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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on the Mary Brant or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Mary Brant a.k.a. Konwatsi’tsiaiénni worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Mary Brant was a Kanyen’kehà:ka Haudenosaunee (Mohawk Iroquois) leader. Her native name Konwatsi’tsiaiénni in the Mohawk language, meant: “someone lends her a flower.”
- She was born in 1736 to Margaret Onagsakearat and Peter (Tehowaghwengaraghkwin). Her younger brother, Joseph (Thayendanegea) was born at Cuyahoga near Akron, Ohio.
- Born from a distinguished family, Mary was educated and learned about the European way of life at one of the Church of England mission schools in the Mohawk Valley.
- As given to her at adulthood in a customary mark of passage, Brant received the Mohawk name Degonwadonti or Tekonwatonti, meaning “many opposed to one.”
- She became Sir William Johnson’s consort and bore him eight children. He was the first superintendent of the northern Indigenous peoples in British North America.
- Peter, their firstborn was born in 1759 and served the military.
- After her husband died in 1774, she left Johnson’s property to his first-born with his first common-law wife, Catherine Weissenberg.
ROLE IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
- During the American Revolutionary War that broke out in 1775, hostilities between Great Britain and the American colonies forced people to take sides. She chose and remained loyal to the British crown.
- Mary Brant fed and helped the British forces while persuading the rest of her Iroquoian people to fight for the crown.
- In August 6, 1777, the Loyalists and their Indigenous allies successfully ambushed the Americans at the Battle Oriskany.
- This was all thanks to her intelligence information on American movements and supply of ammunition to the British forces.
- In retaliation, the Oneida (an Indigenous nation in Canada) attacked and ruined her residence at Canajoharie and Fort Hunter, leaving her with very little possessions.
- She and her family took refuge Onondaga near Syracuse, New York and continued persuading her Indigenous allies to remain loyal to the King.
- Sadly, her son, Peter, died young while serving with the 26th Regiment of Foot during the American Revolutionary War in 1777.
- In the fall, Brant moved to Niagara to serve as an diplomat, helping the British by advising and interceding with their Indigenous allies (Mohawk and Iroquois).
- On the course of the conflict from 1779 to 1780, Brant’s strong influence helped keep the Six Nations settlement at Carleton Island, from revolting against King George III.
- In the final years of the Revolution, the United States attempted to offer Brant compensation if she would return with her family to the Mohawk Valley, she refused.
- On the other hand, Great Britain granted her land and an annual pension of £100 for her wartime service and loyalty, as well as free education for her children.
- After the war, Mary helped found St. George’s parish in Kingston in 1785 and continued leading her people until her death on April 16, 1796, at about age 60.
HONORS AND AWARDS
- In 1986, Brant was honored by Canada Post with a stamp designed by Sara Tyson. Then in 1994, the federal government’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated her as a National Historic Person.
- In the Johnson Hall State Historic Site in New York, a presentation and interpretation of her public and private roles for visitors is placed.
- Her life was commemorated with the creation of a bust, along with historic monument at the front entrance of Rideaucrest Home on Rideau Street in Kingston.
- A historic plaque at Rideaucrest Home was also erected saying “A Mohawk woman of great diplomatic skill, Molly Brant exerted an extraordinary influence on the powerful Iroquois confederacy… Brant’s tireless efforts helped preserve Canada from American conquest.”
- From 2005 – 2015, the Molly Brant Foundation was established to conduct Indigenous research in the Kingston area.
- An opera entitled “The Molly Brant One Woman Opera”, composed by Augusta Cecconi-Bates, was performed at St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston on April 25, 2003, under the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation production team.
- In 2015, Molly Brant was selected by the Limestone District School Board trustees as the name for a new elementary public school located on Lyons Street on Queen Elizabeth Collegiate property.
- She may also appear controversial for remaining loyal to the preservation of her people, yet involving them in a dispute that wrested their lands from them and left them dispossessed.
- But supporters also say she was acting in accordance with and in behalf of the laws of her people, attempting to maintain negotiations and an alliance with those she believed as the greatest allies to the Iroquois.
Mary Brant a.k.a. Konwatsi’tsiaiénni Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Mary Brant a.k.a. Konwatsi’tsiaiénniacross 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mary Brant a.k.a. Konwatsi’tsiaiénni worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Mary Brant (byname Molly Brant) who was a Native American leader, an influential and effective Iroquois ally to Great Britain in the American Revolution and later a founder of Kingston, Ontario.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mary Brant Facts
- Mary’s World
- An Icon
- Joseph Brant
- The Revolutionary War
- Mary Stamp
- A Strong Woman
- The Mohawk Tribe
- Notable Mohawk Women
- Mohawk Names
- A Meaningful Life
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Use With Any Curriculum
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