The Ojibwe Journals of Edmund F. Ely, 1833-1849


The Ojibwe Journals of Edmund F. Ely, 1833-1849

Edmund F. Ely
Edited and with an introduction by Theresa M. Schenck

520 pages
17 illustrations, 7 appendixes, 5 maps, 2 tables


November 2012


$75.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

November 2012


$75.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Twenty-four-year-old Edmund F. Ely, a divinity student from Albany, New York, gave up his preparation for the ministry in 1833 to become a missionary and teacher among the Ojibwe of Lake Superior. During the next sixteen years, Ely lived, taught, and preached among the Ojibwe, keeping a journal of his day-to-day experiences as well as recording ethnographic information about the Ojibwe. From recording his frustrations over the Ojibwe's rejection of Christianity to describing hunting and fishing techniques he learned from his Ojibwe neighbors, Ely’s unique and rich record provides unprecedented insight into early nineteenth-century Ojibwe life and Ojibwe-missionary relations. Theresa M. Schenck draws on a broad array of secondary sources to contextualize Ely’s journals for historians, anthropologists, linguists, literary scholars, and the Ojibwe themselves, highlighting the journals’ relevance and importance for understanding the Ojibwe of this era.

Author Bio

Edmund F. Ely (1809–1882) spent sixteen years as a missionary and teacher among the Ojibwes of Lake Superior during the 1830s and 1840s.


Theresa M. Schenck is an associate professor of life sciences communications and American Indian studies and folklore at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of William W. Warren: The Life, Letters, and Times of an Ojibwe Leader (Nebraska, 2007) and the editor of William W. Warren’s History of the Ojibway People: The Annotated Edition.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 
List of Maps 
List of Tables 
Chapter 1: Albany, New York, to Sandy Lake, Iowa Territory, July 5 to September 28, 1833 
Chapter 2: Sandy Lake, September 28 to December 7, 1833 
Chapter 3: Sandy Lake to Leech Lake, December 8, 1833, to May 4, 1834 
Chapter 4: Fond du Lac and Travels, May 4 to December 28, 1834 
Chapter 5: Fond du Lac, January 1 to September 21, 1835 
Chapter 6: Life at Fond du Lac, September 20, 1835, to December 27, 1836 
Chapter 7: Missionary Life at Fond du Lac, January 7 to November 25, 1837 
Chapter 8: Struggles at Fond du Lac, January 4 to December 14, 1838 
Chapter 9: Closing Fond du Lac, January to October 20, 1839 
Chapter 10: Events of 1840 to 1842 
Chapter 11: Final Years in Missionary Life, 1842 to 1849 
Appendix A: Manners and Customs of Ojibueg 
Appendix B: Catharine Ely's Diary, 1835 to 1839 
Appendix C: Select Ojibwe Vocabulary 
Appendix D: Anishinaabeg of Fond du Lac and the St. Croix Valley 
Appendix E: Missionary Community 
Appendix F: List of Persons in the District of Fond du Lac, 1834 to 1835 
Appendix G: Maps 

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