A narrative of the captivity and adventures of John Tanner

260px-John_Tanner_narrativeA narrative of the captivity and adventures of John Tanner, (U.S. interpreter at the Saut de Ste. Marie,): during thirty years residence among the Indians in the interior of North America
Prepared for the press by Edwin James

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Recollections of early life — capture — journey from the
mouth of the Miami to Sa-gui-na — ceremonies of
adoption into the family of my foster parents — harsh
treatment — transferred by purchase to the family of Netno-
kwa — removal to Lake Michigan.
First attempt to hunt — measles — trapping martins —
emigration to Red River — death of my foster father and
brother — arrival at Lake Winnipek.
Friendly reception among the Indians on the Assinneboin –
– Prairie Portage — Net-no-kwa’s dream, and its fulfillment
— meet with Pe-shau-ba, a distinguished warrior of the
Ottawwaws — journey to Kau-wau-koning, and residence
there — return towards Lake Superior — war-party against
the Minnetauks — mouth of Assinneboin river.
Elk hunting — beaver and buffalo hunting — endangered in
killing a buffalo cow — Fall Indians — return to Rainy
Lake — Swamp River and Portage — the Begwionusko
River and Lake — honesty and good faith in the
intercourse of the Indians — hospitality — sufferings from
hunger — Red River — loss of packs — supposed
dishonesty of traders — rapacity of the traders of the N. W.
company — disasters following the loss of our peltries.
Medicine hunting — indolence of an Indian hunter, and
consequent suffering of his family — relief from humane
traders — a hunter amputates his own arm — moose chase –
– hospitality of Sah-muk, and residence at Rainy Lake —
carcase of a buffalo cow watched by a bull — severe
suffering from cold — my lodge, and most of my property,
destroyed by fire.

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Failure of an attempt to accompany a war-party to the
Missouri — removal to Elk River — joined in my hunting
grounds by some Naudoways, from Lower Canada —
hospitality of the Crees — practice of medicine — dispute
with a Naudoway — band of Tuskwaw-go-nees — Brine
Spring, on Elk River — I receive a severe injury by falling
from my horse — involved in difficulty by my foster
brother — habits of the moose-deer — range of the moose,
the elk, and the reindeer.
I receive a proposal from a chief to marry his daughter —
theft and drunkenness — manner of pursuing the elk on
foot — disease and great mortality among the beaver —
second offer of marriage from an A-go-kwa — haunted
encampment, called the “place of the two dead men” —
Indian courtship — distressing sickness — insanity and
attempt at suicide — gambling — several offers of young
women in marriage — my courtship and marriage with
Mis-kwa-bun-o-kwa, (the red sky of the morning.)
Preparation for a war excursion — herds of buffalo heard at
a great distance — terrible conflicts among the bulls —
observances of the young warriors — Ko-zau-bun-ziche-egun,
or divination to discover the situation of an enemy —
Jeebi-ug, or memorials of deceased friends to be thrown
away on the field of battle; and the design of the custom —
war-party broken up by the interference of a rival chief —
stupidity of the porcupine — I save the life of my foster
brother — Albino bears — Waw-be-no — marriage of Piche-
to and Skwa-shish — attack of a Sioux war-party, and
pursuit to the village at Chief Mountain, and the head of
the St. Peters, etc.
Visit to several Assinneboin villages, in pursuit of stolen
horses — peculiar customs — I seize a horse belonging to
an Assinneboin — war excursion to Turtle Mountain —
battle at a village of the Mandans — doctrines of the
Shawnese prophet — drunkenness, and its effects.
Presence of mind and self-devotedness in an Indian
mother — Indian warfare — conversation of a chief —
winter hunt on the Begwionusko River — medicine
hunting — customs, in cases of manslaughter — symbolic,
or picture writing — death of Pe-shau-ba — disaster at
Spirit Lake, and death of the Little Clam.
Rapacity of the traders — revelation of Manito-o-geezhik –
– pretensions of As-kaw-ba-wis — credulity of the Indians
— colony at Red River, planted by the Hudson’s Bay
traders — large war-party assembled at Turtle Mountain —
want of discipline.
Superstitions of the Indians — violent and unjust prejudice
— family misfortunes — remarkable tenacity of life in the
otter, and some other small animals — disturbances
between the Hudson’s Bay and North West Fur
Suffering of the Ojibbeways from hunger — persecutions
of Waw-be-be-nai-sa, and unkindness of my Indian
relatives — journey to Detroit — Governor Cass — Council
at St. Mary, on the Miami.
Journey to Kentucky — hospitalities of the whites — return
to Detroit — Jackson — St. Louis — General Clark — return
to the Lake of the Woods — Col. Dickson — second
journey to St. Louis, by Chikago and Fort Clark —
kindness of the Potawattomies.
Transactions of the agents ….

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