Letter: The facts about Duston
As a descendent of Hannah Duston, I am writing to object to the offensive representation of her by Paul Pouliot in Ray Duckler’s poorly researched, one-side column (“A new tribute to Native Americans,” Monitor front page, Dec. 4).
Let’s consider the facts: Hannah Duston was kidnapped from her home at the point of a weapon, along with her child, and by warriors whose language she did not speak. She was certainly abused, terrorized and most likely raped. She had no idea where she was being taken, and her child was later killed. Was she angry? Yes. Was she scared? Darn right. Did she know she was to be, as Pouliot puts it, “Integrated into a tribal family?” No. Killed or enslaved, boy, what a choice!
Duston did what was needed to escape. In Lowell, Mass., Duston was not celebrated for “violence to an extreme,” she was celebrated for her bravery and for giving courage to other settlers. Today, the Hannah Duston memorial is a disgrace, and part of that blame falls on descendents like me. The coming upgrades won’t be a result of “worshipping” it, but out of respect for the first permanent statue in America to honor a woman.