Overview of Chapter Three
Mary Hoople

Mary Hoople was a frontierswoman of German descent who survived childhood abduction by natives, two continental wars, and the relentless pursuit of a lecherous Metis, to achieve the age of ninety-one. Along the way, she became a healer of natives and whites according to aboriginal traditions and despite living in Canada, was commended for her compassion by American President James Madison after she saved the life of a wounded US soldier in the War of 1812. Her family’s Hoople Creek now feeds into the St. Lawrence River near Long Sault, Ontario across from Massena, New York.


In 1851 — his 101st year — Jacob Sheets tearfully traded war stories with the nephew he hadn’t seen in more than seventy years. His recent blindness kept him from seeing John Whitmore’s overwhelmed expression during the emotional exchange that took place near Hoople Creek by the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River.

Also present at the poignant reunion was John Whitmore’s older sister Mary Hoople with whom he had been abducted as a child by Delaware warriors during the ‘Whitmore massacre’. The three had not been together since. Mary mastered native medicine in her teen years and half a century later was still highly regarded on both sides the border.