MOHAWK POET TEKAHIONWAKE (EMILY PAULINE JOHNSON) BORN
Pauline, born at Chiefswood, Six Nations Reserve, Brantford, Ontario, great-granddaughter of Tekahionwake (Jacob Johnson) & granddaughter of John “Smoke” Johnson, attended Brantford Collegiate Institute. From 1884-86, Johnson published poems & wrote special pieces [e.g., reinterment ceremony of Seneca orator Red Jacket (1885) & dedication of a Joseph Brant statue (1886)]. By 1890, she’d earned recognition from John Greenleaf Whittier. In January 1892, Emily began doing poetry performances emphasizing her links to oral tradition, appearing in native dress for part of her program; drawing-room gown for part. From 1892-1909, she toured Canada, the U.S., & England (1894), and published her 1st book of poems, The White Wampum (1895). A 2nd collection, Canadian Born (1893), celebrated Canadian nationalism. In 1909, suffering from breast cancer, she completed Legends of Vancouver & Flint and Feather (1912) before she died on March 7, 1913, in Vancouver.
Source: Marilyn J. Rose, “Johnson, Emily Pauline,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Retrieved 6/6/2021, Biography – JOHNSON, EMILY PAULINE – Volume XIV (1911-1920) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography (biographi.ca) Photo: Cochran, April 1879. Permissive Use in Canada: This image is available from Library and Archives Canada under the reproduction reference number C-085125 and under the MIKAN ID number 3194762. Public Domain in the United States.