Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

George Galphin, I

Male 1710 - 1780  (70 years)


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  • Name George Galphin 
    Suffix
    Born 1710  Antrim, North Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Arrival 1737  [1
    Galphin immigrates from Ireland and begins employment with the Augusta trading firm, Brown, Rae and Company. 
    Political 1765  [2
    Galphin, John Rae and Lachlan McGillivray petition the Georgia Assembly for 50,000 acres for the establishment of Queensborough on the Georgia frontier.  
    Public Service
    Public Service
    Church Affiliation 1773 
    Silver Bluff Baptist Church is organized on Galphin's plantation, one of the first separate black congregations in America. David George, a Galphin slave, is ordained as the pastor.  
    Possessions 1773 
    Galphin provides financial and logistical support for William Bartram's tour of the southeast. 
    Possessions 1773  [3
    The New Purchase. Two million acres is ceded by the Creeks to Georgia in order to retire debts to trading firms. Galphin retires from trading, placing nephew David Holmes, and his two sons, George and Thomas, in charge of the new firm, Galphin, Holmes and Company. 
    Political 01 May 1776 
    Galphin persuades the Creeks to remain neutral in War for Independence.  
    Military 1778 
    British forces occupy Savannah and Galphin flees Silver Hill. David George and other slaves seek sanctuary behind British lines.  
    Political 01 Jun 1780  Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Arrested and charged with treason by Lt. Col. Thomas Brown. 
    Died 01 Dec 1780  Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Notes 
    • "The lands, between Ebenezer and Briar Creek, belonged to the Uchees, who refused to dispose of them. But to secure this part of the country, two forts were built on the South Carolina side of the [Savannah] river, which answered the purpose. Establishments were made at Silver Bluff, and at the falls of the Savannah, where the town of Augusta was laid out, warehouses erected, and a garrison thrown into a small fort. Augusta immediately became a general resort for Indian traders, where they purchased annually about two thousand pack-horse loads of peltry. Six hundred white persons were engaged in this trade, including townsmen, pack-horse men and servants. Boats, each capable of carrying down the river a large quantity of peltry, were built, and four or five voyages were annually made with them to Charleston. A trading highway was opened to Savannah on which few of the creeks were bridged, or marches and swamps causewayed.

      He who became the wealthiest and most conspicuous of all these Indian traders, was George Galphin, a native of Ireland. When quite a young man, he established himself upon the site of De Soto's ancient Cutifachiqui, where the remarkable adventurer first discovered the Savannah river, in 1540. Upon the site of this old Indian town, on the east bluff of the Savannah, in Barnwell District, South Carolina, now called Silver Bluff, and at present the property of Gov. Hammond, young Galphin first begun to trade with the Creek Indians. Although he made Silver Bluff his headquarters, he had trading houses in Savannah and Augusta. He was a man of fine address, great sense, commanding person, untiring energy and unsurpassed bravery. His power was felt and his influence exerted even to the banks of the Mississippi. Among the Upper and Lower Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws and Choctaws, he sent forth numerous pack-horse men, with various merchandise, who brought back to Georgia almost countless skins and furs, kegs of bears' oil, hickory-nut oil, snake root and medicinal barks, which he shipped to England. He often went himself into these nations, fearlessly trading in the immediate vicinity of the French Fort Toulouse [near present-day Wetumptka, Alabama], upon the Coosa. Commercial policy and an amorous disposition led him to form connections with several females, who were called his wives, and from whom descended many intelligent and influential persons, now inhabiting Georgia, Alabama and the Arkansas Territory."
      [5]
    • "One of the first Indian traders was George Galphin, an Irishman. He raised a large family; and of the five varieties of the human family; he raised children from three, and no doubt would have gone the whole hog, but the Malay and Mongol were out of his reach. His white children were of the highest and most polished order- Mrs. Governor Milledge was one of them. He had two negroes, Mina, a woman, and Ketch, a man; they were brother and sister. He raised one daughter from Mina and called her Barbary. She married an Irishman by the name of Holmes, and raised Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, whom Col. Pickett often alludes to in his History of Alabama, as having had conversations with him. At Galphin's death Mina was set free and died at old Timothy Barnard's, on the Flint river, Ga., many years back. Ketch was an interpreter among the Indians for Galpin- was his stock minder- kept stock at Galphin's cowpens, where Louisville in Jefferson county, Ga., now stands, and which was once the seat of government of that state. Ketch helped put up the first cabin at old Galphinton, on the Ogeechee, for an Indian trading house. At Galphin's death Ketch was sold, and was purchased by Gen. [John] Twiggs of the revolution. He was a body servant of Gen Twiggs during the war. At the close of the war, Ketch left his master and went into the Creek Nation. * * * Gen. Twiggs gave Ketch to me. He (Ketch) was about six feet six inches high, very straight, and retained his bodily strength as well as mental faculties, to a most astonishing degree. The Gen. did not give me Ketch expecting me to profit by it, but wished him cared for in his old age, as he had been a faithful servant to his father in trying times. I purchased Ketch's family, and he live till 1840. I buried him under a large oak about a mile from Tuskegee, a place that he selected for that purpose. I had a little mill on a creek near Tuskegee, where I kept Ketch and several other Indian negroes, and here I used to spend much time listening to them tell over old occurrences of by-gone days. From the best calculations we could make, Ketch lived to be near a hundred years old." [6]
    • Mina and Ketch are the subject of a deed of sale by George Galphin dated 2 Feb 1775. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Sec. of State, Misc. Records, Bk. 2, R, pp. 287-290.
    • http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~scedgefi/pioneers/galphin-thomas.pdf
    Person ID I5426  Dickinson
    Last Modified 21 Jan 2013 

    Family 1 Catherine Sanderson,   d. Nov 1795, Placentia, Chatham, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 28 Dec 1736  Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2011 
    Family ID F1685  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Metawney 
    Children 
     1. George Galphin, II,   b. abt. 1751, Coweta Town, Russell, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1800, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 49 years)
     2. Judith Galphin,   b. abt. 1755, Coweta Town, Russell, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. abt. 1782, Steel Creek, Barnwell District, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 27 years)
     3. John Galphin,   b. abt. 1760, Coweta Town, Russell, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. abt. 1800, Burke County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 40 years)
    Last Modified 9 Jul 2010 
    Family ID F1455  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Rose,   b. abt. 1744, Savannah, Chatham, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. aft. 1820, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 77 years) 
    Notes 
    • According to historian Mario de Valdes y Cocom, Rose was the quadroon slave (and daughter) of Moses Nunes, a Jewish back-country trader among the Creeks. "The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families", Frontline, Public Broadcast System. Bryan v. Walton, 33 Ga.Supp. 11, 1864 WL 1124 (Ga. 1864), on the other hand, says:

      "What was Moses Nunez? Probably a Portuguese, as his name imports, from a left hand marriage with a mulatto by the name of Rose; that from this connection sprang James Nunez, Alexander Nunez, and Fannie Nunez, who afterwards intermarried with George Galphin...."

      Given the placement of the semicolons, the sense of this sentence is that the metis George Galphin II (son of George Galphin and Metawney) married Frances Nunes, (which was, in fact, the case), not that George I was married to this Rose. Bryan makes clear that Moses was married to "Mulatto Rose;" indeed, the point of introducing such evidence was to prove that Joseph Nunez (grandson of Moses) was not white. Other litigation that arose over the Galphin estate did identify Barbara Galphin Holmes' mother as Rose and confirmed their status as slaves; however, the available evidence strongly suggests that these are different Roses and that Valdes y Cocom is mistaken as to the particulars.

    • Woodward's claim notwithstanding, George Galphin's will specifically mentions Rose as the mother of Barbara. Bowers v. Newman, 2 McMul. 472, 27 S.C.L. 472, 1842 WL 2403 (S.C.Err., 1842).
    Children 
    +1. Barbara Galphin,   b. abt. 1760, Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1830, Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years)
    Last Modified 21 Jan 2013 
    Family ID F1453  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 4 Rachel Dupre 
    Children 
     1. Thomas H. Galphin,   b. May 1763, Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 May 1812, Steel Creek, Barnwell District, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 48 years)
    +2. Martha Galphin,   b. 07 Apr 1764, Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 Nov 1811, Sand Hills Plantation, Augusta, Richmond, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years)
    Last Modified 9 Jul 2010 
    Family ID F1454  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1710 - Antrim, North Ireland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPolitical - Arrested and charged with treason by Lt. Col. Thomas Brown. - 01 Jun 1780 - Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 01 Dec 1780 - Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Documents
    Bryan v. Walton
    Bryan v. Walton
    33 Ga.Supp. 11, 1864 WL 1124 (Ga. 1864)

  • Sources 
    1. [S336311] The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders on the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, Amos J. Wright, Jr., (Montgomery, Alabama: NewSouth Books, 2001), 77.

    2. [S336338] Deerskins and Duffels: The Creek Indian Trade with Anglo-America, 1685-1815, Kathryn E. Holland Braund, (Lincoln, Nebraksa: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), 51.

    3. [S336338] Deerskins and Duffels: The Creek Indian Trade with Anglo-America, 1685-1815, Kathryn E. Holland Braund, (Lincoln, Nebraksa: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), 55.

    4. [S336311] The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders on the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, Amos J. Wright, Jr., (Montgomery, Alabama: NewSouth Books, 2001), 81.

    5. [S336314] History of Alabama and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, Albert James Pickett, (Sheffield, Alabama: Robert C. Randolph, 1896), 263-264, (parenthetical information inserted).

    6. [S336313] Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek or Muscogee Indians, Thomas S. Woodward, (Montgomery, Alabama: Barrett and Wimbush, 1859), 105-106, (parenthetical [-] information inserted).