I first discovered the Shawnee War Chief Blue Jacket while reading a history of the Ohio River Valley. His rise to prominence unfortunately coincided with the decimation of the Shawnee and he fought hard for the freedom of his people.
The more I learned about him and the story that surrounds him I became convinced that the story would make a great book for young readers. Not just because of his exploits but also because of the time period he lived in which is an often neglected period in the study of American History.
The Legend of Blue Jacket tells the story of 16-year-old Marmaduke Van Swearingen, a colonial boy captured by Shawnee Indians in the late 18th century. Adopted into their tribe, he lives the rest of his life as a Shawnee warrior and eventually becomes known to history as the war chief Blue Jacket.
So far the book has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. In fact, my study and research for The Legend of Blue Jacket led me directly to my picture book, Daniel Boone’s Great Escape. It’s amazing how that works sometimes.