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race is ended. His restless and fiery spirit sleeps in that deep and long repose which awaits all the living. He died this morning about seven o'clock. Peace to his ashes! His name will long be remembered in the history of this country. He has closed his career at a most eventful period of that history, and perhaps it is most fortunate for his fame that he died just at this time.
(From a Speech, 1855.) I am afraid of nothing on earth, or above the earth, or under the earth, but to do wrong. The path of duty I shall endeavor to travel, fearing no evil, and dreading no consequences. I would rather be defeated in a good cause than to triumph in a bad one. I would not give a fig for a man who would shrink from the discharge of duty for fear of defeat.
ALEXANDER BEAUFORT MEEK.
1814-1865. ALEXANDER BEAUFORT MEEK was born at Columbia, South Carolina, was educated at the University of Alabama, and began life as a lawyer and editor in Tuscaloosa, then capital of Alabama. He was a lieutenant in the Seminole War. He was a judge, a member of the State Legislature and Speaker of the House, and father of the public school system of the state. His later years were devoted to literary pursuits and he stands high as an orator, poet, and historian.
Red Eagle, (a poem ).
Songs and Poems of the South. Romantic Passages in South-Western Pilgrims of Mt. Vernon, (unfinished History.
poem). History of Alabama, (unfinished).
The story of the Indian Chief, Red Eagle, or Weatherford, is one of the most interesting traditions of our country. Judge Meek's writings teem with the romantic and marvellous incidents of the early history of Alabama, such as De Soto's march to the Mississippi, the Battle of Mauville and defeat of the great Indian King, Tuscaloosa, or Black Warrior, the Canoe-Fight of Dale, or Sam Thlucco, as the Indians called him (“Big Sam”), and the attack on Fort Mims.
RED EAGLE, OR WEATHERFORD.
(From Romantic Passages in South-Western History.)! The battle of Tohopeka put an end to the hopes of Weatherford. This village was situated on a peninsula, within the “horse-shoe bend” of the Tallapoosa. Here twelve hundred warriors
had fortified themselves for a desperate struggle, assured by their prophets that the Master of Breath would now interpose in their favor. Across the neck of land, three hundred and fifty yards wide, that leads into the peninsula, they had constructed powerful breastworks of hewn logs, eight or ten feet high, and pierced with double rows of port-holes, from which they could fire with perfect security. The selection of this spot and the character of its defence did great credit to the military genius of Weatherford,—and his eloquence, more than usually persuasive and inspiriting, filled his devoted followers with a courage strangely compounded of fanaticism and despair.
At an early hour in the morning, General Coffee's command having crossed the river and encircled the bend so as
to cut off all escape, General Jackson opened his artillery upon the breastworks, and having but in part demolished them, ordered forward the thirty-ninth regiment to carry the place by storm. The van was gallantly led by Col. Williams, Col. Bunch, Lieut.-Col. Benton, and Maj. Montgomery. Amidst a most destructive fire, they pressed to the breastworks, and desperately struggled for the command of the port-holes. But Maj. Montgomery, impatient at the delay, cried out to his men to follow him, and leaped upon the wall in face of the deadliest fire. For an instant he waved his sword over his head in triumph, but the next fell lifeless to the ground, shot through the head by a rifle ball. A more gallant spirit never achieved a nobler death, and the name of the young Tennesseean is preserved as a proud designation by one of the richest counties, as well as by one of the most flourishing cities, in the State whose soil was baptized by his blood!
The breastworks having been carried by storm, the Indians fell back among the trees, brush, and timber of the peninsula, and kept up a spirited contest. But, in the meantime, a portion of Coffee's command, and some of the friendly warriors under their distinguished chief, McIntosh, had swum
across the river, fired the village of Tohopeka, and carried off the canoes of the enemy. The followers of Weatherford now became desperate, and from the banks, hollows, and other fastnesses of the place, fought with fury, refusing all offers of quarter. The fight continued in severity for five hours; and the going down of the sun
was hailed by the survivors as furnishing them some chance of escape. But the hope was, in the main, deceptive.
Not more than twenty warriors are believed to have escaped, under cover of the night. Among these, strange enough, was the chieftain [Weather