The University of Alabama Press is pleased to announce Bryan C. Rindfleisch, author of George Galphin’s Intimate Empire: The Creek Indians, Family, and Colonialism in Early America, is the winner of the 2019 George C. Rogers Jr., Award. The Rogers award is given annually by the South Carolina Historical Society to the author of the best book of South Carolina history published during the previous year.
The award is named in memory of George C. Rogers Jr., longtime professor of history at the University of South Carolina, who was widely regarded as “the dean of South Carolina historians.” The editorial board of the Historical Society’s quarterly academic journal, the South Carolina Historical Magazine, selected the finalists for this year’s award, and an invited panel of independent judges chose the winner.
George Galphin’s Intimate Empire is a revealing saga detailing the economic, familial, and social bonds forged by Indian trader George Galphin who arrived in South Carolina from Ireland in 1737. Rindfleisch weaves a complex narrative about eighteenth-century cross-cultural relationships.
Reconstructing the multilayered bonds forged by Galphin and challenging scholarly understandings of life in the Native South, the American South more broadly, and the Atlantic World, Rindfleisch looks simultaneously at familial, cultural, political, geographical, and commercial ties—examining how eighteenth-century people organized their world, both mentally and physically. Through extensive research in primary sources, Rindfleisch reconstructs an expansive imperial world that stretches across the American South and reaches into London and includes Indians, Europeans, and Africans who were intimately interconnected and mutually dependent.
As a whole, George Galphin’s Intimate Empire provides critical insights into the intensely personal dimensions and cross-cultural contours of the eighteenth-century South and how empire-building and colonialism were, by their very nature, intimate and familial affairs.
Bryan C. Rindfleisch is assistant professor of history at Marquette University. His work has been published in Early American Studies, Native South, The American Historian, Ethnohistory, and Journal of Early American History.