George Galphin was born in Ireland in 1708 to Barbara and Thomas Galphin, a linen weaver by trade. Once he arrived in America, he found work from Brown, Rae, and Company, a trading firm based out of Augusta.
Silver Bluff was established by George Galphin, originally a native of Northern Ireland, as early as 1739 or during the 1740s. Galphin, the son of a weaver, left Ireland early in his life in 1737 and served as an Indian interpreter for the colonial government during the 1740s. By mid-century, Galphin was conducting a very lucrative business in the deerskin trade and was also involved in land speculation. Besides the trade complex at Silver Bluff, Galphin also operated another post, called Old Town, along the Ogeechee River in east-central Georgia by the 1760s. His early success in the Indian trade later allowed Galphin to expand his commercial operations, and he quickly established a large plantation at Silver Bluff. By the 1760s, substantial quantities of corn, indigo, and tobacco were being produced at the plantation.