What Jane Knew : Anishinaabe Stories and American Imperialism, 1815-1845

SKU: 9781469678436

Maureen Konkle
Anishinaabe, Ojibwe
Book Type:
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$40.95


The children of an influential Ojibwe-Anglo family, Jane Johnston and her brother George were already accomplished writers when the Indian agent Henry Rowe Schoolcraft arrived in Sault Ste. Marie in 1822. Charged by Michigan's territorial governor with collecting information on Anishinaabe people, he soon married Jane, "discovered" the family's writings, and began soliciting them for traditional Anishinaabe stories. But what began as literary play became the setting for political struggle. Jane and her family wrote with attention to the beauty of Anishinaabe narratives and to their expression of an Anishinaabe world that continued to coexist with the American republic. But Schoolcraft appropriated the stories and published them as his own writing, seeking to control their meaning and to destroy their impact in service to the "civilizing" interests of the United States.

In this dramatic story, academic Maureen Konkle helps recover the literary achievements of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and her kin, revealing as never before how their lives and work shed light on nineteenth-century Indigenous people in the United States. 19 halftones, 1 map.

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