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Kootneai Brown

Ted G. Davy

(As originally published in Fohat, Vol.XI, issue 1. After further editing, appears in Theosophy in Canada)

Many honourable men have shared the name John Brown. One in particular is
distinguished by his nickname, Kootenai, bestowed on him because of his
mastery of the language spoken by the Kootenai Indians of British Columbia. He
is the subject of at least three books, countless articles, and even a movie. Today
he is almost a legend in the Southern part of Alberta, especially the region which
he helped preserve for posterity.

In the life stories of several pioneers of the American West, it is difficult to sort
out fiction from fact; and this is certainly true where Kootenai Brown is
concerned. None the less, the truth about him is just as interesting as the
fabrications. In America Kootenai Brown would be as famous as Buffalo Bill —
whom incidentally he knew. His was such a colourful personality that he was
bound to be the subject of many a tall tale, some apocryphal, others only slightly
exaggerated. It is tempting to record some of the more fantastic stories about
him, but the following sketch of his life keeps to the known facts as far as
possible. One is that in his later years he was a Theosophist. (To Read More . . . )