Gaines, George Strother

Gaines, George Strother, c.1784–1873, Alabama pioneer, b. Stokes co., N.C.; brother of Edmund Pendleton Gaines. From 1806 to 1819 he was U.S. factor and Indian agent at Saint Stephens, a strategic post on the Tombigbee River near the disputed West Florida boundary. Gaines's influence over the Choctaw kept them from joining Tecumseh's confederation against the Americans. He opened Gaines Trace from the Tennessee River to the Tombigbee and aided the settlers who poured into the Alabama country after 1816. When the Choctaw were to be removed beyond the Mississippi, they insisted that Gaines, whom they considered a friend, join their chiefs in selecting their lands, and Gaines later accompanied them on their migration. He served (1825–27) in the Alabama senate and later gained wealth as a merchant in Mobile, retiring in 1856 to his plantation at State Line, Miss.

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