John Norton (Teyoninhokaren) lived a multi-faceted life as diplomat, political leader, war chief, and author. Famous in his day and seen as “extraordinary” by contemporaries, he remained in the shadows of Tecumseh and Joseph Brant because of a lack of information and the negative portrayals of him by his adversaries. With the discovery of his personal correspondence and Journal, his character has been re-evaluated and his significance as a leader of the Six Nations, an important war chief in the War of 1812, and an author and historian, recognized. As well, his connections with Canada’s first internationally acclaimed author, Major John Richardson has been acknowledged and Norton recognized as a model for the character “Wacousta.” Little focus has been made of his “Wacousta” connection and an updated “overview” of his career has not appeared. Given his new status and what we now know of him, he is deserving of greater recognition and a fuller and up-to-date portrayal.
John Norton (Teyoninhokaren) mena une vie à multiples facettes; il fut diplomate, responsable politique, chef de guerre et écrivain. Quoiqu’il fût célèbre à son époque et considéré “extraordinaire” par ses contemporains, il resta toutefois dans l’ombre de Tecumseh et de Joseph Brant à cause du manque d’information à son sujet et d’une représentation négative par ses adversaires. Grâce à la découverte de sa correspondance personnelle et de son journal, on reconnaît aujourd’hui son importance en tant que chef de Six Nations, en tant que chef de guerre durant la Guerre de 1812 et en tant qu’écrivain et historien. De plus, on confirme ses contacts avec John Richardson, le premier auteur canadien de renommée mondiale, et on admet que Norton ait servi de modèle au personnage de “Wacousta”. Ce lien avec Wacousta fût peu exploré et un « aperçu » actualisé n’a pas encore été mis en place. Compte tenu de son nouveau statut et de tout ce qu’on sait présentement de lui, il mérite certainement une reconnaissance plus grande et une mise à jour de son image.
Alan James Finlayson B.Ed. (1972), M.Ed. (1980), H.B.A. (Toronto 1971), M.A. (Carleton 1977) is a retired educator with a love of history and research. He became interested in Norton first as an undergrad and then again in his Masters’ year when he discovered Major John Richardson and made the “connection” between them. He always believed that there was potential for a paper or two on Norton and Richardson but never had the time to pursue that goal. A Masters Degree in Education (Niagara 1980), administrative advancement (Social Science Department Head; Regional Consultant; Regional Co-ordinator), work with Faculties of Education, and family, were his focus. With retirement, however, he has had the time to update his research and, at last, to try my hand at writing.