Molly Molasses, Bangor, ca. 1865

Contributed by Bangor Historical Society


Mary Pelagie Nicola (1775-1867), also known as Molly Molasses, was a member of the Penobscot Nation. She was a businesswoman, selling animal skins, baskets, and other artwork, and was known as a healer.

Later in life she sold photographs of herself in various poses, wearing her traditional Penobscot peaked cap, trade silver, wampum collar, beaver fur top hat, and checkered coat. A poem written for her by David Barker accompanied the photographs, including the stanza:

I write these rhymes, poor Moll, for you to sell
Go sell them quick to any saint or sinner
Not to save one soul from heaven or hell
But just to buy your weary form a dinner.

Molly Molasses was a lifelong partner to John Neptune, Lt. Governor of the Penobscot Nation from 1816-1865. He was said to be the father of Molly’s four children.

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About This Item

  • Title: Molly Molasses, Bangor, ca. 1865
  • Creation Date: circa 1865
  • Subject Date: circa 1865
  • Location: Bangor, Penobscot County, ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Bangor Historical Society
159 Union Street, Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 942-1900

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