Autobiography | Donald Jackson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of Autobiography.
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Donald Jackson

SOURCE: An introduction to Black Hawk, edited by Donald Jackson, University of Illinois Press, 1964, pp. 1-40.

In the following excerpt, originally written in 1955, Jackson examines the complex issue of the authenticity of Black Hawk's memoirs.

Since the first appearance of the autobiography [Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk] in 1833, its accuracy, authenticity, and style have been both praised and damned. The fault that critics find with it is usually expressed in one or more of these comments: Black Hawk didn't dictate it; the facts are garbled; no Indian would talk that way; no Indian would ever think of dictating his life story; LeClaire, the interpreter, was an unreliable halfbreed.

The conflicting judgments can be shown best by quotation. The North American Review, January, 1835, ran a review of the book which contained this passage on pp. 69-70:

It is almost the only one we have ever read...

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This section contains 2,811 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Donald Jackson
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