First published in 1939, McGillivray of the Creeks is a unique mix of primary and secondary sources for the study of American Indian history in the Southeast. John Walton Caughey's definitive biography of Creek leader, Alexander McGillivray (1750-1793) is coupled with 214 letters between McGillivray and Spanish and American political officials. The volume offers distinctive firsthand insights into Creek and Euroamerican diplomacy in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi in the aftermath of the American Revolution. McGillivray, the son of a famous Scottish Indian trader and a Muskogee Creek woman, was educated in Charleston, South Carolina, and took up the mantle of negotiator for the Creek people during and after the Revolution. The letters reprinted in this volume provide a valuable Indian perspective into Creek diplomatic negotiations with the Americans and the Spanish. In the new introduction to this edition, William J. Bauer, Jr., places Caughey's work into its historiographical context and surveys the interpretations of the enigmatic McGillivray that historians have drawn from this material.
John Walton Caughey (1902-1995) was a professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of eighteen works on American and American Indian history. William J. Bauer, Jr., is an assistant professor of history at the University of Wyoming.