This fascinating autobiography chronicles the life of John Tanner (the Falcon) who was captured in 1789 at the age of nine by the Shawnee tribe and then sold to an Ojibwa family with whom he spent the first half of his adult life ranging the north woods of Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. Tanner attempted to return to white society but ultimately ...
This fascinating autobiography chronicles the life of John Tanner (the Falcon) who was captured in 1789 at the age of nine by the Shawnee tribe and then sold to an Ojibwa family with whom he spent the first half of his adult life ranging the north woods of Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. Tanner attempted to return to white society but ultimately decided his home was with the Ojibwa.
This book, with its validating introduction by Louise Erdrich, elucidates the early 19th century history of northwestern MN, southern MB and eastern ND. It lacks any dates, but the interested reader can corroborate events by crossreferencing with the Coues edition of the Manuscript Journal of Alexander Henry, also recently made accessible in paperback. These two sources, read together, should be required reading for anyone interested in the natural history, geography or fur trade in the southern aspen parkland. The keywords supplied for this book are somewhat misleading. Although Tanner's adopted mother was Ottawa, this book more nearly documents the life of what was to become the Pembina band of Ojibwe. Tanner was more an adoptee than a captive, lived among the Ojibwe through adolescence and young manhood, fathered a metis son who was an interpreter at the treaty with the Pembina Ojibwe, and was among those who traded with Henry. Henry was a perceptive diarist. Tanner's work shows how the seasonal round of survival was influenced by the fur trade and reveals the ever-widening geographic area needed to support a family in the aspen parkland at the cusp of the 19th centruy.. This is NOT your typical captivity narrative. Like Matthew Brayton a generation later, Tanner had a difficult time re-acclimatizing to Euro-American lifestyles. This book is a regional "must read."
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.