George Galphin was born in the early 1700's to Thomas Galphin and Barbara his wife according to descendants. It is highly unlikely the linked parents, both born in 1640 who would be age 70 in 1710, were his parents. [Exact date is being researched. Source needed.]
He married Catherine Sanderson on the 28th of December 1736 in Ireland.[source needed] Descendants claim within a year he sailed to America from Ireland, and arrived in the American Colonies in 1737.
According to The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders: On the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, George Galphin first appeared as a trader in 1741 when he passed through Augusta from Carolina with four packhorsemen and 24 horses.
While still married to Catherine Sanderson, he married Bridget Shaw of St. Phillips Parish, South Carolina on the 1st of July 1741. George Galphin appeared within the documents of South Carolina in 1747 when he bought land at Silver Bluff on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River originally surveyed for Archibald McGillivray and Company in 1737.
One Historian, Byron Rindfleisch, states that before Galphin took possession of Silver Bluff in the 1750's, he had been the resident trader to Coweta during which time Coweta's micos matched Galphin with Metawney, a "woman of ...family distinction" and the daughter of Chigelli, one of Coweta's micos and the "Tustenogy Mico," or "Great Warrior."  Rindfleisch concluded her father was Chigelli based on the fact Chigelli proclaimed himself as the Coweta "Tuskeestonnecah Mico War King" in Dec 1746, before stepping down from that position in 1747 in favor of Sempoyafee. Malatchi confirmed Chigelli's title when describing Chigelli as "a great Warrior & Commanded the Nation...till last Busk ." He further concluded Metawney's brothers were: Escotchaby, Sempoyaffee, Ufylegey, and the Second Man. Author, Joshua S. Hanes, documented those brother's names in his book stating "Sempoyafee was a member of the Tyger clan. However, Sempoyaffee was also close kin to Malatchi of Coweta, the most influential national leader of his generation until his death in 1756. Sempoyaffe became a principal headman in his own right, and his brother, Escotchaby of Coweta, was perhaps the most powerful Lower Town leader of his generation."
|Silver Bluff, Galphin.|
On Friday, the 3rd of July 1761, at a Council at Savannah, the Regulation of the Indian Trade was again taken into consideration, and the towns in the Indian Nations were divided among several Traders. The Creek Towns in the lower country with 130 Hunters, Cowetas, was licensed to "George Galpin."
Another wife is documented to George Galphin in the 1760's, Rachel Dupre. No source has been found for any marriage, only sources for the children born to the union which are cited below.
On the 1st day of October 1765, George Galphin made a petition to the Council at Savannah stating that in November 1764 he did petition for 1,000 acres of land in family right lying at great Ogechee to include a Creek called Spring creek above the Euchee ford at the old Settlement and to run down the River; which petition was postponed at that time. He therefore was praying for 1,400 acres at Spring creek aforesaid to include the 400 acres ordered Andrew Lambert, he having at least 30 slaves for whom he had obtained no land. The 1,400 acres was granted on the condition he take out a grant.
|Creek Nation, Georgia 1795|
Silver Bluff Baptist Church was originally formed on Galphin's plantation known as Silver Bluff on the banks of the Savannah River. It was founded in the mid-1700s by the slaves of George Galphin. David George, one of Galphin's slaves, was ordained there as the first black pastor in America. George, with help from Galphin's children, learned to read and write using the Bible and ultimately helped the congregation grow from eight to more than thirty just before the American Revolution. In 1779 George and around ninety other of Galphin's slaves joined the British side in the hopes of securing freedom.
George Galphin turned his mercantile business over to his three sons, and two nephews in 1773. A letter dated the 27th of Aug 1773 from Silver Bluff near Augusta, Georgia addressed to Messr. Greenwood & Higginson, Gentlemen stated that "with this you will please received a letter from Mr. George Galphin informing you that he has declined all his mercantile business in favor of us vizt. his three son's, George, Thomas & John Galphin, his nephew's David Holmes and John Parkinson, and you will understand by the same that he has guaranteed all our dealings with you... The business was then known as Galphin Holmes & Co. according the letter, and following documents.
"During the war Galphin sided with the patriots, and the Continental Congress named him one of five Indian commissioners. In that role he regularly clashed with John Stuart, the British superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern district, as the two men tried to enlist the Creeks on their respective sides. Galphin prevented the British from fully utilizing the Lower Creeks in their war effort. Continental Congress delegate Henry Laurens credited Galphin with securing both South Carolina and Georgia for the patriots." A letter written to Henry Laurens from Silver Bluff on the 7th of February 1776 by George Galphin in his role as Commissioner summed up the issues between Stuart and Galphin, and the need to keep their promise to the Creeks that their needs would be supplied to keep them peaceable, and as a barrier between the states and all the other Indians. The British Disqualifying Act of 1780 recorded George Galphin was a Rebel Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
George Galphin made a deed of Trust on the 2nd day of Feb 1775 to the trustees named as Locklin McGillvery, John Parkinson, John Graham, Alexander Wyly, George Galphin the younger, and Thomas Galphin in consideration of the love and affection which he hath and "beareth" unto John son of "Matorney" a Creek Indian woman which also noted, In trust for his the said John brother and sister George and Judith, and also Thomas & Martha son and daughter of Rachael Dupee to be shared in manner following: That is to say, the lands to fall to the above named George and Thomas and their heirs forever, also the said cattle horses mares and colts with the future issue and increase of the females thereof, to be shared equally share & share alike. Another deed of Trust was made on the same date in consideration of the love and affection which he hath and beareth unto Judith daughter of a Creek Indian woman named Matorney, and for the better maintenance and presentment of the said Judith.
George Galphin died at Silver Bluff, his residence on the Savannah river in South Carolina on the 2nd of December 1780 in the 71st year of his age. He wrote his Last Will and Testament on the 6th of April 1776 noting many legatees, relatives, friends, and the poor.
In 1780 the Honrable George Walter was called upon by the representatives of George Galphin for his knowledge and recollections concerning the treaty made at Augusta in 1773 to which he replied, “Having enjoyed his friendship in his lifetime, having fully known his sentiments as to the Revolution, and been a frequent witness of his exertions in favor of it, I cannot resist the occasion of paying my own individual tribute of gratitude to his memory." The probate of the estate including a Supreme Court case ensued for years after his death. "At his death Galphin owned 40,000 acres of land in South Carolina and Georgia, a large number of livestock, and 128 slaves, some of whom were his own children. In 2001 the Kimberly-Clark Corporation donated $250,000 toward the restoration of Silver Bluff."
Children documented born to Metawney
Children documented born to Rachel Dupre
Children born to enslaved women
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