COLBERT, William

Birth Name COLBERT, William [1]
Birth Name [NO SURNAME], Cooshemataha Pyaheggo
Gender male
Age at Death about 82 years, 4 months, 29 days


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth about 1742    
Death 1824-05-30 Tockshish, Pontotoc Co., MS  
Source text

The best evidence of General William Colbert's death is found in some old Chickasaw Agency records. One is a receipt from Ish-ta-na-ha to Benjamin F. Smith, Chickasaw Agent, for the pension of General Colbert. The receipt is dated 15 JUL 1824, for $40 in full for, "... the amount settled on my husband Genl. Wm. Colbert by the Govt. of the U. S. up to 30th May 1834 at which time he deceased."
Additionally, in Smith's Chickasaw Agency expenditure accounting on 27 SEP 1824, he list a payment to, "... Ish-ta-na-ha Colbert for the Pension of Genl. Wm. Colbert...." And again in his accounts accepted by U.S. auditor Wm. Stuart on 4 DEC 1824, Smith states that $40 was paid, "to the wife of Gen. Wm. Colbert in full to 30 MAY 1824."

His body was interred 1827 in Pontotoc County Cemetery, Pontotoc, Mississippi. This date of death and burial comes from a gravestone located in the Pontotoc Cemetery, placed there at a much later date and hence the date is very suspect.

William was the eldest son of James Logan Colbert. He was a celebrated fighter, and was an ally of the Americans, not only against hostile Indians, but also when a struggle against Spain for the possession of the Mississippi seemed imminent, and later, when the red men and the British invaders were in league against an infant nation, (War of 1812).

He married twice. (There is some speculation that Ish-ta-na-ha and Jessie are the same person). During the spring of 1788, William Colbert married the sister of one of Alexander McGillivray's wives. He married Jessie "Mimey" Moniac in the Chickasaw Nation, before 1780. She was the daughter of a Creek trader named John (Jacob?) Moniac and Tuckabatche. Jessie was baptized at Monroe Mission, Pontotoc Co., Mississippi, January 6, 1828. Jessie's father had come among the Creeks in the 1760's and acted as McGillivray's personal interpreter until his death of "the dry bellyache" in June, 1787. Her brother, Samuel Moniac, had then assumed the interpretive position. Conflicting evidence states that he died in Tockshish, Chickasaw Nation, Mississippi Territory, May 5, 1827.

Burial   Pontotoc City Cemetery, Pontotoc, Pontotoc Co., MS  


Father COLBERT, James Logan
Mother ?, [Unknown]
  1. COLBERT, George
  2. COLBERT, Levi
  3. COLBERT, Samuel
  4. COLBERT, Joseph


Married Wife [NO SURNAME], Ish-Ta-Na-Ha
  1. COLBERT, Polly
Married Wife MONIAC, Jessie
  1. COLBERT, Molly
  2. COLBERT, Margaret
  3. COLBERT, Ishtonnarhay
  4. COLBERT, Tooklaishtubby
  5. COLBERT, Balbarhubby
  6. COLBERT, Meharchubby
  7. COLBERT, Immarhollochetubby
  8. COLBERT, Logan
  9. COLBERT, Shemarhoye
  10. COLBERT, Wileky
  11. COLBERT, Abigail
  12. COLBERT, Schtimmarhoye
  13. COLBERT, Onnarhoketay
  14. COLBERT, Apalartubby
  15. COLBERT, Nancknitubby
  16. COLBERT, William Jamison
  17. COLBERT, Nossaecachubby


Other sources give William's birth about 1760 and death in 1833.

Some sources credit the birth of William to James Logan Colbert's "first" wife.

My first resource listed the children as: Molly, Joseph, James, Tennessee, Samuel, Susan, Betsy, & Matilda. You are more than welcome to let me know which English name goes with which Chickasaw name!

"capthook" [] lists James, Frank, Joe, Martin, Benjamin, Jesse, Patrick, Amos, & Washington *in addition* to the children listed above.

A marker has been placed in William Colbert's honor at the Pontotoc City Cemetery, Pontotoc, MS by the Pontotoc Chapter of the D.A.R.

A short, laudatory biography of William Colbert may be viewed at (W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi). In case it vanishes like so many other web sites, I quote the relevent portion here:

" As GENERAL WILLIAM COLBERT was perhaps the most distinguished of our citizens of all time, we feel that he fully merits a chapter of our history and deserves a place in records of achievement with any individual of honor and distinction.
"He was the eldest son of Logan James Colbert, a Scotchman who came to our southeastern coast early in the 1700s. About 1729 a party of 125 traders set out from Charleston , South Carolina, for the Indian country to the westward. Among these was young Logan Colbert, who stopped on the Tennessee River at the Muscle Shoals. He was adopted by an Indian family and soon developed a fondness for trading, wherein he amassed a fortune in land and slaves. Three times he married Indian girls -- first two full blooded Chickasaws - the third a half breed.
"The subject of this sketch was born of Logan Colbert's second wife. The sons of the old Scotchman, in their order were -- William, George, Levi, Samuel, and Joseph. Pittman, or James, was by the last wife. All the sons were more or less distinguished in Chickasaw annals of the letter days, particularly William, George, Levi, and Pittman.
"Logan became the most famous of the Chickasaws in his time, as did his sons in their day. He especially distinguished himself in their battles with the French, in which their methods of fighting and the character of their defenses made the Chickasaws so formidable a foe of the French. In 1784 the father of the Colbert's was killed while making a journey to Georgia. It was supposed that he was murdered by one of his negro slaves named Caesar, who accompanied him on the trips. The negro returned home and reported that his master and been thrown by his horse and received injuries from which he died.
"As to Logan Colbert's eldest son, William, he located at Toxish in the southeastern part of Pontotoc County, at some time after reaching man's estate. Toxish, which comes from the Indian word 'Istokeka' means 'where greatness abode'. It is probable that this place, now the comfortable country home of Mr. Agnew Ware, was first settled by General William McIntosh who was sent among the Chickasaws by the British government early in the eighteenth century. He it was that persuaded the Chickasaws to abandon their fortified towns and scatter out to individual habitations, that they might restore the home and family life and pursue agriculture and other peaceful pursuits. He also caused their form of government to resemble the English system in many respects, and his influence, perhaps, shaped their future more than any other man.
"Here it was that General Colbert lived during his long and eventful life, and rendered the outstanding services to his country that made his a notable career.
"As a young man William Colbert led one band of the Chickasaws that went there at the solicitation of President Washington to aid General St. Clair, and afterwards General Wayne, in their campaigns against Little Turtle, commanding the Northwestern confederation of Indians. Piomingo led the first band of Chickasaws.
"As already stated, he and his brothers stood with Pushmataha in repelling the eloquent Tecumseh, and in the War of 1812, General Colbert served nine months in the regular United States Infantry, and upon his return he led a party of his warriors against the hostile Creeks, when he pursued them from Pensacola almost to Apalachicola, killing many and bringing back eighty-five prisoners to Montgomery, Alabama.
"Colbert was in the party of Chickasaws that visited President George Washington while the seat of our national government was in Philadelphia. It was on this occasion that the title of General was bestowed, as a recognition of services to the American people. The title was also signatory to the Treaty of 1816 as Major-General William Colbert, no doubt augmented by services in the later wars and conferred by the great commander, Andrew Jackson.
"It was on the occasion of his visit to Philadelphia, above mentioned that President Washington presented to General Colbert a small shovel plow, which the latter brought home with him and carefully preserved among his household treasures until his death. It was said to have been a great pleasure for the old chief to relate its history to his white guests, and to repeat to them the speech of Washington in making the presentation.
"In later life General Colbert became a large slave owner, planter and cattle raiser by following the advice of Washington, Jackson, and other great men with whom he came in contact.
"He not only prospered himself, but was foremost in every movement designed to improve the condition of his people. Thus he was a staunch advocate of education and welcomed the Christian religion.
"It was through his personal influence that Reverend Thomas C. Stuart was enabled to plant his Christian missions in this locality, and both the Monroe and Toxish missions, now churches, stand on land that subsequently was allotted to General Colbert in the Treaty of 1832, from the Chickasaw Tribal lands.
"The early records of Monroe church show that he proved his works by faith and allied himself with God's people. Not only that, he became one of Father Stuart's ruling elders; though alas for human frailties, he was 'Churched" for the sin of intemperance, a widely prevalent evil of the period, and we are left in doubt from Church records as to whether Elder Colbert was ever restored to a state of grace or died under the ban of discipline.
"From the best evidence we can gather General Colbert died during the winter of 1836, and that his place of sepulcher is in our city cemetery. Though his name is not signed to the treaty of 1832, nor does he appear in any of the negotiations relating thereto, still there are lands allotted to him on our county records, notable, the deed from his widow to Rev. James A. Ware, father of Mr. Agnew Ware, to the section of land which was unquestionably the home place of General Colbert. There is other evidence that he lived after the treaty, but had died before the migration of his people, and the Widow Colbert, who was so often mentioned by our first settlers, could have been none other than his widow.
"For a long time we sought to locate his burial place but it is only recently that we have solved the problem to our entire satisfaction. After the treaty was made and ratified, the lands were put up and sold at public auction. All of this took time. As the Indians were alienated from their homesteads, they were concentrated for the purpose of removal. One of these concentration places was on the outskirts of Pontotoc, north of the land offices. In 1836-37, this was a vast camp of Indians. The area included old Victoria and from thence to the Ellison place was particularly dense with campers.
"During this period, a number of Indians died and were buried in the ground which later became our city cemetery."
-- Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by Pamela J. Gibbs except where otherwise noted.[Assuming you can copyright a govenment document, of course...]

Source References

  1. database: 1571710
  2. Chickasaw Times


  1. COLBERT, James Logan
    1. ?, [Unknown]
      1. COLBERT, William
        1. [NO SURNAME], Ish-Ta-Na-Ha
          1. COLBERT, Polly
        2. MONIAC, Jessie
          1. COLBERT, Molly
          2. COLBERT, Margaret
          3. COLBERT, Ishtonnarhay
          4. COLBERT, Tooklaishtubby
          5. COLBERT, Balbarhubby
          6. COLBERT, Meharchubby
          7. COLBERT, Immarhollochetubby
          8. COLBERT, Logan
          9. COLBERT, Shemarhoye
          10. COLBERT, Wileky
          11. COLBERT, Abigail
          12. COLBERT, Schtimmarhoye
          13. COLBERT, Onnarhoketay
          14. COLBERT, Nancknitubby
          15. COLBERT, Apalartubby
          16. COLBERT, Nossaecachubby
          17. COLBERT, William Jamison
      2. COLBERT, George
      3. COLBERT, Levi
      4. COLBERT, Samuel
      5. COLBERT, Joseph