refugee Red Sticks. McQueen and Francis, Jackson maintained, should be surrendered to the Americans. In view of the aggressive attitude of Jackson and the Americans to both the Creeks and the Spaniards in recent years, these aggrieved protestations failed to impress Manrique. Nevertheless, the governor was alarmed. The solution to the problem was not easy to find. While the Spanish were too weak to successfully contest the Untied States, they feared that an attempt to improve their position might cost them any remaining American goodwill. Confronted by the threat from Jackson, but unwilling to act in any way that might antagonize the Americans, they vacillated. Governor Manrique refused to sever connections with his Creek allies and sent appeals for help to his superior, Apodaca, at Havana, but he shrank from too vigorous a defense of Pensacola. Apodaca, on his part, was willing to allow Nicolls's Indians and British to operate as they desired, provided that they recognized Spanish control of St. Marks, St. Augustine, and Pensacola, but he refused to give direct aid...

From The Life of Andrew Jackson by Marquis James:

(this commentary by James is based upon a fragment of a letter dated Havana, August 13, 1814, apparantly addressed to Jackson or intended for him, Jackson Papers, Library of Congress)

The American Commander [Jackson] had been following the moves of Colonel Nicholls since he had appeared in Havana a month before. Fortunately for Jackson, the Colonel loved the sound of his own voice. In Cuba he had talked too much for a military man, and his words had found their way to the alert Commander at Mobile. According to Nicholls the British would occupy Pensacola as a base, then seize the mouth of the Mississippi and Mobile,and, marching on Baton Rouge, cut off New Orleans from above and below. Slaves were counted on to join the black regiments of Jamaica and help was expected from the Louisiana Creoles. With the landing at Pensacola the first step in this broad program had been taken....

The first of many old houses in Pensacola, FL. I [Nedra Innerarity] am adding Robert's comment on the Panton Trading Post here which brings more current information.

Robert Register - Sep 5, 2003

Leora Sutton made a couple of mistakes in her Panton Trading Post article. She wrote "In 1812 William Augustus Bowles attempted to break the company's monopoly in the Creek country."

Bowles was seized by the Indians near present day Wetumpka, Alabama, on May 28, 1803 and turned over to Spanish authorities. He died on December 23, 1805 at Morro Castle in Havana harbor. Ms. Sutton was probably thinking about Woodbine who assisted Nichols in organizing the runaway slaves and Indians at the Negro
Fort on the Apalachicola. Woodbine was called a "second Bowles" in letters describing his activities during the War of 1812.

She also wrote " The actions between the American Indians and the British caused John Forbes to claim an indemnification of 100,000 dollars from Spanish government which was paid off by enormous land grants."

Forbes did receive a 1,276,000 acre land grant located between the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers from the Spanish in 1818, however, it was ruled invalid because it violated provisions of the Adams- Onis treaty.

Ms. Sutton leaves the impression that the land grant known as the Forbes Purchase(land between the Apalachicola and St. Marks River)came to be owned by John Forbes & Co. as a consequence of the War of 1812.

This first Forbes Purchase land, 1,427,289 acres, was deeded over to the company to cover Indians debts and Bowles's destruction of the Wakulla store (1793 and 1800) at Indian congresses held at Chiskatalofa in present-day Houston County, Alabama in 1804 and 1810.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1835 that this land grant was perfectly legal.

Robert Register

Read what others had to say:

>Nedra Innerarity Creamer - Sep 25, 2003
I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to thank you for the information on Panton Trading post. It is so good to see so many reading these postings so the can catch the mistakes. I am so happy with this site. It is "My Baby" to care for and I just love it. Thanks for taking part.

Dr. Bergad:

On page 62 of your 1990 book on Matanzas, you mention John Forbes owning a cafetel along the Canimar River. Your notes which include a reference to the map reproduced in Marrero have helped me a lot. If you have anything else on John Forbes or any of the Inneraritys who owned plantations along the Canimar, I'd appreciate you passing it along to me.
In February of this year, I found out that the University of Alabama was sponsoring an Alabama-Cuba Week in November
This stimulated me to start an Alabama-Cuba weblog called "Cuba, Alabama"
I am very interested in the lives of individuals associated with John Forbes & Company in Cuba. There is a letter dated August 2, 1818 from Colin Mitchel to John Innerarity which states that John's brother James had bought some land on the Canimar. Right now I don't know of anyone who knows where that plantation was located, however, it became known as "Heloisa" and I believe it was located near Forbes's plantation at the mouth of the Canimar River.
A June 9, 1820, letter from James Innerarity in Cuba to his brother John in Pensacola stated that he had 200 to 230 acres on the Canimar River being cultivated by 53 slaves.
John Forbes died on May 13, 1823 at sea en route to New York City.
On August 26, 1823, James wrote his brother John from the Canimar. James wrote that he believed John Forbes had taken money from the company. I am very interested in the Forbes estate because of large Spanish land grants Forbes had received in Florida. Archives concerning this Florida land may still sit undiscovered in Cuba.

May 25, 2004, will mark the 200th anniversary of a 1.2 million acre land cession John Forbes & Company received from the Indians in Florida. This entire acreage was later purchased by Colin Mitchel from Havana and litigation concerning this land exists in Cuban archives.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested. If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Robert Register

John Innerarity Jr. was buried in Pensacola, Florida. In his obituary, F.W. Hoskins wrote, "We knew the deceased well. He was one of the most extraordinary men we have ever encountered. Born in Scotland, and receiving in Great Britain a finished, collegiate education, he came to America nearly sixty years ago and, repairing to Florida, associated himself with the distinguished commercial house of Panton, Leslie & Forbes Company of which he was the last surviving member." The Pensacola Gazette reporting on the death of John Innerarity, "one of the most worthy and vererable citizens of Florida. Mr. Innerarity was struck suddenly with death, while seated at the table in the mist of his family. He suffered no firey pain, nor cold gradation of decay, but was snatched from life without a warning, and seemingly without pain." The family was apparently quite large. The 1850 U.S. census shows that three families were living in the house in Escambia County. John and Victoria, the William Panton Innerarity family and the Henry Wilson family. John's daughter Henrietta was married to Henry Wilson and had seven children. So there were seven adults and twelve children living in the main houae plus there were seventeen adult slave with their ten children living on the property. (Not sure if some slept in the main house or all slept in the quarter separate from the house. The census also indicated that John's profession was Consul and his real estate valued at $10,000. John and Victoria were both 68 years of age. There has not been much found on Victoria as yet but research will be under way later unless any of you readers have some information to contribute.

Nedra Innerarity Creamer - Aug 8, 2003 Viewers
Attached To: About Scotland The Brother of James

In our Feb. Issue we covered one of the two somewhat famous brothers that first came to America. This month we will attempt to cover the highlights of John Innerarity Jr.'s life. John is the son of John Innerarity Sr. and Henrietta Panton. He was born November 11,1783 in Aberdeen Scotland. John's Father moved into the field of merchant occupation so shortly after John's birth, his family moved to England. It was in London that John received his education. By the time John was eleven years old, his Father was working for his brother-in-laws firm, Panton, Leslie and Company in Florida. At eighteen years of
age, John joined his Father and older Brother in Pensacola Florida and assumed a position with the firm of Panton, Leslie and Company. His uncle, William Panton had recently died and John assumed control of the Pensacola office. John married Dona Victoria De Villers in October 1806. Victoria is the daughter of Don Marcos De Villers and based on this marriage, John requested Spanish citizenship due to the political uncertainty during the war of 1812. Their children were:
Maria Henrietta Innerarity ; married Henry Wilson.
Melanie Innerarity; married Dr. Isaac Hulse
Victoria Innerarity; married her cousin, William Panton Innerarity.
Henry Innerarity; no record of marriage.
Albert Innerarity; no record of marriage.
(The last two are still being researched.)
Although John applied for Spanish citizenship, Andrew Jackson appointed him in 1821 to serve as an alderman (a member of a governing body) John also served as the French Consul. This shows his higher education. He was fluent in both Spanish and French. Sometime after the death of William Panton, John moved into the Panton mansion. A fire distroyed the mansion in 1848 and the company warehouse was converted into a new house, supervised by John's son-in-law Dr. Isaac Hulse It was a massive house with three stories. John built this large home so there would be room for children as well as grandchildren. John's daughter Victorine, as she was called, and her husband William Panton Innerarity lived in Cuba for while. William's brother Santiago Innerarity had taken over the operations in Cuba so Victorine and William moved back to Pencacola. There is documents to show they were in Pensacola in the year 1843.
John died July 28,1854 at the age of 70 years old. His personal estate was considered modest. A total of $18,360.47. Over $15,200 of his estate were slaves. They were;
Nancy age 55, Phyllis age 53, Millicent age 50, John age 39, Joseph age 35, Edward age 30, Maria age 30, Thomas age 28, Adolphe age 27, William age 27, Andrew age 27, Nelly age 25, Pamela Age 25, Charles age 25, Martin age 21, Alfred age 20, Richard age 19, Adele age 18, Cora age 15, Ezekiel age 15, Clara age 9, Eulalia age 8, Ermantine age 6, Thomas age 6, Oscar age 5, Henry age 3 and Lawrence age 11 months.

Send any suggestions to
Rich Chartrand was in Matanzas a couple of weeks ago and met Professor Carlos Chacon Zalvidar who heads the history department at the University of Matanzas. Rich asked Chacon Zalvidar about the Forbes Purchase law suits that may be archived in Matanzas. The professor didn't know anything about Forbes. Rich is a real resource because of his frequent trips to Matanzas. His great-great grandfather was Colonel John Chartrand who owned the Ariandne Plantation near Limonar in Matanzas on the Canimar River. This was where William Rufus King of Dallas County was inaugurated Vice President of the U.S. in 1853. Rich has emailed me photos of the ruins of Ariandne and of the banks of the Canimar River. Thanks a lot for all the help, Rich.
Sat Mar 01, 01:04:58 PM . robert register

Today I begin my endeavor to explore the connection between Alabama and Cuba. I have already burned up most of the afternoon but I have made some incredible discoveries. Ariande, Canimar, Pantonia, and Heloisa. These are plantation names from the Canimar River area of Matanzas,Cuba. Pantonia is my latest discovery. It may have been an Innerarity family plantation in Cuba. It is mentioned in the Innerarity Family Papers at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. Another important discovery which occurred this afternoon was the history of the land title to the city blocks on Mobile's waterfront which now contain the Adam's Mark Hotel, AmSouth Bank and the City of Mobile parking garage.Benito Caro's family lived in Pensacola, Mobile and possibly Cuba. When he died in about 1814 or 1815, he owned most of downtown Mobile from Royal Street to the river. Caro's son in law, Daniel Duval, bought this property from Caro's widow and heirs in 1821. When Duval died in 1824 he owned the area bounded by Royal Street on the west, by the Mobile River on the east, by lots belonging to Lewis Jordan on the north and on the south by lots owned by James Innerarity, John Innerarity and the estate of John Forbes( all three of these men left heirs and plantations in Matanzas). After Duval's death in 1824, his widow Catherine Caro Duval had four illegitimate children by Mobile businessman, Philip McLoskey. Around 1828, McLoskey sent Catherine and his four illegitimate children to Cuba. These children,born between 1824 and 1830 were James McLoskey, John McLoskey, Victoria McLoskey and Phillip McLoskey. The irony here is that James Innerarity also had illegitimate children in Cuba. James' Cuban plantation was named after his first wife, Heloise. He may have married Laura Manuella Centenno, a Cuban. Their son, Frank Innerarity was born in Cuba in 1832. The other four children Innerarity had with Laura were born in Mobile. These children did not inherit from Innerarity.

More from U.S. Diplomatic Missions to Cuba by A. J. Hanna concerning the Forbes Purchase:

As he(Robinson- last of six U.S. commissioners sent to Havana[1833] to retrieve the Spanish Archives of Florida) observed their (the Spanish commissioners,Payne and Calderon appointed by the Captain General of Cuba Ricafort) procedure and as the investigation progressed, Robinson received the impression that Ricafort was "stupid", "ignorant", and the "dupe" of Payne and that the latter was secretly acting in the interests of Colin Mitchell (business partner of John Forbes who bought the Forbes Purchase) because he owed Mitchell money.
Mitchell was, according to Robinson's observations, the powerful evil force at work to prevent the accomplishment of the archive mission. A partner in John Forbes & Company, Florida traders, Mitchell maintained a large trading business in Havana, could claim British protection by virture of his birth in Scotland, was entitled to the privileges of a citizen of the United States by naturalization, while according to Robinson, his residence of twenty-five years in Cuba [robertoreg note: This would place the commencement of his business at around the year 1807 or 1808- the years I have speculated were the years English speaking Protestants {i.e. John Forbes} were first allowed to do business in Cuba. I need to research this some more] and marriage to a Spanish woman, together with letters patent, constituted him a subject of Spain. When his overtures to Robinson were coldly rebuffed, he became vindictive, according to Robinson, spread malicious rumors, and used his money and influence to frustrate efforts to secure the Florida papers. Robinson and Cleveland (U.S. vice consul to Cuba) soon became convinced that Mitchell had bribed Spanish functionaries to forge and alter records to assist him in his suit (Colin Mitchell et al. v the United States, 9 Peters, United States Supreme Courts Reports 711-763 and 15 Peters, 52-92) before the supreme court of the United States.

Much mo' from Hanna:

Trist (newly appointed U.S. Consul at Havana who returned to the U.S. three months after his arrival in 1834) had placed John Morland, a New Englander who had been a merchant in Havana for 30 years, in charge of the consulate when he left Cuba. Again Robinson's problem was complicated because Morland, fearing to jeopardize his personal business, refused, according to Robinson, to ask Tacon (succeeded Ricafort as Captain General and Governor of Cuba) to authenticate copies of documents Robinson had had made. Robinson regarded Morland as pro-British and was outraged by his intimacy with Mitchell. Another shock that came to Robinson at this time was the discovery that a large number of archives which he, Payne, and Calderon had examined at the Government House in 1832 had been removed to the Convent of San Domingo where they remained unlocked, unguarded, and open to public spoliation.

Mo' from Hanna:

As Robinson delved more deeply into the intracasies of his mission he reported his conviction that intrigue was not limited to the wily foreigner(Colin Mitchell). An acquaintance from Key West brought him the disconcerting news that his own work was being scathingly criticized by Colonel Joseph M. White in his campaign for re-election as delegate from Florida to congress against Robinson's long-time friend, General Call. White published a statement that Robinson was receiving a salary of $4,500 per year, in return for which he was doing nothing, and that the development of Florida was being seriously retarded. White asserted this was due to delays in decisions on land claims because of Robinson's inability to discover the necessary documents. One explanation of White's attitude lay in the fact that he was Mitchell's attorney and that Call was one of opposing attorneys in the Mitchell case.

Mo' from Hanna:

It was Mitchell's connection with the Florida trading house of John Forbes & Company that gave Robinson acute concern in his search for the Florida archives. This company was the successor of Panton, Leslie & Company which William Panton, a Scottish Tory, who had been outlawed by the Georgia provincial congress, had reorganized in Spanish Florida, and he had conducted it extensively and successfully, by means of a virtual monopoly of the trade with the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Indians. Robinson's patriotic ire was aroused when he learned that through this company the Spanish government had secretly supplied the Indians with goods, arms, and munitions of war, that with the connivance of officials of this company a spirit of hostility had been fomented against the aggressions of Georgia backwoodsmen, and that as a result many of his fellow citizens had been killed. He was apparantly gratified to observe, however, that the way of the transgressor against the United States, at least in this instance, was hard, that the Company's trade had been demoralized as a result of European wars, that competition of the United States trade with the Indians had become overwhelming, and that isolated outposts had suffered disasterously from robberies(i.e. Bowles's seizure of the Wakulla Store in 1792 and the establishment of the Negro Fort at Prospect Bluff in 1814) As Robinson peered farther into the dark recesses of land entanglements, he noted that John Forbes and his partners (among whom were the Inneraritys) in the Company had demanded indemnification for the various losses sustained, one of which soared to the estimated high total of $100,000. It was further revealed that vast tracts of Florida lands had been given to this Company to compensate it for alleged losses. It was pointed out in confidence to Robinson by Calderon, one of the Spanish commissioners, that such transfers of land were illegal, first because Indians, according to Spanish regulations, did not possess the right to dispose of large tracts of land; and, second, because foreigners and non-Catholics such as Panton, could not legally become possessed of such extensive areas. Calderon's inference was that at least forgery had been practiced to complete titles to such lands.
Following Call's instructions to seek, in particular, for papers relating to Mitchell's claim to the approximately 1,250,000 acres purchased from John Forbes(deed of cession executed by James Innerarity at Chiskatalofa in present-day Houston County, Alabama on May 25, 1804) in 1817 for the use of the attorney general in trying this case before the supreme court, Robinson reported:

Each day furnishes additional evidence, amounting to mental and moral conviction, of collusion between the former Governors and Intendents of Louisiana, the Floridas and Cuba, and the British mercantile house of Panton, Leslie & Co., and John Forbes & Co., late of Pensacola, proof whereof may possibly be obtained and transmitted to the Department of State.


I am working on this issue tonight. I have a copy of an article, Events at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River, 1808-1818 with an introduction to Twelve Letters of Edmund Doyle, Trader, by Mark F. Boyd, FHQ, Vol. XVI, Issue 2, pp. 55 – 96, October 1937. However, I am trying to obtain a copy of the frontspiece map by Captain Daniel Burch of the general route of his road through the region and also shows the route of Jackson in the First Seminole War. Do you have a copy you could send me.
Thanks! Also, have you ever seen a copy of the “Record of the case of Colin Mitchel v. US?”


I sent what I had and decided to post this on dah blog.

Hey ya'll:
Jim Tiger is a Marion County Oregon lawyer who has done some incredible research on the Creek Indians. It makes sense since Jim is descended from the Tiger family of Creek chiefs from Oklahoma and also the Kinnard family who founded Albany, Georgia and had plantations on the Wakulla River during the Spanish regime in Florida.
He has really done Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama a favor by compiling an Identification of Indian Claims Commisssion Exhibits Cited In The Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands, 1740- 1823, by Guild Wood's Dr. James F. Doster.
Click here and imagine how this could be expanded into a master work and Dr. Doster is still here with us to help...


JAMES [Jacques][Santiago] INNERARITY - The Mobilian Who Negotiated The Forbes Purchase in present day Houston County, Alabama on May 25, 1804, arguably, the GREATEST REAL ESTATE DEAL IN U.S. HISTORY!
(The original of this picture was an Ambrotype, in the possession of James' daughter, Heloise Innerarity Minor and was shared by Lloyd Smith.) b: Aug 18, 1777 Brechin, Forfarshire, Scotland d: Oct 3, 1847 Mobile, Al. m: Aug. 06, 1808 Mobile, Al. Heloise (Eloise Isabel) Isabelle Trouillet b: Nov. 09, 1791 Mobile, AL. d: 1820 Havana, Cuba. James and Heloise had 6 children James is the son of: John Innerarity b: Aug. 07, 1749 d: 1805 & Henrietta Harriet Panton b: 1761 d: 1815


On May 25, 1804, one year to the day after they decided to seize that Prince of Plunder, the disgraceful freebooter, William Augustus Bowles, and turn him over to the Spanish, the Creek Indians met at Chiskatalofa near the point where the present-day states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida intersect and agreed to the terms to probably the greatest real estate deal in American History. By agreeing to extinguish their title to over 1.2 million acres along the banks of the Apalachicola River to cancel a $66,533.05 debt, these 22 chiefs ,who signed what is known today as the Forbes Purchase, sold their land for about a nickel an acre at an Indian conference held in present-day Houston County, Alabama, 201 years ago next month.
It can also be shown that the unfortunate man who closed this deal to collect his company's debt, James Innerarity of Mobile, paid a handsome price ten years later when the British Navy, out of vengence toward their fellow countryman Innerarity, decided to build their Negro Fort on Prospect Bluff near the unprofitable store the Mobilian was forced to open in 1804 under the terms of the Forbes Purchase which was signed 201 years ago May 25 at Chiskatalofa, an Indian village located in the extreme southeastern corner of present-day Houston County, Alabama.I have posted information concerning the Forbes Purchase at my weblog, "Cuba, Alabama."
Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who might be interested in helping us bring attention to this important anniversary.
Best wishes,
Robert Register


osted by roberto at 12:17 PM

Dear Chuck:
An important bicentennial will occur on May 25, 2004. This will mark the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Forbes Purchase at Chiskatalofa, an Indian village located around Ellicott Survey Mound #381 near the point where Alabama, Florida and Georgia intersect on the west bank of the Chattahoochee in present-day Houston County, Alabama. This deed of cession of 1.2 million acres east of the Apalachicola River to John Forbes & Co. began an entire series of treaties where Indians paid their debts with the only thing they possessed, their land. Since John Forbes moved to his sugar plantation, Canimar, in Matanzas Province, Cuba in 1817, many of the business transactions and lawsuits associated with the Forbes Purchase occurred in Cuba. When Forbes died in 1823, his son-in-law,Francisco Dalcourt(husband to Forbes' daughter, Sophia) was appointed executor of Forbes's estate in Cuba. Money from the sale of the Forbes Purchase became tied up in a series of lawsuits filed in New Orleans and Matanzas by those claiming to be owed money by the Forbes's estate. Litigation over the property granted to John Forbes by the Indians at Chiskatalofa in 1804 remained in the courts until 1923, a century after Forbes had died, when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that submerged land in Apalachicola Bay granted by the Forbes Purchase was owned by the State of Florida.

After being appointed Receiver of Pubic Monies in the General Land Office in 1825, Richard Keith Call sailed to Havana to examine the original Forbes Purchase documents . From then on, Call argued to overturn the Forbes's Purchase. According Coker and Watson:

At Call's urging, the U.S. Supreme Court delayed hearing the case until 1835. In the interim, the government sent Jeremy Robinson to Havana to obtain documents to support the government's arguments. Fully briefed by Call, Robinson spent two years in Havana locating and identifying documents, but he died in 1834 before any of these papers were sent to Washington. Nicholas Philip Trist succeeded Robinson and uncovered forty-five documents in Havana, which the Supreme Court refused to admit as evidence.

This was Justice Marshall's last case and he upheld as perfectly legal the Forbes Purchase land grant.

It is my understanding that Jay Shuler of Apalachicola has some Forbes Purchase documents. I am going to try to call him today.

A lot of my research is posted on my weblog
It is easy to find on the Web. Just type "cuba alabama" into google or yahoo search engines and along with over 1.2 million other hits, my blog comes up #1. With google, you can type "cuba alabama" in and click on the "I'm feeling lucky" and my site pops right up.
It is my desire to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the May 25, 1804 signing of the Forbes Purchase in some appropriate way. I am discovering fascinating details on a daily basis. It's not a coincidence that Mobile's James Innerarity had the 24 Lower Creek and Seminole sign over their land on May 25, 1804. On May 25, 1803, exactly one year to the day earlier , the Creeks gave the OK to seize Bowles and put him in handcuffs at Hickory Ground near present-day Wetumpka, Alabama. Many of the 24 chiefs who signed over the land between the Apalachicola and the Wakulla to John Forbes & Co. in 1804 had been allies of Bowles and had promised him this same land. Much of their debt was due to Bowles attack on the Panton,Leslie and Co. store on the Wakulla in 1792. In order to get the chiefs to sign, Innerarity had to promise to open a store at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River. Of course, building the store there led to the British building the Negro Fort there and later Jackson building Fort Gadsden on top of the Negro Fort's ruins.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone and let me hear from you.
Best wishes,
Robert Register

Three of the most intriguing figures in Alabama History made Cuba their home. John Forbes at his plantation, Canimar. James Innerarity on his Canimar River plantation, Heloisa and William Augustus Bowles in the dungeons of Morro Castle. In some way I would like to bring the Cuban Connection to Alabama History back to the young people of Alabama. In February of '98, Alabama History was eliminated as a graduation requirement in all public high schools in Alabama. Nearly all of the graduating classes of 2002 and 2003 had no Alabama History class taught in their high schools. I talked to Rufus Bealle the day the state school board eliminated it and he told me it was a sad day for Mrs. Summersell. My son will enter the 9th grade at County High on Thursday and he will not have the opportunity to study the history of his own state. A portion of my master plan is to get some information about Alabama History to the young people of this state. I have no desire to pitch my ideas to ANY of the social studies teachers in the public schools of this state so I will be looking for alternative methods of communication.
Since my three heroes (Forbes, Innerarity and Bowles) knew Cuba, I would like to know Cuba as well. I plan to visit and study in a post-Fidel/post-Communist Cuba. There is an organization that is working toward the non-violent transition to a Constitutional Cuba. It is the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy. They will be having their 13th annual meeting in Coral Gables next week. Many of their members will not be able to attend because Fidel put them in jail during the past year. It would be wonderful if someone connected to Cuba-Alabama Week could attend some of the sessions. Give me a $1000 and I'll attend all three days of meetings and bring back a load of material. Check out the conference at
Just thought I'd raise the curtain a little on the "Master Plan". When I argued with educators back in '98 about their decision to kill Alabama History, they all came back with the same bull," But, Robert, We're trying to expose our students to a global perspective." What could be more global than the ports of Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa, Havana and New Orleans?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Give them what they want. Give them their money's worth.
-- skypilotclub motto

"All over now, baby bluesy . . . " And a good thing, too, any more of this holiday cheer and I may be going down on the count, er, down for the count, goose down that is, and a good time was had by all, as evidenced.

We traipsed up the stairs of the Beat Museum in North Beach, a place everyone should visit. There's my wife, Eileen, Freddy Hahne's wife, Helvetica, and Freddy himself.

That's the shirt Neal Casady wore on the bus trip to Madhattan and back in 1964. We all wore striped shirts but everyone else's shirt was horizontally striped and only Neal wore the vertical. I found the shirt at Kesey's one time and gave it to Neal's son, John, who donated it to the Beat Museum. There's Neal, wondering what ever happened to his shirt.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hey Igor~
of Bama Homecoming '75?

hmmmmmm. it's possible. i don't recall ever seeing this photo! . . . or exactly what i was wearing in that parade. i was in all the parades with exception to the very first one (the vegetable band), for which i wandered along the route with the band and took many photographs. there weren't so many of us shooting photos (me, doug newby, janice hathaway, that i know of) and i did have a 35mm camera that i used to take photos of most of the parades and i do have a shot that i took of someone taking our picture. but about this photograph. . . i did have a navy pea-coat and some striped pants and did have a wooden flute like that (but didn't we all!), but the hat doesn't look right. don't remember that hat.

update: ah . . . i still have my booley from that parade out in my shop and just took a look at it and this does NOT appear to be my booley, so that is likely not me in the photo. there were variations in color of booleys and while mine was silver (and this looks like a silver one in the photo), it had a black outline and this one has a white outline (assuming that i wound up with the same booley that i marched with). noticing the scarf in the photo, i now suspect this may be janice hathaway. i'll pass this along to other raudelunatics and see what they think. and i'm sure craig nutt would love to add this photo to the raudelunas web page. thanks a lot for passing it along! what a trip that we've spent a longer time on this earth since that event than we had before it.

somewhere stashed away, i have a cassette tape recording of the audio portion of the television broadcast (what a loss that there was no home video in those days!!) of the homecoming parade when channel 33 broadcasters first see the approaching vegetable band. and there is the long-lost 8mm film shot by fletcher paul hayes that might just turn up one day (we can hope!). i do have a photo of him shooting the film from his banana outfit so there is confirmation that it exists!

William Alford

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