Ernest Thompson Seton
|Born||August 14, 1860|
South Shields, County Durham, England, United Kingdom
|Died||October 23, 1946 86) (aged|
Seton Village, New Mexico, United States
|Other names||"Ernest Evan Thompson", "Ernest Seton-Thompson", "Black Wolf", "Chief"|
|Occupation||Author, wildlife artist|
|Known for||Founder of the Woodcraft Indians and founding pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America|
|Spouse(s)||Grace Gallatin Thompson Seton (Wife)|
Julia M Buttree Seton (Wife)
|Children||Anya Seton (Daughter)|
Dee Barber Seton (Daughter)
|Parent(s)||Joseph Logan Thompson (Father)|
Alice Snowdon Thompson (Mother)
|Relatives||Pamela Cottier Seton (Granddaughter)|
Clemency Chase Seton (Granddaughter)
Cottier Seton (Grandson)
|Awards|| John Burroughs Medal (1927)|
Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal (1928)
Silver Buffalo Award
Ernest Thompson Seton (born Ernest Evan Thompson – died October 23, 1946) was an author (published in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the US), wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians in 1902 (renamed Woodcraft League of America) and one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1910. Seton also influenced Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of one of the first Scouting organizations. His notable books related to Scouting include The Birch Bark Roll and the Boy Scout Handbook . He is responsible for the appropriation and incorporation of what he believed to be American Indian elements into the traditions of the BSA.August 14, 1860
Seton was born in South Shields, County Durham, England of Scottish parents. His family emigrated to Canada in 1866. Most of his childhood was spent in Toronto, Ontario and the family is known to have lived at 6 Aberdeen Avenue in Cabbagetown. As a youth, he retreated to the woods of the Don River to draw and study animals as a way of avoiding his abusive father.He attended the Ontario College of Art in 1879, studying with John Colin Forbes, then won a scholarship in art to the Royal Academy in London, England in 1880. In the 1890s, he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris
On his twenty-first birthday, Seton's father presented him with an invoice for all the expenses connected with his childhood and youth, including the fee charged by the doctor who delivered him. According to one writer, he paid the bill, but never spoke to his father again.In his autobiography, Trail of An Artist-naturalist: The Autobiography of Ernest Thompson Seton, he discusses the incident in detail, but, since he hadn`t "a cent of money," he could not pay his father. He went immediately to work and used the money he made to leave the household forever.
In 1882, he joined his brother on a homestead outside Carberry, Manitoba, where he began to write. In 1891, he published The Birds of Manitoba and was appointed Provincial Naturalist by the government of Manitoba.He continued to publish books about Manitoba for decades to come, including The Life Histories of Northern Animals: An Account of the Mammals of Manitoba and lived in Manitoba until 1930, when he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
He changed his name to Ernest Thompson Seton (after initially changing it to Ernest Seton-Thompson), believing that Seton had been an important family name. He became successful as a writer, artist and naturalist, and moved to New York City to further his career. Seton later lived at Wyndygoul,an estate that he built in Cos Cob, a section of Greenwich, Connecticut. After experiencing vandalism by the local youth, Seton invited them to his estate for a weekend where he told them what he claimed were stories of the American Indians and of nature.
He formed the Woodcraft Indians in 1902 and invited the local youth to join. Despite the name, the group was made up of non-native boys and girls. The stories became a series of articles written for the Ladies Home Journal , and were eventually collected in The Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians in 1906. Shortly after, the Woodcraft Indians evolved into the Woodcraft Rangers, which was established as a non-profit organization for youth programming in 1922.
Since 1922, Woodcraft Rangers has served Los Angeles youth with Seton's model of character building, which encompasses service, truth, fortitude, and beauty.Since then, Woodcraft Rangers youth have been received in a safe environment to encourage the discovery of their own talents. Today the Woodcraft Rangers organization serves over 15,000 youth in the Los Angeles county by helping them find pathways to purposeful lives. They offer expanded learning opportunities to youth from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Youth participants are encouraged to discover their natural talents and are embraced daily with the belief that all children are innately good.
Seton met Scouting's founder, Lord Baden-Powell, in 1906. Baden-Powell had read Seton's book, The Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians, and was greatly intrigued by it. The pair met and shared ideas. Baden-Powell went on to found the Scouting movement worldwide, and Seton became the president of the committee that founded the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and was its first (and only) Chief Scout. Seton's Woodcraft Indians (a youth organization) combined with the early attempts at Scouting from the YMCA and other organizations and with Daniel Carter Beard's Sons of Daniel Boone, to form the BSA.The work of Seton and Beard is in large part the basis of the Traditional Scouting movement.
Seton served as Chief Scout of the BSA from 1910 to 1915 and his work is in large part responsible for the appropriation and incorporation of what he believed to be American Indian elements into the traditions of the BSA. However, he had significant personality and philosophical clashes with Beard and James E. West.
In addition to disputes about the content of Seton's contributions to the Boy Scout Handbook, conflicts also arose about the suffragist activities of his wife, Grace Gallatin Seton Thompson, and his British citizenship. The citizenship issue arose partly because of his high position within BSA, and the federal charter West was attempting to obtain for the BSA requiring its board members to be United States citizens. Seton drafted his written resignation on January 29, 1915 but did not send it to BSA until May.The position of Chief Scout was eliminated and the position "Chief Scout Executive" was taken on by James West. In 1931 Seton became a United States citizen.
Seton married twice. His first marriage was to Grace Gallatin in 1896. Their only daughter, Ann, was born in 1904 and died in 1990. Ann, who later changed her first name, became a best-selling author of historical and biographical novels as Anya Seton. According to Ann's introduction to the novel Green Darkness , Grace was a practicing Theosophist. Ernest and Grace divorced in 1935, and Ernest soon married Julia Moss Buttree. Julia wrote works by herself and with Ernest. They did not have any biological children, but in the 1930s they sought to adopt Moss Buttree's niece, Leila Moss, who lived with them for years in New Mexico.In 1938, they adopted an infant daughter, Beulah (Dee) Seton (later Dee Seton Barber). Dee Seton Barber, a talented embroiderer of articles for synagogues such as Torah mantles, died in 2006.
Seton called his father, Joseph Logan Thompson, "the most selfish man I ever knew, or heard of, in history or in fiction." He cut off ties completely after being made to pay off an itemized list of all expenses he had cost his father, up to and including the doctor's fee for his delivery, a total of $537.50.
Seton's parents lived out their lives in Toronto, as did all but two brothers, who moved to British Columbia.
Seton was an early pioneer of the modern school of animal fiction writing, his most popular work being Wild Animals I Have Known (1898), which contains the story of his killing of the wolf Lobo. He later became involved in a literary debate known as the nature fakers controversy, after John Burroughs published an article in 1903 in the Atlantic Monthly attacking writers of sentimental animal stories. The controversy lasted for four years and included important American environmental and political figures of the day, including President Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1907, Seton and the naturalist Edward Alexander Preble verified a claim from ten years earlier by the frontiersman Charles "Buffalo" Jones that Jones and his hunting party had shot and fended off a hungry wolf pack near the Great Slave Lake in Canada. Seton and Preble discovered the remains of the animals near Jones's long abandoned cabin.
For his work, Lives of Game Animals, Volume 4, Seton was awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 1928 .In 1931, he became a United States citizen. Seton was associated with the Santa Fe arts and literary community during the mid-1930s and early 1940s, which comprised a group of artists and authors including author and artist Alfred Morang, sculptor and potter Clem Hull, painter Georgia O'Keeffe, painter Randall Davey, painter Raymond Jonson, leader of the Transcendental Painters Group, and artist Eliseo Rodriguez. He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
In 1933, Seton purchased 100 acres (0.4 km2) in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States. Seton ran training camps for youth leaders and had a small publisher named Seton Village Press that closed in 1943 due to World War II. The tract eventually grew to 2500 acres (10 km2). Seton Village was established as an unincorporated community.
Seton designed and built his castle as a 32-room, 6,900 square foot (640 m2) multi-level building with a flat-roof and rough hewn stone wall exterior. The interior had oak floors and plaster walls with the ceilings supported by log rafters. The Castle was built on a hill at an elevation of 7,000 feet (2100 m). It is designated a National Historic Landmark and a New Mexico State Cultural Property. The castle burned down while being restored in 2005. The Academy for the Love of Learning, which owns the property, has decided to preserve the castle ruins as a "contemplative garden."
He died in Seton Village, New Mexico, at the age of 86. Seton was cremated in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1960, in honor of his 100th birthday and the 350th anniversary of Santa Fe, his daughter Dee and his grandson, Seton Cottier (son of Anya), scattered the ashes over Seton Village from an airplane.
The Philmont Scout Ranch houses the Seton Memorial Library and Museum. Seton Castle in Santa Fe, built by Seton as his last residence, housed many of his other items. Seton Castle burned down in 2005 during an attempt at restoration, but all the artwork, manuscripts, books, etc., had been removed to storage before renovation was to have begun.
The Academy for the Love of Learning, an educational organization in Santa Fe, acquired Seton Castle and its contents in 2003. The new Academy Center opened in 2011 includes a gallery and archives featuring artwork and other materials as part of its Seton Legacy Project. The Seton Legacy Project organized a major exhibition on Seton opening at the New Mexico History Museum on May 23, 2010, the catalog published as Ernest Thompson Seton: The Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist by David L. Witt.
Roger Tory Peterson drew inspiration for his field guide from the simple diagram of ducks that Seton included in Two Little Savages.
Several of Seton's works are written from the perspective of a predator and were an influence upon Robert T. Bakker's Raptor Red .
Seton is honoured by the Ernest Thompson Seton Scout Reservation in Greenwich, CT, and with the E.T. Seton Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Obtained in the early 1960s as the site of future Metro Toronto Zoo, the land was later used to establish parkland and home to the Ontario Science Centre. Seton is mentioned in Philip Roth's Novel, Nemesis, where he is credited for having introduced Indian lore to the American camping movement.A plaque is found on the front wall of 6 Aberdeen Avenue in Toronto, where Seton had lived as a child.
In 1979 a cartoon based on Seton's 1922 book Bannertail: The Story of a Gray Squirrel was produced in Japan. Shīton Dōbutsuki Risu no Banā (Japanese: シートン動物記 りすのバナー, English: Bannertail: The Story of Gray Squirrel ) is a 26-episode anime television series produced by Nippon Animation. In 1989–1990, Eiken released Seton Dōbutsuki (Japanese: シートン動物記, English: Seton Animal Chronicles), a 45-episode anime TV series that depicts the different literary works of Seton including his 1898 Wild Animals I Have Known . Notable episodes include: "Lobo, the King of Currumpaw" (episodes 17 and 18), which many viewers later came to know when the storyline was plotted into a popular 2009 TV documentary entitled, The Wolf That Changed America. The cartoon was dubbed in German, Catalan, and Arabic and saw an emerging popularity among Arabs in the early 1990s (title in Arabic: مخلص صديق الحيوان, pronounced: "Mokhles Sadik ul Hayawaan" which translates to Mokhles, Animals' Friend).
The anime was an adaptation from the manga Seton's Wild Animals (Japanese: シートン動物記) by Sanpei Shirato, published between 1961 and 1965 and consisting of a total of five volumes. Kenji Uchiyama translated Seton's work for the manga from English into Japanese.
In October 2015 the Comedy Central Show 'Drunk History' gave a short, drunk history lesson by Mike Still (season 3, episode 10, second act) where Seton was portrayed by Colin Hanks. It mostly concentrates on the story of Lobo but also mentions the roots of the Boy Scouts and helping out troubled teens.
In a 1993 issue of the Japanese manga Diamond is Unbreakable , the character Jotaro Kujo references E. T. Seton's quote "there is no animal that cannot be tracked".
Manga artist Jiro Taniguchi and scenarist Yoshiharu Imaizumi published a manga in four volumes, romanticizing the life of Seton: シートン, Shīton, 2004–2006. These manga were not translated into English, but appeared in French, Italian and Spanish. The French titles are:
Daniel Carter "Uncle Dan" Beard was an American illustrator, author, youth leader, and social reformer who founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905, which Beard later merged with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Woodcraft League of America, originally called the Woodcraft Indians and League of Woodcraft Indians, is a youth program, established by Ernest Thompson Seton in 1901 and often regarded as one of the earliest youth organisations in modern history. Despite the name, the program was created for non-Indian children. At first the group was for boys only, but later it would also include girls. Seton instructed the children in his town in Connecticut in outdoor "Woodcraft" – knowledge and skills of life in the woods – and based much of the group's terminology and structure on the misconceptions about Native Americans that were common in that era. The program spread internationally to become the Woodcraft Movement and many of these programs still exist. Seton's Woodcraft scheme also had a strong influence on later youth programs and organizations, particularly, the Scout Movement.
Boy Scout Handbook is the official handbook of Scouts BSA. It is a descendant of Baden-Powell's original handbook, Scouting for Boys, which has been the basis for Scout handbooks in many countries, with some variations to the text of the book depending on each country's codes and customs.
Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Guides around the world, as well as members of the affiliated Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, have taken a Scout Promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law. The wording of the promise and law have varied slightly over time and among Scouting organizations.
Traditional Scouting is "old-fashioned" or "back to basics" Scouting in some form, often with an emphasis on woodcraft activities. One form of Traditional Scouting, the "Traditional Scouting movement", aims to return Scouting to traditional style and activities; rejecting the trend of modernizing Scouting to appeal to more youths or identifying programs for younger children as Scouting.
Lone Scouts are members of the Scout movement who are in isolated areas or otherwise do not participate in a regular Scouting unit or organization. A Lone Scout must meet the membership requirements of the Scouting organization to which they belong and have an adult Scout leader or counselor who may be a parent, guardian, minister, teacher, or another adult. The leader or counselor instructs the boy and reviews all steps of Scouting advancement. Lone Scouts can be in the Scout Section or sections for older young people, and in some countries in the Cub section or sections for younger boys. They follow the same program as other Scouts and may advance in the same way as all other Scouts.
Lone Scouts of America (LSA) was a Scouting organization for American boys that operated from 1915 until it merged with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1924. The LSA was founded by W. D. Boyce, publisher of the Chicago Ledger and the Saturday Blade and one of the founders of the BSA. Boyce felt that the program of the BSA did not help the rural boy who could not find enough other boys to form a troop or a patrol. James E. West, the first Chief Scout Executive of the BSA, disagreed with Boyce's concept, believing that the 4-H program was fulfilling the role. After Boyce left the BSA, he started the Lone Scouts of America and incorporated it on January 9, 1915. Boyce became the executive officer or Chief Totem and Frank Allan Morgan became the editor of The Lone Scout. In October 1915, Boyce appointed all of his paperboys as members of the LSA and published the first issue of The Lone Scout magazine.
Scouting in the United States is dominated by the 2.7 million-member Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA and other associations that are recognized by one of the international Scouting organizations. There are also a few smaller, independent groups that are considered to be "Scout-like" or otherwise Scouting related.
Unami Lodge, One is the Order of the Arrow (OA) lodge of the Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the founding Lodge of the OA, having celebrated its centennial in 2015. The current Unami Lodge resulted from the 1996 merger of Unami Lodge 1 and Delmont Lodge 43, caused by the merger of Philadelphia Council and Valley Forge Council. The chiefs of each lodge agreed to preserve Unami's rich history and traditions by retaining the founding lodge's name and number. Delmont Lodge's history, including its roster of Vigil Honor, Founder's Award, and David Fortunato Outstanding Service Award recipients, is preserved as part of Unami Lodge's history. The lodge's totem is the turtle, reflecting both the name of the animal (unami) in the Delaware language, but its association with its peoples.
The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry is a scouting-like movement operating in the United Kingdom, which was founded in 1916 by Ernest Westlake. It was inspired by Ernest Thompson Seton's Woodcraft Indians, and Seton was its honorary Grand Chieftain. Whilst largely being contemporary to Baden-Powell's Scouting movement, it differed from it in that it does not have the perceived military overtones of Scouting, instead focusing on the virtues of kindness, fellowship and woodcraft. The Order was small compared to Scouts, having only 1,200 members by 1926. By the 1950s it had ceased to have a major public presence. It still exists (2016) as a semi-formal network of personal friends with historic family links to the original formal organisation, with little interest in publicity and few surviving overt connections with the Woodcraft Folk or the Forest School Camps.
is the first story of author Ernest Thompson Seton's 1898 book Wild Animals I Have Known. Seton based the book on his experience hunting wolves in the Southwestern United States.
The term woodcraft — or woodlore — denotes skills and experience in matters relating to living and thriving in the woods—such as hunting, fishing, and camping—whether on a short- or long-term basis. Traditionally, woodcraft pertains to subsistence lifestyles, with implications of hunting-gathering. In more recent times, and in developed countries, it relates more to either outdoor recreationalism or survivalism.
Robert W. Peterson was an American newspaper writer who later became a freelance author of magazine articles and books, especially on the topics of sports and Scouting. His 1970 chronicle of Negro league baseball entitled Only the Ball Was White was hailed by The New York Times as having "recaptured a lost era in baseball history and a rich facet of black life in America". The baseball commissioner at the time, Bowie Kuhn, later credited Peterson's book with having "focused greater attention on the accomplishments of Negro League players", leading to their admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Seton Village is a National Historic Landmark District in a rural residential area south of Santa Fe in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. It encompasses a residential settlement and educational facility established in 1930 by Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), an educator and conservationist best known as a founder of the Boy Scouts of America. The district includes the remains of Seton's 32-room home and other residential and educational buildings constructed mostly between 1930 and 1945. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship is a book on Boy Scout training, published in various editions since 1908. Early editions were written and illustrated by Robert Baden-Powell with later editions being extensively rewritten by others. The book was originally a manual for self-instruction in observation, tracking and woodcraft skills as well as self-discipline and self-improvement, about the Empire and duty as citizens with an eclectic mix of anecdotes and unabashed personal observations and recollections. It is pervaded by a degree of moral proselytizing and references to the author's own exploits. It is based on his boyhood experiences, his experience with the Mafeking Cadet Corps during the Second Boer War at the Siege of Mafeking, and on his experimental camp on Brownsea Island, England.
Wild Animals I Have Known is an 1898 book by naturalist and author Ernest Thompson Seton. The first entry in a new genre of realistic wild-animal fiction, Seton's first collection of short stories quickly became one of the most popular books of its day. "Lobo the King of Currumpaw", the first story in the collection, was based upon Seton's experience hunting wolves in the southwestern United States. It became a classic, setting the tone for his future works that would similarly depict animals—especially predators who were often demonized in literature—as compassionate, individualistic beings.
The Academy for the Love of Learning is a non-profit organization conceived by American composers Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Stern. The Academy was incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 1998. Its campus is located in southeast Santa Fe, NM, on the former estate of Ernest Thompson Seton. Through its programming and research, the Academy seeks to "awaken, enliven, nurture and sustain the natural love of learning in people of all ages."
Gordon Hope Grant was a noted American artist, well-known for his maritime watercolors, and his work with the American Boy Scouts. He was born in San Francisco in 1875, and died in 1962.
The Red Lodge was a fraternal organization that traced its lineage back to 1912 with the creation of the Red Lodge or Medicine Lodge by Ernest Thompson Seton within the Woodcraft Movement. They describe themselves as a Brotherhood of men who have an appreciation for the outdoors, who are interested in the mystic side of Woodcraft and who have learned that true power comes from self-control.
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