Historical leader of the Creek people in early America

Alexander McGillivray was born in 1750 to a Creek mother and Scottish father. Similar to the Chickasaws, the Creeks are a matrilineal tribe, and thus McGillivray took his mother’s heritage. His father was a loyalist to Britain during the years of the American Revolution. This would affect McGillivray’s attitude towards Americans and those who allied with them.

During the years of the American Revolution, McGillivray was a British colonel who organized relations between the British and Creek tribes. After the American Revolution, relations did not improve with McGillivray and the newly founded United States.

He began an alliance with Spain in 1784, in an effort to cause trouble for Americans and their supporters. One group of American supporters that McGillivray had an extreme dislike for were the Chickasaws. He felt they were the most problematic tribe because of their leader Piominko’s unswerving loyalty to the new United States. McGillivray began to send raiding parties to the Chickasaw Nation, harassing and murdering Chickasaws for their loyalty. One raid killed Piominko’s nephew.

The raids persisted, and it wasn’t until the United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo that they ceased. Once Spain no longer supported the Creeks, the momentum to attack faded away.

McGillivray moved to Pensacola. He would die soon after, in 1793.