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Peter McQueen makes war on America
July 30, 1812 | Pensacola, Florida
In 1811, the Shawnee Prophet, Tecumseh had given a talk at Tuckabatchee, one of the Upper Creek Towns, eliciting support for making war against the Americans. The Creek nation was divided over this question and the Lower Towns decided to stay neutral and the Upper towns chose “red sticks” indicating they would go to war. They would need plenty of guns and ammunition for this so the Red Sticks headed to Pensacola to be outfitted. At Pensacola, Red Stick Peter McQueen demanded powder and shot from the Spanish Governor , who refused on the grounds it would upset Spanish treaties with America. McQueen next went to Panton and Leslie, the Loyalist trading company that had been supplying weapons to the Creeks for many years.
McQueen’s insolence was recorded in a letter from John to James Innerary (July 30, 1812), the former a partner in the trading firm:
… McQueen then was about to harangue me, but I interrupted him & told him of what the Governor had informed me, of their threats - & exclaimed against their ingratitude, I told them that they ought to be ashamed of their conduct towards the house & that they were very much mistaken if they thought to get any thing from me by threats & menaces, that I was indeed very much surprised how they could have the assurance to ask any thing from me when I had been from month to month & day to day in the Constant expectation of receiving a large sum from them in Cash in payment of their debts according to their solemn promises to me. Altho' McQueen every now & then interrupted me & tried to change the conversation, yet I continued to talk (West, 1940: 252)…
On the way back to the Upper Towns McQueen and his party were attacked by Americans at Burnt Corn Creek. Scattered at first, the Creeks rallied and drove the Americans from the field. This seemed to set off the Indians to do something of a drastic nature. Within a month McQueen, Jim boy or high head Jim, Weatherford, Prophet Francis and other Red Sticks would descend on Ft Mims, near Mobile and slaughter 350 American men women and children.
April 1940: West, Elizabeth Howard, A Prelude to the Creek War of 1813-1814 In a Letter by John Innerarity to James Innerarity, The Florida Historical Quarterly volume 18 issue 4, Florida Historical Society, pages 248-267.