By: Rev. James T. Dunnam
Rev. James Dunnam retains the copyright on this biography. Further use for commercial purposes prohibited without his permission.
From my earliest remembrances, I have heard various stories about Jennie Hale. She was described by our family as a ancestor who was part Creek Indian. In fact, I was born in Indian Hill Community, Greene County, MS., where we often found arrowheads that were left by Creek Indians who lived there along the Mill Creek years ago. Creek Indians lived along the many Creeks in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and thus were given the name Creeks.
Many of the stories I heard as a youth were conflicting and much was not known to my family. So, several years ago when I began in serious to research my family history, I began collecting infomation about Jennie Hale.
My grandmother, Jane Henderson, was a grandaughter of Jennie Hale. So I began there to research backward as far as I could go. I discovered that Jane Henderson was a daughter of William Isaac Henderson and Elizabeth (Betsy) Strickland. Betsy Strickland was a daughter of Jennie Hale and Simeon Strickland. Sim Strickland and Jennie lived in the area of Winchester, Wayne County, MS. Sim served at one time as Sherriff of Wayne County.
In the national Archives and Bureau of Indian Affairs, I discovered letters written by family members about land and possibly money available to them by way of a Treaty signed by the U. S. Government with the Indians as they ceded land in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Jennie Hale is described in these letters as one-half Creek Indian and her children as one-quarter Creek Indian. She is also described as being from Fishertown, Alabama.
In the American State Papers I found records in the U. S. Congress, where two one half Creeks, named Samuel and David Hale, received land in Monroe and Clarke County, Alabama as a result of the U. S Treaty with the Creeks.
I then discovered the Writings of Benjamin Hawkins, U. S. Indian Agent to the Creeks and other Indians Southern part of the Country 1796-1816. His writings were printed by the Georgia Historical Society.
They include "Sketches of the Creek Country" and "The Writings of Benjamin Hawkins".
In his writings, Hawkins describes visits to a Village, Thlot-lo-gul-gau, called "Fishponds" by the Indian Traders. This village is located in present day Coosa County, Alabama, near the town of Hyssop, not far from Alexander City, Alabama. Benjamin Hawkins describes Hannah Hale who lives there and being married to the Head Man of the Village, by whom she had five children. Fishponds is located on a small pond like creek, a branch of the Ul-kau-hat-che, which joins the Tallapoosa four miles above Ocfuskee. This is where Hannah Hale lived and reared a family. She is described as industrious. She spins and weaves and has taught two of her daughters to spin. She owns property, has one Negro boy, a horse or two, sixty cattle and some hogs.
Benjamin Hawkins states that Hannah Hale was captured by the Creeks, on the Ogeechee in Georgia, at Rogers Fort, when she was eleven or twelve years old. In 1799 Hannah Hale elected at the national council to reside in the nation. The Agent appointed Hopotithle Haujo, to look out a suitable place for her and to help her to move to it with her stock and to take care that she receive no insults from the Indians.
Hannah Hale is mentioned several times in Hawkins letters as receiving needed items such as wheels, harness, and hay. He describes her as having plenty of corn, butter, and milk, and that she married "Far Off", head man of the village.
I believe Jane "Jennie" Hale is a daughter of Hannah Hale; that Fishertown is Fishponds, and that she most likely met Simeon Strickland when he came to Fishponds as an Indian Trader. The brothers of Jennie were David and Samuel. One of them died around 1840 and the other made his way to Creek Territory in Oklahoma where he raised a family. I believe one sister married a Jones and received land in Monroe County joining that of her brothers. The other, I believe married John Myles.
So, Jennie Hale descends from Hannah Hale who was captured at Rogers Fort on the Ogeechee in Georgia. Her father may have been a soldier stationed there. I do not know where her family came from to Georgia.
Many families in Greene County descend from her. The Dunnams, Hendersons, Stricklands, Cochrans, Prines, and others.
County Coordinator: Ann Allen Geoghegan
Assistant State Coordinators