Based on family lore, Red Tears is the untold story of Fort Mims Massacre and how Prudence Mims, her mother, and brother’s narrow escape when two worlds collided on August 30, 1813, resulting in the worst massacre by Woodland Indians in American history - forever changing the framework of a continent.
Prudence flourished as the youngest daughter of a prominent planter in the frontier wilderness of the Tensaw Delta in present-day Alabama. Her father, Samuel Mims, came to the Mississippi Territory as an Indian Trader during the American Revolution. Acquiring a land grant from the governor of Spanish West Florida, Mims built a home for his family and for years they lived in peace in the ancestral home of Creek Indians. While living among with the Southern Native Tribes, Mims learned their language and customs becoming friends with many prominent Creek Chiefs including Chief Alexander McGillivray and Chief William Weatherford. However, everything changed when the United States exerted their territorial claims to the southern region of the American frontier, and the push of settlers from the former British Colonies began. Unfortunately, the Creek Indians were in the way.
In 1799 the boundary survey between the Mississippi Territory and West Florida moved south putting the Mims Plantation squarely in lands claimed by the United States. The violence between settlers and the Woodland Indian Tribes escalated from the Great Lakes, across the Ohio River Valley and the Southern Frontier. From this turmoil, a Shawnee Prophet emerged. The Prophet Tecumseh began preaching that the unification of all Native American Tribes was the only way to stem the tide of white settlers into their ancestral homelands. Many Creeks became followers of Tecumseh, calling themselves Red Stick. The Red Sticks believed that a return to the “old ways” by purification of the Creek Race was the path restore their tribe to its former power and the only way to achieve this was to rid themselves of the white influences. Before long, Red Sticks began to punish Samuel Mims’ Creek neighbors in the Tensaw who’d become “too Americanized”. In 1813, Mims built an eight-foot wooden picket fence around his home to protect his property from Red Stick aggressions. In time, the Mims Family would become collateral damage in a game of cat and mouse when the Mississippi Volunteer Militia set up camp at what would become known as Fort Mims.