Mcginn, Sarah Cass

McGinn, Sarah Cass (b. 1717) Loyalist supporter (worked with many Native Americans): When she was a child, McGinn was befriended by the Iroquois, who took her as one of their own people. She got married, but was widowed in 1755. Her family's property was confiscated once the Revolutionary War began, since her family was Royalist. McGinn was often interrogated, and was offered money and security protection to work for independence and to gain the support of the Native Americans for the patriots. After she refused, she escaped to join the British forces in Fort Stanwix. McGinn was sent to Canada to secure Cayuga loyalty to the British. When the British were defeated at Saratoga, American General Schuyler sent a group of Native Americans to the Six Nations to warn them to reconcile to the Americans, but McGinn stopped their progress and convinced them to spread a message more favorable to the British. Since the Iroquois nations were matrilineal, and matrons held positions of authority, McGinn was able to speak and be heard in tribal councils. She urged Cayugas and Senecas to continue their fierce attacks on the frontier, although an army invaded the Six Nations in 1779 in retaliation, destroying most of their towns. McGinn was politically active and influential to a degree that was impossible for women living in European-American colonial society..