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Milford's Memoir

Or, A Cursory Glance at My Different Travels and My Sojourn in the Creek Nation

by Louis LeClerc de Milford

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In 1775 Louis LeClerc de Milford traveled from France to America, where he explored the thirteen colonies for more than a year. He spent much of this time in the Carolinas, among the Creek Indians. Milford became a member of the Creek Confederacy, and eventually rose to Grand War Chief, commander of all Creek forces (five or six thousand men) in time of war. Rather than fight in the American Revolution, Milford led a band of 200 young warriors to the Red River to search for the origin of the Creek people. He urged the formation of a confederacy of all the American tribes, and came close to realizing this union, at least in the southeast. Milford eventually returned to France to participate in the French Revolution, but he was eager to return to the Creeks; in the last paragraph of the book he states: "At present I am only awaiting...the orders of the French Government to return to these Indians, whose honesty and sincerity are perfectly attuned to my character." Milford's narrative is not so kind to other peoples, however, and he is particularly brutal (and inadvertently hilarious) when it comes to describing the Anglo-Americans, particularly those he calls 'Crackers' or 'Gougers'. According to Milford, most of these men only have one eye because they are constantly gouging each other's eyes out in drunken brawls. Milford is equally disgusted by other Indian tribes as he is by the Anlgo-Americans, especially the Choctaws, whose punishment for adultery he witnesses. The adulterous woman must submit to the "carnal desires" of any village man who can beat her in a footrace. Milford's narrative is full of fascinating details. He is not only deeply intimate with the Creeks and their customs, but he is sympathetic to their lifestyle, since he has adopted it as his own.

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Publisher:
The Narrative Press

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Milford's Memoir
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