|Birth: ||Jan. 31, 1800|
Sault Sainte Marie
|Death: ||May 22, 1842|
Writer. Though upstaged by her more famous husband, Henry Schoolcraft, Jane Schoolcraft has become recognized as a pioneering woman in American Literature.
Jane Johnston Schoolcraft was half Ojibwe (Chippewa) and half Irish, and was fluent in both languages. Her maternal grandfather was Waubojeeg, a prominent Ojibwe war chief. Her Indian name was Bamewawagezhikaquay, meaning "Woman of the Sound [that the stars make] Rushing Through the Sky."
In 1823 Jane married Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, the geologist, geographer and ethnologist. He had been appointed Indian Agent to the Michigan Territory the year before.
Jane has many literary "firsts" to her credit, for either a man or a woman. She was the first known American Indian literary writer, the first known American Indian poet to write in English, the first known poet to write poems in a Native American language, which was the Ojibwe language (also known as Chippewa and Anishinaabemowin). She wrote down traditional Chippewa stories, rather than transcribing from someone else, though she did that as well.
The Schoolcrafts were well-to-do and entertained many literary friends, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Jane's stories inspired Longfellow's classic poem, "The Song of Hiawatha". The line "by the shores of Gitchee Goomee" refers to Lake Superior near Sault Sainte Marie, where Jane spent most of her life.
The complete works of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft were published in 2007 for the first time. Jane was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2008.
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (1793 - 1864)
John J. Schoolcraft (1829 - 1865)*
Saint John's Anglican Church Graveyard
Created by: Miss Morgan
Record added: Jul 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39462381