From the Chairman. The Planting Moon Gathering, 20 May The Lost Scalp of Delos G.
Sanbertson — an investigation by Peter Harrison. The th Anniversary — Megan Reece. Written by Major William A. Volume 7, Number 1. Editorial - Kevin Galvin. Biography Jerry Thomas — Artist. Biography Andy Amato — Artist. Trip of a Lifetime by Gordon Richard.
William Abraham Bell by Peter Russell. Biography Rick Reeves — Artist. Biography Kenneth Ferguson — Artist.
Letter to the Editor from Barry Wyllyams. E-mail to the Editor from C.
Lee Noyes. Custer in Monroe with War of Veterans? The Bangor Experience by Derek Batten. Cracking the Horsewhip Story by Peter Harrison. Volume 8, Number 1. From the Chairman — includes portraits of all five Committee members. Where was Custer in June ?
here By Peter Russell. Pitter] by Peter Russell. Volume 8, Number 2. Biography Michael Gentry — Artist. Benteen by Jules C. Ladenheim reviewed by Gary Leonard. Peter Harrison — Obituary by Gary Leonard. Captain Frederick W.
Back cover — 'Black Elk' by Bernard John. Volume 10, Number 1. From the Chairman — Peter Russell. Biography George Kush — Artist. From Montana to the Mount by Derek Batten.
Sergeant William H. Sharrow Revisited by Peter Russell. A Personal View by Lawrence Sherrington.
There's no need to continue to highlight one that is inaccurate and contains such stereotypes. I'm pretty sure I read this in 4th grade a year later I would read Anpao. Yikes but I don't remember much about it. I do cringe every time I see it suggested as a "biography. That's not how any of this works. Thanks so much for this review, as always. I adored this book as a child in the forties, and as a child with pale blond hair, privately thought of myself as "Corn Tassel".
I can see the racist implications now, as a adult re-reading, but at the time I felt only a deep empathy with the Indians who took in Mary Jemison and whom she deeply loved. At age 11, in , I moved to postwar Tokyo, and there experienced the curiosity with my blond hair. It didn't feel intrusive, not even when my hair was touched, as it occasionally was, on a public street, but rather an experience of fascination-with-the-other, some thing I felt in the reverse, myself.
The portrayal of one Seneca woman as cruel does not, in my opinion, feel wrong. There are cruel and insensitive people in every culture and a writer works hard at creating conflict to move the narrative along. There are other instances mentioned which are indeed stereotyping and a teacher should point out those flaws to a young reader, but I would hate to see the book discarded.
It is a fictionalized account of an actual set of events. Perhaps my opinion is colored by my memory of such a deep affection for the story, for Mary Jeminson, and for the Senecas. I learn as much from reading Debbie's well researched and thoughtful critiques as I do from the comments section. Veronica, thank you. Different is quite often viewed as ugly. How long might that be so before it became ordinary?
Further,the fact that "white" was the color of the people who were encroaching on Native lands and taking what did not belong to them by force.
I doubt any society would have seen "whiteness" as the embodiment of beauty or mercy. Given that, the Seneca were amazingly generous and just with this child. This is an important cultural aspect that says much about the values of Native peoples from that period. It is also the lesson that appears lost in a story centered on "whiteness". Books that portray "whiteness" as the epitome of beauty and all things good for young readers deliver a poisoned apple.
I hope teachers and librarians will reconsider having such books in their collections. I agree that there are some stereotyping aspects about this book, although I don't pretend to be knowledgeable about the Seneca culture or other Native American tribes. However, I disagree with those who have interpreted Lenski's description of the Senecas' fascination with Mary's blond hair as saying that whiteness or blond hair is superior.
Difference and unusual coloring can be just different, not "better" or "worse". She was made to work hard, as all of the other girls in the Seneca culture were. I did not see any indication in her general treatment that Mary was set up as a superior being, nor that the white culture was believed to be superior by the Seneca. I adamantly disagree that "whiteness" was portrayed as "the epitome of beauty or mercy" as one commentator stated. Overall, I believe Lenski did her best to show respect for the Seneca culture and people.
Mary learned many things from her captors and as we know, chose to stay with them when she had an opportunity to return to white society. She appreciated the ways that the Seneca tried to live in their environment without wasting natural resources, and that actually their raids on the homes of white settlers were a response to the impingement on Seneca patterns of life.
I think it is made very evident in the story that the Seneca were just and generous with Mary. She was treated as well as other Seneca girls were treated. Finally, although some people have undoubtedly called Indian Captive a biography, Lois Lenski herself stated it was a novelization. Changes were made to the retelling of Mary's early captive years to make the story more accessible to children. She modified some things such as Mary's early motherhood, and no doubt Turtle Woman was a created character who was used to create some conflict in the story of Mary's adaptation to the way of life into which she was taken.
I don't doubt that there were some members of the Seneca community who were welcoming, some who were not involved with Mary, and some who were antagonistic. It's been a few years since read the book and I have a vague recollection that Turtle Woman had a son or brother who was killed by white men, explaining some of her animosity to Mary. I see this as a human reaction rather than an unjustifiable stereotype of a fictional character. I really appreciate this thoughtful post and all of the comments.
I have not read "Indian Captive", but given when it was written, I can imagine that even when she was trying to be sensitive, Lois Lenski's portrayal of the Seneca and Mary Jemison's experience inevitably doesn't stand up over time. I do urge readers not to dismiss Lenski's work out of hand. She displayed some pretty progressive ideals in what were called her "regional" books, dealing with racism "Mama Hattie's Girl" and classism.