Work Title: An Angry Drum Echoed: Mary Musgrove, Queen of the Creeks
Work Author(s): Pamela Bauer Mueller
5 b/w illustrations, 296 pages, Hardcover $18.95
Reviewer: KaaVonia Hinton
"Dear Mary, only you can guarantee the complete loyalty of the Yamacraws and the other Creeks," pleaded General James Ogelthorpe in 1736, just three years after establishing the colony of Georgia with Mary Musgrove's help. Born around 1700 to a Creek mother and an English father, Mary learned the language, religion, and culture of both of her parents, enabling her to diplomatically serve as interpreter and representative of both Creek and English interests. In the prologue to this fictionalized account of her life, Mary ponders her lifelong commitment to helping foster Indian and English camaraderie. "As a daughter of both the Creek and English nations, I was able to keep the peace between them."
When Mary married Englishman John Musgrove, the governor asked the couple to establish a trading post and encourage Indians to move near it. They were so successful, he later told them about a group of colonists due to arrive in 1732; he hoped they would "assist the English and smooth the way with the resident Indians." Despite Mary's hard work, English trustees refused to fully compensate her or recognize her right to land she acquired. Followed by an army of Native Americans beating angrily on drums, Mary demanded land from English officials.
Though the first person narrative does much to transport the reader to Mary's time and location, a...