Manataka American Indian Council


 

 

 

POTAWATOMI HISTORY

By Huron H. Smith

 

 

PLANT 

MEDICINES
INTRODUCTION    PART I
HISTORY    PART II
MATERIAL CULTURE    PART III
RELIGION FOOD PLANTS
MEDICINE LODGE VEGETABLE FIBERS

 


 

This page is dedicated to the Eyre Family of Jacksonville, Illinois and all the wonderful people of the annual Potawatomi Trail Powwow held annually in May at Manners Park, Taylorville, Illinois.  They are helping to keep the Potawatomi culture.


 

EDITORS NOTE:

This treatise is not our first choice of the many fine reports about the great Potawatomi people, however, Smith provides excellent detail of the social, religious, and ethnobotanical practices of the 'People'. This article commissioned by the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee in 1933 is divided on this web site into two parts - Potawatomi History and Herbal Medicine for the convenience of our visitors.


 

INTRODUCTION

The Forest  came to this state in early historic times and were directly in the path of the French-Jesuit missionaries and voyageurs, the ethnologist must therefore be careful in estimating just how much influence the missionary has had upon his uses of plants.

The writer had been informed that the Forest Potawatomi were difficult to approach and what little literature there is to be found concerning them corroborates this idea. They have always been a proud and warlike people.

They have always been secretive about their religious uses of plants and have jealously guarded the secrets of their medicine lodge. On the other hand, they are accounted a very hospitable people by some of the early missionaries and travelers and were said to be especially anxious to prove that they were friendly. Even today, certain individuals are found among the tribe who claim that the word "Potawatomi" means "friend to everybody", though in truth we know that it means "keepers of the fire".

The Indian agent, Mr. W. H. Bennett, and his subagent and interpreter Henry Ritchie, shared the general opinion about the small likelihood of gathering such information as we wanted, although they have been on the reservation in contact with the Potawatomi for a good many years.

Previous experience with other tribes has taught the writer that the way to an Indian's confidence is to recognize his philosophy of life, to treat sacredly the things he holds sacred and to practice hospitality and generosity in dealing with them.

Fewer principal informants were found among the Forest Potawatomi than among other tribes the writer has studied. There were only six main informants. Perhaps one of the most valuable of these is not really a Potawatomi; Mr. Henry Ritchie, the subagent, shown in plate 2, fig. 1, who lives in Laona, does most of the visiting with the Forest Potawatomi and takes care of the gathering of the school children in the fall. Mr. Ritchie is a fluent conversationalist in the Potawatomi as well as in his own tongue, and he knew the plant names in both these languages.  However, he could get no knowledge from the Potawatomi concerning their medicine lodge secrets.

Another informant, whom all agreed was a "real" Indian, was Charley Musko [Tecumseh]. Tecumseh lives one hundred thirty-six miles away from Laona, in the midst of a dense forest, about eight miles distant from the city of Phillips, Wisconsin. The third informant was Joe Ellick, shown in plate 2, fig. 2, who worked for the Soperton Lumber Co. despite his 78 years. He was a grandfather and yet a very husky worker at the cut-off saw at these mills. Mr. Ellick devised the Potawatomi syllabary about fifty-five years ago so that absent members of the tribe could write home to their people. 

The fourth informant is called "Shawanîblînä" [South Bird]. He lives at the top of the hill at Stone lake, about four miles east of Crandon. South Bird is a genuine "medicine man", about ninety-four years of age, and a very interesting character. He has become a fast friend of Dr. E. J. W. Notz and Charles G. Schoewe, of Milwaukee. Mrs. Jim Spoon, shown in the picture left, who lived in Laona, is a medicine woman of more than local repute and the writer accompanied her when she procured her winter store of medicinal plants. She was by far the best versed of any of the informants and often traveled great distances to get the plants she desired. The sixth and last informant was "Snabe Jim". This is an abbreviation for his Indian name "Înîcînabe" meaning "an Indian" or "a real man". He lived in the vicinity of Blackwell, Forest County.

In making this study of the Forest Potawatomi, the writer spent from June 13 to September 13, 1925 and was thus able to see the plants in their early and late stages of growth.

Forest County, Wisconsin, as the name implies, is a region of dense stands of trees, and one would expect to find here a great number of species of plants, but such is not the case. The total number of plants is by no means as large as it would be in the southern part of the state in a like locality. Hence, the Forest Potawatomi have usually traveled to various parts of the country to get the particular plants that they needed. In some cases, they have brought back seeds and established little plots of these medicinal plants in Forest County.

Time means little to them, so they often take as much as a month in going after the particular plants desired and this may take them beyond the confines of the state.

The Forest Potawatomi have no reservation proper. They are scattered over the northern counties, one family living one hundred and thirty-six miles away from the agency office. This scattering of the Potawatomi was due to the efforts of the late Senator Robert La Follette, who believed in separating them and giving them all white neighbors. Congress appropriated fairly large sums which were used in purchasing quarter-sections and in building frame houses for the Indians. Actually the Potawatomi do not like this arrangement because most of them are restricted to the use of ponies and wagons for transportation so that it often means a journey of two or more days in order to visit their near relatives. It also imposes something of a burden upon the Indian Agent who must visit them all in turn and the Indian nurse who must visit the sick. In one specific case, an Indian had been dead three days before the agent heard anything about it.

The Jesuit Fathers made such careful diaries of their labors and residence among the Indians that they are a very good source of information concerning the Forest Potawatomi in the earlier days. In fact, there are in the neighborhood of six hundred references to the Potawatomi in the Wisconsin Historical Collections alone.

The plants used by the Forest Potawatomi fall into sixty-five of the hundred and twenty-six families of plants known at present to occur in Wisconsin. In this paper, the plants will be listed as in previous bulletins, primarily under their various uses. Under each of these headings they will appear alphabetically by families. When possible, a literal translation of the Indian name will be given.


PHONETIC KEY

The Forest Potawatomi have had a written language for the past fifty-five years and have thus been able to correspond with one another. During our field work with them, we used their syllabary, since the syllables were so readily intelligible to them. A complete listing of the syllables used in their language would consist of three hundred and twenty-seven, but since this syllabary is probably of no importance to ethnologists, we will follow the same method of recording their words as we have in previous bulletins. The Forest Potawatomi language is very like the Ojibwe.

VOWELS DIPHTHONGS
a as in art. ê as in bet ia, œ and io
e as in prey î as in bit s as in since
i as in police û as in luck g as in give
o as in go w, h, and y as in English z as in zeal
u as in rule ’ glottal stop c as the sound of sh
ä as in flat ' accent follows syllable j as the sound of j in jour
tc as the sound of tc in witch
dj as the sound of j in jug

PART I - HISTORY

The Potawatomi, Ojibwe and Ottawa Indians, according to traditions handed down in each of these tribes, seem to have been originally one people and they claimed that their "grandfathers" were the Delewares.

They originally lived in Ontario or in the eastern part of the United States and were driven by their hereditary enemies, the Iroquois, to the western shores of Lake Huron and finally to Wisconsin. In 1616, the Huron Indians, who lived on the western shores of Lake Huron, called these people the "Asistagueroüon" or "Otsista’ ge’ronnon" which signifies "People of the place of the fire." 2

In the Ojibwe and Cree languages "Potawatamink" or "Potawaganink" also signifies "People of the place of the fire" and this is supposed to be the primary form of the Potawatomi name. Tradition says that long before historic contact, the Potawatomi kept a perpetual fire and considered themselves the "keepers of the fire".

There is a considerable difference between the Forest Potawatomi and their closest relatives, the Mascoutens, or the Prairie Potawatomi, both in their language and general ethnology. The Ojibwe, the Ottawa, and the Kickapoo tribes could all understand the Forest Potawatomi. Henry Ritchie, the subagent at Laona, himself an Ojibwe, told the writer that the Forest Potawatomi language is very nearly related to the Ojibwe. Father Allouez said that the Potawatomi speak the Algon-kian language, but in a dialect much harder to understand than that of the Ottawa. Rev. William Metzdorf, 3 said that their language was like that of the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Kickapoo, soft and harmonious, but brief and clear cut. "There are sounds which tell us that here is a race of fine feelings and manly but peaceable character". The Mascoutens, or Prairie Potawatomi, call the Forest Potawatomi the "Na'nosi".4

A slight comparison of the three related tongues of the Forest Potawatomi, the Mascoutens, or Prairie Potawatomi, and the Ojibwe will demonstrate the difference between the three tongues. The general Algonkian name for Indians was "Unishinabe" (the common people) while the Forest Potawatomi term is almost the same "Inicinabe". A much more boastful term is used by the Iroquois, "Ongwe Honwe" (men excelling all others). The word for medicine bag in Forest Potawatomi is "skipita'gun", in Mascouten it is "peshkita'gun", and in Ojibwe "pindjigo'ssan". The word for cedar tree in Forest Potawatomi is "gicigan" and in Mascouten "meskwa'wak", while the word in Ojibwe is "gijik".

Alanson Skinner 5 is authority for the statement that the Potawatomi, either the Mascoutens or the Forest branch, are the most disagreeable of central Algonkians and the most unwilling informants. He says that their material culture is similar to that of the Menomini, the Ojibwe and other central Algonkians.

So far as we can ascertain from the recorded traditions of the early Indian inhabitants of Wisconsin, the Winnebago were the original inhabitants of Wisconsin, at least so far as the period immediately preceding white occupation is concerned. But they were so greatly reduced in numbers and spirit by wars with the Illinois, that they accepted those Algonkian tribes who fled to Wisconsin as refugees from the Iroquois. Potawatomi traditions were first recorded by Father De Smet 6 and it is claimed by some that these traditions gave Longfellow the subject matter for his poem "Hiawatha". The Potawatomi are called by Father De Smet and other French writers from 1639 by their present name "Poutouatamis" or "Pouteouatamis", which is sometimes abbreviated to the word Poux, the French word for lice. This brevity led La Houtan or his editor to confound them with the Puants or the Winnebago. 7

It is very necessary to correctly differentiate between the forest dwelling Potawatomi, with which this bulletin is concerned, and the Prairie Potawatomi or Mascoutens. In the Jesuit Relations for 1670-1671, Father Dablon spoke of this branch of the Fire Nation as being correctly called the Maskoutench, which means "a treeless country". Originally the Mascoutens were one of the minor bands of the Potawatomi, and lived south of Green Bay, their first locality in Wisconsin, down around Milwaukee and even farther south. There came to be a rather considerable difference between the two bands of Potawatomi both in their language and in their general ethnology. The Forest Potawatomi still retain their archaic, simple, non-intensive, Algonkian culture and seem to be closely related to the northern Ojibwe and the Cree.

"According to Ottawa tradition, there was in the early days a tribe called Muskodainsug on the east shore of Lake Michigan, who were driven farther southward, together with allied tribes, probably the Sauk (to whom they were related); and they were supposed to have entered Wisconsin together, passing around the southern end of Lake Michigan. Perrot was the first Frenchman to visit them; he was followed by Allouez (1670) and Marquette (1673) who both found them in this same village on the Fox River, living with the Miami and Kickapoo. In 1680, the Mascoutens are mentioned as living on Lake Winnebago and the Milwaukee River. In 1712, the Upper Mascoutens and Kickapoo joined the Foxes against the French. In 1718, the Upper Mascoutens and the Kickapoo were living together in a single village on Rock River, Illinois, and were estimated at two hundred men. In 1736 the Mascoutens are mentioned as numbering sixty warriors, living with the Kickapoo on Fox River, Wisconsin. They are last mentioned as living in Wisconsin between 1770 and 1780; and the last definite notice mentions those on the Wabash River [Indiana] in connection with the Piankashaw and Kickapoo. After this the Mascoutens disappeared from history, the northern probably being absorbed by the Sauk and Fox Confederacy and the southern by the Kickapoo". 8

We are indebted to John E. Shea 9 for this list of the Indian tribes mentioned as at any time having resided in Wisconsin. They number twenty-six and are as follows: Ainoves, Atchatchakangouen (near Mascoutens), Fox or Meskwaki, Huron, Illinois, Keinouches, Kickapoo, Kiskakon, Kitchigamick, Makoua, Makoueoue, Mascoutens, Marameg, Menomini, Miami, Mikissioua, Nantoue, Noquets, Oharaouatenon, Ottawa Sinagos, Ottawa, Ouagoussak, Oneida, Potawatomi, Sac, and Winnebago.

The first white man to visit Wisconsin was Jean Nicollet. He was sent by Champlain, the founder of New France, to live among the Indians of the forest and learn their languages and customs and open the way into their country for the fur trade and for missions. Nicollet spent several years among the Algonkian Indians of the Upper Ottawa River; then he visited the Hurons in the peninsula between Lake Erie and Georgian Bay. 10

There he heard of a far western tribe, known as the "people of salt water", whom he supposed must dwell on the borders of the western streams, whence the route would lead to the tribes of China. Instead of finding a way to Cathay, however, he found a new tribe of Indians, the Winnebago. Nicollet's visit to Wisconsin was in the year 1634. More than twenty years elapsed before the next white visitor came. During the time of Nicollet's visit to the Algonkian tribes of Wisconsin, the Jesuit missionaries were establishing missions among the Hurons on the Lake Ontario peninsula and they came as far west as Sault Ste Marie in 1641. These missions to the Huron Indians were suddenly disturbed by the appearance of the hereditary enemies of the Hurons, the Iroquois, who defeated the Hurons in battle and caused them to flee westward. Their flight pressed upon the Algonkian peoples living to the westward and whole tribes left their ancestral homes and finally settled in Wisconsin. Here the nature of the country, with its lakes and swamps made them more or less safe from the invasion of the Iroquois hordes. The Winnebago were in no shape to resist the coming of these Algonkian refugees, since they had been so severely decimated by the Illinois Indians. Hence they made alliances with the newcomers and allowed them to establish new homes on the lakes and rivers where their ancestors had lived. The Mascoutens, Kickapoo, Miami, and Sauk and Fox occupied the central and southern portions of Wisconsin, while the Menomini and Potawatomi coming from the islands, settled around Green Bay. The Huron and Ottawa chose the southern shore of Lake Superior and were found around Chequamegon Bay.

Radisson on October 1, 1661, found the Potawatomi also living at Chequamegon with the Ojibwe. Father Allouez established a mission at this point but it was not successful and he left them in September, 1669, at the invitation of the Potawatomi and established a mission at Green Bay. This was the second Jesuit mission in Wisconsin, called St. Francis Xavier, where the city of De Pere now stands. On Radisson's 11 third voyage, they spent the winter of 1658-1659 with the Potawatomi and were the first white men to set foot in Wisconsin since Nicollet, 1634. While they were living with the Potawatomi, they met the Mascoutens or the so-called Fire Nation whom Nicollet had discovered on the south side of the Fox River, at a point now located in Green Lake County. In the spring they went to visit the Mascoutens and received excellent treatment from them. They took Radisson to the Mississippi, "Ye Greate River", eleven years before La Salle saw it and fourteen years before it was visited by Marquette and Joliet. Nicollet heard of it but never visited it.

Washington Island and the other islands at the entrance of Green Bay were first mapped as the Huron Islands. 12  However, the first voyageurs who actually visited these islands found then the residents to be Potawatomi and hence called them the Potawatomi Islands. When the Ottawa fled from the Iroquois, the Potawatomi had already left the Washington Islands. The Ottawa retreated into Wisconsin and were there welcomed by the Potawatomi who spoke a similar language and who also hated the Iroquois, by whom they had been driven from Michigan proper. The first migration of the Potawatomi could not have been later than 1636 for in 1637 and 1638 we find them established on the Green Bay shores. They were discovered at the inner end of the bay by 1671 and about this time retook Washington Island. In 1718, Cadillac 13 found the Potawatomi on Washington Island. He said, "The Island of the Poues (Washington Island) is still inhabited by the Pouteatamis. We called them Poues, because the first syllable of their name is so pronounced. This is a very warlike nation, very hostile to the Iroquois, and frequently inflict severe blows on them. They have no regard for anyone, although they are less numerous than many other nations. Their islands abound in grain, and the climate is very temperate."

Father Allouez 14 locates the Potawatomi in Wisconsin and says of them, "The Pouteouatamie are a people speaking the Algonkian tongue, but in a dialect much harder to understand than the Ottawa. Their country lies along the ‘lake of the Ilimouek’ (Lake Michigan). These people are warlike and engage in hunting and fishing." Potherie 15 also describes them in his History of North America dated 1640-1660. He says that "the Pouteouatemis, the Sakis (Sauk), and Malhominis (Menomini) live at Green Bay as well as the Puans (Winnebago). The Puans were very warlike and the Pouteouatemis are their neighbors; the behavior of these people is very affable and cordial and they make great efforts to gain the good opinion of persons who come among them. They are very intelligent, they have an inclination toward raillery; their physical appearance is good; and they are great talkers. When they set their minds on anything, it is not easy to turn them from it. Their old men are prudent, sensible and deliberate; it is seldom that they undertake any unreasonable enterprise. As they receive strangers very kindly, they are delighted when reciprocal attentions are made to them. They have so good an opinion of themselves that they regard other nations as inferior to them. They have made themselves arbiters for the tribes about the bay and for all their neighbors; they strive to preserve for themselves that reputation in every direction. Their ambition to please everybody has, of course, caused among them jealousy and divorce, for their families are scattered to the right and to the left along Lake Michigan. With a view to gaining for themselves special esteem, they make presents of all their possessions, stripping themselves of even necessary articles in their eager desire to be accounted liberal. Most of the merchandise for which the Ottawas trade with the French is carried among these people."

While 1671 saw the founding of the St. Francis Xavier mission by Father Allouez at De Pere, the Jesuit missions only thrived about ten years and 1682 marked the decline of the influence of missions among the Indians in Wisconsin. In 1673, Louis Joliet and Father Marquette made their historic trip up the Wisconsin River. In 1680, Daniel G. Duluth, who had previously threaded the upper Superior country to the Mississippi River, came east by way of the Wisconsin—Fox River route, and established the route to both the Upper and Lower Mississippl. In 1680, Robert Cavelier de La Salle took a trip up the Illinois River and invited the Wisconsin Indians to make a permanent settlement among the Illinois Indians. The Miami, the Mascoutens and the Kick-apoo accepted and with the Potawatomi moved southward along the shore of Lake Michigan. The Fox Indians left the Wolf River and went to the Fox River, while the Menomini moved around to the vicinity of Green Bay. At this time, the Sauk and Fox Indians controlled the Fox—Wisconsin River waterway, while the Winnebago were found upon the upper Rock River. The Huron and Ottawa Indians removed to the Straits of Mackinac, while the Ojibwe left the south shores of Superior and settled in northern Wisconsin.

Milwaukee was a Potawatomi village before the coming of the whites, and they continued to occupy the vicinity for some time thereafter. It was through the Treaty of 1833 that the territory surrounding Milwaukee was ceded by the Menomini and the Potawatomi to the whites. The Mascoutens or Prairie Potawatomi appear to have been the earliest settlers at Milwaukee, occupying this region jointly with the Kickapoo, to whom they were closely related linguistically. They probably lived at Milwaukee until 1658. By 1680 these people had scattered as far as St. Joe, 16 Michigan, and by 1690 they had moved farther to the south, where they either became extinct or were absorbed by other tribes. By the year 1699, the Fox Indians, who also lived around Milwaukee, had abandoned the site to the Potawatomi. Thus at this time there were Winnebago Ojibwe, Menomini, Ottawa and Potawatomi at Milwaukee. The Forest Potawatomi are believed to have made their settlement at Milwaukee in 1769 coming from St. Joe, Michigan, under their chief Siggenauk, Blackbird. The Forest Potawatomi chief of the settlement at Two Rivers, Wisconsin, was Nanaboujou.

Previous mention has been made of the fact that the Sac and Fox held the Fox-Wisconsin waterway until the year 1730. The Potawatomi, joined by the Mascoutens and the Kickapoo, fell upon the Sac and Fox, while the Illinois Indians engaged them from the other side and it is said that they were nearly exterminated. It was said that at this time there were fourteen hundred 17 Indians attacking the Sac and Fox, of which number five hundred were Potawatomi. 

Samuel A. Storrow, writing under the date of September 29, 1817, said, "I entered the village of Millewackie which belongs to the tribe of the Potawatomi. It is situated on the right (southwest) bank of the river which I crossed to reach it. The soil is good and the climate much softer than that of Green Bay. The Potawatomi village is small,— their chief whose name in English is’'Old Flour’, brought us an Indian guide to Chicago." 18 Morgan L. Martin, of Green Bay, 19 also throws some light upon them. 

He tells that the first vessel with troops to come from Green Bay named the Potawatomi Islands at the head of the bay: "Washington", "Chambers", "Green", etc. Martin came to Green Bay in 1827. According to him, the whole region, extending from the entrance of Green Bay to as far south as Milwaukee on the lake, was occupied by the Potawatomi and the Ottawa. Their principal villages were at Mani-towoc, on the Pigeon and Sheboygan Rivers. There were none north of Kewaunee.

Dr. Jackson Kemper who reached Green Bay in 1834, 20  tells us that "all the lands of the Potawatomi are sold to the government and they are under obligation to move beyond the Mississippi River within five years of the signing of their treaty."

Rev. William Metzdorf 21lived with the Potawatomi for four years and says that "when the Potawatomi first came into contact with the whites, they occupied land in southern Michigan and Wisconsin. At the time of the Revolutionary War, they left Michigan for Wisconsin. In 1850 they moved to the western plains while some remained in the Wisconsin woods and are now called the Forest Potawatomi. Their language is like the Ojibwe, the Ottawa and the Kickapoo. It is soft and harmonious but brief and clear cut. It tells us that this is a race of fine feeling and manly but peaceable character." Mr. M. M. Quaife 22 says that three hundred and fifty Potawatomi returned from Kansas after having been sent there in 1835 and were under no government supervision until 1864 when Congress gave them a special agent at Stevens Point to look after them. 

Father Phillip Gordon 23 visited the Potawatomi in Forest County at Soperton and in northern Marinette County, and found some of them who came here from Kansas.

Publius V. Lawson, writing upon the Potawatomi in the Wisconsin Archeologist 24 lists the various homes of the Potawatomi in Wisconsin by villages, tracing them down to their present residence in Forest County. He states that they had a village at Black Wolf, seven miles south of Oshkosh; at Waukau in Winnebago County; at Kewaskum in Washington County; in Fond du Lac County, a few miles south of the Horicon marsh; at Elkhart Lake; in Door County; in Kewaunee County, in Manitowoc County; in Sheboygan County; in Washington County; and in Milwaukee County.

According to Dr. Alphonse Gerend, two thousand of the Potawatomi have died in the last fifty-five years. He sets their migration date from the Horicon marsh to Black Wolf and Waukau as 1863. Then they removed to Little Wolf, fifteen miles northwest of Northport in Waupaca County, where they lived for ten years. Then they moved to Wittenberg in Shawano County, where they lived for fifteen years. Then they removed to a point eight miles northeast of Gillett, in Oconto County where they lived until they moved to Forest County in 1914 where they have lived ever since. There was another band of Potawatomi which moved north to the Bark River in Michigan in 1914. The Potawatomi now found at Skunk Hill in Wood County, Wis., are people from the Prairie Potawatomi band who returned from Kansas.

There are supposed to be about eight hundred and fifty Forest Potawatomi living around in Forest County with fairly definite settlements to be found at Blackwell, at Soperton and around Laona.

Children of school age are gathered together in the fall and taken to the various Indian schools, most of them going to the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe school, while some go away as far as Flandreau, South Dakota. Those of high school age go to Haskell University.


 

PLANT 

MEDICINES
INTRODUCTION    PART I
HISTORY    PART II
MATERIAL CULTURE    PART III
RELIGION FOOD PLANTS
MEDICINE LODGE VEGETABLE FIBERS

 

 


 

POTAWATOMI 

By Suzanne Powell

Describes the history and customs of the Potawatomi people. Discusses voluntary and involuntary migrations, ceremonies and celebrations.  An excellent primer for students of Potawatomi people and history. Scholastic Library Publishing, February 1998, Soft Cover, 64pp  $10.95

Proceeds from book purchases go to support the nonprofit, cultural, educational and religious purposes of the Manataka American Indian Council.  Thank you for your support. 

Notice: Occasionally books may be discontinued or out of stock without prior notice. With written permission, your order may be filled from the 'shelf'.  Shelf books are new, but some may be slightly discolored or sale tags may be still attached. Fulfillment rate: 98.6%.

 

 


 

NIGHT OF THE FULL MOON

By Gloria Whelan, Leslie Bowman (Illustrator)

Based on true accounts of the Potawatomi Indians' forced migration from Michigan territory in 1840, this sequel to Next Spring an Oriole portrays the friendship between two families—one white, one Native American. "An exciting adventure sure to provoke strong feelings, this is for new or reluctant readers, and would make a good read-aloud."—School Library Journal.  Whelan packs quite a story into this brief sequel to Next Spring an Oriole  set in 1841 in the shrinking woods near Saginaw, Mich. With Mama in labor, Libby Mitchell must miss the naming ceremony for her Indian friend Fawn's new baby brother. Libby sneaks off to the festivities alone but, just as they are about to begin, government troops round up everyone in the Potawatomi village for a forced migration west. With her tanned skin and dark hair, and dressed in Fawn's clothes, Libby is taken for an Indian and accused of lying when she tells the soldiers she is white. After three days of arduous journeying, Fawn's father orchestrates an escape in order to return Libby to her frantic parents and newborn brother, and to flee with his own family into the northern wilderness. Told in simple, well-chosen language, this satisfying chapter book is as captivating as any in the Little House series, but far more insightful and thought-provoking with regard to historical events and the not-so-rosy aspects of settler-Native American relations. Random House Books for Young Readers, May 1996, Soft Cover, 64pp.  $8.95

Proceeds from book purchases go to support the nonprofit, cultural, educational and religious purposes of the Manataka American Indian Council.  Thank you for your support. 

Notice: Occasionally books may be discontinued or out of stock without prior notice. With written permission, your order may be filled from the 'shelf'.  Shelf books are new, but some may be slightly discolored or sale tags may be still attached. Fulfillment rate: 98.6%.

 

 

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