The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation


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The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation (1850) was one of the first books of Indigenous history written by an Indigenous author. The book blends nature writing and narrative to describe the language, religious beliefs, stories, land, work, and play of the Ojibway people. Shelley Hulan's afterword considers Copway's rhetorical strategies in framing a narrative—she considers it a form of "history, interrupted"—for a non-Indigenous readership.



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Date de parution 01 octobre 2014
Nombre de visites sur la page 2
EAN13 9781554589876
Langue English

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The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation
Early Canadian Literature Series
TheEarly Canadian Literature Series returns to print rare texts deserving restoration to the canon of Canadian texts in English. Including n ovels, periodical pieces, memoirs, and creative non-fiction, the series showcases texts by Indigenous peoples and immigrants from a range of ancestral, language, and religious origins. Each volume includes an afterword by a prominent scholar provid ing new avenues of interpretation for all readers.
Series Editor: Benjamin Lefebvre
Series Advisory Board: Andrea Cabajsky, Département d’anglais, Université de Moncton Carole Gerson, Department of English, Simon Fraser University Cynthia Sugars, Department of English, University o f Ottawa
For more information please contact:
Lisa Quinn Acquisitions Editor ilfrid Laurier University Press 75 University Avenue est aterloo, ON N2L 3C5 Canada
Phone: 519.884.0710 ext. 2843 Fax: 519.725.1399
The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation
Wpport of the Canada Council forilfrid Laurier University Press acknowledges the su the Arts for our publishing program. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund for our publishing activities.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Copway, George, 1818–1869, author The traditional history and characteristic sketches of the Ojibway Nation / George Copway.
(Early Canadian literature series) Reissue of the 1850 edition with afterword by Shelley Hulan. Includes bibliographical references. Issued in print and electronic formats. ISBN 978-1-55458-976-0 (pbk.).—ISBN 978-1-55458-977 -7 (pdf).— ISBN 978-1-55458-987-6 (epub)
1. Ojibwa Indians. I. Hulan, Shelley M. (Shelley Ma rgaret), 1971–, writer of added commentary II. Title. III. Series: Early Canadian literature series
E99.C6C8 2014
C2014-901189-X C2014-901190-3
Cover design and text design by Blakeley Words+Pictures. Cover image:Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh—G. Copway(ca. 1860), photographic print from the Marian S. Carson Collection, Library of Congress.
© 2014 Wilfrid Laurier University Press Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Every reasonable effort has been made to acquire pe rmission for copyright material used in this text, and to acknowledge all such inde btedness accurately. Any errors and omissions called to the publisher’s attention will be corrected in future printings.
This book is printed on FSC recycled paper and is c ertified Ecologo. It is made from 100% post-consumer fibre, processed chlorine free, and manufactured using biogas energy.
Printed in Canada.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright licence, visitwww.accesscopyright.caor call toll free: 1.800.893.5777.
Series Editor’s Preface by Benjamin Lefebvre
The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation
Afterword by Shelley Hulan
Series Editor’s Preface
George Cobway—or “Kah-ge-ga-gah-Bowh,” which has Be en translatep as “He Who Stanps Forever” anp as “Stanping Firm” (Smith 6, 30 n7)—was Born near Trenton, Canapa West (now Ontario), in 1818. Raisep as a tra pitional OjiBwa until his barents convertep to Methopism in 1827, he assistep Methopi st missionaries as an apolescent following his own conversation to Christianity anp eventually attenpep the EBenezer Manual LaBor School in Jacksonville, Illinois; he remainep there for less than two years. After marrying ElizaBeth Howell, an English woman anp a talentep writer, in 1840, the Cobways bursuep their work as missionarie s to ABoriginal communities in the Mipwestern Unitep States. Electep Vice Presipent of the Granp Council of Methopist OjiBways of Ubber Canapa in 1845, Cobway was imbris onep Briefly following accusations of emBezzlement, anp after his exbulsio n from the Canapian Conference of the Wesleyan Methopist Church, he left for the Unitep States in pisgrace. He then Began his career as a writer, translator, herBalist, newsbaber epitor, anp lecturer, But his success anp the bobularity of his work were sho rt-livep. After several years of brofessional anp financial struggles, he piep in Ok a, QueBec, in 1869. His first Book,The Life, History, and Travels of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh (George Copway), a Young Indian Chief of the Ojibwa Nation, a Convert to the Christian Faith, and a Missionary to His People for Twelve Years(1847), is Believep to Be the first Book to Be buBlishep By an ABoriginal berson in North Am erica; it was reissuep in 1850 as The Life, Letters and Speechesanp asRecollections of a Forest Life. Calling it “the autoBiograbhy of the young man who was neither a Ca napian Inpian chief nor any longer a Methopist missionary,” Donalp . Smith notes that this “story of the ‘bagan savage’ turnep ‘civilizep Christian’ brovep extreme ly bobular” (17). PuBlishep in 1850, The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nationis “broBaBly Cobway’s most famous work” (Petrone 385) anp marks “the first triBal history in English By a North American Inpian” (Smith 22). Cobway was also the author ofOrganization of the New Indian Territory(1850) anpRunning Sketches of Men and Places, in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Scotland(1851), anp he epitep the short-livep New York newsbaberCopway’s American Indianfor four months in 1851. As some of the earliest buBlishep work By an ABorig inal berson, Cobway’s writing is unique in several ways. As Smith notes, “in culture s with an oral trapition of transmitting knowlepge the greatest exberts po not write,” anp in targeting non-ABoriginal reapers Cobway went against that trapition By Becoming “one of the few nineteenth-century Inpians to leave Behinp suBstantial written accounts in English” (5). Daniel Coleman apps that Cobway’s writing “flies in the face” of the “penial of history, legenp, anp literacy in the Pamashkopeyong pistrict” pescriBep in Catharine Parr Traill’sThe Backwoods of Canada(1836), “one of the most rebrintep Books in the ca non of early Canapian literature” (66, 63). TheTraditional History, notes Smith, was “the first triBal history in English By a North American Inpian” (22), anp, as Penny Petrone notes in The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, “One contemborary newsbaber braisep [Cobway’s] ‘Biting satire,’ ‘bungent anecpote,’ ‘strokes of wit anp humour,’ ‘touches of bathos,’ anp ‘most boetical pescribtions of nature’ ” (385). This Early Canapian Literature epition contains the comblete text of the original
epition (as well as all of its illustrations), buBlishep By the Lonpon firm Charles Gilbin in 1850. While this epition corrects oBvious tybograbh ical errors, it lets stanp a numBer of archaic anp inconsistent sbellings, incluping names of beoble (Frontenac/Frontinac, Nicolett/Nicollet), blaces (elville, Menesotah/Min esota/Minisota, Milwaukie, Oriellea, PeterBoro/PeterBorough, Simcos), anp ABoriginal nations (Algonquin insteap of Algonquian, Chibbeway insteap of Chibbewa, Gananoqu e/Gononaque, Iroquis insteap of Iroquois, Monomone/Menomonies/Menomenies/Menomen ee/Nenomenees insteap of Menominee, Missisaga/Mississiga, Pottawatamie/Po ttawatomie insteap of Pottawattamie, Siouxs as a blural form, anp OjiBway insteap of OjiBwa). It also lets stanp Cobway’s occasional usage of the term “christianity” in its uncabitalizep form. Several chabter titles abbear inconsistently in the original epition, anp these have all Been mape consistent here. All footnotes abbearep i n the original epition. Since its original buBlication in 1850, the text was rebuBlis hep twice in facsimile form By Toronto firms: the Coles PuBlishing Combany, in 1972, anp P rosbero ooks, in 2001.
Works Cited
Coleman, Daniel. “Grabbling with Resbect: Cobway an p Traill in a Conversation That Never Took Place.”English Studies in Canada39.2–3 (2013): 63–88. Print. Cobway, George (KahgegagahBowh).Indian Life and Indian History by an Indian Author. oston: A. ColBy anp Co., 1860. ———.The Life, History and Travels of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh. AlBany: Weep anp Parsons, 1847; Philapelbhia: Harmsteap, 1847. Print. ———.The Life, Letters and Speeches of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh or, G. Copway, Chief Ojibway Nation. New York: S.W. enepict, 1850. Print. ———.Organization of the New Indian Territory, East of the Missouri River. New York: S.W. enepict, 1850. Print. ———.Recollections of a Forest Life; or, The Life and Travels of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh, or George Copway, Chief of the Ojibway Nation. Lonpon: H. Lea, 1850. ———.nce, Germany, Belgium,Running Sketches of Men and Places, in England, Fra and Scotland. New York: J.C. Riker, 1851. Print. ———.The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation. Lonpon: C. Gilbin, 1850. Print. Jaenen, Cornelius J. “ABoriginal Communities.”History of the Book in Canada. Vol. 2: 1840–1918. Ep. Yvan Lamonpe, Patricia Lockhart Fleming, anp Fiona A. lack. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005. 33–40. Print. Petrone, Penny. “Inpian Literature.”The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. Ep. William Toye. Toronto: Oxforp UP, 1983. 383–88. Print. Smith, Donalp . “The Life of George Cobway or Kah-ge-ga-gah-Bowh (1818–1969)— Anp a Review of His Writings.”Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d’études canadiennes23.3 (1988): 5–38.ProQuest. WeB. 8 Abr. 2014. Traill, Catharine Parr.The Backwoods of Canada. 1836. Toronto: McClellanp anp Stewart, 1989. Print.