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George Galphin (1710 - 1780)

George Galphin
Born in County Armagh, Irelandmap
Brother of
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Silver Bluff, Orangeburg District, South Carolina, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Feb 2016
This page has been accessed 629 times.


U.S. Southern Colonies Project logo
George Galphin was a South Carolina colonist.

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.[1]

While still married to Catherine Sanderson, he married Bridget Shaw of St. Phillips Parish, South Carolina on the 1st of July 1741.[2] 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.[3]

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 distinction" and the daughter of Chigelli, one of Coweta's micos and the "Tustenogy Mico," or "Great Warrior." [4] 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 [1747]." 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."[5]

Silver Bluff, Galphin.
At a Council meeting for the Colony of Georgia, the 15th day of October 1750, "Mr. George Galphin Trader at the Cowetas in the Lower Creek Nation, whose family has lived some years at Silver Bluff on the Carolina side where he has made large improvements, and having a long time been desirous of becoming a Freehold of Georgia, petitioned the Board, setting forth that he had been promis'd by General Oglethorpe, when here, a tract opposite to the said Bluff, on the faith of which, he had made improvements, and now requested the Board for Grant of 500 acres in the said place being bounded on all sides by vacant Lands and the River Savannah; the Board considering his circumstances and Industry agreed to his request, promising that the Surveyor should lay out the same, the first time the Board had occasion to send him to those parts.[6] After that date, George Galphin received numerous other grants for land in Georgia, and amassed a considerable estate before his death.

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."[7]

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.[8]

Creek Nation, Georgia 1795
Historians claim he received the royal grant of 1,400 acres in 1767, and established an Indian trading post, cow pens and plantation called Old Town. The plantation was established as a trading post around 1770 by George Galphin, an Indian commissioner, on the site of an ancient Creek town. Ogeechee Old Town now called Old Town Plantation is located approximately eight miles southeast of Louisville in present day Jefferson County, Georgia.[9] This is perhaps where Metawney resided since George had a family with Rachel Dupre during that period of time.

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.[9]

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...[10] 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."[9] 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.[11] The British Disqualifying Act of 1780 recorded George Galphin was a Rebel Superintendent of Indian Affairs.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] He wrote his Last Will and Testament on the 6th of April 1776 noting many legatees, relatives, friends, and the poor.[16]

that my mulatto girl named Barbara be free
my mulatto girls Rachael and Betsy (daughters of a mulatto woman named Sapho) their freedom
my halfbreed Indian girl, Rose (daughter of Nitehuckey) her freedom
to Thomas Galphin, son of Rachel Dupee, and his sister
Martha Galphin, daughter of Rachel Dupee,
to George, son of Metawney (an Indian Woman)
to John, son of Metawney
unto Judith, daughter of Metawney
unto Barbara, daughter of Rose, decd.,
to Judith Galphin, my sister
Catherine Galphin, living in Ireland [no relation noted - This is perhaps his first wife Catherine Sanderson Galphin.]
To my sister, Margaret Holmes, To each of her children, now living in lreland, To her son Robert, now living here
to Mrs. Taylor [no relation noted]
To my cousin George Rankin in Ireland
to George Nowlan [no relation given]
to my Aunt Lennard's daughter in Ireland
to my cousin John Trotter
leave to Rachel ( daughter to Saplio)
to Betsey Callwell daughter of Mary Callwell
to all the poor widows and fatherless children within thirty miles of where I live in the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia
the poor of Eneskilling and 50 pounds sterling to be shared among the poor of Amagh in Ireland
to Timothy Barnard [This is son of Jane (Bradley) Barnard (bef.1724-) ]
to all the orphan children I brought up and Billey Brown to be bound out to a trade
John McQueen and Alexander his brother
Mr. Netherclif and his wife
to Mr. and Mrs. Wylly, to their daughter Sucky Wylly
to Mrs. Campbell
to Mr. Carlan
Mrs. Fraisier
to Mr. Newman
to the widow Atkins, to her son William
to Parson Seymour and his wife
to George Parsons
to Quintin Tooler
and to all the rest of my Cousin Toolers [men and women]
my sister Young, in Ireland
to my sister Martha, wife of William Crossley

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."[15] 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."[9]

Children documented born to Metawney

Judith (Galphin) Cushman (abt.1748-1839)
George Galphin
John Galphin (abt.1752-aft.1814)

Children documented born to Rachel Dupre

Thomas Galphin
Martha Galphin

Children born to enslaved women

Born to enslaved Indian, Nitehuckey - half-breed Indian girl, Rose
Born to enslaved, Rose - Barbara
Born to enslaved mulatto woman named Sapho - mulatto girls Rachael and Betsy


  1. Wright, Amos J., The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders: On the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, NewSouth Books, Montgomery, Alabama, 2007. Page 77-78, citing George Galphin.
  2. Salley, A. S. (Alexander Samuel), . Register of St. Philip's Parish, Charles Town, South Carolina, 1720-1758. Charleston, South Carolina. Walker Evans & Cogswell Company. 1904. . page 184 [177 of 356], citing George Galphin, Bridget Shaw. Digital images: Accessed 16 Nov 2020.
  3. Meriwether, Rober L. The Expansion of South Carolina, 1729-1765. Kingsport, Tennessee. Southern Publishers, Inc. 1940, pp. 69-70. Page 69-70, citing George Galphin. Digital images Hathi Trust Digital Library. Accessed 15 Nov 2020.
  4. Marquette University. Rindfleisch, Byron. My Land Is My Flesh Silver Bluff, the Creek Indians, and the Transformation of Colonized Space in Early America. Page 416, citing Chigelli. Digital pdf: Marquette University. e-Publications.
  5. Haynes, Joshua S. Patrolling the Border: Theft and Violence on the Creek-Georgia Frontier, 1770-1796. Athens, Georgia. University of Georgia Press [2018] © 2018. Page 30, citing Tyger clan.
  6. Candler, Allen D. Colonial records of the State of Georgia / compiled ... Volume VI. Atlanta, Georgia, The Franklin-Turner Company. 1906. Page 331, citing George Galphin. Digital images: Hathi Trust Digital Library. Accessed 17 Nov. 2020.
  7. Candler, Allen D. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia. Volume VIII March 8, 1759 to December 31, 1762. Atlanta, Georgia, The Franklin-Turner Company. 1907. Page 522. citing George Galpin. Digital images: Hathi Trust Digital Library. Accessed 17 Nov. 2020.
  8. Candler, Allen D. Colonial records of the State of Georgia, Volume IX , 1763-1766. Atlanta, Georgia. The Franklin-Turner Company. 1907. page 420, citing George Galphin. Digital images: Hathi Trust Digital Library. Accessed 18 Nov 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 New Georgia Encyclopedia. Morris, Michael P. George Galphin. Accessed 15 Nov 2020.
  10. Richmond County, Georgia, Deed Book G, Page 579, citing George, Thomas, and John Galph, and David Holmes and John Parkinson. Digital images: [databse with images] Film 008563341 image 406 of 439 to image 408. Accessed 21 Nov 2020.
  11. Laurens, Henry. The Papers of Henry Laurens, Volume 11, Jan 5, 1776 – Nov 1, 1777. Columbia, South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press. 1988. Page 93-97, citing letter from George Galphin. Digital image: Google Books: Accessed 20 Nov 2020.
  12. Candler, Allen D. The Revolutionary records of the State of Georgia, Volume I. Proceedings of the Georgia Council of Safety. Atlanta, Georgia. The Franklin-Turner Company. 1908. Page 349 citing George Galphin. Digital images: Hathi Trust Digital Library. Accessed 15 Nov 2020.
  13. South Carolina, Miscellaneous record, 1774-1779, 1781-1784. Page 270-273, citing Thomas and Martha son and daughter of Rachael Dupee. Digital images: [databse with images] Film 004753877, image 503 of 613. Accessed 15 Nov 2020.
  14. South Carolina, Miscellaneous record, 1774-1779, 1781-1784. Page 270-273, citing Thomas and Martha son and daughter of Rachael Dupee. Digital images: [databse with images] Film 004753877, image 501 of 613, citing Judith daughter of Matorney. Accessed 15 Nov 2020.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Northen, William J. Graves, John Temple. Men of mark in Georgia : a complete and elaborate history... Atlanta, Georgia. A. B. Caldwell. 1907-1912?, c1906-[1912]. page 98-99, 100-101, citing George Galphin. Digital images: Internet Archives. Accessed 17 Nov 2020.
  16. Georgia Gen Web. contributors. Early Settlers of Augusta, citing George Galphin. [transcribed South Carolina Wills, Box 40, pack 898]. Digital image: Georgia Gen Web. Accessed 16 Nov 2020.

See Also:

  • Wikipedia [1]
  • [2]
  • A Journal of the American Revolution - George Galphin and the War in the South, 1775-1780 [3]
  • Frontline - The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Galphin [4]
  • George Galphin and the Transformation of the Georgia–South Carolina Backcountry [5]
  • FamilySearch PID: LCC7-G6R

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