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Products for grant FT-55643-08

Mary Musgrove: A Life on the Southern Frontier
Steven Hahn, St. Olaf College

Grant details:

The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove (Book)
Title: The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove
Author: Steven C. Hahn
Abstract: Few people in colonial America lived a life as eventful or 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 spent 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 such a position of 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 atypicality 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.
Year: 2012
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Type: Single author monograph