Eighteen for Mercy character: French Mary

FRENCH MARY

The beautiful, fiery youngest of the Chalfont siblings.  Sister to Etienne/Black Cloud and half-sister to Stone Catcher.

Born in the Munsee Delaware village of Cussewago near the Allegheny River, the mixed blood French-Munsee woman lived a life very different fro that of her brother and half-brother. Her’s was a life of internal conflict which was fostered by living in multiple “worlds” and competing religions.  Taken away from her native village at a young age, Marie Chalfont, her baptized name, spent several years in Quebec Province, living with a wealthy French-Canadian family where she learned the language of the French and the English, the Roman Catholic religion into which she was baptized, and was educated in reading, writing, and some of the finer things that belonged to the Whites of the time.  Torn away from this world, she was returned to her native Munsee village, very much against her will.  She was head strong, obstinate, continued her French customs and language where she could, earning her the name of “French Mary.”

Reaching her early adulthood, the tall, dark skinned beauty with the light brown hair, having little to no resemblance to her Munsee origins, was forced by her mother to leave her tribe and join the Moravian missionaries, “converting” to their form of Christianity.  French Mary moved to the Moravian settlement of Salem, on the Tuscarawas branch of the Muskigum River in Ohio country.  Although outwardly embracing the Moravian beliefs, French Mary secretly continued her own private worship of Roman Catholicism and often found herself often at odds with her Moravian teachers.  One great exception was her respect and admiration for the great Munsee war chief turned National Assistant of the Moravians, Isaac Glickhiccan.   Mary married a Moravian Christian Delaware named Stephen, had two children, LaBelle (Margaret) and Simon.   Stephen was murdered by some freebooters during a trip to Fort Pitt, instilling a deep hatred for the Long Knives (Virginian and Pennsylvanian settlers) in Mary.

Torn from her town and relocated by her British allies, Mary became openly blamed the British and their Munsee allies for the deprivations and starvation she and the others endured.  But following the massacre at Gnadenhutten by the Washington County militia,  she became a woman completely transformed.  She would leave her Moravian society and join her brother Black Cloud at Captain Pipes village. Returning to her tribal ways, Mary did away with her linsey-woolsey Christian Indian garments, dawned doeskins, and  became an open combatant in the revenge the Delaware sought against the Whites.  She adopted the persona of Queen Esther Montour and set about exacting personal revenge on those who had been responsible for the tragic death of her son.   Meanwhile, she pursued a romantic relationship with a Sergeant in Butlers’s Rangers, Jonathan Symes.  He would return her love,  but this veteran of frontier warfare was often astonished, even shocked, at how this fair-haired beauty could suddenly become a callous and cruel savage.

French Mary would meet her greatest challenge when having to choose between her continued pursuit of revenge and her love of Jonathan, and for her children.

2020-02-26T20:07:13+00:00February 4th, 2020|Uncategorized|