Book 3 in the Namakagon trilogy and a story that explains more than ever about Chief Namakagon.

Who was Chief Namakagon BEFORE he came to Wisconsin? Was he a fugitive from the law? Wanted for murder? The answers and this book will amaze you. 224 illustrated pages with excerpts from actual documents from the early 19th century.

Live the astounding life of Shaw-shawwa Nay-basay, the White Falcon, a chief, war hero, and published author. You'll understand his struggle to fit in somewhere between the life of a White and that of an Indian. It is a shocking tale of an adventurer caught between two cultures. See the free excerpt below (coming soon).

The Secret Life of Chief Namakagon

$ 17.99 USD


Book 3 in the trilogy, this book answers the questions about Chief Namakagon's life BEFORE he came to Lake Namakagon around 1846. Illustrated. Includes maps and information that leads readers closer to his legendary lost silver mine.

You can save $6 plus $3 in sales tax by ordering the Namakagon trilogy. Shipping is free, too. Your books will arrive in your mailbox within days of your order. Pay with CC or Paypal. Click on the trilogy image to see the page and order all 3.
The yellow square is Namakagon's homestead, located in Section 26 of the Marengo silver fields. After his death, treasure hunters asked farmer Johnson if Namakagon ever had silver when he visited. No. But when they asked Tom Mattison if the chief had silver when he stopped on his way to Ashland, the answer was, "Yes, often."
The task of finding Namakagon's homestead in the Marengo region was challenging. Many searched but couldn't find it. This is because he did not register it under any of his known names. It was not until the author discovered Chief Namakagon was formerly known as John Falcon Tanner that the mystery was solved. Had the 40 been registered under and alias, the land could not be willed to a descendant. The name he used on the deed was his real name. After his 1886 death, the taxes accrued. In the land records office, the author found a transfer of ownership from the Tanner family to the county, presumably to cover the back taxes.
Namakagon's nephew, James Tanner, signed off on the property.
Like most plat books, this 1898 drawing was wrong. The Brunsweiller River does not intersect Namakagon's land. Instead, it is a few hundred yards to the northeast. The old Wisconsin Central RR track is now a town road. Park southwest of the bridge and look for a trail that takes you to the chief's old homestead. Bring a compass and make sure someone knows where you're going. This is tough country with no cell service. Bring a camera in case the Great Makwaa blocks your trail!

In my annotated "Early Life Among the Indians," you'll hear Benj. Armstrong speak of the "old Indian" who took him out to see the silver mine 3 times, each time turning back so not to disturb the Great Spirit. This is nearly the same tale as the one of the bear standing in the trail and turning them back. Though Armstrong mentions no bear, they could have crossed one's path on one of the 3 treks. If so, that could be the inspiration for the legend of the bear turning them away.

Click on the Armstrong book image to see more. -->  -->

Before John Tanner became Chief Namakagon, he more than likely accompanied Henry Schoolcraft on his expedition up to the Mississippi headwaters. Tanner would have been one of two interpreters in the party of 29. They came down the Namekagon River in 1832, giving Tanner knowledge of the area he would (14 years later) choose for his secluded home. The pictures above and below are attributed to the Schoolcraft expedition of 1832.

Chief Namakagon lived in these places during his lifetime: Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Lake Namakagon, Rainy Lake, & Winnipeg. (Not shown are his birthplace, Boonesville, KY, and his father's farm at the juncture of the Miami and Ohio Rivers, now the place called Cincinnati.)

In this N. Eastman watercolor, the Schoolcraft party is encamped on an island in Lake Itasca, the supposed headwaters of the Mississippi River.

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