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Showing 1-10 of 143 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 148 reviews
on March 14, 2017
While it may be true there was a missing boy in 1825 named Matthew Brayton, the person who did show up claiming to be Matthew after living for over three decades as an Indian (but speaking proficient English) eventually admitted to being an imposter. He gives a passionless, improbable account of traveling coast to coast on foot from the Midwest across the Rockies to San Francisco, then to New York. He supposedly learns to speak English while occasionally visiting trading posts, and then he inexplicably walks away from his Indian wife and children. Some people cut his long hair, scrub his body paint, and give him white people's clothes while he's comatose with illness when making his way back to his white family. Ok, so that's why he shows up back in Cleveland looking and speaking like a white guy. How convenient.
One has only to read a few verified captivity accounts to notice from the start this is fiction. The details, while interesting, are very vague. The Snake and Copper Head names were purposely used since those could represent a large number of tribes. Whoever did write this (it was first published by a newspaper) certainly did know details about Indian customs, but the story doesn't come near to the one a person living decades with Indians would be writing. It's a short book because there isn't much to say.
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on May 9, 2011
This account can be quickly read and had interesting insights into the life and travelings of Native Americans of the time. A white boy stolen from his family and assimilated into another life is compelling. When he learns that he might have been abducted and was not truly Native American he feels the need to look for his white family. Given the approval of the chief he leaves behind a wife and 2 children in search of his people promising to return.
Knowing that Native American children were routinely and legally kidnapped from their families to be forcibly assimilated into white culture was in my mind all through the book.
He was traded from tribe to tribe and traveled the entire length of the continent and into the Arctic with them as he crossed tribal territories. He describes different traditions from tribe to tribe.
His story is told dispassionately in that clear but stilted turn of the century English and it reads like he is simply sitting there with you reciting the events.
Enjoyed the read.
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on August 23, 2011
I not only enjoyed this story from the true-historical point of veiw, but as I began reading it, I realized that I live very near the town where this incident took place. As I was reading this story, I could visualize the area where this all happened. There are many monuments in this area that honor people from that time period, like Col.Crawford and Chief Tarhe. I highly recommend this book. I would like it if this would become available to purchase in permanent copy! Love to add it to my library!
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on November 29, 2011
This is an excellent and very interesting account of the life of Matthew Brayton who was kidnapped by Indians when he was 7 years old. His father was away getting a mill wheel and he had gone to play with some other children nearby. When his brother went to get him to take him home, he was gone. People searched and followed his tracks, but it was assumed that Canadian Indians had taken him and no one was going to make that trip to find him among the tribes there.

His mother never fully recovered from the loss, having five other children, and died prematurely. After this introductory information, Brayton tells in his own words the story of what happened to him. He was kidnapped by Indians because they had some differences with some whites in Ohio and had taken Matthew out of revenge. After the Canadian Indians captured him, he was traded and sold so many times and it was always for whiskey. He eventually arrived in what would be San Francisco and while in the northern California area gives a good description of the life of the Digger Indians, calling them lazy, dirty and men who didn't hunt but dug for roots all the time. He was treated not well when he was traded to the Snake Indians. Although he had lived with Indians for many years by now, he was still white.

Hunting buffalo in the fall was a very dangerous job. Many fell from their horses and were injured. He describes the hunt and how the meat is cured and the hide is dressed.

There is much good information in this narrative about life among different tribes and the everyday life of Indians. Religious beliefs, afterlife, burials, what they ate and what they wore are extremely interesting topics that Brayton covered in his narrative of life among the Indians.

Highly recommended.
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on September 12, 2012
It would be helpful to know the printing history of this tale, which is usually not available on Kindle purchases. The plus is the descriptions of the various tribes, and the writer's fear at being "captured" back by white people, and his eventual reconnection with family members. The minus is the lack of detail of daily life as a Native American, and no note of what happens to his Native American wife and children once he leaves them and "becomes white" again. A strong accompanying narrative by an accomplished historian is needed to make this book work.
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on November 3, 2015
One thing troubles me, how can anyone leave behind a wife and children, even if they are Indian? Think how they too must be grieving at the lost of husband and father.

I'm glad he found his white family, truly I am, but he has children of his flesh among the Indians, did they count less to him than his white birth family? After all his son and daughter are half white too, grandchildren, niece and nephew to his white family. How can they be pushed aside? I certainly couldn't do it!
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on February 2, 2014
The story told in these pages is fascinating. The author is the child in question and not trained in literature, but he gives his story as best he can. I found many questions that he did not address simply because he didn't see the world as an "European" person would.
The most interesting thing was the neighborly relationship between the white settlers and the nearby Native American residents. The kidnapping of the young boy was not done by the tribes that lived in the area but a tribe that was passing through.
The story of his disappearance is told from his side and the impact it had on his family is glossed over. He didn't seem to be as affected by the loss of his family but that may be just a reluctance to share his personal feelings.
He is very clear about the hard scrabble life he led during his long years with the tribe. He learns to live with his kidnappers and makes a life of sorts with them.
His life after returning to the white world isn't much better than what he had.
This is no great epic story but a telling of a small event in the history of the European invasion of North America. I must say I really found it interesting but am glad it is a rather short tale.
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on November 11, 2011
A short, easy to read, window into the past we know only from movies, tv, and fiction writers. First hand descriptions by Mathew Brady of recollections of his life from age 7 to about age 32. He clearly describes Indian travel from Ohio to the Pacific coast and back over 27 years. He recounts skirmishes with various tribes; culture and religous beliefs and ceremonies; diet and survival; buffalo hunts; encounters with traders and settlers; treatment of his serious wounds after a battle; and his eventual search for and reunion with his family in Ohio after so many years. A fascinating read even if you're only slightly interested in U.S. plains history in the early to late 1800's.
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on August 3, 2016
An interesting account of how a resourceful young man was able to adapt and embrace a life that he had no way of being prepared for. It s a compelling read and telling how when two cultures converge in such a forced manner God s Grace can still prevail.
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on July 15, 2017
This story is a true story that contains a heart- felt ending as Matthew was reunited with his birth family.
The account of the ways of the Indian is an invaluable historical account.
The story is easy to read and it keeps one enthralled from chapter to chapter.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a curiosity toward the past.
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