Jewitt, John Rodgers
John Rodgers Jewitt, armourer (b at Boston, Eng 21 May 1783; d at Hartford, Conn 7 Jan 1821). Jewitt was an armourer aboard the American fur-trading ship Boston. He and one companion were spared by NOOTKA chief MAQUINNA, whose followers destroyed the ship in Nootka Sound 22 March 1803. Jewitt agreed to remain as Maquinna's gunsmith and blacksmith. Immersed in Nootka culture, Jewitt was initiated into the Winter Ceremonial and took a Nootka wife.
His journal was published in 1807, 2 years after his rescue, inspiring Richard Alsop to interview Jewitt at length. The result was A Narrative of the Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt (1815) - a classic of captivity literature - and a broadside ballad "The Poor Armourer Boy," which Jewitt hawked around New England. Jewitt was a shrewd observer, and his accounts are valuable records of Northwest Indian culture.