BLUE JACKET: War Chief of the Shawnees by Allan W. Eckert

BLUE JACKET: War Chief of the Shawnees

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1771, seventeen-year-old Marmaduke Van Swearingen, an inexplicably strong admirer of Indians, negotiated his own adoption with a party of Shawnees, survived the gauntlet line thrashing, and moved in with Chief Pucksinwah and his warrior sept. Weh-yah-pih-ehr-sehn-wah, or Blue Jacket, eagerly took up Indian ways, joined them in their wars against the white man, and married Wabethe. His hatred of the white man increased through the years until ""The very fact that he had spoken English left a bad taste in his mouth."" During one battle he unknowingly killed--and knowingly scalped--his own (white) brother, then suffered severe depression for his act. A capable and resilient warrior, he was made a Chief and leader of several tribes united against the white man until peace came in 1795. Although many aspects of Indian life are well integrated into the text and the (un)diplomatic circumstances are enumerated, the characterization of Blue Jacket seems suspect. But the author has crossed some of the trails before with The Frontiersmen (adult, 1967) and the dialogue inserted to smooth out the evidence is reasonable.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1969
ISBN: 1931672202
Publisher: Little, Brown