Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Thomas Flournoy Papers, 1799-1827

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, May 2010

Summary Information
Title: Thomas Flournoy papers
Creator: Flournoy, Thomas, 1775-1857
Inclusive dates: 1799-1827
Extent: 0.25 linear feet (105 items)
Abstract:
The Thomas Flournoy papers consist of letters and documents of Flournoy, who was a lawyer, a general during the War of 1812, and a United States commissioner to the Creek Indians.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1961-1974. M-1183, M-1211, M-1212, M-1224, M-1281, M-1648.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Alternate Format:

The Thomas Flournoy papers have been microfilmed.

Preferred Citation:

Thomas Flournoy Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

This collection is organized into three series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents
  • Series III: Receipts

Each series is arranged chronologically with undated items at the end.


Biography

U.S. Army officer, Thomas Flournoy (1775-1857), sometimes referred to as "John Thomas Flournoy," was born in North Carolina and, before the War of 1812, practiced law in Augusta, Georgia. In March 1804, Flournoy was involved in a duel with John Carter Walton (1741-1804), nephew of former Georgia Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice George Walton, over the judge's decisions for the Thomas Flournoy vs. George Walton and Matthias Maher vs. George Walton cases. Flournoy shot and killed John Walton in the duel.

Though he had no prior military experience, on June 18, 1812, Flournoy was commissioned a brigadier general in the United States Army. He commanded the 3rd United States Infantry, stationed along the Carolina-Georgia frontier, and was involved in raising troops, securing the coasts, and defending Americans in East Florida. In March 1813, he succeeded General Wilkinson as commander of the 7th Military District, comprising Mississippi Territory, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Flournoy's major responsibility was fighting the Creek Indians, who were supplied and armed by the Spanish and British in Florida and Alabama (1813-1814). Flournoy was an ineffective commander and often clashed with his fellow officers and the local governors. He resigned from the army on September 13, 1814, after being passed over for promotion, and Andrew Jackson succeeded him as commander of the 7th Military District. In 1820, Flournoy was appointed United States commissioner to the Creek Indians, and moved to the Alabama frontier. Flournoy retired from service in 1836, after the Creek removal, and died in North Carolina in 1857.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Thomas Flournoy papers (105 items) consist of letters and documents of Flournoy, a lawyer from Augusta, Georgia, who was commander in the South during War of 1812, and the United States commissioner to the Creek Indians until their removal in 1836. The collection consists of 82 letters, 17 documents, and 6 receipts.

The Correspondence series contains 25 items relating to Flournoy's War of 1812 service, including letters, returns, requisitions, reports, orders, and petitions.

Below are several notable communications:

  • Three official letters between Flournoy and Patrick Jack, colonel of the 8th Regiment of U.S. Infantry (1812).
  • A letter from William Harris Crawford, the U.S. minister to France, concerning the management and politics of the war (November 30, 1812).
  • A letter from John Houstoun McIntosh, director of the Territory of East Florida, concerning the settlers of Talbot Island and Nassau River, East Florida (December 26, 1812).
  • An inspection return from the 3rd Regiment of Georgia militia at Point Peter Battery, Florida [January 9, 1813].
  • A copy of Brigadier General Ferdinand Leigh Claiborne's "Talk to the Choctaw Indians" (August 2, 1813).
  • A letter from Choctaw Chief Pushmataha (Pooshemataha), signed with his mark, to James Wilkinson, discussing murdered and imprisoned Choctaw Indians (August 9, 1813).

The correspondence series is also composed of 20 letters relating to his position as United States commissioner to the Creek Indians (1820).

Of note are:

  • Three letters between Flournoy and Former South Carolina Governor and Creek Indian negotiator Andrew Pickins, Jr., concerning treaties with the Creek Indians (August 21, 28, and October 30, 1820).
  • Three items to and from John C. Calhoun of the War Department.
  • Nine letters with David Brydie Mitchell, including a communication from Tustunnuggee Thlocco (Tiger Tail) and Tustunnuggee Hopoie (November 10, 1820).
  • A letter to John Clarke of Augusta, Georgia, concerning claims of Georgia residents for Creek lands (October 4, 1820).

The first ten letters deal with legal disputes between Flournoy and Judge George Walton, and the resulting duel between Flournoy and the judge's nephew John Carter Walton (1799-1804).

This series also incorporates 17 family letters, including one from his nephew Matthew Wells (November 12, 1806), one letter and one letter fragment from his brother John James Flournoy, 15 from his brother Matthew Flournoy, and one reply to Matthew his brother. These discuss business, professional favors, and family news.

The Documents series (17 items) consists of reports on the arms, ammunition, and crew of the gun vessels at the Georgia Station (1813); weekly reports and morning reports of the troops stationed at Fort St. Philip, Fort St. Charles, New Orleans, and for the 2nd Regiment of Light Dragoons; orders from the Southern Department; a transaction record at the Bank of Augusta; and a memo listing "Order of Correspondence relating to the Treaty with the Creek Indians" (1820). Also of interest in this series is a list of rules for the duel between Flournoy and Walton (1804).

The Receipts series (6 items) is comprised of receipts deposited in the Bank of Augusta, Georgia; 2 payments made to John Campbell; and 2 receipts for sugar and brandy.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Adams, David.
    • Aiken County (S.C.)
    • Amelia Island (Fla.)
    • Augusta (Ga.)
    • Choctaw Indians.
    • Clarke, John.
    • Columbia (S.C.)
    • Creek Indians.
    • Donaldson, Peter.
    • Dueling.
    • East Florida.
    • Few, Benjamin, 1744-1805.
    • Fort Charlotte (Mobile, Ala.)
    • Fort Saint Philip (La.)
    • Gains, George, S.
    • Georgia--History--War of 1812.
    • Georgetown (Ky.)
    • Greensboro (Ga.)
    • Lexington (Ky.)
    • Lincolnton (N.C.)
    • Louisville (Ga.)
    • Manning, Lawrence.
    • Massias, Abraham A.
    • MacRea, William, d. 1832.
    • Meriwether, David.
    • Milledgeville (Ga.)
    • Moore, Robert B.
    • Nassau River (Fla.)
    • New Orleans (La.)
    • Petersburg (Ky.)
    • Russell, John M.
    • Saint Marys (Ga.)
    • Slaughter, Henry.
    • Sparta (Ga.)
    • United States. Continental Army. Light Dragoons Regiment, 2nd.
    • United States--History--War of 1812.
    • United States. War Department--Manuscripts.
    • Walton, George, 1749 or 50-1804.
    • Washington (Ga.)
    • Watkins, Robert.
    • Wilkinson, James.
    Contributors:
    • Calhoun, John C. (John Caldwell), 1782-1850.
    • Claiborne, Ferdinand Leigh, d. 1814.
    • Crawford, William Harris, 1772-1834.
    • Flournoy, Matthew.
    • Forney, Daniel M., d. 1847.
    • Jack, Patrick, d. 1821.
    • Laveaux, Charles.
    • McIntosh, John Houstoun, 1773-1836.
    • Miller, Thomas H.
    • Mitchell, David Brydie, 1766-1837.
    • Pickens, Andrew, Jr.
    • Pushmataha, ca. 1764-1824.
    • Strother, William.
    • Tiger Tail, Seminole Chief.
    • Scott, James William.
    • Walton, John Carter, d. 1804.
    • Wells, Matthew.
    • Woodruff, Joseph.
    Genre Terms:
    • Accounts.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Orders (military records)
    • Receipts (financial records)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
     
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-17
     1799-1827 and  undated
     
    Documents [series]
    Folders   18-20  
     1804-1822
    Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
     1812-1814
     
    Receipts [series]
    Box   1 Folder   21
     1817-1818
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Library of Congress has the Thomas Flournoy and James Wilkinson orderly books, 1812-1846.

    Bibliography

    Heidler, David Stephen. Encyclopedia of the War of 1812. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 1997.