The Atkin Mission

John T. Juricek

in Colonial Georgia and the Creeks

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034683
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038582 | DOI:
The Atkin Mission

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This chapter looks at the appointment of Edmond Atkin as the superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern colonies and the subsequent diplomacy. Georgian governor Henry Ellis's resolution of the seemingly endless Creek-Bosomworth problem proved permanent and he knew that he and other southern governors would have to share authority with Atkin. However, the British officials had eagerly supported William Johnson for the northern superintendency as they had doubt about Atkin's ability. In 1755, Johnson was appointed as the “Sole Agent for and Superintendent” for Indian affairs. As Atkin did not have authority, he pleaded with the Board of Trade to direct the southern governors to yield him substantial control over trade, which merely urged governors to cooperate with him. This chapter also looks into some of the interpersonal traits of Atkin which actually proved detrimental to him. Atkin knew that the Indians valued frankness; what he failed to grasp was that they also valued the withholding of harsh words—no matter how true—in order not to give offense. His relentless hectoring offended countless Indians.

Keywords: Edmond Atkin; Henry Ellis; Southern governors; Indian affairs; trade control

Chapter.  16929 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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