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Mary Jemison story at Ganondagan

Award-winning vocalist Joanne Shenandoah is bringing her artistry to Ganondagan’s final summer Friends of Ganondagan event.joanna-shenandoah

At “Meteor Showers, Storytelling, and Song,” Shenandoah will take center stage for a presentation based on her recent audio recording, “A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison.” Jemison was captured in 1755 at 12 years old after her family was killed by a Shawnee war party. She was then adopted by two Seneca women and lived the rest of her life as a member of the Seneca clan.

“This audio book serves an important purpose in helping to share Mary Jemison’s compelling story; her life was filled with tragic events that might have destroyed her, and yet she persevered,” said Ganondagan State Historic Site Manager Peter Jemison—an eighth generation descendant of Mary Jemison. “She was embraced by the Seneca and felt she belonged with them. I have reread her story numerous times to glimpse the life my people enjoyed before the Revolutionary War.”

Shenandoah narrates and co-authored the story with Rebekah Presson Mosby. She also offers touching original music that reflects the adventures during war and peace in Jemison’s life. Jemison was named “Digewamis” by her Seneca family, but is known as “The White Woman” by most people. She went on to become a wealthy woman owning thousands of acres of land in Western New York.

Shenandoah is a Grammy winner on top of her 40 other music awards. She has 22 recordings, ranging from solos to full symphony orchestras.

Event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Seneca Art & Culture Center. ganondagan.org

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