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Cover - An Angry Drum Echoed:  Mary Musgrove, Queen of the Creeks
An Angry Drum Echoed: Mary Musgrove, Queen of the Creeks
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Pamela gives an overview of the book:

INSIDE FRONT COVER FLAP As Pocahontas was to Jamestown and Sacajawea was to the Lewis and Clark expedition, so was Mary Musgrove to the burgeoning Georgia colony. Born “Coosaponakeesa” to a Creek mother and an English father, she skillfully straddled two worlds: her Indian heritage and the English way of life. Through her influence with the Indian tribes, Mary encouraged the chiefs to meet with General Oglethorpe in Savannah, leading to the peaceful establishment of an English colony in Indian territory. Although she won the esteem of the English settlers, she eventually became a thorn in the side of the newly formed colonial government. After ten years without pay for her diplomatic and interpretive services, she led her Creek tribesmen in a relentless march through the streets of Savannah to demand justice. BACK COVER...
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INSIDE FRONT COVER FLAP

As Pocahontas was to Jamestown and Sacajawea was to the Lewis and Clark expedition, so was Mary Musgrove to the burgeoning Georgia colony.

Born “Coosaponakeesa” to a Creek mother and an English father, she skillfully straddled two worlds: her Indian heritage and the English way of life. Through her influence with the Indian tribes, Mary encouraged the chiefs to meet with General Oglethorpe in Savannah, leading to the peaceful establishment of an English colony in Indian territory.

Although she won the esteem of the English settlers, she eventually became a thorn in the side of the newly formed colonial government. After ten years without pay for her diplomatic and interpretive services, she led her Creek tribesmen in a relentless march through the streets of Savannah to demand justice.


BACK COVER

The compelling story of this brave, resourceful and tireless Queen of the Creeks will inspire and intrigue you. Mary Musgrove triumphed over savage discrimination, unimaginable personal adversity and an unrequited love for the founder of Georgia. As General Oglethorpe’s interpreter and emissary to the Indians, she smoothed the path to cooperation between the Creeks and the colonists, perhaps single-handedly insuring the survival of the colony of Georgia.

Arguably the most important woman in the history of Georgia, Mary Musgrove guided the Creek nation through the treacherous waters of international intrigue during the dramatic conquest of a hemisphere.

Join master storyteller Pamela Bauer Mueller (Neptune’s Honor, Hello, Goodbye, I Love You, The Kiska Trilogy) as she recounts an unforgettable period in Georgia colonial history through the eyes of one of its key players.

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Prologue - An Angry Drum Echoed: Mary Musgrove, Queen of the Creeks

“Listen to your heart, my Coosa,” Mother Et-Ské used to tell me.

I remember this as I lean forward in my chair on the porch of the plantation house. The ocean’s waves lap leisurely at the shore, as if worn out after a long night’s work. Soon the sea will become angry, and I love an angry sea. I know from the fast-rolling black clouds that rain is coming, bringing thrashing whitecaps and an angry roar. The power of the ocean steals my breath and pierces my soul. Closing my eyes, my mind circles around memories that have been haunting me throughout another sleepless night.

I hold the letter in my right hand; that same hand that wears the diamond ring he gave me so many years ago. As I whisper the written words to the soft winds, I can feel his strength flowing out through my mouth, and returning to me as I hear them spoken. I sense an echo of nostalgic longing in those words.

Why is he looking for me after so many years? Perhaps he wants to complete the circle, as we have both grown old. Contemplation makes my heart hurt.

The early morning mist lifts its thick curtain and the heavy moss-draped oak trees make their daylight debut before my eyes. Rays of the sun turn everything pink--waves, clouds, and even the sandy beach.

I hear movements in the summer kitchen. My husband Thomas is talking to our bondservant Sarah, asking her to prepare acorn coffee. Soon she will bring it out to me, and again I will have to look into her duplicitous eyes. Can they possibly believe I am ignorant of their schemes? A wistful smile spreads across my lips. To think I trusted Thomas with my secrets and my soul.

My black wolf pelt, worn and tattered from years of wear, rests heavily on my lap, mildly warming my legs. The amulet Medicine Woman had given me to ward off danger nestles snuggly in a leather pouch around my neck. I gently run my fingers over the smooth fur of the pelt, allowing my mind to drift back to latent memories.

The pain I had endured fighting for my heritage somehow both softened and empowered me. In the end, as a daughter of both the Creek and English nations, I was able to keep the peace between them.

I must have dozed off. The coffee is cold on the silver coffee tray beside me. Was I dreaming or is James inviting me to England? My fingers still hold the letter under my black pelt. I pull it out and read it again.

After more than twenty years, James wants me at his side again. Is this a lifeline, thrown out to me just as I am going down for the last time? So long ago we were drawn together in a merging of souls. With him, I had experienced a renewal of something I’d thought I’d lost forever-a sense of passion.

As I have frequently done during my sixty-four years, I now turn my thoughts to Et-Ské and ask her for advice.

Mother, You sit with the Great Spirit of my Indian ancestors and with the Lord God of all men. Please guide me in this final part of my life’s journey. Your truth has led me to places I never intended to go. Now I have been given one last opportunity to recover the hope in my heart. Et-Ské, please empower me to choose wisely.

I wait for her with closed eyes, listening to the squawking of the sea gulls searching for their prey.

Write it all down, Coosaponakeesa. Write for your soul; write for your life. When you have finished, you will have your answer. Listen to your heart.

I rise up slowly and walk toward my room; toward light and air and an uncertain tomorrow. So many things in life are shaded at the edges of uncertainty. Yet I feel hope washing over me as I answer my mother aloud.

“Yes, dear Et-Ské. I will follow your counsel.”

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AUTHOR’S NOTE

Mary Musgrove’s life was as dramatic and colorful as any fictional character, yet she was a real flesh-and-blood woman. I couldn’t have invented for her a life this dynamic and unforeseen. Yet these qualities are only part of what makes her the most interesting and courageous woman in early Georgia history.

Despite her important historical status and larger-than-life accomplishments, she remains virtually unknown to most Georgians outside a small group of scholars. Her life was filled with contradictions: born into a Creek society built on pagan customs, she later associated with British luminaries and Oxford graduates, including the famous Christian missionaries Charles and John Wesley.

Mary Musgrove’s story is scattered through voluminous letters, diaries and journals: official documents of the Colonial period. But very little is known about her childhood and parentage. Searching deeper for her story, I was pleasantly surprised to find pieces of her inside my own heart. Mary’s story became so intriguing that I decided to write it in the first person.

All the central characters in this story are real; most events in the book are factual, including the births, deaths, battles and journeys. Most research information came from university dissertations, historical documents, and fellow authors who held Mary in high esteem and recognized her importance.

Stepping out of the crowd gathered on Yamacraw Bluff to meet General Oglethorpe, she grasped her strange destiny’s star. I felt privileged to ride with her as that star illuminated her two worlds, touching so many with its splendor. When the star exploded I crashed along with Mary, mourning her tremendous losses and grieving at the injustices she was forced to endure.
Her story is a legend that has left a vivid imprint on colonial Georgia history. May you appreciate her as much as I do.

About Pamela

2008 Georgia Author of the Year Pamela Bauer Mueller was raised in Oregon and graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She worked as a flight attendant for Pan American Airlines before moving to Mexico City, where she lived for eighteen years....

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Author's Publishing Notes

Awards and Honors for "An Angry Drum Echoed" 2008 Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Young Adult Category. 2008 Silver Medal Winner! Independent Publisher Book Awards South East Regional Fiction category. 2008 ForeWord Magazine's "Book of the Year Award" Historical Fiction Finalist. 2008 Southern Independent Book Sellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award nominee. 2007 USA Book News Best Book Award Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction and Literature category.