Talk:Mary Jemison

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Name[edit]

Things to edit after proper research is done: the name means something more like "two voices falling"; Seaver's account is most accurate because he's the one who interviewed her in the first place; more stuff as well. First finish research paper, then fix wiki.

68.48.123.250 04:10, 27 November 2005 (UTC) rejoicingapathy

I read Seaver's book, and when I read this Wiki entry I was surprised that it says Mary Jemison's name was

"...Dehgewanus, which means "Two Voices Falling" "

According to Seaver--who interviewed, and claims to be essentially quoting, Jemison--the name Dehgewanus

"...signifies a pretty girl, a handsome girl, or a pleasant, good thing. That is the name by which I have ever since been called by the Indians."

What is your source for "Two Voices Falling"?

129.21.157.149 19:21, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I changed the link that claimed to be to a photograph of Mary Jemison. It now says that it's a link to a drawing of her, which it is. Mary Jemison died in 1833. Photography was barely in its infancy at the time of her death; histories of photography generally date the first photos of people to around 1839. Britishisles (talk) 01:21, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. The site says it's a photo of a 1907 post card that, "shows what Mary might have looked like when she left the Genesee Valley for the Buffalo Creek Reservation in 1831." Not even provable as a faithful representation of what she looked like. -- Donald Albury 03:00, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Marsh Creek 39°55′N 77°24′W / 39.92°N 77.4°W / 39.92; -77.4

Smallbones (talk) 17:05, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I check on this page every now and then, and it changes oddly. It's done so again: the page now claims that Dehgewanus means "corn tassel", again contradicting Seaver's account, as it did when someone clained that Dehgewanus meant "two voices falling". I'll wait for a while before changing it back; if you're the person who inserted "corn tassel", please cite your source. Britishisles (talk) 23:14, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I edited the page so that it now says that she [Jemison] and others in the Seneca town helped Joseph Brant again the colonists in the American Revolution. It had said that they'd helped John Brant. But John Brant, Joseph's son, was not born until more than a decade after the American Revolution; it was Joseph who was a leader of the British-aligned Iroquois in the Revolution. Britishisles (talk) 19:12, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Little woman of great courage[edit]

The page says of Jemison "She was later renamed "little woman of great courage" by the Indians." what is the source for this? If nobody identifies a source for this claim I will delete it. Britishisles (talk) 01:05, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

So far I've traced it back to Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, a 1941 Newbery Medal juvenile book by Lois Lenski. That book is as much a historical novel as a biography, but Lenski is credited with having done careful and wide-ranging research before writing the book.White Captives: Gender and Ethnicity on the American Frontier, by June Namias. I recommend leaving the sentence in while we look for an older source, although basically all of the primary sources will have more or less of a tinge of novelization, and we may never be completely sure whether or not she was called "Little-Woman-of-Great-Courage" in her lifetime. We could also discuss whether we will accept the Lenski book as the source for the name, perhaps with an appropriate disclaimer. -- Donald Albury 11:23, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

OK, this is fine with me. I haven't read the book by Ms. Lenski, I should do so. Britishisles (talk) 03:58, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Reason for Mary's moving to the Genesee Country[edit]

The third paragraph in the Biography section of this article give this as the reason for Mary's moving to the vicinity of what is now Geneseo in NY State:

Concerned that the end of the war would mean the return of captives and the loss of his young wife, Sheninjee took her on a 700-mile (1,100 km) journey to the Sehgahunda Valley along the Genesee River in present-day New York state.

Seaver gives a different reason for the move where he discusses it, in the fourth and fifth chapters. He says--and of course, he claims to be reporting what Mary Jemison herself told him--that she made the move simply because of an emphatic invitation from her Indian family in the Genesee country to do so. I can't find any mention in Seaver of "Concern that the end of the war would mean return of the captives". Seaver does, however, mention, in an aside during the segment of the narrative after Mary has reached the Genesee, that there is a bounty for returned captives, and he recounts problems this caused for Mary, who wanted to remain with the Seneca.

What is the source for the explanation that's in the article? Britishisles (talk) 03:58, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Davy Wheelock[edit]

The second paragraph in the Biography section of this article gives the name of the boy who was, along with Mary, allowed to live at the time that Mary's family was killed, as Davy Wheelock. What is the source for this? I can't find it in Seaver.

Britishisles (talk) 20:22, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I eliminated the name Davy Wheelock, as I couldn't find it in Seaver. I suspect that this name is from a fictionalized account. Britishisles (talk) 16:00, 22 September 2014 (UTC)