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Billy with the Hair Colored Yellow
William Weatherford: A Study in Tribal and Civic Identity in Plantation America
Below I footnote elements of a fairly obtuse article on a mixed Race Indian in order to expose the operating delusions of postmodern American Thought on the Planation Era. This is followed by a look at a better, though still deluded, academic treatment.
William Weatherford
“William Weatherford was not adopted into the Creek tribe which largely raised him. He was born into it, the son of a local Scot’s trader named Charles Weatherford and a Creek daughter of a powerful chieftain. The Creeks were a matrilineal society, with women responsible for the upbringing of children and thus held in high esteem as they were responsible for the preservation of Creek society. William interacted with both the local residents of European descent, to whom he was known as Billy, and with the Creeks who called him Red Eagle.”
He was never called Red Eagle. I call bullshit as this is obviously a name inspired by the later Plains Indians experience. His name was Bill, Yellow Bill. Matrilineal they may have been, but chief’s routinely sold their daughters to powerful Europeans. This facet of Amerindian society, the tracing of matrilineal descent and the leaving of teaching in the hands of the women, was responsible for two very unique aspects of the tribal American experience: -1. Natives had very week racial identity, adopting alien folk as full members all across the continent, but especially in the east where racial differences were primarily limited to attire and adornment, not facial features, skin tone or stature. -2. Tribes were infiltrated and Christianized through the women-folk at a rough rate of 2 in 3 falling under Christian influence and submitting to the prosperity gospel at the core of the American consciousness. This paragraph of narrative, describing “local residents of European Descent,” denies that Billy is of European descent even though he manifestly is, even having a Gaelic descriptive in the form of Larney for yellow. This moral view of race, rather than a biological view of race, is based in the One-Drop rule unique to English Plantation society.
“As Red Eagle he became a leading war chief of the Creeks in his own right, and one of the protagonists of the Creek war with the United States, a theater of the War of 1812. The Creeks had by then largely been split into two factions, one assimilated into the American culture (called the lower Creeks), the other opposing the lower Creeks and their American allies, called Red Sticks. Red Eagle associated with and was a leader of the Red Sticks.”
The Red Sticks rose in association with Tecumseh and his Shawnees. Tecumseh, which meant Panther-passing-across, studied English under Quaker tutors, was an accomplished letter-writer, reader and public speaker, and dreamed of a tribal confederacy to stop the Americans. Both his father and his brother died fighting the Americans. Tecumseh predicted a great sign for the Red Stick rising, which turned out to be the New Madrid Earthquake which rocked the Eastern portion of North America, lifting the Mississippi out of its bed. Tecumseh, like Yellow Bill, was at least half European by race. The assumption that people who made no racial distinctions and operated only according to notions of cultural cohesion and tribal loyalty, are all pure-blooded despite overwhelming evidence that they swapped wives freely with alien invaders and adopted captive women and children as a matter of course, is another aspect of our grand operating delusion. It is very likely that Red Eagle’s mother was of European descent.
“At Ft. Mims [1] the Red Sticks massacred the lower Creeks and American settlers and militia. Later they were attacked in their fortified encampment by American troops at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend…and the Creeks were routed. Red Eagle fled to Florida with the Seminole for a time, before surrendering to Jackson at Fort Jackson, under the name William Weatherford.”
That was an oversimplification as Yellow Bill headed for the high grass before that final battle. Seminole is based on Cimmeron, which was Spanish for runaway. The earliest Seminoles were Scotts-Irish-English-Welsh runaways. After Yellow Bill’s time they were increasingly African American, such as Billy Bowlegs, who held at least 50 African American slaves. It is notable that he surrendered as an American, not an Indian, making him a rebel in the context that he chose in defeat.
“Jackson recognized the obvious usefulness of Weatherford/Red Eagle to both sides, and compelled him to help negotiate the treaty which ended the Creek War, and which retained a portion of the Creek lands. Weatherford was allowed to retire to his own lands, which he did, with his third wife and children. All of his marriages had been interracial.”
Other than the assertion that Jackson was a rational war leader who would take a negotiated peace when he could get one, this is utterly non-sense. Yellow Billy was mixed race, so whether he married tribally or in American society, he was marrying into his own race. Weatherford, like the vast majority of Eastern Woodlands Indians, regarded the ownership of African American slaves as his right and as morally right. It is interesting that, despite the claim that the obviously mixed race Weatherford was 100% Indian, that the man operated openly as a white man at the highest levels of a race-based society, marrying “Christian” women, indicating, in all likelihood, that he was more than half descended from European stock, and might have been entirely of European ancestry.
Interestingly, the Creek people were not prominent prior to English settlement of the adjoining coastal region around 1600. They seem to have been survivors of the Mississippian Civilization and associated tribes wiped out by Soto’s Entrada from 1541-43 and runaways from Spanish and English Plantations. They lived in Swedish-style log cabins, dressed in a mixture of Amerindian and European style and ordered guns to fight “the white man” and enemy tribes with letters addressed to leading gunsmiths who they paid in coin.
Weatherford lived until 1824 as a prominent plantation owner, slave trader and horse breeder.

Kathryn Braund, of Auburn University, in a more responsible treatment, continues the comedy of delusion in an article cited below with mention of the fact that Alexander McGillivray, whose mother was Weatherford’s grandmother! being a powerful Creek chief. Weatherford’s half-brother, David Tate also lived as a plantation-owning white man! She claims also that horsemanship was an aspect of Creek masculine society. The only source for this would be direct English aristocratic intermarriage, as the horse culture of the Plains Indians was a thousand miles distant as was the breeding stock.
Further, on August 30 1813, Weatherford, a chief named Far Off Leader and another named Paddy Walsh [2, what Indian language is that name spelled in?] conducted an attack on a Lower Creek town, which was named Fort Mims. There was slaughter of women and children at this massacre, which Weatherford distanced himself from. However, despite the outcry of massacre, the Creeks took 100 captives and I bet they were mostly women and children held for adoption, marriage, sale as slaves or ransom. Besides, in the totally race-based America of the southeastern U.S. we are taught to believe in, why would the slaying of Indian women and children cause such an outcry in newspapers and high “white” society? Perhaps it was a racial reaction to “whites” with Scottish names living as Indians in windowed log cabins and a fortified town being killed?
On December 1813, Yellow Bill defended a town called Holy Ground against a mixed American Choctaw force. As with most of the conflicts in the Eastern Woodlands, as many and more Indian tribes could be found on the American side as the tribal side, taking us further away from the race-based duality between “evil white” and “holy other.” Here we had Lower Creek, American and Choctaw against Upper Creek. Freed African American slaves were part of his defending force, pointing again to the lack of unifying racial narrative during the actual period under question, with this dualistic narrative inserted by later academics, who fail to scrub the facts that undermine their delusion from the text.
“After the war, under the protection of his prominent kin, he lived as a plantation owner in south Alabama, distancing himself from tribal affairs. When he died in 1824, he was married to a Christian woman of mixed Indian ancestry and left sizeable property in land and slaves to his descendants.”
Okay, in the wake of an Indian defeat, this bloody-handed chief is protected by prominent kin? They must not have been Indians, but Americans. Mixed Indian ancestry suggests no racial component, as these were not a racially-minded people, but a culture based on female dominance in the home and masculine dominance in the wider world. The survivors of the Roanoke Plantation were sold into slavery by Indians as miners, metal workers and wives in 1587. By 1607 blonde and bearded Indians greeted Captain John Smith in Virginia, log cabins rose on the Potomac River and a new, never-before heard of tribe, called the Susquehannock were living in a fortified town above the Chesapeake Bay. There had been a lot of racial and cultural mixing for 200 years, by the time Yellow Bill was born in 1781. The Lady of letters closes her article with:
“Weatherford was known by two Creek names, Hoponika Fulsahi (Truth Maker) and Billy Larney, [3] which translates as Yellow Billy. The name "Red Eagle" did not appear in print until the 1855 publication of A. B. Meek's poem "The Red Eagle: A Poem of the South," a lengthy romanticized tale based loosely on Weatherford and his exploits.”
Notes
-1. An Indian town that was a fort? This just slides by and no one questions the European self-naming of the place by this tribe of Feral Scottish slave owners?
-2. Could we at least write this Irish brigand out of the script! If these people knew they served a lie of a nation that never knew what it was, they would get rid of bit players like this that give it away.
-3. I will humbly submit that if Billy Larney is a Creek name, than the Creek Nation was born in the Scottish Highlands. Seriously, how could any academic look at Hoponika Fulshi and Billy Larney and conclude that they came from the same linguistic root?
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