Montour Family

Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Montour Family

MONTOUR FAMILY. Elizabeth Catherine "Madam" Montour was born at Trois-Rivières, Quebec, in 1667, the daughter of Pierre Couc dit Lafleur and his Algonquian wife, Marie Miteouamigoukoue. Her family was involved in the Indian trade, which is how she met Roland Montour, a Seneca, whom she married, spending the rest of her life among the Iroquois. Madam Montour, as she was widely known, was employed as an interpreter by New York's governor, Robert Hunter, and served in the same capacity for the Iroquois on many occasions. Her first husband was killed in the early 1720s, apparently while fighting the Catawba in South Carolina. In 1727 she married Carondowana, an Oneida chief. She died near the town named in her honor, Montoursville, Pennsylvania, in 1753.

Madam Montour's son, Andrew, also known as Sattelihu, was an accomplished linguist, serving as an interpreter at many conferences between colonial governments and Indians. He received a captain's commission from Virginia in 1754 and served as a guide for British and allied Indians during the Seven Years' War, being present at both Fort Necessity and Braddock's defeat. Pennsylvania rewarded him with two land grants. He died in 1772.

Andrew Montour's son, John, also served as an interpreter for the British and the American colonists. During the Revolution he led a company of Delaware Indians allied to the rebels.

Madam Montour's niece, "French Margaret," married an Indian and had daughters named Catherine and Esther. The latter married a ruling chief and lived near Tioga. She may have taken part in the Wyoming Valley Massacre and was accused of murdering prisoners.

SEE ALSO Wyoming Valley Massacre, Pennsylvania.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles

More From