[R]eport of couriers had been sent to the Big Warrior, holding out inducements and propositions for his taking an interest in the [British] war party. The Big Warrior, according to a letter from William H. Robertson, replied, ‘that he had been so often deceived in their engagements, that he could no longer place reliance in their words; that he must have further proofs of their sincerity, before he could place reliance in their professions, or listen in any way to their entreaties.’
In such a precarious position, Big Warrior and the loyal and neutral Creeks found themselves with little hope and few friends.
Big Warrior signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, but he had little choice in the matter, and his previous loyalties to the Americans throughout the Creek War did not stop them from taking as much land as they wanted. It is telling, however, that he tendered his Creek lands to Benjamin Hawkins, George Mayfield, and Alexander Cornells, along with Andrew Jackson. The sources are silent on his motivations, but it seems likely that Big Warrior was trying to mitigate the disaster and secure aid from white men such as Hawkins, whom he reasonably hoped might treat him and the other loyal Creeks fairly. This was not to be. Jackson moved south from Horseshoe Bend, confident in the lands he had seized and in the army he used to seize them. In September Jackson’s men won skirmishes with the British at Fort Bowyer, guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay, on their way to the Battle of New Orleans, and glory.
As Andrew Jackson moved south toward legend, he left men such as Big Warrior reeling from their untenable situation. Faced with joining a losing cause that they did not believe in or fi ghting with men they did not trust, Big Warrior and his people had little chance of success, and the loss of Creek lands served as a knife into the heart of their culture. They had lost more than territory or wealth; their entire way of life was ending.