By Eliza Morrison
Written in 1894 and lately recovered from the information of the collage of Minnesota, this awesome autobiography tells the tale of a ChippewaScots French girl from Madeline Island in Lake better. the kid and grandchild of fur investors, Eliza Morrison tells of a tough and lovely lifestyles carved out of the wildernessthe starving time” along with her husband John on a dwelling house in northern Wisconsin; her travels by means of boat, puppy sled, and taking walks; and the enjoyment of creating maple syrup within the spring. Generously illustrated with images, drawings, and maps, Métis tradition comes alive as local American lore and background are mixed with homesteading tales in real mixed-blood style, giving a 19th-century woman’s view of the Wisconsin dying March, the Dream Dance, and the Chippewa-Dakota warfare in addition to a private examine the lifestyle of a fur buying and selling kinfolk. additionally incorporated is a thesaurus of Chippewa phrases.
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Extra info for A Little History of My Forest Life: An Indian-White Autobiography
Language becomes identity becomes race, or so hoped the “Friends of the Indian,” those liberal nineteenth-century whites dedicated to forcing the Indians to mimic white ways, but it didn’t quite work out as planned. Persons with light skin can change languages and acculturate themselves in white values and eventually, if they choose, blend in. Persons of color cannot. Once race becomes a marker of negative difference, rather than a cue to language as Mrs. Morrison uses it, assimilation is nearly impossible.
Traders might write off the debts from year to year, especially métis ones who were related to Indian trappers, but the companies kept finer books. The debts of individual trappers eventually devolved upon the tribes and the only way they could pay the debts was by selling land. By the 1840s and 1850s, the US assumed Indian debts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and paid the sums out to fur trading companies. These debts were often used to compel the Indians to sell land when the whites wanted it.
Morrison began A Little History of My Forest Life became slowly more circumscribed. Despite her delight with her trips on the railroad, the first journey she mentions, that of the Chippewa to collect treaty payments at Sandy Lake that killed hundreds, foreshadowed the future. The Morrison’s mixed-race heritage, experience, and education protected them to some degree, but the métis world was affected as much as traditional Indian culture. By the end of the nineteenth century, anyone who was not white experienced prejudice.
A Little History of My Forest Life: An Indian-White Autobiography by Eliza Morrison