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Home » Public Programs » Online Exhibits » Case 16: Recent Library Acquisitions » Manuscript by Mary S. Clarkson, entitled Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Wyandot Indian Agency. Undated. Mary S. Clarkson Papers.

Manuscript by Mary S. Clarkson, entitled Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Wyandot Indian Agency. Undated. Mary S. Clarkson Papers.

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction
Hackneyed as this phrase is its truth has been forcible impressed upon my mind by a narative Mrs. Garrett gave me last evening of some incidents in the life of the mother of Ma an za Whose father Adam Brown was captured by a war party of Wyandotts at 10 years of age from a school house on the frontier of Virginia Carried to the posessions of the Wyandott on the Detroit river three miles above Malden he was adopted into and married in time in right of his wife became principal chief of the big Turtle tribe at that day the royal tribe of the Canada band of Wyandotts. had a large family of sons and daughters the eldest Ya deh shu rehs the heroine of the narative a lovely young girl who was placed in the Catholic Mission school for education.  her beauty attracted the attention of a cadet who was traveling in Canad[a] of a noble english family he won her affections thier marriage was solemnised by the Catholic priest Nothing marred the happiness of the young couple she became the mother of a fair haried girl and blooming boy the first three, the latter one year old When Col McKee the father arrived in Malden in search of his long absent son and found him the husband of the Chiefs daughter Indignant at the mesalliance the father by prayers and entreaties endeavoured to induce his son to leave his Indian wife but in vain Exasperated he resorted to stratagem to decoy his son from home and used force to get him on board a ship preparing to sail for England When the distracted young wife found her lover husband gone she took one child on her back and leading and carrying in her arms alternately waded through the deep snow untill she reached the river got into a skiff canoe and rowed to the ship in the harbor At first the unrelenting father father refused to let her see her husband but overcome by her frantic entreaties he permitted her to bid him farewell he caressed his children particularly the little girl weeping bitterly while he pressed her to his bosom then folding mother and children in one long embrace was carried to his hammock

even the stern father was moved and filled the hands of the mother with gold which she indignantly threw into the Lake Broken hearted and despairing she rowed her frail bark canoe to shore and wended her way through the snow to her desolate home seated herself with her unconscious boy who was sleeping in her arms She knew not how the dreary night passed but was aroused to consciousness by the labored breathing of her little girl who before the sun reached the meridian was a corpse The weary travel through the snow was too much for the delicate offspring of the proud Englishman The screams of the bereaved mother brought the inhabitants of the neighbouring lodges among whom was the narrators mother Mrs Walker a tribe sister the chief Adam Brown had purchased Walker from a war party of his Nephew the Deleware and adopted him as his son in this wise the Ws become of the big turtle tribe The beautiful boy was left to gladden the heart of the poor mother he advanced to [ ] was educated at the mission school in Ohio Clerk in the Wyandott company store In the mean time the mother had formed new ties married Mr Williams an englishman moved to Ohio with her husband and two daughters Kitty now the wife of I Greyeyes one of the chiefs and Ma an za 10 years of age Moved with her people to this land in the far west which the Wyandotts bought of their Nephew the Deleware In less than one year after their arrival the Noble young Chief the fond brother the devoted son was consigned to the grave I have seen his shot pouch belt and silver drinking cup Ma an za his pet name for his sister wears his gold watch and yearly visits his lonely grave in the prarie in the Shawnoese Teritory five miles from West Port in Mo. how often have I seen her large lustrous eyes filled with tears when speaking of that dearly loved brother Reader go to the Museum in Cincinnati and ask to see the portrait of Thos McKee and you will see the likeness of this lamented brother and son

I have told the tale as told to me
Ya deh shu rehs is the name of the heroine
M S.C.