Joan's Ancestors and Descendants

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  • ID: I36109
  • Name: John Kennard
  • Surname: Kennard
  • Given Name: John
  • Nickname: Jack
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: BEF 1749 in of, , Georgia, United States
  • Note:
    Georgia trader among the Hitchitas in 1749-1752, May be father of John and William Kennard, Creek Chiefs in 1790s.

    200 YEARS AGO ON THE S. GEORGIA FRONTIER
    ---- JACK KINNARD, A SCOTCH-CREEK MESTIZO --
    by Dr. Lee Formwalt; Albany State University
    When people talk about the American Indians in southwest Georgia, it often conjures up a rather fuzzy image of groups of anonymous Indian men sitting around a camp fire at some creek or springs chipping flint into arrowheads. This is probably because our sources about the American Indians are minimal; very few actual personalities leap from the documents we do have.
    We know these Indians must have spent a lot of time making arrowheads, because people find them all the time in fields and woods throughout the southwest Georgia area. In fact, the reality of Indian life here, in the century prior to white settlement was quite different. Not only had the musket and gunpower replaced the bow and arrow, but several American Indian leaders made enough of an impact on the invading Euramericans, that their lives and personalities were recorded in travel accounts and correspondence.
    The most important and perhaps most colorful of these characters in the lower Flint River region was the Scotch-Creek mestizo or "mixed-blood" named Jack Kinnard. Like a number of other Creek leaders in the late eighteenth century, Kinnard had a Scotch merchant father and a Creek mother. Scotch and English traders operating out of Charles Town (later Charleston, SC) often lived for awhile in Creek country while arranging for the exchange of deerskins for British manufactured goods, especially guns, ammunition, and alcohol. Some of these traders took Creek wives and produced offspring who often took advantage of their dual heritage. Since Creek society was matrilineal with property descending through the female line, the son for a Creek woman had status in American Indian society. In colonial British society, which was patrilineal, the son achieved his status through his father. In a sense then, mestizos like Jack Kinnard were the ideal intermediaries or cultural brokers between Creek and Euramerican society.
    We know little about Kinnard's background. His father was probably John Kinnard, a trader among the Creeks as early as 1747. His mother was apparently a Hitchiti Creek woman, for Jack was referred to on several occasions as a Hitchiti chief. The Creek Nation as such was a very loose confederation of towns and the Creeks were usually identified by the town they came from. The Hitchiti lived in one of the Lower Creek towns, located along the Chattachoochee River. Like the residents of other Lower Creek towns, some of these Hitchiti left their mother town in the eighteenth century and established villages along the Flint River and its tributaries. One of these Hitchiti villages called Hitchetooche (Hitch-e-too-chee) or Little Hitchiti, was on the site of present downtown Albany.
    During the American Revolution, Jack Kinnard, along with most of the Creeks, sided with the British against the Americans. Creek interests dictated this move since it was the Americans, particularly those in Georgia, who had their eyes on Creek land. When British troops invaded Georgia and South Carolina late in the war, Creek warriors quickly joined their ranks. As they plundered American plantations along the coast, they captured livestock and African slaves. When he returned to Creek country, Jack Kinnard brought with him slaves and cattle which he had captured. He expanded his holdings over the years and, by 1790, he owned over 1200 cattle and horses, and about forty black and several Indian slaves.
    Jack Kinnard made his living both as a trader and by herding cattle. In 1790, an American military officer traveling through the area noted that Kinnard often had five to six thousand Spanish dollars in his house, money earned from his cattle sales. Although he was illiterate, Kinnard kept an amanuensis to carry on his correspondence and maintain some record of business. In time he was able to parlay his wealth and connections as a trader into political power and by the 1790s he was recognized by both Creeks and Americans, as well as the Spanish in Florida, as the headman or Creek leader in the lower Flint River region.
    While Kinnard's power over the various towns in the region was limited, he did possess great influence and when he spoke, he usually got results. In his own household, there was no limit to his power. Fond of alcohol, he frequently got drunk and according to one source, was known to shoot his slaves on occasion. Kinnard followed the Creek practice of polygyny and took two wives. While on a drunken binge, he accused one of his wives of adultery and then administered the traditional Creek punishment for that crime by personally cutting off her ears.
    Jack Kinnard did not live in the traditional Lower Creek town or village. Instead, like some other mestizo and acculturated Creek herdsmen and farmers, he moved out and established his own place on the Kinchafoonee (Kin-cha-foo-nee) Creek in present Lee County, Georgia. Because of Kinnard's political and economic influence, many Creeks and whites called on him at his place, which soon became a village in its own right.
    When the new United States government appointed James Seagrove Indian agent for the Southern tribes in the early 1790s one of his most important contacts among the Lower Creeks was Jack Kinnard. A shrewd politician, Kinnard understood the importance of developing friendly relations with the federal government. The major threat to the Creeks came from Georgia frontiersmen who continued to encroach on Indian lands hunting and grazing their livestock there. Much to their chagrin, the Georgians found themselves up against an alliance of the federal government and the Creek Indians. It wasn't over slavery that Georgians first sounded the call for state's rights -- but over federal Indian policy which interfered with their right to deal with the Indian "problem" in their own way.
    Kinnard was determined that the Georgians would not have their way and he used his political skills to that end. On occasion he even made overtures to the Spanish in Florida, which put the federal agents in an awkward position. But more often that not, it was the American government that Kinnard viewed as the Creeks' most reliable ally. And in the end, the American government recognized this. In the summer of 1814 General Andrew Jackson dictated the harsh terms of his treaty ending the Creek War of 1813-14 and demanded the cession of 22 million acres of Creek land in Alabama and south Georgia. Kinnard's friendship with the Americans was recognized in the treaty; the last article provided that if Kinnard's place fell within the boundaries of the cession, the northern boundary line was to dip south around Kinnard's, allowing it to remain within Creek country. Actually when the boundry line was run, it lay about twelve miles below Kinnard's. Today, that boundary is the county line dividing Dougherty and Lee counties.
    Like his origins, the end of Jack Kinnard's life is obscure. We don't know when he died, but it was most likely before the Creeks were forced to cede the remainder of their Georgia land to the state. Kinnard's relatives no doubt moved west across the Chattahoochee and eventually joined the other southern Indians on their "Trail of Tears" to the trans-Mississippi West. Among the descendants of these deported expatriots in Oklahoma today, one can still find individuals bearing the proud names of Kinnard and Canard.

    Violence and Diplomacy in the Creek Country: Jack Kinnard, the Chehaw, and the U.S. Government in Late Eighteenth-Century Southwest Georgia
    ...Perhaps the most important leader and trader in the late eighteenth-century lower Flint River region was another mestizo, Jack Kinnard, a contemporary of McGillivray's.
    Little is know about Kinnard's background. His Scotch father was probably John Kinnard, a trader among the Creek as early as 1747. Like many of his colleagues, the elder Kinnard apparently took a Hitchiti Creek wife who gave birth to his son. Jack Kinnard, a trader and livestock farmer, was a wealthy man in 1790 with over 1,200 cattle and horses, " and commonly from 5000 to 6000 Spanish dollars in his house." which he earned from cattle sales. He had two wives (polygyny was not uncommon among the Creek) and owned about forth black and several Indian slaves. Kinnard acquired his livestock and slaves on raids made during and after the American Revolution. This gave him the necessary prestige and wealth to emerge by the late eighteenth century as the most important Indian leader and trader in the lower Flint River region. Illiterate, he kept an amanuensis in order to carry on his correspondence. He overindulged in drinking alcohol, another European commodity that the Creek quickly absorbed into their won culture. According to one source, he very frequently got drunk; he "shoots his negroes when he pleases, and has cut off the ears of one his favorite wives, with his own hands, [the traditional Creek penalty for adultery] in a drunken fit of suspicion."
    Kinnard did not lived in a tradition Lower Creek town or village. Instead, like some other mestizo and Creek herdsmen and farmers, he moved out and established his own place on Kinchafoonee Creek in present Leea county. Because of Kinnard's political and economic influence, many Creek and whites called on him at his place, which soon became a village in its own right, known as Kinnard's Settlement. Like most Creek villages, the Kinnard Settlement was located on a low ridge overlooking the bottom land next to the creek, close to fertile soil for crops, but high enough to avoid being flooded. From Kinnard's Settlement, most of the Lower creek living in the lower Flint River area were supplied with guns, ammunitions, and other manufactured products.
    Jack Kinnard and other traders living among the Lower creek received their goods from merchants who were part of a transatlantic trade network. .....
    .....The Creek-Georgia frontier remained violent as Georgians continued to impinge on Creek land and Creek continued to make raids on Georgia settlements. Matters reached a critical state in 1793 when Jack Kinnard and the Chehaw of the lower Flint River region found themselves in the middle of the controversy......

    Lee County Georgia A History
    An earlier Indian settlement known as Kennard's Settlement, an important Creek town of the late Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, was located five miles northwest of the present city of Leesburg. The settlement, which drew its name from John (Jack) Kennard and his brother, William, half-breed sons of a Scottish trader, was a center for trading and frequently served as a meeting place for the whites and Indians of the area. John Kennard was generally treated as a chiefton of most of the sub-Creek villages of the area by the whites who found him to be a useful intermediary in settling disputes between them and the Creeks.
    Archaeolgically, the site in interesting because it shows the changes in the reek culture caused by the continual contact with the whites through trading and warfare to a certain extent. Generally, Kennard's was considered a friendly town like the chehaw Town, as opposed to the other villages in the immediate area such as Hopaunee and Philemmee located only five to ten miles to the east.
    In addition to what is apparently the Kennard site, there is also evidence of a pre-Creek, possibly Lamar site, a small village or camp just to the south some 500 yards from the Creek-Kennard site. Evidence of a post-Indian shack or tenant house was located in this area.
    The Kennard's Settlement is located roughly in the middle of land lot number 5, district 2, Lee County, Georgia. This lot is divided down the middle, north to south by the Kinchafoonee Creek, the village site being primarily located on a low ridge overlooking the bottom land on the east side of the creek.
    The site can be reached by proceeding 2.3 miles north of Leesburg on US Highway 19, turning west on Prison Branch Road, going 4.2 miles along this road and finally upon reaching the east bank of the Kinchafoonee Creek, proceeding on foot along the ridge along and over the east bank for approximately 200 yards. At this point, one is standing in what was apparently the center of occupations of Kennard's Settlement.
    John Kennard first appears in history in a letter which he wrote to James Seagrove, Creek Indian Agent for the United States. At the time this letter was written (from Chickhaws, later Kennard's) in late August of 1792, there was much friction between the Indians of the area, that is, the Hitchiti's and the Chickhaws or Chehaws, two Creek sub-tribes, and the whites. Incited and armed by the Spanish in Florida at Saint Mark's on the Appalachicola River and perhaps further incited by boasting parties of Shawnees from the Ohio country, the Creeks had been raiding the isolated farms and settlement along the central Georgia frontiers, killing settlers and driving away valuable cattle. Following such raids, the Creeks would melt back into their sanctuaries in southwest Georgia. Usually the raiders were pursued by hastily raised companies of Georgia militia who more often that not would open battle on sight with the first part of Indians encountered, guilty or not. This led to a constant and spreading frontier war.
    Kennard's letter to Seagrove reported that a party of his Indians was returning twelve stolen horses which they had recovered from some of their hostile brethren. Apparently Seagrove had written to Kennard asking for aid in their recovery and Kennard complied. Kennard asked for eight kegs of rum as a reward and assured Seagrove that his people wished to live in peace and friendship.
    Later Kennard was appointed to be a sub-Indian Agent for the U.S., reporting to Seagrove. His duties in this position were to supply Seagrove with information on Indina affairs and politics and to adi Seagrove in maintaining the peace, two jobs at which he was already quite adept and experiencedd.
    When not involved with his duties as Indian Agent, John and his brother William were usually involved with their cattle business. Squabbles over debts resulting in court actions are alluded to in other correspondence and records.
    Like many of his contemporary half-breed chiefs, Kennard began to adopt many white customs and practices. One practice which he adopted was slaveholding. Another was to lived in a house similar to that of the whites. The original land lot maps for Lee county show what seems to be a two story house 1 1/4 miles east of the supposed site of the settlement.
    Since the map was made in 1826 and the last Indians did not leave the settlement until 1827, there exist two possibilities. Either the house was erected by a wealthy, civilized Indian, John Kennard being the only one in the vicinity as William lived on the west side oft he creek, or the house was erected prior to the cession of 1826 and natually then prior to the lottery. It would seem illogial for this house to have been erected in such dangerous proximity to the Indians, even to such a village as Kennard's. Claims in the Creek Indian Depredations for Lee county, credit quite a few incidents to Indians from the village, perhaps indicating that the villagers were not as friendly as Kennard himself. Furthermore, it seems improbable that a white would erect a home where he knew that his claim would be worthless following the land lottery that usually followed an Indian session. Kennard made frequent references to his "house' as early as 1792.
    From time to time Kennard's settlement was used as a meeting place for the various Creek chiefs as well as for whites interested in working for peaceful settlements of differences. Kennard remained friendly to the Americans during the "Red Stick" War, the First Creek wars, or the southern end of the War of 1812, depending upon which term is preferred. Perhaps this is why the treaty did not affect his holdings. Perhaps his influence may be seen in the fact that the boundary for the Creek cession was located about 12 miles south of his village, leaving his sphere of influence as Indian territory until the later cession of 1826.
    Today this boundary is the present Lee County-Dougherty County line. Those lands north of the line were not ceded until 1826; those south of this line were ceded to the United States in 1814 although they were not safe enough to settle for some 10 years after this date.
    In 1818, Kennard, referred to as "Major" Kennard, led some 600 braves on March 6th to aid Jackson's army which was waiting at Fort Scott, located near today's Bainbridge. They served until April when they were mustered out. During the course of the campaign, Kennard was given the rank of colonel.
    This may have been the last historical appearance of John Kennard. There was one reference made in late 1819 by Robert Jackson, a surveyor for the state, who mentions that he had been aided by "old Mr. Kanard, a friendly Indian". This could possibly have been a reference to William Kennard, of whom very little is known.
    Today, aside from these few historical references in old letters, he only evidence that Kennard or his settlement ever existed, is that which can be discovered archaeoligically. While not historically specific, this evidence reveals much about the life which must have been led by Kennard and his contemporiaries.

    LEE COUNTY HISTORICAL MARKER
    (Erected by Georgia Historical Society)
    NOTED INDIAN SETTLEMENT Kennard's Settlement and Cowpens, a major Creek Indian center of Southwest Georgia, was located three and three-fourths miles west of here, on the east side of Kinchafoonee Creek. The site was named for Jack and William Kennard, two Lower Creek chiefs who were long friendly to white people
    This road is a remnant of an early Indian trading path that led from Flint River via Kennard's Settlement and Fort Gaines, Georgia to Pensacola, Florida.
    (US 19, 2.5 miles north of Leesburg).

    Jack Kinnard The most important and perhaps most colorful of these characters in the lower Flint River region was the Scotch-Creek mestizo or "mixed-blood" named Jack Kinnard. Like a number of other Creek leaders in the late eighteenth century, Kinnard had a Scotch merchant father and a Creek mother. Scotch and English traders operating out of Charles Town (later Charleston, SC) often lived for awhile in Creek country while arranging for the exchange of deerskins for British manufactured goods, especially guns, ammunition, and alcohol. Some of these traders took Creek wives and produced offspring who often took advantage of their dual heritage. Since Creek society was matrilineal with property descending through the female line, the son for a Creek woman had status in American Indian society. In colonial British society, which was patrilineal, the son achieved his status through his father. In a sense then, mestizos like Jack Kinnard were the ideal intermediaries or cultural brokers between Creek and Euramerican society. In 1790, he owned over 1200 cattle and horses, and about forty black and several Indian slaves. In the 1790s he was recognized by both Creeks and Americans, as well as the Spanish in Florida, as the headman or Creek leader in the lower Flint River region. His father was probably John Kinnard, a Scot trader among the Creeks as early as 1747. His mother was apparently a Hitchiti Creek woman, for Jack was referred to on several occasions as a Hitchiti chief. The Hitchiti lived in one of the Lower Creek towns, located along the Chattahoochee River.
  • Change Date: 29 Jan 2009 at 15:49:52



    Father: John Kennard b: EST 1730 in of, , Georgia, United States

    Marriage 1 Mrs. John Kennard b: EST 1749 in of, , Georgia, United States
    • Married: EST 1769 in of, , Georgia, United States
    Children
    1. Has Children Nobel Kennard b: EST 1770 in of, , Georgia, United States
    2. Has No Children William Kennard b: EST 1772 in of, , Georgia, United States
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