Blue Jacket: War Chief of
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,
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