Born in Strathnairn, in Invernesshire, Scotland, in 1719, Lachlan McGillivray (or M'Gillivray) belonged to the ancient Scottish Clan Chattan, traditionally headed by the McIntosh family.
Members of the clan migrated to Charlestown (later Charleston), South Carolina, in the 1720s, and several achieved success in the Indian trade.
According to some records, Lachlan sailed for Charleston, and then proceeded to Augusta, Ga., where his uncle, Farquhar McGillivray, was engaging in the Indian trade.
It is also known that Lachlan McGillivray was recruited by Governor James Oglethorpe to establish New Inverness in 1736. It was eventually renamed after Darien Scheme, a former Scottish colony in Panama.
McGillivray acquired two plantations outside Savannah, Vale Royal and Springfield, and went into business with Savannah merchant John Graham. He went from Indian trader to planter-merchant, as Georgia went from being a slave-less society under the Trustees to a slave-owning commercial province.
As a member of the Georgia legislature and an officer in the militia, McGillivray actively promoted further settlement along the Ogeechee River, recruiting enough Irish settlers to establish the township of Queensborough.
Though Lachlan had signed a number of petitions opposing certain Crown colonial policies (particularly those involving additional taxes), once the American Revolution started he became an ardent Loyalist.
When British warships appeared in the Savannah River, McGillivray and his cousin William were arrested by Patriots along with Gov. James Wright. They eventually escaped on British ships.
McGillivray returned to Georgia with the restoration of the Royal Government of Sir James Wright in 1779. His plantation became a battleground when French and American forces besieged Savannah in October 1779.
An intelligent man, McGillivray saw that the British would not win. He, therefore, quickly sold his holdings and returned to Clan Chattan's estates in Dunmaglass, Scotland.
Here, he was treated with great respect, serving as an adviser and guardian for the orphaned head of the Clan Chattan, John Lachlan. Lachlan McGillivray died in Invernesshire in 1799.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger firstname.lastname@example.org