About John Stuart
John Stuart (25 September 1718 – 21 March 1779) was a Scottish-born official of the British Empire in North America. He was the superintendent for the southern district of the British Indian Department from 1761 to 1779; his northern counterpart was Sir William Johnson.
Born in Inverness, by 1748 Stuart had emigrated to South Carolina, where he worked as a merchant. He became prominent in local affairs and in 1760 served as a militia captain in the Anglo-Cherokee War. Stuart was captured by the Cherokees, but was ransomed by Chief Attakullakulla and returned to South Carolina.
His familiarity with Native Americans and the frontier led to his appointment as superintendent in the Indian Department. His role was to help Great Britain and the colonies bring order to their relations with the southern Indians (the "Five Civilized Tribes"), and to prevent the recurrence of anti-British native confederations like the one that had produced Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763. Stuart's diplomacy was successful, and when the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, most native leaders in his area supported the British. During the war he fled to Georgia and then to Pensacola in the Loyalist colony of West Florida, where he died.
His home, built in 1772 in Charleston, is now known as the Colonel John Stuart House and was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1973.