1742 Mary Musgrove married her third husband was the Reverend Thomas
Bosomworth, the couple probably met though her work as an interpreter.
Thomas Bosomworth was a Christian missionary sent to the young colony.
When the marriage was announced, however, few Georgians chose to believe
it! Musgrove's marriage was a significant rise in status in a traditonal stratified society. Musgrove's, earlier
marriages were lowly in the then colonial order, but now
"respectable" society was forced to recognise the daughter of
an Indian trader and a Creek mother. Her marriageto
Thomas had bought her entry into the upper echelon of colonial society.
Thomas Bosomworth's status paired with Musgrove's skills proved to be a
powerful combination. Together they travelled into Creek villages with
messages from General James Edward Oglethorpe (founder of the colony of
Georgia) and King George II. They returned with messages from the various
Creek leaders, and hosted Creek and American visitors at their home. They
would on occasion teach Christian missionaries the Muskogee language, and
worked to mediate between the Creeks and the colonists.
Controversial Land Claim
Despite her central role in Georgia's Indian affairs, Musgrove is more
often remembered for her controversial land claims in Georgia. The
controversy began in 1737 when Yamacraw chief Tomochichi
granted her a plot of land near Savannah. The claim was unsettled when
Musgrove married Bosomworth.
In the following years Lower Creek chief Malatchi
granted the Bosomworth’s three of the Sea Islands that the Indians
claimed as their own—Ossabaw, Sapelo, and St. Catherines.
British officials, however, refused these claims on the grounds that a
nation can cede or grant land only to a nation, not to individuals.
Musgrove pursued her claims to the lands for the next decade. In 1749
more than 200 Creeks accompanied her to Savannah to support her claim.
With Georgia officials unwilling to accept the grant, Musgrove eventually
traveled to England to plead her case. In 1754
the Board of Trade heard her case and referred it to the Georgia courts.
When she returned to Georgia, the disputed land had come under Georgia
control. In 1760 a compromise was finally reached—in return for the right
to St. Catherines Island and £2,100, Musgrove
relinquished her claims to the other lands. Afterward Musgrove ceased to
play a central role in Georgia-Creek relations. She died on St. Catherines Island sometime after 1763.