Mary Musgrave 

 

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Musgrave, MARY, Indian interpreter; was a half-breed Creek, and wife of John Musgrave, a South Carolina trader. She lived in a hut at Yamacraw, poor and ragged. Finding she could speak English, Oglethorpe employed her as interpreter, with a salary of $500 a year. Her husband died, and she married a man named Mathews. He, too, died, and about 1749 she became the wife of Thomas Bosomworth, chaplain of Oglethorpe's regiment, a designing knave, who gave the colony much trouble. He had become heavily indebted to Carolinians for cattle, and, to acquire fortune and power, he persuaded Mary to assert that she had descended in a maternal line from an Indian king, and to claim a right to the whole Creek territory. She accordingly proclaimed herself empress of the Creeks, disavowed all allegiance to the English, summoned a general convocation of the Creek chiefs, and recounted the wrongs she had suffered at the hands of the English. Inflamed by her harangue, dictated by Bosomworth, the Indians pledged themselves to defend her royal person and lands. The English were ordered to leave; and, at the head of a large body of warriors, Mary marched towards Savannah. The white inhabitants, led by President Stephens, armed and prepared to meet them. The Indians were not permitted to enter the town with arms. Then Bosomworth, in full canonicals, with his " queen " by his side, marched in, followed by sachems and chiefs, greatly terrifying the people by their formidable appearance. The prudent Stephens, ordering Bosomworth to withdraw, told the assembled Indians who Mary was, what kind of a character her husband was, and how they had been deceived. They saw the matter clearly, smoked the pipe of peace with the English, and returned to their homes. After giving more trouble, Mary and her husband were put into close confinement; but finally, confessing their errors and craving pardon, they were allowed to depart from Savannah.

 

 

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