New book gives overdue honor to Native American chief Blue Jacket

Friday, February 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Blue Jacket: Warrior of the Shawnees By John Sugden

"A major contribution to the field of Indian history and biography, as well as to frontier history. John Sugden has produced a dramatic, authoritative biography that completely destroys the widely accepted fiction that Blue Jacket was a white captive. This volume should establish Blue Jacket with Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, and Pontiac. "
-Helen Hornbeck Tanner, coauthor of The Peopling of North America: The Visual Atlas of the Great Immigrations into North America, from the Ice Age to Ellis Island and Beyond.

Blue Jacket (ca. 1743-ca. 1808), or Waweyapiersenwaw, was the most influential Native American leader of his time. He was the galvanizing force behind an intertribal confederacy of unparalleled scope that fought a long and bloody war against white encroachments into their homeland in the Ohio River valley. Blue Jacket was an astute strategist and diplomat who, though courted by American and British leaders, remained a staunch defender of the Shawnees' independence and territory. He fielded large forces (his warriors inflicted greater losses upon the American army than those of Cochise, Geronimo, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull combined), won unprecedented military and diplomatic victories, and during his later years inspired and mentored the legendary Tecumseh. In this arresting and controversial account, John Sugden, the acclaimed biographer of Tecumseh, restores Blue Jacket to his rightful place of prominence in American history.

John Sugden is an independent scholar and a former associate editor of Oxford University Press's American National Biography project. His books include Tecumseh: A Warrior -- winner of the Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award.

Cloth ISBN: 0-8032-4288-3 U.S. Price: $29.95; Features: xviii, 362 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 12 illustrations, 4 maps, index. A History Book Club Selection