Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Capt. David Taitt[1]

Male 1740 - 1834  (~ 94 years)


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  • Name David Taitt 
    Title Capt. 
    Born ca. 1740  Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Arrival 1763  St. Augustine, St. Johns, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    British Florida. Spain ceded Florida in 1763 as a result of the French and Indian War. The British would cede Florida back to the Spaniards (Third Spanish Period) in 1783. 
    Occupation 1772 - 1779  Wetumpka, Elmore, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    British Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs. According to Dr. Gregory Waselkov, "Taitt's marriage to Sehoy seems to correspond closely with McGillivray's arrival at Little Tallassee in 1777, and particularly with McGillivray's dramatic facedown of a war party intent on assassinating the young Scot on September 19 that year." Little Tallassee was on the east bank of the Coosa River, just below present-day Wetumpka, Alabama. 
    Military Mar 1779  Augusta, Richmond, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    With plans to rendezvous with the British, Taitt led a force of Creeks against Augusta. Colonials broke up the advance and Taitt found himself with only a make-shift force. He was present for the French-led assault on Savannah during the Fall of 1779. 
    Military 16 Sep 1779 - 18 Oct 1779  Savannah, Chatham, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siege of Savannah. 
    Departure Jan 1782  Savannah, Chatham, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Departed for England. 
    Died 4 Aug 1834  Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Old Burial Ground, Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Findagrave memorial for David Taitt (d. 1834)
    Findagrave memorial for David Taitt (d. 1834)
    Person ID I5038  Dickinson
    Last Modified 20 Dec 2014 

    Family Sehoy III McPherson 
    Notes 
    • Who is Col. John Tate?

      The Tate family tradition (as reported by David Tate's son-in-laws, J. D. Dreisbach and Elisha Tarvin) claims that a British officer, Col. John Tate (hereafter, Tate), was the husband of Sehoy III and father of Eloise and David. This account is adopted by the early historians of the period, Meek, Owen, Woodward, and Halbart. (Woodward claims that Indians showed him Tate's grave. Indeed, it is probably the unreliable Woodward that originally reported the claim.) Griffith, in McIntosh and Weatherford, repeats the tale. Pickett, somewhat ambiguously, mentions him only as Col. Tait. [Pickett, 531, with additional background on Tait's mission at 342, 345-346]

      Amos Wright makes the case that John Tate did not exist.

      First, Wright could not find any extant military records for a John Tate serving as a commissioned officer in North America. And he found no reference to John Tate in the "thousands" of letters, journals and other documents that he reviewed, an unlikely void in the record.

      Second, there was another Tait in the Creek nation during this period, one whose story parallels that of Tate and whose activities are documented by primary source materials.

      David Taitt (hereafter, Taitt), the deputy to the British Indian superintendent, John Stuart, began a tour of the nation in 1772. He frequented Ft. Toulouse and Little Tallasee from that time to 1781. Most significantly, in 1779 Tait led a force of Creeks across the Chattahoochee to aid in the relief of Savannah, then under siege by the French admiral, D'Estaing. (John Tate coincidentally led an Indian force for the same reason in 1779 but died at Cussetta or Coweta town, near present-day Columbus, Georgia.) Vickery and Travis claim this Taitt as David's father, as well as Dr. Gregory Waselkov of the University of South Alabama and Dr. Kathyrn Braund of Auburn University. Waselkov assigns paternity on the circumstance of Tait's residence at Little Tallassee at the time of the conception and birth of Sehoy's children. [Waselkov, 283, n. 19]

      Wright, however, argues that Taitt would not have been a credible consort for Sehoy. Taitt fled the nation on more than one occasion for fear of assassination. This certainly would not have been a concern for a brother-in-law of Alexander McGillivray, as proved by Sehoy's other mate, the duplicitous, yet unmolested, Charles Weatherford. (This, of course, ignores Taitt's standing as a British agent.)

      Nevertheless, John Tate seems more apocryphal than real. It could be that the story of his demise is romantic invention, similar to that of the French Captain Marchand, Sehoy III's maternal grandfather. As Wright pens of the latter, "[i]t makes better reading if the brave father is killed instead of deserting his family when his tour of duty is over." [Wright, 187]

      In a 1922 article, C. H. Driesbach alleged that David's father was Adam Tate. Wright argues that this Tate was probably a white trader who operated out of West Florida before 1773 and again between 1775 and 1779. (Sehoy III married Charles Weatherford in 1780 after Adam left the region.) Wright claims that Adam's will, leaving his Alabama estate to David, was deposited with Alexander McGillivray. This included the brickyard plantation, the property on which William Weatherford and Sehoy III are buried, which was deeded by the Driesbach family to Baldwin County in 1972.

      In 2014, Tate researcher Michelle Woodham produced the 1796 baptismal record for David Tate at All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London, where his father is identified as "David Tate". Tate was baptized at the same time as Alexander McGillivray, son of Gen. Alexander McGillivray. Both were in Britain at the time under the auspices of William Panton, the Pensacola merchant and confidant of Gen. McGillivray. The younger McGillivray died in London. Tate, proving an indifferent scholar, returned to Alabama. [3, 4, 5]
    Children 
    +1. David Tate,   b. 1778, Wetumpka, Elmore, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. ca. Nov 1829, Little River, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)  [Birth]
    Last Modified 20 Dec 2014 
    Family ID F1351  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsArrival - British Florida. Spain ceded Florida in 1763 as a result of the French and Indian War. The British would cede Florida back to the Spaniards (Third Spanish Period) in 1783. - 1763 - St. Augustine, St. Johns, Florida Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - British Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs. According to Dr. Gregory Waselkov, "Taitt's marriage to Sehoy seems to correspond closely with McGillivray's arrival at Little Tallassee in 1777, and particularly with McGillivray's dramatic facedown of a war party intent on assassinating the young Scot on September 19 that year." Little Tallassee was on the east bank of the Coosa River, just below present-day Wetumpka, Alabama. - 1772 - 1779 - Wetumpka, Elmore, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - With plans to rendezvous with the British, Taitt led a force of Creeks against Augusta. Colonials broke up the advance and Taitt found himself with only a make-shift force. He was present for the French-led assault on Savannah during the Fall of 1779. - Mar 1779 - Augusta, Richmond, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Siege of Savannah. - 16 Sep 1779 - 18 Oct 1779 - Savannah, Chatham, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeparture - Departed for England. - Jan 1782 - Savannah, Chatham, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 4 Aug 1834 - Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S101] Encyclopedia of Alabama, (Montgomery, Alabama: Alabama Humanities Foundation ), online., "David Taitt", http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1538, 17 Dec 2014.

    2. [S102] They Came from Away: Yanks, Brits and Cape Breton, David Newton and Pamela Newton, (Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse, 2010), 42.

    3. [S336345] A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814, Gregory A. Waselkov, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2006), 41.

    4. [S336311] The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders on the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, Amos J. Wright, Jr., (Montgomery, Alabama: NewSouth Books, 2001), 195-202.

    5. [S336330] The Rise of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Lou Vickery and Steve Travis, (Upword Press, 2009), 55.