John Musgrove, Jr. (1695 - 1735) MP

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Nicknames: "Johnny Musgrove"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: South Carollina
Death: Died in north of Savannah, Georgia Colony
Cause of death: "fever" possibly malaria
Occupation: Indian Trader and Interpreter
Managed by: Erica Howton, (c)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Musgrove, Jr.

John Musgrove Jr. was born in South Carolina around 1695 and died at "Cowpen Plantation," north of Savannah, Georgia on 12 June 1735, of a fever (probably malaria). " ... a well-educated member of the Charleston gentry."

Parents: Colonel John Musgrove, Sr., an Indian Trader and negotiator from South Carolina; and a Creek woman, whose name is not known. (not confirmed)

Married:

  1. in 1716 in Creek Territory to Coosaponekeesa (ca. 1700-1767), who became known as Mary Musgrove, as her first husband; she married Jacob Mathews 2nd and the Reverend Thomas Bosomworth 3rd. Mary was the daughter of Edward Griffin, an Indian Trader of Pon Pon, South Carolina; and a Muscogee woman of the Wind Clan known as "Sister of Brims."

The children of Coosaponekeesa and John Musgrove all died young. (" I have a Georgia record that states their death.") From John Wesley's Journal, who was in Georgia at the time:

"Tuesday, November 23, 1736..Mr. Oglethorpe sailed for England. In the evening, I buried Mrs. Musgrove's only son, who would probably have been quite lost in grief, but that God diverted her from it by the pain of a violent rheumatism." The detail of his diary notes at 5PM that "Buried Ned Musgrove, etc."

Biographical Notes

Born in South Carolina around 1695, Musgrove followed in his father's footsteps as an Indian trader.

In 1716, Musgrove married Coosaponekeesa (daughter of a white trader and the niece of Brims, the principal chief of the Lower Creeks in the early 1700s), who took the name of Mary Musgrove and became an important figure in Georgia colonial history. By 1732, the Musgroves has established a successful trading post among the Yamacraw Indians on the southern banks of the Savannah River.

Mary, however, assisted as a translator for Oglethorpe in meetings with Yamacraw and Creek leaders, and she indeed assumed the key role as Oglethorpe's interpreter after the death of her husband in 1735.

In 1734, John Musgrove accompanied Oglethorpe and a Yamacraw delegation on a trip to England to interpret during their meetings with the Trustees, King George II, and others. Artist William Verelst was present to sketch the June 1734 meeting with the Trustees. He later met with each person at the meeting to accurately paint their face for the final version of the event. Below is a detail from Verelst's painting and represents the only known image of John Musgrove.

Mary, however, assisted as a translator for Oglethorpe in meetings with Yamacraw and Creek leaders, and she indeed assumed the key role as Oglethorpe's interpreter after the death of her husband in 1735.

In 1734, John Musgrove accompanied Oglethorpe and a Yamacraw delegation on a trip to England to interpret during their meetings with the Trustees, King George II, and others. Artist William Verelst was present to sketch the June 1734 meeting with the Trustees. He later met with each person at the meeting to accurately paint their face for the final version of the event. Below is a detail from Verelst's painting and represents the only known image of John Musgrove.

For his services, the Trustees granted Musgrove a 500-acre grant of land just north of Savannah. On May 15, 1735, the Trustees awarded Musgrove an exclusive license to trade with the Yamacraw and Yuchi Indians. However, in less than a month, on June 12, 1735, he died at his trading post just north of Savannah.

Sources

Footnotes

  • John Musgrove traveled as the interpreter for Tomochichi, his wife and other Creeks who sailed with Oglethorpe to England to meet the King In 1734. During this time the Musgrove’s English partner Joseph Watson drank heavily, caused extensive problems in the trading post, bragged that he helped an Indian drink himself to death, slandered Mary as a witch, tried to shoot her, and caused a sequence of events where Musgrove’s slave Justice was killed. (Colonial Records of Georgia, 20: 172-176.)
  • John Musgrove died after contracting malaria. Some accounts also report that Mary lost four sons to the disease at about the same time. (EWB, 2004)
  • Colonial Records of Georgia, 20: 439.
  • [Musgrove left] Mary with a 500-acre plantation, a large number of cattle and horses, 10 indentured servants and a thriving deerskin trade. She became the wealthiest woman on the Georgia frontier. (Distinguished Women Biographies)
  • Jane (Mongin) identity has not been established, but there is some speculation that she could have been an unknown daughter of old Indian Trader John Musgrove by a first Cherokee concubine before he married his French-Creek wife Mary Musgrove.  The reason for this speculation is that in later generations a John Due Musgrove appears in the record that seems to indicate such an early liaison by a trader named Musgrove actually took place, it and provides a basis for William Dewe’s relationship to his apparent daughter Jane. - http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tnalhn/jamesdew.htm
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John Musgrove, Jr., Indian Trader's Timeline

1695
1695
South Carollina
1715
1715
Age 20
(Present day Georgia), Creek Territory
1735
June 12, 1735
Age 40
north of Savannah, Georgia Colony