Daughter of Rising Moon
by Rev. William Barnaby Faherty, St. Louis

Author of more than 30 books, Faherty is a retired priest who made it possible for the memorial plaque for Father Petit and the Trail of Death to be installed at the Jesuit Archives in 1998. He also got the boulder donated from Missouri for the Father Petit memorial in front of the Fulton County Museum.

Father Faherty taught at St Marys, Kansas, and had as students many of the Potawatomi who had ancestors on the Trail of Death. This included Sister Virginia Pearl and her brothers, Jim and Bob, who have been active in the Trail of Death caravans.

The book is about a Potawatomi storyteller, a grandmother who told the tribal history to the children and adults at gatherings. Emily’s ancestor, Rising Moon, was a warrior who fought and outwitted the Iroquois when they tried to conquer the Potawatomi in the 1600s. Emily tells the children about the long trip from Indiana to Kansas that became a Trail of Death, Thomas Butler’s founding of an Irish town in Kansas, and the establishment of St Marys school in the cold winter of 1848. Her grandson, Orion Ruhane tells of post World War II Kansas, attending a Catholic high school in the 1940s, and entering the seminary at Florissant, Missouri, in 1952. The book describes the Christian faith of members of the tribes, along with the importance of maintaining cultural traditions such as art and storytelling.

The book has 107 pages, soft cover and sells for $15. It can be purchased at the Fulton County Museum or ordered via mail by sending a check for $20 to FCHS, 37 E 375 N, Rochester IN 46975.

This book is Faherty’s fourth work of fiction. One of Faherty’s books, “A Wall for San Sebastian,” was made into a movie starring Anthony Quinn in 1968. The movie was titled “Guns for San Sebastian.”

For readers who are not Catholic or acquainted with American Indians, this new book will be a real eye-opener. When attending college, many people with Indian ancestors are not recognized as Indians and have to endure critical remarks if they speak up. As farmers, many Potawatomi and other tribal members use modern machinery and methods and are very knowledgeable about the government’s farm policy.

This book provides an excellent insight into the feelings of a modern Native American Indian. Living with one foot in the past and one in the modern world requires a balancing act. Faherty thinks the Catholic Church helps by promoting the idea of achieving good works. Many of the Indians are Catholic, and so are the Irish, some Germans, Belgians and other groups who settled the Plains states.

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This page updated Nov 6, 2015.