Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blue Jacket

Recently, my husband took me on a date of my choice. What did I choose? A bookstore that was recommended to me, Midtown Scholar on Third Street, Harrisburg.

I browsed the Pennsylvania history section and was excited to find a book called, Blue Jacket by Allan W. Eckert. My interest was piqued because when I worked on my mother’s family genealogy, I read about Blue Jacket. Blue Jacket would have been my great, great, great, great, great grandfather’s nephew.

The book, Blue Jacket, is about a 17-year-old boy, Marmaduke Van Swearingen, who was captured by the Shawnee Indians in 1771. In exchange for the freedom of his little brother, captured at the same time, Marmaduke promised to go willingly with the Shawnees and become an Indian. The Shawnee named him Blue Jacket because of the garment he was wearing at the time of capture. Marmaduke kept his promise which wasn’t as hard as it may seem since he had grown up loving everything about the Indians and desiring to be one anyway. He later became the only white to become a war chief of the Shawnee.

By the way, we did go out to eat and went shopping elsewhere in addition to the bookstore that night. I’m not entirely a nerd.

In 2016, I read that DNA tests proved this story wrong. The DNA from the descendents of Marmaduke and the descendents of Blue Jacket did not match. Wikipedia on Blue Jacket

Report on DNA of Blue Jacket

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