Document Type




Publication Date

Summer 2018


University of Pennsylvania Press

Source Publication

Early American Studies

Source ISSN



This essay explores how Native peoples like the Creek (Muscogee) Indians invested colonized spaces in early American society with their own material, commercial, political, and spiritual meanings and importance. In particular, Creek Indians from the town of Coweta transformed Silver Bluff, the plantation of the trader and merchant George Galphin, into a “white ground,” as a place connected to Creek Country by a “white path,” and as a space where Creek and British leaders congregated to conduct business and negotiate politics. For it is no coincidence that the treaties of Augusta in 1763 and 1773, peaceful resolutions agreed to by the Creeks with the British Empire in 1760, 1764, 1773, 1774, and 1776, the negotiations over boundary lines in 1768 and 1774, and several other instances of cross-cultural dialogue all unfolded, started, or ended at Silver Bluff. The Creeks thereby enfolded occupied spaces like Silver Bluff—and the peoples who inhabited or congregated at such places—into their own worlds and according to their own understandings of those spaces. This process of spatial assimilation by the Creeks was as much collaborative as it was contested with Europeans throughout the eighteenth century.


Accepted version. Early American Studies, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Summer 2018): 405-430. DOI. © 2018 University of Pennsylvania Press. Used with permission.

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