March 1992

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About this Issue

Note from the Editors

This issue begins with two articles about the celebrated Seneca spokesman Red Jacket. Robert Koch writes of Red Jacket's skill as an orator, and his long career defending the interests of the Redmen. Professor Koch has written frequently about Indian concerns and is a regular contributor here. The second piece is an article by A. H. Guernsey first published in the February 1886 issue of Harper's Magazine telling of the medal presented to Red Jacket in 1792. The photos accompanying the article of Red Jacket, the medal and of Eli. S. Parker are from the same issue of Harper's.

Red Jacket lived at different places in the Seneca country. He probably was born near Canoga, New York, close to Cayuga Lake. It has been claimed that he was born near Branchport along the west branch of Keuka Lake. That was his mother's home and likely he did spend time there. Arch Merrill in his Land of the Senecas writes of Red Jacket's early practice as a speaker after he had heard the great Indian orator Logan—when his mother missed him and asked where he had been, he replied, "Out in the woods, playing Logan."

We present the second installment of Josephine deZeng's diary written when she was a young lady nineteen years old in Geneva. In the month of August 1842, she went on a trip to Dresden, Hopeton, Penn Yan, and on to Hampstead, the house built near Branchport by Henry Rose in 1840. Our August 1991 issue contained a history of Hampstead by its present owner, and Rose family descendant, Gloria Sill Tillman. Miss deZeng's diary was provided by Mrs. Eleanore Clise, archivist for the Geneva Historical Society which is presently situated in the Prouty house just across the street from the house where Josephine lived with her parents.

Ed Harris gives us another story about his experiences working for Rochester construction contractor L. B. Finewood.

This issue concludes with the next to the last chapter of Caroline Kirkland's 1839 book, A New Home. Here she describes the republican attitudes of many of the Michigan settlers: fierce pride and a firm belief in equality of all, rich or poor. Mrs. Kirkland teases the settlers for their jealous disparagements, but she is always understanding, tolerant of other viewpoints, and able to chide her own vanities. Next month, along with her final chapter, A Fond Farewell, we will print our own farewell review of the life of this American woman, wife, mother, neighbor, writer.

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