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JACKSON, William Henry ["Honoré JACKSON" or "JAXON" (May 13, 1861 – January 10, 1952)
Article published on 23 February 2012

by r-c.
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Anarchist, was all his life engaged in the defense of the Canadian Metis. In 1884-1885 became secretary to Louis Riel. Participated in Chicago in 1885 in the campaign for the eight-hour workday and the defense of the Haymarket anarchists.


SMITH, Donald B. Honoré Jackson: Prairie Visionary. Dallas Harrison ed., Cover and book design by Duncan Campbell. Coteau Books (2517 Victoria Ave., Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4P 0T2), 2008. 294 p. Bibl. Index. ISBN 978-1-55050-367-8.

Publisher’s Presentation

The first definitive biography of this complex political man, who served as Louis Riel’s secretary in 1885, and went on to be a labour leader in Chicago and a "capitalist" in New York City.

Born in Toronto to a Methodist family and raised in Wingham, Ontario, William Henry Jackson attended the University of Toronto before moving to Prince Albert, where he began to sympathize with the MA(c)tis and their struggle against the Canadian government. Jackson became personal secretary to Louis Riel, was captured by the Canadian militia during the 1885 Resistance, and was convicted of treason and sentenced to an insane asylum near Winnipeg. When he escaped to the United States, joining the labour union movement, he told everyone that he was MA(c)tis and modified his name to the MA(c)tis-sounding HonorA(c) Jaxon.

After a lively career as a politically radical public figure in Chicago - where he befriended, among others, the revolutionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright - Jaxon eventually moved to New York City to attempt life as a real estate developer. His ongoing project was to collect as many books, newspapers and pamphlets relating to the MA(c)tis people as possible, in an attempt to establish a library for their use. However, he was evicted from his basement apartment at the age of ninety. His entire collection was dispersed, most of it to the New York City garbage dump, the remainder sold. He died a month later, in early 1952.

Honoré Jaxon: Prairie Visionary completes Donald Smith’s "Prairie Imposters" popular history trilogy concerning three prominent figures who all pretended a native ancestry they did not, in fact, possess - HonorA(c) Jaxon, Grey Owl, and LongLa


Review: Canadian Book Review Annual

See also

BEAL Bob and Rod Macleod, Prairie Fire: the 1885 North-West Rebellion, second edition, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1994.

De CLEYRE, Voltairine, "C. L. James," Mother Earth, Vol. VI, No. 5 (July, 1911), 142-144

Honoré Jackson

Huron Man Had Colourful Past, ties to Louis Riel.

ROCKER, Rudolf. The London Years

Smith, Donald B. (1981). "Honoré Joseph Jaxon. A Man Who Lived for Others". Saskatchewan History 34:(3) 81–104.

Social Activism among Some Early Twentieth-Century Baha’is1

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