Molly Ockett with cap

MO with cap.jpg


Molly Ockett with cap


Molly Ockett was described by her contemporaries as an impressive woman, a woman possessed of "a large frame and features" and an erect carriage, even in old age. When allusion was made to this latter trait, Molly Ockett would remark, "We read, straight is the gate." She wore clothing typical of Abenaki women of her day: a knee-length European-style dress, leggings embroidered with dyed porcupine quills, beaded moccasins, and, during the colder months, a peaked cap decorated with colored beads. Aspects of her personality appear to have impressed white acquaintances as much as her physical presence. Ninety-year-old Martha Rowe of Gilead, Maine, in an interview with Dr. Nathaniel T. True in 1861, told of how she knew Molly Ockett as early as 1779, describing her as "a pretty, genteel squaw." Undoubtedly, Molly Ockett's "erect" posture made her stand out among other Abenaki of her day, but it was her proficiency with the English language, out-going personality, and expertise in the application of herbal remedies that won her the trust and affection of many white settlers. It would seem that this affection was returned by Molly Ockett in the generosity she showed to these newcomers and in her habit of greeting them upon returning from her travels with a kiss, first on one ear and then on the other.

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