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William McGillivray - Co-a-ho-mah
and Samuel Seeley (Isaac Albertson)

     Co-a-ho-mah, Red Cat or Red Tiger, alias [William McGillivray], and Samuel Seeley, alias Isaac Albertson, were conspicuous among the Chickasaw chiefs.  Seeley, alias Albertson, lived not far from Holly Springs, Marshall county, Miss.

     Mr. Walton says:

“McGillivray was a very old man, had served under Washington, and was commissioned by him as captain in the United States army, and stationed at Fort Pitt, now Pittsburg, Pa., in the old war.  I have seen his commission, and it is now in the possession of his son near Fort Towson, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nation west.”

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Thomas Love

     Thomas Love was very probably a white man and a refugee Loyalist.  The Indian nations were often asylums for refugee Loyalists, or Tories, in the early days.  He died in Mississippi, and was the father of Isaac, Henry, Slone, Ben, Samuel, Bill, Robert, Sally, and Delilie.  The latter married John B. Moore, a white man, and owned the land where Holly Springs now stands.

     Isaac Love was a riotous, drinking man, yet he was influential with his people.  Henry was more enlightened than Ben, Isaac or Slone.  Slone partook, both in appearance and habits, more of the nature of the Indian. His complexion was redder, and his tendency more wayward—more Indian like.

     Ben Love was educated in Washington City, was a son-in-law of Simon Burney, owned a number of slaves and was wealthy. At one time he lived on a creek a short distance below Buena Vista.  It is not known by the writer how many times Ben Love was married, but Dr. T. J. Malone stated that Ben Love’s wife was a half-breed of the Choctaw nation.  She was taught to weave by a white man who made a loom and sold it to her husband, getting fifty dollars for it.  She became an expert in the art of weaving, and could weave a piece of cloth thirty yards long by a yard wide in a day. 

     The chief owned what was afterward Dr. Pointer’s place in Marshall county to the south of Holly Springs, in the neighborhood where Mr. John Jarratt lived in 1881.  About two years after the treaty he moved to Holly Springs where he was assassinated about two weeks afterward.  He had two daughters, the oldest named Narcissa. He had a sister, a Mrs. Allen, a well-to-do slave-owner. She was about forty-five years of age in 1836. A daughter of Mrs. Allen married Phillips, a white man.

     The families of Henry, Ben, Isaac, and Slone besides their unbounded influence in the tribe, were also, as a rule, very rich, possessed much land and many negro slaves.

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Ish-te-ho-pa, the king

     Up to 1837, when the Chickasaws removed from Mississippi to their western home, the Chickasaw Nation was divided in four districts: Ish-te-ho-topa’s District, Tishomingo’s District, McGillivray’s (Co-a-ho-mah’s) District, and Seeley’s (Albertson’s) District. 

     Tishomingo, McGillivray and Seeley with some others were subordinates to Ish-te-ho-to-pa, the king. Tishomingo was the chief next to the king in authority.

     It is presumed that Ish-te-ho-to-pa became king of the Chickasaws in 1820, for the Rev. David Humphries says:

“We [Humphries and Rev. t. C. Stuart] * * * * set our faces for the distant west, and passing through the new settlements of Alabama, by way of Fort Jackson, Falls of Cahawba, Tuscaloosa, and the little villages of Columbus, Mississippi, and Cotton Gin Port, we crossed the Tombeckbee river and entered the Chickasaw Nation, forty-one years ago this day (i. e. they entered it on July 8, 1820), and found ourselves at the hospitable mansion of old Levi Colbert, the great man of his tribe. This was Friday evening. We soon learned that a great ball-play was to come off on the following Monday, at George Colbert’s, some twenty-five miles distant, and that a large company was going up the next day. * * * * * * * *

“There being a large collection of Indians from all parts of the nation, we had no difficulty in securing the attendance of the chiefs in council at an early day. Accordingly, we met them at the house of Major James Colbert, the following Wednesday, being the 22nd of the month.  You remember their young king was conducted to the chair of state that day for the first time as king of the Chickasaw Nation.  He was an ordinary Indian, and never opened his mouth during the council”

     The writer of this article has several old deeds which have the “X” mark of Ish-te-ho-to-pa, George Colbert, and Isaac Albertson, which also show that James Colbert, Benj. Love, Henry Love, Slone Love, and James Wolf were able to sign their names in a free, flowing hand, except the two last who signed badly, after the manner of a boy just learning to write.

     Although of the blood royal, Ish-te-ho-to-pa seemed to have been somewhat democratic in his tastes;  for the old chronicle tells us that “The old Chickasaw king, when he came to Pontotoc, slept in the bar-room with me.” 

     His majesty seemed not above making an honest penny, too; for James Alexander Hunt relates in his narrative that in 1835 he crossed the Tallahatchie river in a ferry boat belonging to the Chickasaw king, paying fifty cents for his passage.  Mr. Hunt also states that the king about this time “was a middle-aged man, who had, when he left here, some grown sons who dressed in grand Indian style.”  The Chickasaws and Choctaws, after arriving in their western home, became one nation, and Ish-te-ho-to-pa ceased to be king.

     Cyrus Harris to author:

“I saw the king of the Chickasaws several times presiding at councils. Several councils were held at Fields’s store.” 
Fields’s store was at Newberry’s—an Indian who lived in Lee county, north of Tupelo, on N. W. 8-4, Sec. 19, Town. 7, Range 6.

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Copyright 2001 - All Rights Reserved
Ellen Pack