History: George Galphin and the Ulster Connections to Native America, 1700-1783
Throughout the eighteenth-century, families from Ulster (Northern Ireland) flocked to the American South to take part in the deerskin trade. Many of these immigrants intermarried with the Creek and Cherokee Indians, creating intercultural families and communities in the process, which then encouraged more peoples to immigrate to America from Ulster. This talk focuses specifically on the family of George Galphin, one of the wealthiest Indian traders in South Carolina and Georgia prior to the American Revolution and originally from County Armagh, who forged a series of “Ulster Connections” to Creek Country and Native America in the eighteenth-century.
Bryan C. Rindfleisch is an assistant professor of history at Marquette University. He specializes in Early (Colonial) American, Native American, and Atlantic World history. His first book—George Galphin’s Intimate Empire: The Creek Indians, Family, and Colonialism in Early America—focused on the intersection of colonial, Native, imperial, and Atlantic histories, peoples, and places in the eighteenth-century American South. His current project explores the intersections of Creek and Cherokee peoples in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries. They intermarried with one another, waged war against—and forged peace with—each other, shared their languages and cultural practices, hunted and lived alongside one another on the fringes of their territories, along with many other connections that illustrate how intertwined their communities and histories were. His hope, then, is to change the ways in which historians understand the complex and inter-dimensional histories of Native Peoples and regions in Early America.