Ojibway Indians Swimming in London

Ojibway Indians Swimming in London
Preface: This article is from April 1844. There are a few things to note.  First, Ojibbeway is an alternate spelling of the tribe, but has been kept in tact for the body of the article.  Also, certain places have been renamed over the years, which have been noted. The picture on the right is "Strong Wind," one of nine Ojibway men that visited London in 1844.

THE OJIBBEWAY INDIANS. - In consequence of the British Swimming Society (*also known as the National Swimming Society) having promised to award a first class silver medal to the best swimmer of these celebrated Indians, the swimming baths in High Holborn, kept by Mr. Hedgman, were crowded with visitors.  Flying Gull and Tobacco were selected as competitors, the rest of the party being seated to witness the trial of skill.  At a signal, the Indians jumped into the bath, and, on a pistol being discharged, struck out and swam to the other end, a distance of 130 feet, in less than half a minute.  The Flying Gull was the victor by seven feet. They swam back again to the starting-place, where Flying Gull was a second time the victor. Their style of swimming is totally un-European.  They lash the water violently with their arms, like the sails of windmill, and beat downwards with their feet, blowing with force, and fanning grotesque antics. They then dived from one end of the bath to the other with the rapidity of an arrow, and almost as straight tension of limb.  They afterwards entered the lists with Mr. Kenwerthy, one of the best swimmers in England, and who beat them with the greatest ease.

Article Types: 
Native American Tribes: 
Article Locations: 
High Holborn Baths / Oasis Sports Centre
32 Endell St
WC2H 9AG London
United Kingdom
51° 30' 57.1932" N, 0° 7' 32.9088" W