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Grant number like: FT-55643-08

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Steven Christopher Hahn
St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN 55057-1574)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 8/31/2008

Mary Musgrove: A Life on the Southern Frontier

The proposed project is a monograph-length historical biography of Mary Musgrove (ca. 1700-1764), a woman of Creek Indian and English ancestry who became one of colonial Georgia's most influential early residents due to her activities in Indian affairs as a trader, interpreter, and diplomat. Using Mary's story as its narrative thread, the proposed book expands upon existing work depicting her life as simply a "chapter" in Georgia history. Rather, it places Mary in a regional context and explores her years spent among the Creek Indians and in the colony of South Carolina, where she lived roughly half of her life. Moreover, two central themes of my book are the subjects of race and gender as they apply more broadly to the colonial Deep South. The atypicality of Mary's life, I argue, illustrates the process by which the fluidity of race and gender relations on the early southern frontier succumbed to more rigid hierarchies that buttressed the region's emerging plantation system.