Jean-Antoine Milfort

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Jean-Antoine Milfort (Le Clerc)

Also Known As: "Le Clerc", "Milford", "Louis"
Birthplace: France
Death: 1814 (69-78)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Jeannet Milfort
Father of Alexander Milfort; Polly Milfort; William Milfort and Lewis Milfort

Managed by: Kira Rachele Jay
Last Updated:

About Jean-Antoine Milfort

According to Le Clerc in his own story, after having killed a servant of the king's household in a duel, he took refuge in the United States, and went to the country of the Creek Indians, whose friendship he gained by adopting their customs.

During the Revolutionary war, General Alexander McGillivray led several expeditions, but his chief reliance was on Le Clerc Milfort. Milfort fought at the head of the Creek in the many wars against the frontier settlements, and was named by them Tastanegy, or Great Warrior. Gen. McGillivray remained at home, controlling the arbitrary Chiefs, and compelling them to raise warriors against other settlements.

Hearing of the changes that the revolution had wrought in France, he returned to Paris and offered his services and those of his adopted tribe in strengthening the French possessions in North America. He was well received by some, but the sale of the Louisiana Purchase to the United States in 1803 rendered his mission useless and was ordered to remain in France, where eventually, Napoleon Bonaparte made him a General of Brigade. [3] He lived in France performing various exploits until the invasion in 1814, when he was attacked in his house by a party of Russians, and rescued by some grenadiers. Shortly afterwards he died.

He was born as Jean-Antoine Le Clerc, but used several alternatives and aliases during his life, especially Jean LeClerc Milfort, and Louis Le Clerc Milfort. He was from Thin-le-Moutier, near Mézières, France.

LifeNotes: A French adventurer. Came to Coweta (in present day Georgia) on the Chattahoochie River. The story goes that he was taken into the tribe and made a war chief and that the Creek elders revealed their legends to LeClerc. They kept the tribal history on strands of pearls; each elder had a strand; each pearl represented one story.

Read LeClerc Milfort's "Memoirs or A Quick Glance at my Various Travles and my Sojourn in the Creek Nation" link

Milfort was among the Muscogees (Creeks) from 1776 to 1796. He met Alexander McGillivray at Coweta at a tribal conference. He went to Hickory Ground with Alexander. He met and falls in love with Jeannett McGillivray, Alexander's sister, and they married.

After the marriage, LeClerc took his nephew William Weatherford "under his wing", according to tribal tradition, and taught him the ways of the tribe.

After 20 years among the Creeks, LeClerc Milfort returned to France. In 1801-2, he published a history of the Creeks; the work is titled "General Milfort's Creek Indians". He married a 2nd time to a French woman. The Emperor Napoleon met LeClerc and made him General of the Brigade. Napoleon needed LeClerc's advice on how to deal with the Natives in the French Territory.