Putrid salmon favored by John Jewitt’s captors in this true-life adventure tale

Posted: June 15, 2021 in Into the Americas
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For the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest salmon was part of their staple diet – preferably eaten putrid and well past its used-by date – as young Englishman John Jewitt discovered when a captive of the Mowachahts of Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, in the early 1800s. 

We include references to John’s aversion to putrid salmon in our epic historical fiction adventure INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story). The earthy descriptions are accurate for we sourced them directly from a diary he kept during his years in captivity. To John’s chagrin, the surrounding woods abounded with game, but salmon was considered a delicacy compared to deer and such.

Mowachaht chief Maquinna and his family agreed to John’s request that he cook an English-style meal of roasted venison for them. However, to the young cook’s dismay, they were unimpressed by the meal, and stuck to their traditional diet.

John observed the Mowachahts’ diet, which also included whale meat and blubber, kept them healthy as illness was rare within the tribe except during harsh winters when starvation was a common occurrence.

One book critic describes INTO THE AMERICAS as “an incredible, true-life, wilderness survival story”. It is available via Amazon as a paperback and Kindle ebook.

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