One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

Shirley’s fiction pick:

onethousandwhitewomen (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012)

I picked up this book for two reasons, one is I liked the front cover, and the second because I love books about Indians.

This is a fiction novel but it is based on an actual historical event.

In 1854, at a peace conference at Fort Laramie, a Northern Cheyenne chief requested they be given one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors.  In return, the Cheyennes would give the government one thousand horses.  The white women would then marry the warriors and give birth to children who would then become members of the “white” tribe.

This is now where the fiction part comes in in the “Journals of May Dodd”.  May Dodd has volunteered for the “Brides of Indians” program.  She is in an asylum, put there by her family, and desperately wants out…..this is her freedom. May and 47 other women board a train for the Nebraska territory and their future as Cheyenne wives.

When the train meets the end of the tracks, the army takes them deeper into Indian territory.  It is here that May meets Captain John Bourke.   Of course they fall in love but May is committed to following thru with the Brides of Indians program and continues on and meets her husband-to-be Chief Little Wolf.

How did these women survive living among the Indians?  Did this happen in real life somewhere?  Was May Dodd real?  The book makes you wonder these things.  I found this a great read and couldn’t wait get back to it.

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