If you are not familiar with the story of Milly Francis, it is one of the most remarkable and tragic you will encounter in the long story of the United States and its dealings with American Indians.
Born in around 1803 in central Alabama, Milly was the daughter of Josiah Francis, a man who later became known as the Prophet Francis or Hillis Hadjo ("Warrior of Crazy Medicine"). He was the leader of a religious movement that exploded in the Creek Nation in 1812-184 and one of the key figures of the Red Stick Creeks during the Creek War of 1813-1814. The Prophet later fought on the side of the British during the War of 1812 and alongside the Seminoles of Florida in the First Seminole War of 1817-1818.
|Milly Francis Monument at Bacone College|
In 1818, however, Milly Francis saved the life of a Georgia militia soldier named Duncan McCrimmon (sometimes spelled McKrimmon). It was a true Pocahontas like incident in which she witnessed the warriors of her town preparing to execute the young white man, but pleaded for his life until they agreed to spare him. In newspapers throughout the United States and even in England, Milly was hailed as a "new Pocahontas" or "modern Pocahontas."
|Milly Francis Monument at San Marcos de Apalache|
St. Marks, Florida
Thousands of young girls born in the 1820s-1840s were given the name "Milly Francis" after the woman who became known as the Creek Pocahontas. She also has been called the Florida Pocahontas, the Georgia Pocahontas, the Seminole Pocahontas and the Oklahoma Pocahontas.
Her act of mercy came at a time when the people of a "savage race" were not thought to hold such sentiments. It can truly be said that Milly Francis forced the start of America's long process of rethinking its treatment and attitudes about its original inhabitants.
It was not until the final days of her life, long after she had been sent west on the Trail of Tears, that the United States recognized the debt of gratitude that it owed her. Milly Francis became the first American woman to be recognized with a special medal of honor from the U.S. Congress.
To read her story and the story of her times, please consider the new book. You can order it through Amazon.com by following these links:
Paperback - Milly Francis: The Life & Times of the Creek Pocahontas ($19.95)
Kindle - Milly Francis: The Life & Times of the Creek Pocahontas ($7.99)
You can read a brief version of her story at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/millyfrancis.