Tullis Trees

A Family History Newsletter

Volume 5, Number 1

1st Half 2006

1815 Affidavit of James Tullis,
Camden County, Georgia

by Thomas S. Tullis

I recently ran across an interesting document on the University of Georgia’s website. It’s a copy of an affidavit dated May 16, 1815, by James Tullis of Camden Co, Georgia. It can be seen online at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/zlna/id:tcc108. The document is the property of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library of the University of Georgia and is reproduced here with their permission. The original version of the document is shown below, followed by a transcription. The document describes an encounter that a James Tullis had with a group of Indians who stole his horses and plundered his house. It’s a fascinating glimpse into life on the frontier in the early 1800’s. Although I’m not certain, I suspect this James Tullis was a son of Tapley Tullos (abt. 1738 - abt. 1818), who was a descendant of Claudius Tullos. Tapley died in Camden Co, Georgia, in 1818.

Transcription of 1815 Affidavit of James Tullis, Camden Co, Georgia

Camden County

Before me personally appeared James Tullis who having been duly sworn doth depose and say That on Wednesday the third day of the present month he was at his House on Spanish Creek in the aforesaid County, and that about the break of day he was awaked by the noise of the running of horses towards his house, he looked out & found that they were his own & his brothers, that he also saw at the same time two Indians, one of which was attempting to catch the Horses, the other was standing behind a Tree near the house. He the deponent then fired at one of them, and jumped out of doors, and was shot at by one of two other Indians which were on the other side of the house; the deponent then endeavoured to make his escape & was fired at three or four times by the said Indians, that his family left his house immediately on his discovering the Indians and went to his brothers, about a quarter of a mile from his own; and not finding the family there, they proceeded to Camp Pinckney [in present-day Charlton County, which was formed from Camden Co in 1854], where this deponent also went, and that the Indians then returned to his house and plundered and destroyed everything that was there, a statement of which is attached. That Capt. Hapton with thirteen men followed them the same day about fifteen miles on Hennards track, but did not over-take them.
This deponent further declares that he believes the four Indians above mentioned belonged to old Gullummys[?] Town And that the Inhabitants of that part of the county are in dread of the further encroachments of Indians, and of the loss of their property and the destruction of their families, if some force is not sent to their assistance-- that a part of the Inhabitants residing near that place and about sixteen miles from it, have embodied for the security of themselves and families.

James Tullis
Sworn to at St. Mary’s Ga
This 16th May 1815
William[?] Gibson JJC[?]

Statement of articles plundered & destroyed by the Indians from the House of James Tullis on the 3rd May 1815.

2 Feather beds
Bed clothing
House Furniture
1 Axe
Pail of Butter
Wearing clothes
Small Pot
Pair Pinchers

James Tullis
Sworn to at St. Mary’s Georgia
16 May 1815
William Gibson JJC[?]

Editor’s Note: The historical context of this event is important to understanding it. This happened just after the Creek Indian Wars of 1813-1814 which took place in Georgia and Alabama. (See, for example, the Wikipedia article on the Creek War.) Starting in the 1700’s, the settlers had taken many lands from the Creek Indians. The Creeks eventually retaliated; led by William Weatherford, also known as Red Eagle, they attacked Fort Mimms on August 30, 1813, where some 500 whites were killed. After a number of additional battles, the war ended as General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creeks under Chief Weatherford at the decisive battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, where nearly 900 of 1000 Indians were killed. This affidavit clearly shows that tensions were still high between the Creek Indians and the settlers.

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