Thursday, November 12, 2009
Review of One Thousand White Women~The Journals of May Dodd
One Thousand White Women~The Journals of May Dodd by, Jim Fergus
Introduction (From the Readers Guide) to One Thousand White Women
One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.
This was a very interesting story and I enjoyed it very much. May Dodd's story is compelling from being put in an insane asylum for living with a man and bearing his children out of wedlock , to her decision to be one of the thousand brides for the Indians as a way to escape the asylum.
I found her to be a great strong woman far ahead of her time. The other women who were on this journey with her were a colorful assortment of characters. I loved the names some of these Indians and white women ended up with (Fact or Fiction who knows). Jim Fergus wrote this book with such detail that I almost felt like an observer to the events happening in May's life. I enjoyed the journal details and the colorful way May sometimes explained things, and I felt for her when she was missing her children but understood her reasoning behind not jumping off the train and going back to them.
The ending left me a little sad but still a great enjoyable book.