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date: 20 April 2021

Tanner, Johnlocked

  • Gordon Sayre


Tanner, John (1780–1846), author of an Indian captivity narrative, was the son of John Tanner, a preacher who moved his family to Kentucky during the first wave of Euro-American settlement in the 1780s. Young John's mother died and his father took a second wife and moved into a vacant cabin in Boone County, Kentucky, just west of Cincinnati. When he was nine years old, two Ojibwa men, Manito-o-gheezik and his son Kish-kau-ko, grabbed him as he played one spring day near his father's cornfield. They took him to Detroit and then Saginaw, where he was sold to Net-no-kwa, a female chief of the Ottawas, who adopted him as her son. From 1790 to about 1820 he lived with Ojibwa and other Indian peoples in the Great Lakes and Red River regions. He found work at Makinac in 1825 or 1826 as an interpreter before publishing an autobiography, ...

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