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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Neighbors along the Tombigbee River

George Strother Gaines gives us an idea of the early settlers in the Tombigbee Settlement as of 1805.
He says, in his "Reminiscenes of George Strother Gaines":

"The Tombigbee Settlement in 1805 was comprised mainly of a few planters on the river (who were generally owners of large stocks of cattle) and persons employed in the care of the cattle. There was also a small settlement east of the Alabama river, ten miles above its confluence with the Tombigbee, known as the "Tensaw Settlement." Mr. Mimms, a man of considerable property, resided near Tensaw Lake, and was surrounded by a pleasant neighborhood composed of the Lingers, Duns, Thompsons, and others. William and John Pierce, merchants, had a store above Mimm's.

Of the original settlement I recollect Mr. Bates, who resided at Nanahubba Bluffs; Mr. Hollinger, who resided a few miles above, and was one of the largest planters; his plantation was situated on the "Cut off Island."McIntosh's Bluff was occupied by a Mr. Johnson.

Some eight or ten miles above McIntosh's was the small village of New Wakefield, the seat of Justice for Washington, the only county in the settlement. In the neighborhood of the village resided Mungers, Hinsons, Wheats, Baldwins, and other families, names not recollected.  Mr. Young Gaines resided about ten miles higher up the river. Major Frank Boykin, a revolutionary officer, Thomas Bassett, Bowling, Brewers, and Callers were Mr. Gaine's neighbors. John McGrew lived near St. Stephens. He owned a plantation on the east side of the river, opposite St. Stephens. Mr. Baker resided on the first bluff above St. Stephens, Col. Bullock and Mr. Womack lived also in the neighborhood."1

An 1805 tax list tells us a little more about these neighbors;

Nannahubba Island

Samuel Mims had 640 acres on Nannahubba Island, with 60 acres tilled, and 3 cabins.

 Cornelius Dunn had 178 acres on the same Island, with 20 acres tilled. Joseph Thompson had 365 acres on Nannahubba, with 40 acres tilled and 2 cabins; he also had 640 acres on the east side of the Alabama river with two cabins, 9 outbuildings, and 50 tilled acres. William and John Pierce had 540 acres of land with 10 acres tilled.
Adam Hollinger had 1000 acres on the island with 8 cabins and 200 tilled acres; he also had 800 acres on the west side of the Tombigbee with a 2 story house (32x18 feet) 5 outbuildings, and 80 tilled acres.2 Hollinger was an Irishman, who lived amongst the Creeks and operated a flat boat ferry on the Tombigbee between Fort Stoddart and Fort Mimms. His first wife had been Elizabeth Moniac, a Creek woman, but in 1788 he married Marie LeFleur (a french/choctaw woman) in Mobile and in 1792 he married Marie Juzan (also mixed blood.) Hollinger had many children, all baptized in Mobile. 3,4 (When Hollinger wrote his will in 1808, he named 8 young slaves left to his children. He notes his son William as a half-breed, living with David Tate, and leaves him 3 slaves.) He names his friends Harry Toulmin and William Pierce executors of his will.)

McIntosh Bluff

Daniel Johnston Sr. had 400 acres (14 tilled) on the west side of the Tombigbee at McIntosh Bluff with two houses and 17 outbuildings. Daniel Johnston had 1120 acres (52 tilled) with 6 cabins.
Joseph Kennedy also lived at McIntosh Bluff, and had 7 acres of land and a house.

New Wakefield

 Sampson Munger had 1141 acres and Hiram Munger had 640 acres (6 tilled.) on Sunflower Creek.
John Hinson had 440 acres (10 tilled) and 2 cabins.

Upriver Families

Young Gaines had 800  (40 tilled) acres on the west side of the Tombigbee near Bassetts Creek with 5 cabins and 800 acres on the east side of the Alabama river where it joined the Tombigbee.
Major Francis "Frank" Boykin had 800 acres (25 tilled) and 4 cabins.
Thomas Bassett had 1060 acres (50 improved) and 3 cabins on the west side of the river, also 750 acres (25 cleared) and 4 cabins just above McIntosh Bluff.
George Brewer had 800 acres just below Bassetts Creek, another 629 acres (60 tilled) with a house and 12 cabins, and another 634 acres with 3 cabins and a mill.
James Caller also had a number of properties; three on the west of the Tombigbee totaling nearly 2000 acres (one of which was on Smith's Creek with 6 cabins), two on the west side of the Mobile River, totalling nearly 1000 acres, and two on the east side of the Mobile River, directly across from his other property, totaling 1640 acres. Notably, his 1000 acre plantation east of the Mobile was all tilled and that on the west side was known as "Grogg Hall" and had a house 30x20.

Near St. Stephens

John McGrew Sr. had 1000 acres of land (40 tilled) on the west side of the Tombigbee, with a 34x18 house and 7 outbuildings.
John Baker had 400 acres (25 tilled) and a 30x20 foot house and 3 outbuildings.
Colonel Bullock is not mentioned on the tax list.

There is a long list of residents without land description in this year; included are Jesse Womack, John Womack, William Womack, and Richard Womack. Also listed are Francis and William Coleman, David and William Gaines, Levin Hainsworth, William Hunt, Sandford McClendon, Silas Pace, Philip McGee, Harry Toulmin, Tandy Walker and others.2

We also see that Benjamin Few came in 1802 from Georgia, but died in 1805. (Note that Jesse Womack served with Twiggs and Few in the Revolution)

1- The Reminiscences of George Strother Gaines, Pioneer and Statesman of Early Alabama and Mississippi 1805-1843 Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James P. Pate
2- 1805 tax Washington County, Miss. Terr (check original record-these are from a webpage)
3-The Hollingers (documented on webpage)

Suggested Resources:
Reminiscences of George Strother Gaines
Thomas Woodward's Reminiscences
Pickett's History of Alabama

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