Influential Women: Molly Brant and the Countess Markievicz

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Though the worlds of native America and the Celtic lands seem drastically different, they share many characteristics and themes, especially two remarkable women in the throws of two revolutions against Britain. Molly Brant was a notable native woman who transcended the traditional roles for women to become not only a clan mother to the Iroquois but a loyalist chief. The Countess Markievicz was an aristocrat who joined the Irish independence movement and left her mark in the political sphere as a leading lady of Irish history. These two women demanded attention in the political sphere where women were not normally tolerated and were recognized by men and women around them however they dealt with their power in different avenues and allowed it to affect their personal lives differently. Molly Brant___________________________________________________ Molly Brant was born in 1736 on a village near the Mohawk River in eastern New York. Her parents Peter and Margaret, having undergone a conversion to Christianity, christened her Mary Degonwadonti. A short while after her little brother Joseph was born, Peter died and Margaret remarried Canagaraduncka Brant, a man of Mohawk and Dutch heritage and Molly gained a step-brother Nikaus Brant. It was here that Molly Brant became somewhat assimilated into white culture by living in a European style house and wearing cloth clothing instead of the traditional Mohawk buckskin. She was exposed to the British colonists and the English language which she learned to write during her childhood. Nikaus Brant introduced her to her lifetime companion, a friend William Johnson. Johnson was an Irishman who endeavored to become a successful trader by learning the Mohawk language and treating them fair... ... middle of paper ... ...d ed. New York: Routledge, 2001. Carson, James T. “Molly Brant: From Clan Mother to Loyalist Chief.” In Sifters: Native American Women's Lives, Theda Perdue, 48-59. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2001. Eichacker, Joanne M. Irish Republican Women in America: Lecture Tours 1916-1925. Portland: Irish Academic Press, 2003. Feister, Lois M., and Bonnie Pulis. "Molly Brant: Her Domestic and Political Roles in Eighteenth-Century New York." In Northeastern Indian Lives, 1632-1816, Robert S. Grumet, 295-320. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996. Marreco, Anne. The Rebel Countess, the Life and Times of Constance. New York: Chilton Book Company, 1967. Sonneborn, Liz. A to Z of Native American Women. New York: Facts on File, 1998. Van Voris, Jacqueline. Constance de Markievicz. First Edition. states ed. New York: Feminist Press, 1972.

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