Alexander McGillivray – circa 1759–1793
Of mixed European and Indian blood, McGillivray was chief of the Creek Indians and successfully resisted white invasion of Creek tribal lands for years. To achieve this, he fought alongside the British during the American Revolution, then, after the war, negotiated an alliance with Spanish interests in America. In 1789, he was finally able to negotiate a favorable treaty with President George Washington’s secretary of war, Henry Knox, which set a limit to white American settlement. McGillivray was one of very few Native American leaders who enjoyed significant success in retaining for his tribe both its tribal identity and its lands in the face of white American expansion—at least for the span of a generation.