3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
David Tate was born in the year 1779, in what was then the Indian Nation of West Florida. He was the half-breed nephew to Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray and Chief Malcolm McPherson of Hickory Ground; essentially Creek royalty. The United States was deep into the mires of the American Revolutionary War. British Colonials were rallying Native-Americans to battle in return for their freedom and ease of trading goods.
David Tate – Origins by Carolyn Hood-Kourdache explores this volatile point in American history and addresses the multifaceted issues of race and slavery of this time. David Tate was the son of a Creek woman and a British Colonial. This book includes official documents, letters, and historical illustrations used as a reference from The New York Public Library, online Digital Collections. The author states in her Preface that this book came about as a result of doing a genealogical survey of the origins of her family. Although not written into the analog’s of American history as we know it, David Tate’s life was significant in that he was present for such historic events as the signing in 1790 of the Treaty of New York, he heard Tecumseh and Tenkswatawah speak at Tuckabatchee, and witnessed the killing of Little Warrior during the Red Stick War (a conflict between the Creek Indians who were against the new settlers from Europe).
Hood-Kourdache is very thorough in the research of her genealogical study. David Tate was the son of David Taitt, a British loyalist and Sehoy McPherson, a Creek Indian. Tate's father was the Deputy Superintendent Indian Agent for the Southern District, Alabama before it became a state in 1819. His job was to gain control over and incite the Creek Indians and other indigenous tribes who lived south of the Ohio River and convince them to go into battle against the colonials seeking separation from the grip of British rule. He married Sehoy McPherson, the half-sister of Chief Alexander McGillivray. He never happened to mention the marriage in his correspondence to his superiors, but instead wrote of the “sundry freelancers, criminal vagrants, mixed bloods and negroes” that lived among the Indian tribes.
Carolyn Hood-Kourdache delves into a fascinating account of America’s early history and the little-known facts behind the growth of the country and the expansion of white settlers into lands inhabited by Native-American tribes. My favorite part of the book was the many original pictures and artist renderings of the time. The author provided so many details and descriptions of what life was like during this time and the political ramifications of the Revolutionary War for not just European settlers, but the indigenous tribes and African and Indian slaves.
Although the thorough research was interesting, it was exhaustive and a little bit dry. The book lists the many slaves owned by Tate. In fact, slavery was commonplace amongst all nationalities. I found it eye-opening and sobering at the prevalence of slave ownership and the fact that when someone died, the slaves were left in the will of the deceased. Men could also purchase young girls as concubines.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I gave it this rating because it was clear how much time the author has put into the research and compilation of this book. It was a fascinating look into a window of time that most of today’s Americans have little knowledge of. This book will appeal to those who are interested in the early years of European settlement of the United States, people who want to learn more about life as a Native-American in British colonial time, and those tracing their own genealogical roots.
David Tate : Origins
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Lennycat's review? Post a comment saying so!