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By Jill Mulhall

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With Miró’s approval, McGillivray arrived in the summer and found the Americans eager for both peace and land. While Spain hesitated to arm the Creeks adequately to halt the American advance, McGillivray realized his need to stop it in any way he could. Therefore, he agreed to the New York Treaty of August 7, 1790, which was less than either party wanted. Damning to McGillivray, however, he recognized United States sovereignty over the Creek nation that lay within its boundary and ceded lands east of the Oconee River that Georgians had already settled on, for which the tribe received ten thousand dollars in gifts.

The ambassador’s opinion of Bowles had worsened, and he challenged the mastery the adventurer and his Indians presumed to exert over Spanish Florida. Campo acknowledged, nevertheless, that excluding Spanish forts, Indians owned the land and an indigenous uprising could devastate the province. Furthermore, Creek contact with the Bahamas was real. While he doubted that England would openly support the Indians against Spain, a contraband trade in arms was feasible. 43 The adventurer had written the memorial after his failure with the British government.

He vastly embellished their strength, alleging that besides the twenty thousand Creek-Cherokee warriors, Chickasaw and Choctaw fighters constituted another twenty William Augustus Bowles Challenges the Spaniards • 37 thousand. In opposition to European policy that sought to victimize and destroy them piecemeal, he declared these Indians now recognized the advantage of uniting in a confederation. 45 According to his account, the new Creek-Cherokee state appealed to the Spanish king for relief and the realization of their aims.

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Lewis & Clark by Jill Mulhall

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