Jemison, Mary

Jemison, Mary,

1743–1833, American frontierswoman. She was born at sea while her parents were en route from Ireland to America. In W Pennsylvania she was captured (1758) by a French and Indian War party, taken to Fort Duquesne, and given to two Seneca women, who adopted her. She was married twice (to a Delaware and to a Seneca) and bore eight children. Known as the White Woman of the Genesee, Mary Jemison refused to leave the Senecas, and in 1817 New York confirmed her possession of a tract of land (given her in 1797) on the Genesee River. Her story is told in a classic tale of "Indian-capture," J. E. Seaver's Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison (1824; latest ed. 1967).
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Some of the better-known quilters represented in the exhibition include Janie Avant, Mozell Benson, Maw Duncan, Nora Ezell, Dot Foster, Sallie Gladney, Floydzeller Graves, Bessie Hood, Mattie Jackson, Roberta Jemison, Mary Lucas, Mary Maxtion, Lureca Outland, Plummer T Pettway, Maggie Smith, Catherine Somerville, Sarah Mary Taylor, Pearlie Tucker, Odell Valentine and Yvonne Wells.