Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Click here to learn more about MyHeritage and get free genealogy resources

The Men of the Last Frontier
By Grey Owl (1932)

Grey Owl's strange quest 1936 documentary


The publisher feels that a short foreword is necessary in offering this book to the public.

It should be explained that the author is a halfbreed Indian, whose name has recently become known throughout the English-speaking world. His father was a Scot, his mother an Apache Indian of New Mexico, and he was born somewhere near the Rio Grande forty odd years ago. Grey Owl is the translation of his Red Indian name, given to him when he became a blood brother of the Ojibways, and his proper legal style. He trekked, in his early twenties, into Canada and followed the life of a bush Indian, trapping, fire-ranging and guiding. During the Great War, he enlisted in the 13th Montreal Battalion, became a sniper and saw service in France. On his return he took up his old life as a trapper, but presently found his chief interest in the preservation of the beaver, which was on the verge of extinction, and his efforts in that direction have been recognized by the Canadian Government. He tried his hand at writing an article on Canadian Wild Life, and his letters to his publisher, from time to time, were so original, so full of the local colour of his surroundings, that, in 1929, the suggestion was made that he should write this book. Difficulties have been many, both for author and publisher. The book was written in many camps, often the author was a hundred miles from the nearest post office and frequently weather conditions made any journey impossible. His MS., by no means always easy to follow, was further complicated by the fact that it had been typewritten by a French-Canadian who knew little English.

Among the pile of letters and MS. which, in the course of time, accumulated at the publishers, were several rough but extraordinarily vivid sketches drawn by the author in pencil on pages torn from an exercise book; one of these is reproduced here and others appear as the end papers of this book.

At Grey Owl’s own request, and because the publisher felt very strongly that much of the value of his work lies in its individuality, the editing of his MS. has been reduced to a minimum and alterations have only been made to clear possible ambiguities or where a phrase would have read too strangely. This will explain to any reader who may find the author’s language anywhere unnatural that the fault does not lie with Grey Owl.


Chapter I. The Vanguard
Chapter II. The Land of Shadows
Chapter III. The Trail
Chapter IV. The Still-Hunt
Chapter V. On Being Lost
Chapter VI. The Fall of the Leaf
Chapter VII. The Tale of the Beaver People
Chapter VIII. The Altar of Mammon
Chapter IX. The House of McGinnis
Chapter X. The Trail of Two Sunsets

Return to our Lifestyle Articles Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus