MARCH 24, 1824


Born around 1781 near Coosada, an Alabama town of the Creek Confederacy, Weatherford, whose Creek name meant “Red Eagle,” was related to several Creek leaders, including Alexander McGillivray.  In 1813-1814, as civil war divided the Creek people, Weatherford led the “Red Sticks” –a faction of Upper Creeks who supported traditional leadership and culture.  On August 30, 1813, Weatherford led the Red Sticks in a successful attack on Fort Mims killing 250 and taking over 100 taken captive.  This attack turned a Creek civil war into an American-Creek war.  When the U.S. Army and Creek allies assaulted the Red Sticks’ fortified village, Econochaca, the Red Sticks abandoned it under fire.  Weatherford, on his horse, made a famous leap from a cliff to escape.  He surrendered to General Andrew Jackson after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, persuaded other Red Sticks to surrender, and participated in military actions against those who would not.  After the war, he lived as a plantation owner in south Alabama.     

Source:  Kathryn Braund, Auburn University, “William Weatherford,” Encyclopedia of Alabama, 6/3/2010.  Retrieved 6/25/2019,
Engraving:  John Reuben Chapin (1823-94); Engraver: W. Ridgway (active 1854-85), 1859.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less.

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