Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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TANNER, John, captive, born in Kentucky about 1780; died in 1847. His father removed from Ken-Lucky to the mouth of Big Miami river, Ohio, and settled there as a farmer. At the age of six years the son was captured in the fields by an Indian, who wished to adopt a son in place of his own, who had recently died. Tanner was compelled to labor for the Indians, and thought to be "good for nothing" by his captor, who tomahawked him and left him to die in the woods, but he was found by his adopted mother, who treated him with kindness and affection, and he recovered. After two years he was sold to Net-no-kwa, an Ottawa Indian, and he remained in captivity for thirty years. He became thoroughly accustomed to Indian life, participated in many hunting warlike excursions in the region of the great lakes, and married Mis-kwa-bun-o-kwa, "the red sky of the morning." He afterward fell in with the Hudson bay company, and went to Detroit, where he was interviewed by Governor Lewis Cass, and met his brother, with whom he was unable to speak except through an interpreter. After visiting his family he returned to the Indian settlement for his children, and was then employed as interpreter for the Indian agent at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan He wrote a "Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner during Thirty Years' Residence among the Indians," edited by Edwin James, M. D. (New York, 1830). His son, James, became a Unitarian missionary.
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