Images of cats from the British Museum collection, £9.99
Height: 27.000 cm
Gift of Sir Walter C. Trevelyan
AOA 7479 [i]
Room 26: North America
Pouch edged with white beads, belonging to Josiah Francis, or Hilis Hadjo
Creek, early 19th century AD (before
From south-eastern North America (Florida, Alabama or Georgia)
Religious leader of the Creek Nation during the Red Stick War of 1813-14
This pouch was taken to London by Hilis Hadjo, or Josiah Francis in 1815. The purpose of his journey was to express Creek loyalty to Britain after the War of 1812. However, British policy had altered; good relations with the United States were now required. Earl Bathurst, Secretary of War, avoided seeing Hadjo for as long as possible. He was kept waiting for more than a year. In compensation he received gifts worth many hundreds of pounds. He was eventually allowed to return to America at the end of 1816, although he left his son in England to be educated.
The pouch is woven by hand, probably from unravelled wool from European cloth. This type of envelope-shaped pouch or bandoleer was made in the south-east from about 1810 to 1860. The origins of the form may derive from Great Lakes' costume brought south with Shawnee influence on the Creeks during the War of 1812.
J.C.H. King, First peoples, first contacts: (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)