Cleveland. 1860. 68pp. 12mo. Original half muslin and printed paper boards. Hinges tender. Boards a bit soiled, worn at spine ends. Contemporary ownership inscription on front free endpaper. A few fox marks, but generally clean and fresh internally. A very good copy. In a cloth clamshell case, leather label. Item #WRCAM39553
A rare Indian captivity, not in Ayer or Field. Brayton was stolen near his home in Ohio in 1825 and sold to the Pottawatomi, who took him to Michigan, where he lived among the Winnebago, Chippewa, and Sioux. The latter took him west, where he was again sold, this time to the Snake Indians, who adopted him into their tribe. Brayton apparently lived among the Snake on the upper Missouri River, following them to California, where he remained some five years. He describes fighting the Blackfeet in Oregon, as well as his extraordinary thirty-four years of wandering all over the West. He finally reconciled himself to civilization, enlisted in the army in 1861, and was killed at Pittsburgh Landing in 1862. "Extraordinary as the incidents appear, there is abundant proof of its entire truth" - Thomson. "It is quite true that it would not have been possible for Brayton to have made some of the movements described among the tribes named. On the other hand the critics have overlooked the fact that Brayton was taken at the age of seven and lived among the Indians for thirty-four years. He could not read or write, and spoke English with some difficulty....There remains not the slightest doubt that Matthew was a Brayton, and his narrative is, in general, correct" - Wessen. "One of the most remarkable and - in spite of its relatively late publication date - one of the rarest items belonging to captivity literature" - Howes. This account is sometimes attributed to John H.A. Bone, who may have assisted Brayton in setting forth the narrative. An extraordinary account, rarely met with, and hardly ever encountered in an original binding.
The Streeter copy sold to Peter Decker for $325 in 1969. HOWES B736, "c." THOMSON 115. GREENLY MICHIGAN 32. GRAFF 393. STREETER SALE 4272. SIEBERT SALE 994. WAGNER-CAMP 351. WESSEN, MIDLAND NOTES 30:29.