WINNINNEWAYCAPPO (Captain Jecob), leading Indian, probably Cree; d. in the autumn of 1799 in the Martin Falls (Ont.) district.
Winninnewaycappo, or Captain Jecob as he was known to Hudson’s Bay Company traders, first appeared at Fort Albany (Ont.) to trade furs in the autumn of 1769. Thereafter he was one of the early arrivals at the post each May, canoeing down the Albany River from his hunting grounds in the vicinity of Eabamet and Makokibatan lakes. He seems to have attained the peak of his influence during the years 1771–84, when he came to trade with between five and 11 canoes and up to 31 people.
In his capacity as leading Indian, Jecob rendered valuable service to the HBC traders on the coast [see also Matonabbee; Wapinesiw]. An important source of information on events in the Albany hinterland, he also promoted the company’s interests among Indians in the interior beyond Gloucester House (Washi Lake, Ont.). In 1777 he offered to “Collect Indians to come down to Albany” and the following August paddled into Gloucester House with another leading Indian called Newaukeshickwab and 11 canoes. Supplying sturgeon, caribou, and geese to the post, which had been established only recently, Jecob was a key factor in the survival of company servants trying to exist on country provisions. In 1778 he warned John Kipling, master at Gloucester, that “Metawiss and Gang . . . is to come here in the winter and kill us.” Although this attack did not materialize, Jecob’s report is an indication of his informal alliance with the HBC.
Jecob was also a powerful shaman who communicated with forest spirits. In 1786 he became embroiled with another shaman, Assup, a man “looked upon as a God,” when one of Assup’s sons cast off a daughter of Jecob. She was found “in the woods almost naked and froze to death.” Jecob promised revenge: four years later Assup was “almost torn to pieces by a Black Bear” (bears were often guided by shamans).
By 1799 Jecob was trading at Martin Falls. In May 1800 five canoes from his family reported that he had died “last fall.” Jacob Corrigal, at Martin Falls, called his death “a great loss.”