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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Converse - The Two-Headed Serpent and the Brave Boy - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

One of the pleasures of the "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" series is it forces me to examine more closely the many older anthologies that could easily be overlooked.  It's also an opportunity occasionally to discover a bit more about the people who put those anthologies together.
Harriet Maxwell Converse is certainly one of those intriguing people.  PBS has two articles on Converse: the first is a fairly straight Biography of Harriet Maxwell Converse, but the second is a more emotional look at her correspondence with Ely Parker, who was the source of much of her Seneca and other Iroquois material. The wealthy white woman writer was adopted into the Snipe clan of the Seneca and even chosen as a Six Nations chief.  Along the way I also discovered more about Arthur C. Parker, who is best known for his own book, Skunny Wundy: Seneca Indian Tales, although that is not his only contribution to helping educate the public about Native Americans.

It's also sometimes tricky to scan some books.  They may be fragile or have been bound with too little space to copy easily.  Today's book has both problems so I had to choose with that in mind.  Fortunately a short story worked around those problems.

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