Captivity at Nootka Sound

A Captivity of Nearly Three Years Among the Savages of Nootka Sound

John R. Jewitt (1783–1821)

 

John Jewitt (1783-1821), a blacksmith by trade, spent the years 1803-1806 as a slave among the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Nootka Sound, off the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, after the trading vessel on which he served as armorer was attacked and its crew murdered by the native tribal chief Maquinna. Maquinna spared Jewitt’s life on condition that the Jewitt would be his slave, would repair his muskets and make daggers, knives, and fishing gear for him. Jewitt’s memoir is a considered a major source of information about the customs of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.


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