Author presentation and signing: Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley

UNB Libraries invites you to attend an introduction to a long – awaited biography of Tappan Adney being held on Friday, September 15th, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm in the Milham Room (#100) at the Harriet Irving Library.

When Tappan Adney came to Woodstock, New Brunswick for a summer holiday in 1887, a seed was planted that grew into one of the most significant projects of cultural preservation in the history of Canada.

Adney was just 19, an accomplished artist, a budding ornithologist, and interested in everything he saw happening in the St. John River Valley – an environment intriguingly different from New York City where he had been living and studying. For one thing, he saw Peter Joe building a Maliseet birch bark canoe at Lane’s Creek on the shore of the Wolastoq (St. John River) and it changed his life. Adney became the artist/craftsman who saved the bark canoe from extinction. Upper Woodstock became his home.

But he did much more. This highly illustrated book is the first publication to cover the full scope of the Tappan Adney story: he became a linguist, ethnographer, natural history scientist, wildlife illustrator, journalist, historian, writer, and pioneering legal defender of Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) treaty rights. And always the artist, he produced paintings, drawings, carvings, photographs, and museum quality model canoes that constitute a major cultural heritage in their own right. People who knew him called him a “genius.”

But perhaps most important of all, he produced The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America, the book that became the workbench bible of all those who now, once again, are building birch bark canoes.

For further information please call the Harriet Irving Library at 506-453-3546.

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Institution: 
University of New Brunswick