AbstractsWomens Studies

An Iroquois Woman Between Two Worlds: Molly Brant and the American Revolution

by Benjamin David Kern

Institution: Miami University
Department: History
Degree: MA
Year: 2013
Keywords: History; Molly Brant; borderlands; American Revolution; Iroquois women; imperial relationships; cultural power
Record ID: 2023069
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=miami1376538884


This thesis examines the historical significance of Molly Brant, a Mohawk clan mother, in the late eighteenth century. Brant was famous for helping maintain the Covenant Chain alliance between the Six Nations and the British Empire in the Revolutionary War. Scholars, however, often misrepresent Brant as an important figure because she was an exceptional example of Iroquois women due to unique elements of her life such as her partnership with Sir William Johnson, the British Indian Superintendent. To better understand the actions of Molly Brant, her life needs to be placed within the imperial world of relationships in Iroquoia, the Six Nations homeland. The foundations of Iroquoian society were personal relationships among Iroquois peoples as well as intercultural interactions with British colonists dictated by Iroquois women. This thesis asserts that Molly Brant was an important historical figure because she exemplifies the power and significance of the various relationships in Iroquoia.