Biography: Abram Mordecai Revolutionary War soldier born 1755 – photographs

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mordecai, abram historical marker

ABRAM MORDECAI

BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY

(1755-1849)

Montgomery and Tallapoosa County, Alabama

Abram Mordecai was born October 24, 1755 in Pennsylvania. He was a Jewish veteran of the Revolutionary War who settled in Indian country at an early day.


In 1783, he settled in Georgia where he became a successful trader among the Cusseta Indians. Abram was the first U. S. Citizen and probably the first Jewish citizen to settle in what would later become Montgomery County, Alabama.

He moved his family to in the Creek town of Econochaca (Holy Here he served as a go-between for the Creeks, trading furs, medicinal plants, and other items for European goods and utensils acquired in Pensacola, Savannah, and other cities along the southeastern seaboard. His trading house was two miles from Line Creek. (now in Chambers County).

“Mordecai married a Creek woman, believing (along with many others during this period) that Native Americans were descendants of one of the fabled Lost Tribes of Israel. In fact, many sources indicate that he initially attempted to speak with the Creeks in Hebrew, in the belief that their language was actually a dialect of his language. He became known among the Creeks as Muccose, or Little Chief.”abraham_modecai

“In the 1790s, the federal government initiated what was known as the “plan of civilization,” which aimed to encourage Native Americans to give up hunting and gathering and to adopt farming and manufacturing as their livelihood, with the ulterior motive of acquiring their vast hunting lands.

Toward that end, Benjamin Hawkins, administrator of the plan, enlisted Mordecai’s aid in 1802 to establish a cotton gin near the Creek towns along the Alabama River, in present-day Montgomery County, Alabama.”i

On the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, he installed a cotton gin manufactured by Lyons & Barnett, a firm owned by two Jewish families in Georgia. The gin was built along a trading path that would become part of the route of the Federal Road, near a racetrack owned by Creek leader Charles Weatherford (father of future Red Stick Creek leader William Weatherford).

“Mordecai lived among the Creeks and managed his gin and trading business in relative peace. In one notable incident, however, he angered a local chieftain by offering too much attention to a married woman in his town and apparently lost an ear in the resulting skirmish. He encountered more serious danger when he served with the Georgia Militia during the War of 1812.

Upon his return from that service, he was immediately involved in the U.S. effort in the Creek War in 1813, acting as a trail guide through Creek territory for Gen. John Floyd. Allied with the traditionalist faction of the Creek Nation, Mordecai aided the federal troops in tracking down members of the Red Stick faction who had participated in the attack on white settlers and allied Creeks at Fort Mims on August 30.

Grave marker of Abraham Mordecai in Dudleyville, Alabama ca. 1933 by Robert Graves Studio, Alexander City, Alabama (from Alabama State Archives)

Grave_marker_of_Abraham_Mordecai_in_Dudleyville_Alabama

In November 1813, Mordecai led Floyd and his men as well as a force of allied Creeks under William McIntosh to the town of Autossee, located near present-day Shorter, in Macon County. There, the Red Sticks were routed, losing at least 200 men, and the town was burned. Mordecai again guided Floyd’s forces when they set out the following January for Red Stick strongholds at Econochaca and other nearby towns. However, Floyd’s men suffered a major defeat in a surprise Creek attack at Calabee Creek near Autossee. Mordecai also may have been present at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, when the Red Sticks suffered their final defeat.”ii

Until Indians burned his equipment, he ginned his own cotton and that of his Indian neighbors. His gin, the first in Alabama, was the forerunner of those that sprang up after the Territory was formed in 1817 and pioneers with “Alabama Fever” rushed to claim the fertile soil.

“After the war, Mordecai returned to his trading store and continued to serve as a cotton broker until 1836, when the Creeks were forcibly removed from their land by the federal government. As a white man, Mordecai remained behind. Some reports indicate that his wife and an unknown number of children removed west to Arkansas and then Oklahoma. Other reports state that his wife had already died by 1836 and his children had moved from the area. In either case, Mordecai moved to Dudleyville, Tallapoosa County, and opened a store there.

A popular storyteller in the town, Mordecai was interviewed by a reporter from the Columbus Enquirer in 1843 about his life among the Creeks and his experiences in the Creek War. Four years later, historian Albert Pickett conducted extensive interviews with Mordecai during his research for his opus History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi from the Earliest Period. Pickett also published an interview with Mordecai in Montgomery’s Flag and Advertiser that same year.”iii

A.J. Pickett visited him in again in Dudleyville in 1847. During his long life, he was variously a negotiator between the Creeks and federal and state agents, a trader, a military guide and scout, and an early founder of the cotton industry around Montgomery.

“Mordecai lived simply in Dudleyville in his final years. Many locals stated that he either built his own coffin or had one commissioned several years before his death and ate his meals on it. Fiercely independent to the end, he died on August 25, 1850 (according to one contemporary newspaper account) and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Dudleyville Cemetery. On July 4, 1933, the Tohopeka Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a granite marker on his grave in honor of his service during the American War of Independence.”iv

 

 

iEncyclopedia of Alabama http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/ArticlePrintable.jsp?id=h-3135

iiEncyclopedia of Alabama

iiiEncyclopedia of Alabama

ivEncyclopedia of Alabama

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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS – Settlement: Lost & Forgotten Stories

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS – Settlement: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 2)


By (author): Donna R Causey
List Price: $11.77 USD
New From: $9.72 USD In Stock

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

9 Responses to Biography: Abram Mordecai Revolutionary War soldier born 1755 – photographs

  1. I love these Biographies, very interested in early Alabama.

  2. Pingback: First cotton gin established before Alabama became a state - Alabama Pioneers

  3. Pingback: Here are some stories about Alabama people you never learned in History class - Alabama Pioneers

  4. Pingback: This story will make you appreciate the bravery of Alabama settlers - Alabama Pioneers

  5. this is the slave trader who did business with the outlaw family in washington, montgomery, and emanuel counties in ga. this man was a slave trader who traded creek indians and mulatto slaves to the white settlers.

  6. Pingback: Biography: Abram Mordecai Revolutionary War soldier born 1755 | Alabama Pioneers | "The Kitten That Roars"

  7. Pingback: Abraham Mordecai lost his ear and almost his life in early Montgomery County, Alabama | Alabama Pioneers

  8. Warren Jordan says:

    I am a little disoriented with places in this story. Line Creek flowed south from the Tallapoosa River into Macon Co., not Chambers Co. Autousee was on the north side of the Tallapoosa across from Shorter on the south side. Calebe Creek ran south through Macon Co. The Federal Road was south of the Tallapoosa and ran through Macon Co. and into Montgomery Co. until Millies Creek where it turned south. Autossee and Shorter were close but on opposite sides of the river.

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