GRAYSON, GEORGE WASHINGTON (1843-1920)
Tribal leader George Washington Grayson, or Tulwa Tustunugge (Wolf Warrior), a citizen of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation, was born around May 12, 1843, near North Fork Town in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory. His father was James Grayson. Through his mother, Jane (Jennie) Wynne Grayson, he was a member of Coweta Town and the Tiger Clan. He attended Creek schools, Asbury Manual Labor School, and Arkansas College (1858-1860).
As a captain during the Civil War Grayson commanded Company B, Second Creek Mounted Volunteers, a Confederate unit. Afterward, his enterprises included Grayson Brothers Mercantile, cotton gins, livestock production, and the Indian Journal Printing Company at Eufaula, a town he helped found.
Grayson was a scholar, writer, and Creek nationalist who defended Creek sovereignty and Indian rights, often in print. He was also a progressive, supporting education, enterprise, Christianity, and constitutional government. In public life for more than fifty years, he advised several principal chiefs, served as national treasurer, and was a member of the House of Warriors and House of Kings. He represented the Creek Nation at the Okmulgee and Sequoyah constitutional conventions, before the federal government in Washington, D.C., and in Dawes Commission negotiations. Although an unsuccessful candidate for principal chief in the 1903 election, he was federally appointed in 1917 and served as chief until his death on December 2, 1920.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. David Baird, ed., A Creek Warrior for the Confederacy: The Autobiography of Chief G. W. Grayson (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988). Angie Debo, The Road to Disappearance: A History of the Creek Indians (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1941). Mary Jane Warde, George Washington Grayson and the Creek Nation, 1843-1920 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999).
Mary Jane Warde
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