In the first complete collection of a Native American orator’s speeches, Granville Ganter presents the speeches of Red Jacket or Sagoyewatha (Shay-gó-ye-wátha), a formidable diplomat and one of the most famous Native American orators of the nineteenth century. As a representative of the Seneca and the Six Nations, Red Jacket negotiated with American presidents from George Washington to Andrew Jackson, establishing a legacy that continues to influence discussions of native sovereignty and cultural identity. In speeches spanning over forty years, he eloquently voiced the rights of Native Americans, opposing the encroachment of white man’s religion and culture and the sale of native lands.
Presenting more than fifty speeches of Red Jacket, some previously unpublished and others revised using modern standards of textual editing, this volume encourages a wider readership of Red Jacket’s work. Ganter’s accompanying essays offer a detailed historical framework, presenting archival research about the interpreters and the circumstances of each speech. The great majority of Red Jacket’s speeches were interpreted by reliable translators who were often chosen by the Senecas for their accuracy.
This edition spans Red Jacket’s political career from 1790 to 1830 and includes major addresses to Presidents Washington, Adams, and Monroe. Additionally, it contains original versions of his speeches to evangelical missionaries and land speculators, which circulated for nearly 150 years after Red Jacket’s death. This book will stand as the definitive critical edition of Red Jacket’s speeches and as a remarkable record of Native American political history. It will be of crucial interest to historians and literary scholars of Native American studies.
6 x 9, 356 pages, 6 maps