Injured, robbed and traveling on foot and still they made it to Alabama in 1791

Tombigbee River at White Bluff

Tombigbee River at White Bluff

Settlers on 

Tennessee River and Tombigbee River 

Joseph Martin and John Donelson, acting as agents of William Blount and Richard Caswell bought the Great Bend area of the Tennessee River from the Cherokee Indians. Griffin, Rutherford, Anthony Bledsoe and John Sevier joined Martin and Donelson in the venture.

John Donelson  (1718-1785) frontier man

John Donelson (1718-1785) frontier man

William Blount influenced the States of Georgia and North Carolina to create Houston county, to be governed by a commission of seven men that included Martin, Donelson and Sevier. Donelson was surveyor, Sevier was Milita Colonel Commandant and Martin became Indian Agent. Wade Hampton from South Carolina joined the group venture. In total, eighty men moved into the area of Muscle Shoals and Valentine Sevier was appointed as a member of the Georgia Legislature. However, two weeks after becoming settled in Muscle Shoals, they were forced out by the Indians.

Col. James Robertson attempted to make a settlement in Muscle Shoals 1787, but was again forced out. A third try was made by pioneer Zachariah Cox with an armed colony and managed to stay for two years before the Indians burned the block house and small village to the ground. Cox tried to settle in Muscle Shoals one more time but was again driven out. (Record)

White settlers from other states had begun to settle on the lower ‘Bikbee (Tombigbee) around 1790. They came very slowly, however, and numbered only twelve hundred and fifty souls ten years later when a census was taken. The trackless wilderness that lay between was filled with obstacles and perils that none but the boldest dared to encounter. This area in 1800 comprised the first county of the southern part of the Mississippi Territory and was named Washington. (Brewer)

“In February, 1791, a party of emigrants, consisting of Colonel Thomas Kimbel, John Barnett, Robert Sheffield, Barton Hannon, and Mounger, with a wife and children, three of whom were grown, set out from Georgia for the Tombigby. Entering the Creek nation, one of the children was injured by a fall, which compelled the elder Mounger and his younger family to stop upon the trail. They were afterwards robbed by the Indians of everything they possessed, and had to make their way back to Georgia on foot. The three young Moungers, and the other emigrants, continued to the Tensaw, passing the creeks and rivers upon rafts.

They found upon their arrival at Tensaw the Halls, Byrnes, Mims, Kilcreas, Steadhams, Easlies, Linders and others. Crossing the Alabama and Tombigby upon rafts, they found residing below McIntosh Bluff, the Bates, Lawrences, and Powells. Above there, on the Tombigby, they discovered the Danley, Wheets, Johnsons, McGrews, Hockets, Freelands, Talleys, and Bakers. Among these few people, Colonel Kimbrel and his little party established themselves, and began the cultivation of the soil with their horses, upon the backs of which they had brought a few axes and ploughs.



  1. Pickett, Albert James HISTORY OF ALABAMA and incidentally of MISSISSIPPI and GEORGIA, 1896
  2. Saunders, Col James Edmonds EARLY SETTLERS OF ALABAMA Notes and Genealogies,1899
  4. Record, James A DREAM COME TRUE The Story of Madison County and incidentally of Alabama and the United States
  5. Find A Grave Memorial # 6639237

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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 All her books can be purchased at 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) is the continuation of the story. She is currently working on the next book in the series. For a complete list of books, visit

7 Responses to Injured, robbed and traveling on foot and still they made it to Alabama in 1791

  1. I love these stories. We come from STRONG stock!

  2. Tougher people back then.

  3. Very interesting article!

  4. Check out James McCrory. He was an early Alabama pioneer during this same time period, after he had served as George Washington’s personal bodyguard during the Revolutionary War.

  5. Bob MannBob Mann says:

    We don’t know what “Hard” is.. Diana’s Great Grandmother walked from Central Georgia in the 1850’s with 5 small kids, no husband, to the banks of Talladega Creek, down at Rob-Roy.. She and her kids dug a place in the bank and lived there about 3 years..We should have people with the toughness our ancestors had..

  6. Robert Brown , Your grandmother (Meadows) Jenkins folks were Alabama pioneers. They came in to Alabama on the Federal Road and stayed at Mount Meigs in 1818 for a year before moving on to Lowndes County to buy land and build. The old man of that bunch was a Rev war vet.

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