Browse Items (5850 total)

"Great Dying"

great dying.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

King Philip's War (1675-1676), a brief but bloody conflict between Native Americans and English colonists in southern New England, marked a turning point in 17th century encounters between Indians and Europeans. However, it was not the worst…

Indian Fort

Indian fort.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

A major focal point of Molly Ockett's world was Pigwacket, the ancient Indian enclave at present-day Fryeburg, Maine. This late 16th century representation of an East Coast Algonquian village conveys something of Pigwacket's appearance in the…

Fryeburg 1880 map

Fryeburg 1880 map.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

The village of Pigwacket was the scene of one of the most widely known military events in colonial New England history when, on May 8, 1725, thirty-four English scalp hunters led by the daring Captain John Lovewell engaged some forty Abenaki led by…

Lovewell monument

Lovewell monument.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

A monument commemorating the "Battle of Lovewell's Pond" was erected at Fryeburg in 1904 by the Society of Colonial Wars. The monument's plaque states, "To mark the field of Lovewell's Fight on the 8th day of May 1725 between a company of…

1613 Saco, Maine map

Saco map.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Like other Native Americans inhabiting northern New England, the Pigwackets were a semi-nomadic people, moving easily up and down river in light birchbark canoes in pursuit of sustenance. This 1613 map of Saco, Maine, by Samuel de Champlain includes…

Plymouth, MA

Plymouth, MA.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

During King George's War, a handful of Pigwacket men volunteered to fight for the English in exchange for protection for their families. In June of 1744, the Pigwacket chieftains Saquant and Weranmanhead (one of whom may have been Molly Ockett's…

Mitchell map

Mitchell map.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

In this detail from John Mitchell's 1755 Map of the British and French Dominions in North America, we have an intimate view of Molly Ockett's world at the outbreak of the so-called French and Indian War (1755-59), when many Abenaki found safe haven…

Robert Rogers

Robert Rogers.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Known to the Abenaki as "the White Devil," Major Robert Rogers of the British Army was ordered to neutralize New France's Native allies in 1759. Showing little mercy, Rogers and his Rangers destroyed Odanak (or "Arasagunticook," as it was then…

View of Paris Hill, 1802

Paris Hill view.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Molly Ockett and others of her kin-group were in the Bethel area in the mid-1760s and witnessed the clearing of land and the construction of houses as white people arrived to usurp the former Abenaki territory. The civilizing tendencies of these…

1795 Carleton map

Carleton map.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Abenaki survival in post-Revolutionary Maine (delineated here in a 1795 map by Osgood Carleton), as well as other parts of northern New England, depended on accommodation to the white man's world. Often camping near the newly laid out communities…

Hanover intervale

Hanover intervale.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

The first white settlers to venture into this region discovered something the Abenaki had known for generations: the level "intervales" alongside the Androscoggin and other rivers contained amazingly fertile soils that were ideal for raising a…

Indian teepee

Indian teepee.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Despite her familiarity with the ways of the white settlers, Molly Ockett practiced an Indian style of living during her travels throughout the area, including trips to northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Canada. Stopping at favorite campsites and…

Molly Ockett with cap

MO with cap.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

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,…

Molly Ockett's daughter's baptismal record

baptismal record.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Molly Ockett's residence in Canada following Rogers' 1759 raid on Odanak may have been quite lengthy, as the baptism of her first living child, Marie Marguerite Joseph ("Molly Susup"), took place at the mission church at Odanak on May 31, 1764. The…

Statue at Odanak

statue at Odanak.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Molly Ockett's religious faith and moral character were much admired by her white friends, and were often commented upon in their recollections. For example, Silvanus Poor of Andover wrote, "When she was traveling and felt in a pious mood, she…

Bag of Corn

bag of corn.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Molly Ockett's generous nature is well documented by Henry Tufts, who met her in the 1770s. In his autobiography, published in 1807, Tufts records an instance of her generosity to a white man from Pigwacket (Fryeburg), who found himself without food…

Trap in Tree

trap in tree.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Molly Ockett had a reputation, especially among the white settlers, as a talented storyteller. Because of her ability to relate stories of the past in great detail, her listeners became convinced that she was present during the events she described.…

Molly Ockett in Canoe

MO in canoe.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

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…

Molly Ockett birchbark box

Molly Ockett birchbark box.jpg

Physical Object / Available Online

This small birchbark box with cover, decorated with dyed porcupine quills, was made by Molly Ockett for the family of Israel Kimball (1769-1829) of Middle Intervale (Bethel) and is now in the collection of the Bethel Historical Society; a larger box…



Still Image / Available Online

Molly Ockett's intimate understanding of the natural environment and her use of herbal remedies to cure many of the afflictions of both Indians and white settlers earned her the respect and gratitude of those around her. Henry Tufts called her "the…

Henry Tufts book

Henry Tufts book.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

One of the earliest and most detailed accounts of Molly Ockett's life comes from a book about Henry Tufts (1748-1831), a shady character who lived among the Abenaki of western Maine between the spring of 1772 and the spring of 1775, a three-year…

Indian Raid map

Indian Raid map.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

This map pinpoints sites connected with New England's Last Indian Raid of August 2-3, 1781: (1) Indians venture south from Umbagog Lake; (2) Barker homestead on Sunday River attacked; (3) Captives taken at Clark house in Bethel; (4) Gilead settler…

Segar narrative

Segar title page.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

One of the most interesting documents relating to Anglo-Indian relations during the Revolutionary War is the "captivity narrative" of the early Bethel settler Nathaniel Segar, published in 1825. It was at the time of the Last Indian Raid in New…

Indian Raid 1931

Indian Raid 1931.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

In August 1931, the people of Bethel celebrated the 150th anniversary of New England's Last Indian Raid with a parade, speeches, a special edition of the local paper, and a "pageant" meant to recreate that long-ago skirmish. The grand climax of this…

Early view of Boston

Boston early view.jpg

Still Image / Available Online

Around 1800-1805, Molly Ockett is said to have resided for a year in Boston with the family of a Colonel Clark, whose life she reportedly had saved in 1781. Though she probably had visited the city in her youth, Molly Ockett yearned for the North…