Book

The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

Steven C. Hahn

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780813042213
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043043 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813042213.001.0001
The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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Few people in colonial America lived a life as eventful or as improbable as that of Mary Musgrove (ca. 1700–1764), one of the most recognizable figures in Georgia history. Born to a Creek Indian mother and an English father, Mary's bicultural heritage prepared her for an eventful adulthood in the rough and tumble world of Georgia Indian affairs. Eventful as it was, Mary's story is also an improbable one. As a literate Christian, a trader, and wife of an Anglican clergyman, Mary was one of a very small number of “mixed blood” Indians anywhere to achieve a position of such prominence among English colonists. Active in diplomacy, trade, war, and politics, Mary was also one of the few women of her generation to engage in affairs typically dominated by men. This book is a historical biography that not only tells the story of her life, but also reflects upon its uncharacteristic features in order to examine the subjects of race and gender as they apply more broadly to the colonial Deep South. My main argument is that Mary found opportunity for social advancement in Georgia because frontier conditions initially blurred the distinction between “Indian” and “English.” In the end, the opportunity for social advancement that Mary enjoyed, brief and limited as it was, closed to subsequent generations of “mixed bloods” because the maturation of the Deep South's plantation system amplified the importance of existing racial and gender hierarchies.

Keywords: Creek Indians; South Carolina; Georgia; trade; diplomacy; Mary Musgrove; Thomas Bosomworth, Rev; women

Book.  296 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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Table of Contents

Creek Beginnings in The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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The Reeducation of Mary Griffin in The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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Mrs. Musgrove of Georgia in The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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Mary Mathewes, Malcontent in The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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Mary Bosomworth in The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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Coosaponakeesa in The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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“Your Memorialist” in The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

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