Mary Brant

Mary Brant, or Konwatsi'tsiaiénni, meaning "someone lends her a flower," Mohawk, (b c1736; d at Kingston 16 Apr 1796). Mary, or Molly Brant as she was generally known, was one of the most important women in North American Indigenous history. From her influential position as head of a society of Six Nations matrons, she enjoyed a much greater status than her more colourful younger brother, Joseph Brant. She was consulted by the Indigenous people on matters of importance. Much of her power also came from her relationship with Sir William Johnson, first superintendent of the northern Indigenous people of British North America, whom the Six Nations honoured as a good friend and adviser.

In her late teens Molly became Johnson's consort. The attractive and intelligent woman presided over his household with great ability and managed his estate in the Mohawk Valley, NY, during his frequent absences. After his death (1774) she and her brother Joseph remained staunch Loyalists. Molly rendered invaluable assistance to the Crown by encouraging the Six Nations to keep their alliance with England. At the end of the war she moved to Cataraqui [Kingston, Ontario].