The longer I write this column, the more powerful I feel. For me, the name Kate has become synonymous with courageous—and this installment takes it to a Revolutionary level.
The year was 1779 when a woman affectionately called Mammy Kate rescued Stephen Heard, the governor of colonial Georgia, from a headless future. On February 14th, Gov. Heard—along with 22 other patriots—were captured by the Loyalist Tories during the Battle of Kettle Creek. Transferred to Fort Cornwallis in Augusta, Georgia (some 50 miles away) he was imprisoned, pending public hanging for his treason against the British Crown.
Enter Mammy Kate, an unlikely heroine in this crusade.
Towering over 6 feet tall and reported to be as strong as she was fearless, Mammy Kate was legally considered Heard’s property, Mammy Kate was an enslaved servant in his household. We know little of her background; the records seem to indicate that she was of pure African blood and by her own testimony the daughter of a king. Her actions during the aftermath of the Battle of Kettle Creek show her to have been a shrewd and valiant warrior worthy of such noble status.