Apr 16 – Molly Brant

Apr 16 - Molly Brant

Molly Brant Koñwatsiãtsiaiéñni
Witness to faith among the Mohawks
16 April 1796

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From the Satucket Lectionary

Koñwatsiãtsiaiéñni or Mary (Molly) Brant (c.1736 – April 16, 1796) was an important Mohawk woman in the era of the American Revolution. Molly Brant has been considered the most influental woman upon the Mowhak nation.

Molly Brant was born in 1736 on the south bank of the Mowhawk river in a village called Canajoharie. It is likely she was baptised at Queen Anne’s chapel at Fort Hunter. Molly grew up an Anglican and she could speak, read, and write English.

She is sometimes described as the “head of the Six Nations matrons”, although historian Robert Allen writes that “there is no substantive evidence to suggest that Molly was ever a clan matron or mother within the Iroquois matrilineal society.” Much of Brant’s influence came from her common-law marriage to Sir William Johnson. When Johnson died in July 1774, he left each of their eight children thousands of acres of land and one-quarter of the slaves and livestock. Molly returned to Canajoharie with eight children and four slaves.

At the start of the American Revolutionary War, Molly did her best to keep the Mohawks loyal to the British. She gathered information and passed it to the British. In August, 1777 she fled her home at Canajoharie shortly before her arrest. Molly worked to keep four of the six Iroquois nations as Loyalist allies of the British Crown. One British officer considered Molly’s influence “far superior to that of all their chiefs put together”.

In 1783, she moved to Cataraqui, near Kingston, Ontario, where the government built a mansion for her and gave her a large pension. She died April 16, 1796 in Cataraqui. She is buried behind Saint Paul’s Anglican church in Kingston.

more at Wikipedia

 

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