George Copway (1818 - January 1869) was a Mississaugas Ojibwa writer, lecturer, and advocate of Native Americans. His Ojibwa name was Kah-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bowh (Gaagigegaabaw in the Fiero orthography), meaning "He Who Stands Forever."
Copway was born near Trenton, Ontario, into a traditional Ojibwa family who later converted to Methodism. After conversion, he attended the local mission school and eventually became a missionary for the Methodist church.
In 1840, he met Englishwoman Elizabeth Howell, whose family were farmers in the Toronto area. They married and moved to Minnesota to serve as missionaries. The couple later returned to Canada, where Copway served as a missionary for the Saugeen and Rice Lake Bands of the Ojibwa. In 1846, he was accused and convicted of embezzlement and was defrocked by the Methodists.
In 1851, he started his own weekly newspaper in New York City titled Copway's American Indian which ran for approximately three months. He died in Oka, Quebec.
Copway wrote down many details about the Ojibwa Nation. He dedicated a few chapters to the use of birch bark scrolls, the symbolic writing that was used, and the meaning of various symbols. These elaborate scrolls were used to remember songs, history, and ceremonies. The care and reproduction of these scrolls by a select few is given in great detail.(Citation needed) He is an original source for historic details of the 19th century that could have easily been forgotten with great changes over time.
- The Ojibway Conquest: A tale of the northwest. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1850.
- The Life, History and Travels of Kah-ge-ga-gah-Bowh. Philadelphia: J. Harmstead, 1847
- also published as Recollections of a Forest Life. London: C. Gilpin / Edinburgh: A. & C. Black / Dublin: J.B. Gilpin, 1850.
- The Lectures of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh, (or G. Copway, the Indian chief,) at ... Tremont Temple. Boston: 1849.
- Organization of a New Indian Territory, East of the Missouri River. New York: S.W. Benedict, 1850.
- The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation. London: C. Gilpin, 1850.
- Running Sketches of Men and Places, in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Scotland. New York: J.C. Riker, 1851.
- Indian Life and Indian History. Boston: Albert Colby, 1858, 1860.
- The Life, Letters, and Speeches of Kah-ge-ga-gah-Bowh, or G. Copway, a chief of the Ojibwa Nation. New York: S.W. Benedict, 1850
- (edited by (A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff & Donald B. Smith). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- short biography at "The Canadian Encyclopedia"
- The life, history, and travels of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh (George Copway), a young Indian chief of the Ojebwa nation, a convert to the Christian faith, and a missionary to his people for twelve years; with a sketch of the present state of the Ojebwa nation, in regard to Christianity and their future prospects. Also an appeal; with all the names of the chiefs now living, who have been Christianized, and the missionaries now laboring among them. Written by himself. Publisher: Albany, Printed by Weed and Parsons, 1847, c1846.
- 12px Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900) "Copway, George" Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography New York: D. Appleton
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