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Blue Jacket: War Chief of the Shawnees
1968


A young adult biographical novel that traces the life and adventures of Wehyehpihehrsehnwah -- Blue Jacket -- who was the greatest war chief of the Shawnee tribe. Blue Jacket, however, started out as a white person, part of a family of whites living on the Virginia frontier and his birth name was Marmaduke "Duke" van Swearingen. One day, while out hunting rabbits with his younger brother, Charles, the boys are surrounded by a small Shawnee war party. Duke, who has studied the Indians and knows a little of their tongue, and who has always envied their way of life, manages to put across to the Indians that he will go with them willingly if they will let his little brother go free. They agree and take Duke westward, across the Ohio River and deep into Indian territory in the Ohio Country. There he undergoes a severe gauntlet run, followed by his adoption into the tribe. Through his courage, strength and intelligence, he gradually rises in prestige and power in the tribe until he becomes chief of his own village, then chief of the Maykujay sept of the Shawnees and finally the entire tribe's war chief, leading his people into some of the most momentous battles the Indians ever fought against the whites. This book is frequently used in classroom studies. Published in both hardcover and trade paperback. Originally published in hardcover in 1968 by Little, Brown & Co., Boston, Mass., it is still in print as a trade paperback by Landfall Press, Dayton, OH.

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