By Alexander Posey (Author), Matthew Wynn Silvils (Editor)
Though he died at the age of thirty-four, the Muscogee (Creek) poet, journalist, and humorist Alexander Posey (1873–1908) was one of the most prolific and influential American Indian writers of his time. This volume of nine stories, five orations, and nine works of oral tradition is the first to collect these entertaining and important works of Muscogee literature. Many of Posey’s stories reflect trickster themes; his orations demonstrate both his rhetorical prowess and his political stance as a “Progressive” Muscogee; and his works of oral tradition reveal his deep cultural roots. Most of these pieces, which first appeared between 1892 and 1907 in Indian Territory newspapers and magazines, have since become rarities, many of the original pieces surviving only as single clippings in a few archives.
While Muscogee oral tradition greatly influenced Posey’s prose, his work was also infused with the Euro-American influences that formed much of his literary education. As this collection demonstrates, Posey used his knowledge of Euro-American literature and history to help write works that championed his own people at a time of profound oppression at the hands of the United States government. Posey’s vivid literary style merges rich regional humor with Muscogee oral tradition in a way that makes him a unique figure in American Indian literature and politics. Chinnubbie and the Owl brings these works of great literary, cultural, and historical value to a new generation of readers.