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Tappan Adney

Tappan Adney

320 pages
Published:   October 8, 2024
Non-Fiction  /  Biography & Memoir
Paperback:   9781773103143    $27.95

The remarkable life and legacy of an extraordinary man whose influence echoes through time.

Tappan Adney travelled from New York to New Brunswick for a summer holiday at the age of 19 in 1887, and it changed the course of his life.

Adney is best known for a singular achievement. He was the artist, writer, and illustrator whose chance encounter with Peter Jo, a Wəlastəkwi Elder–craftsman, led to a passionate, lifelong interest in the birchbark canoe and Wəlastəkwey culture.

But that is only part of the story. Throughout his life, little escaped Adney’s curiosity. From his extensive documentation of the design of Indigenous canoes to his reportage on the Klondike Gold Rush; from his work as an illustrator, photographer, and designer to his natural history journalism; from his activism for Indigenous rights to his documentation of the Wəlastəkwey language, Adney’s mind roamed from one passion to another, leaving behind a treasure trove of natural history and ethnographic research. This book tells the intriguing story of his remarkable life and his multifaceted legacy.
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C. Ted Behne’s interest in Tappan Adney began when he attended a birchbark canoe-building class. After 30 years of working as a writer and editor, he agreed to take on the task of completing Wheaton’s book on Tappan Adney. His articles on the birchbark canoe and Tappan Adney appeared in Native Peoples Magazine, Prairies North, and Wooden Boat Magazine, and he edited The Travel Journals of Tappan Adney Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

James W. Wheaton’s interest in Tappan Adney began with Wheaton’s wife, Joan Adney Dragon, the granddaughter of Tappan Adney. He completed the first draft of the Adney biography before passing it on to Ted Behne. Although an electrical engineer by trade, his passion for genealogy, history, and writing led to him serving as president of the Hingham Historical Society (Hingham, MA). His transcription and annotation of the letters and journals of Dr. Charles Brackett — a distant relative —— was published as Surgeon on Horseback.

Keith Helmuth is the publisher and managing editor of Chapel Street Editions. He is the author of Tracking Down Ecological Guidance and Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley. He lives in Woodstock, New Brunswick.