Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

James Miles

Male 1798 - 1868  (70 years)


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  • Name James Miles  [1
    Birth 1797  South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Born 1798  South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Among the Creeks offers the claim that James Miles was the son of John Miles and Polly Hale of Monroe County, Alabama, and the grandson of Hannah Hale and Hopoithle Haujo (Far Off Warrior). This note explores that question.

      U.S. Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins met Hanah Hale at the Fish Ponds during his 1799 tour of the Creek Nation. Hawkins writes:

      She was taken a prisoner from Georgia, when about eleven or twelve years old, and married the head man of this town, by whom she has five children. This woman spins and weaves, and has taught two of her daughters to spin; she has labored under many difficulties; yet by her industry has acquired some property. She has one negro boy, a horse or two, sixty cattle, and some hogs; she received the friendly attention of the agent for Indian affairs, as soon as he came in the nation. He furnished her with a wheel, loom, and cards; she has an orchard of peach and apple trees. Having made her election at the national council, in 1799, to reside in the nation, the agent appointed Hopoithle Haujo to look out for a suitable place for her, to help her to remove to it with her stock, and take care that she receives no insults from the Indians.

      This appears to be the most frequently cited, and the only original source describing the events; thus, the only sure references are Hawkins' entry, 1799, and (perhaps, less so) James' birth, 1797-1798. Hannah's birth is commonly given by other researchers as 1765, an extrapolation from the date of the raid (1777). No attribution has been seen for 1777 date. Ethridge says that Hale had been in the nation "almost twenty years" at the time of Hawkins' visit.

      The date of her removal to the Tensaw (Monroe County did not exist until 1815) is unknown although it is clear that the intention to do so existed in 1799. With free range livestock, Hale likely encountered the same hostility that kept Richard and Polly Bailey in and out of Otassee/Atasi town. The proposed removal also suggests that her husband was dead. It seems unlikely that removal would have been broached if a husband of influence had been alive. The passage is certainly awkwardly constructed if her husband was Hopoithle Haujo.

      Taking 1765 for granted, and assuming that Hannah bore Polly between 1780 and 1785 (age 15-20), Polly would have been 14-19 years of age if she bore a child in 1798. This timeline raises as many doubts as it dispels. (Other extant records provide no dates with which to extrapolate: Polly Miles does appear as the head of a household in the 1832 Creek census of Au Tauga town. Her brothers, Samuel and David Hale, are there as well.) It seems more likely that Polly was married after her mother's removal to the Tensaw/Little River settlement.

      John Miles does appear in the Tensaw record as early as 1811, where he is included in the ubiquitous tax rolls. He also appears in the Mississippi Territory census of 1815-1817 for newly-established Monroe County. Significantly, Miles (with a family of 5, 2 being males under 21 years of age) was a neighbor of Thomas Franklin (over 21 years of age, with a family of 7, 4 being girls under 21). Other neighbors included well-known Tensaw metis: David Tate, William Hollinger, and Peter Randon. In keeping with the general propensity of metis to marry within a network of allied families, Franklin's youngest daughter married a Hollinger, and his oldest son married a Dees. Thus, it is not outside the realm of possibility that Nellie Franklin followed suit, marrying the boy next door.

      As was the case with so many neighbors, John E. "Myles" made a claim under the Treaty of Ft. Jackson. It coincidentally contains an attestation by Samuel and David Hale, who say that Myles had "upwards of 9 years past an Indian wife of the half blood." Samuel Smith also provided an attestation to the petition that claimed that Myles had been in the nation for "10 or 12 years and has an Indian family...." (These claims square with the conclusion that Polly married after her mother removed to the Tensaw.) Myles filed an affidavit, dated 22 July 1818, stating that he was "a long time before the late war an inhabitant of the Creek Nation and was employed sometime in the town of Hillibee as a schoolmaster, and married a Creek woman of the half-blood who still lives with me on the Alabama river." Additionally, Myles appears as a "guardian of the heirs of Hannah Hale, and Polly Jones" in a petition for reparations for property damaged or lost in the Redstick War (along with Zachariah McGirth, James Cornells, Arthur Sizemoor [Sizemore], Nancy Bailey, Margaret Bailey, and David Edinfield).

      In terms of family lore, however, no Miles claimed native descent through James at the time of the Eastern Cherokee congressional settlement. Rather, family members claimed through the Franklins. This seems to be a rather glaring omission given the unusual and dramatic details surrounding the life of Hannah Hale. (See the letter of Lucretia Miles Bryars to Guion Miller. Bryars knew her Franklin grandparents and almost certainly would have known something about her father's origins.)

      [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1840  Escambia County Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    West of the Escambia River, Florida Territory. 1 male, age 40-49; 1 male, age 10-14; 2 males, age 5-9; 1 female, age 30-39; 1 female, age 10-14; 1 female, age 5-9; 2 females, under age 5. 
    Residence 1850  Interior, Escambia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Farmer 
    Residence 1860  Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Shepherd 
    Died 1868  Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Bowman Cemetery, Wawbeek, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Buried at the Bowman Cemetery located in Escambia County, Alabama, one half mile west of Wawbeek, and one-eighth mile north of U. S. 31. This was the site of Sardis Baptist Church before it was moved east to its present location.

    Miles, James
    Miles, James
    Person ID I0514  Dickinson
    Last Modified 20 Aug 2011 

    Family Lucretia Ellen Franklin,   b. 1804, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 1870, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Children 
    +1. Burgess Miles,   b. 27 Nov 1825, Escambia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Nov 1903, Wawbeek, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
    +2. Margaret Miles,   b. 28 Feb 1828, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 Jun 1905, Escambia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     3. John Miles,   b. 1830, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Irenea Miles,   b. Abt 1832, Escambia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1855, Escambia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 23 years)
     5. William Zebedee Miles,   b. 16 Jan 1834, Escambia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1876, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years)
    +6. Erin Elizabeth Miles,   b. 1836, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Aug 1868  (Age 32 years)
    +7. Lucretia Ellen Miles,   b. 15 Feb 1837, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Nov 1916, Nokomis, Escambia, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)  [Birth]
    +8. Franklin Marion Miles,   b. Feb 1841, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Sep 1916, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 75 years)
    +9. Theresa Anetta Miles,   b. 1843, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 12 Aug 2012 
    Family ID F0189  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Shepherd - 1860 - Baldwin County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Far Off Warrior or Bird Tail King
    Far Off Warrior or Bird Tail King
    Charged with the responsibility of overseeing the removal of Hannah Hale and family to the Tensaw.

    Artist John Trumball noted the circumstances surrounding his sketch:

    "At this time, a numerous deputation from the Creek nation of Indians was in New York, and when this painting was finished, the President [Washington] was curious to see the effect it would produce on their untutored minds. He therefore directed me to place the picture in an advantageous light, facing the door of entrance of the room where it was, and having invited several of the principal chiefs to dine with him, he, after dinner, proposed to them a walk. He was dressed in full uniform, and led the way to the painting-room, and when the door was thrown open, they started at seeing another 'Great Father' standing in the room. One was certainly with them, and they were for a time mute with astonishment. At length one of the chiefs advanced towards the picture, and slowly stretched out his hand to touch it, and was still more astonished to feel, instead of a round object, a flat surface, cold to the touch. He started back with an exclamation of astonishmentó'Ugh!' Another then approached, and placing one hand on the surface and the other behind, was still more astounded to perceive that his hands almost met. I had been desirous of obtaining portraits of some of these principal men, who possessed a dignity of manner, form, countenance and expression, worthy of Roman senators, but after this I found it impracticable; they had received the impression, that there must be magic in an art which could render a smooth flat surface so like to a real man; I however succeeded in obtaining drawings of several by stealth."

    Trumball, John, Reminiscences and letters of John Trumbull, from 1756 to 1841, (New York, New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1841), 164-165.

    Documents
    Miles, James
    Miles, James
    1832 Au Tauga Town (Monroe County, Alabama) Creek census enumerating Polly Miles (#19).
    Mississippi Territory
    Mississippi Territory
    1815-1817 Mississippi Territorial Census
    1815-1817 Mississippi Territorial Census
    Miles / Myles, John E
    Miles / Myles, John E
    Claim, Treaty of Ft. Jackson

  • Sources 
    1. [S014287] 1860 United States Census, Bureau of the Census, (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860).
      Online publication - Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860.M653, 1,438 rolls. , Baldwin, Alabama, post office , roll M653_1, page 222, image 223.

    2. [S336312] History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, 4 volumes, Thomas McAdory Owen, (Chicago, Illinois: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921), vol. 2, 838.
      Hawkins' quote is reproduced here. The original source is Sketch of the Creek Country, Hawkins, (1848) 49-50. Thlot-lo-gul-gau is given as the name of the town.

    3. [S336323] Creeks & Southerners: biculturalism on the early American frontier, Andrew Frank, (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2005), 30.
      Hale's husband is identified here as Thlothlagalga.

    4. [S336324] Creek Country: The Creek Indians and Their World, Robbie Franklyn Ethridge, (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 114.
      Hale's husband is identified only as a headman at Thlotloguigau. The argument has been advanced that Hale's husband was Far Off Mad Warrior based on his identification as the mico at Fish Ponds; however, as Etheridge points out, most towns had more than one.

    5. [S336325] Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors, John R. Swanton, (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1998), 276.

    6. [S336338] Deerskins and Duffels: The Creek Indian Trade with Anglo-America, 1685-1815, Kathryn E. Holland Braund, (Lincoln, Nebraksa: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), 75-76; 181.
      Discussion of Creek aversion to cattle and the Baileys' troubles at Otassee/Atasi.

    7. [S336345] A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814, Gregory A. Waselkov, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2006), 49-52.
      Discussion of the Baileys' problems at Otassi/Atasi.

    8. [S022760] 1840 United States Federal Census, Bureau of the Census, (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administratio, 1840n), Census Place: West of Escambia River, Escambia, Florida Territory; Roll: 36; Page: 22; Image: 49; Family History Library Film: 0006712.

    9. [S007856] 1850 United States Census, Bureau of the Census, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850), Census Place: Interior, Escambia, Florida; Roll: M432_58; Page: 143; Image: 277.