Molly Ockett in Canoe

MO in canoe.jpg


Molly Ockett in Canoe


One of Molly Ockett's outstanding traits was her ability to move easily in and out of the white communities. In her lifetime, she saw her native world devastated—her people killed, their land taken, and their resources depleted or destroyed—and yet she repeatedly showed kindness and sympathy toward individuals descended from the very people who had carried out these acts, making one wonder if she didn't carry a deeply-rooted, but suppressed, resentment against white folk in general. In any event, stories of gloom and doom seem relatively rare in connection with her life. More typical are recollections of her friendship with the settlers with whom she maintained close contact while on her travels. She often took her meals with them and repeatedly demonstrated a particular fondness for rum. Dr. Nathaniel T. True, writing in 1863, told of one occasion when Molly Ockett visited the Dr. Moses Mason House, now owned by the Bethel Historical Society:

When provided with a glass in any of the families which she visited, she would become very loquacious and entertain her company with stories and amusing anecdotes. . . . Her shrewdness was well shown on a visit at the Hon. Moses Mason's in Bethel. She asked for some rum. The Doctor knowing her weakness in this respect, poured out a half glass, being an allowance much smaller than usual, and told her this was all he had for her. "J-e-s-t enough," was her quick reply, as she devined the Doctor's motive.

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