By Steven C. Hahn
The tale of Mary Musgrove (1700–1764), a Creek Indian–English girl suffering for achievement in colonial society, is an implausible one.
As a literate Christian, entrepreneur, and spouse of an Anglican clergyman, Mary was once certainly one of a small variety of “mixed blood” Indians to accomplish a place of prominence between English colonists. Born to a Creek mom and an English father, Mary’s bicultural historical past ready her for an eventful maturity spent within the tough and tumble international of Colonial Georgia Indian affairs.
Active in international relations, exchange, and politics—affairs as a rule ruled by means of men—Mary labored as an interpreter among the Creek Indians and the colonists—although a few argue that she did so for her personal profits, changing translations to sway transactions in her desire. Widowed two times within the leading of her existence, Mary and her successive husbands claimed massive tracts of land in Georgia (illegally, as British officers may have it) by way of advantage of her Indian history, thereby souring her courting with the colony’s governing officers and critically straining the colony’s dating with the Creek Indians.
Using Mary’s lifestyles as a story thread, Steven Hahn explores the attached histories of the Creek Indians and the colonies of South Carolina and Georgia. He demonstrates how the fluidity of race and gender kinfolk at the southern frontier finally succumbed to extra inflexible hierarchies that supported the region’s rising plantation system.