Morrison, Eliza. A little history of my forest life; an India-white autobiography.

Author:Boardman, Edna M.
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Ladyslipper Press (15075 County Line Rd., Tustin, MI 49688; 208p. maps. illus. bibliog. index. c2002. 0-9702606-2-8. $19.95. SA

Editor Victoria Brehm happened upon the manuscript of this autobiography by Eliza Morrison (1837-1921) while researching an anthology of Great Lakes American Indian literature. The original, housed at the University of Minnesota, "had been written as a series of letters to Catherine Gray, the grandmother of William Gray Purcell, a Prairie School architect in the Twin Cities." Mrs. Gray had employed Morrison when the Grays, residents of Oak Park, Illinois, spent summers at Iron Lake near the Apostles. The rough, mostly English-language manuscript was filed as Morrison had written it, though the University of Minnesota had published a portion, editing the language lightly (sentences went on for pages). This fortuitous find led to more than three years of careful scholarly work during which Brehm had to deal with passages written in the difficult Chippewa/Ojibwe language. In shaping the published version, she had to please both general readers who want to know Morrison's story and scholars who may want to know her exact words. Brehm retained as much as possible of Morrison's style of writing, including syntax and spelling. She didn't force the text into a rigid scholar's style. For purists, she gives the address at which the original is...

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