Mary Riggs and the Dakota War of 1862
Well. That old book? Mary and I, Forty Years with the Sioux, an autobiographical account of Mary and Stephen Return Riggs, who “just happened” to be a missionaries among the Dakota Sioux during the Dakota War of 1862. Within the pages of that book, I met yet another woman who is on my list of “invite her to coffee in heaven someday.” (Do you have a list like that, too? Mine keeps getting longer. But I’ll have time. Ha.)
The work of white missionaries among Native Americans is a subject of controversy, and I understand that, but I still admire Mary Riggs. The Riggses didn’t force their students to abandon their language. Instead, they translated God’s Word and wrote text books in Dakota. Dakota men risked their lives to see the Riggses to safety during the Dakota War. Those heroic efforts inspired me to create Daniel Two Stars, the Dakota hero of my Dakota Moons series.
A few years ago, I received a call from a member of the Gideon Pond Society, asking me to come to Minnesota and speak on my research (Agnes and Gideon Pond were early missionaries in the area as well). It’s a great memory, and I’m thrilled that my three novels, which have been out of print for a long time, will soon be back IN print and available as ebooks. Here’s Kitty parked in front of the Gideon Pond House in Minneapolis. What would Mrs. Riggs and Mrs. Pond have thought of that!