Converse, Harriet Maxwell (1836–1903)

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Converse, Harriet Maxwell (1836–1903)

Native American chief. Born Harriet Arnot Maxwell, Jan 11, 1836, in Elmira, NY; died Nov 18, 1903, in New York, NY; youngest of 7 children of Thomas Maxwell (lawyer) and Maria (Purdy) Maxwell; brought up by relatives in Milan, Ohio; m. George B. Clarke (part owner of the Congress Spring in Saratoga, died); m. Franklin Buchanan Converse, 1861; no children.

Made 1st contact with Seneca Nation (1881); composed the ode "The Ho-dé-no-saunee: The Confederacy of the Iroquois" (1885); adopted into the Snipe Clan of Seneca Nation; successfully lobbied to prevent break up of reservations (1891); made member of Seneca Nation (1891); became honorary chief of the Six Nations in Tonawanda, NY (1891), the 1st white woman to be named a Native American chief.

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Converse, Harriet Maxwell (1836–1903)

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