October 27th, 2019

play

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

description from amazon:
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.
a brief note; the blurb on the back says it;s inspired by a true event, but that is not, i repeat, not true. it is, however, based on a true suggestion if you will.

in 1854 at a peace conference at ft. laramie in wyoming a northern cheyenne chief requested of the u.s. army authorities 1,000 white women as brides for his young warriors. because in their society children belong to their mother's tribe, he reasoned that this would be an easier way to assimilate into the white man's world. of course the white authorities didn't go for it, the conference collapsed & the cheyenne went home & the white women never came.

it novel is about what if they did. set nearly 20 years later when the u.s. government was really pushing the native tribes into smaller & smaller areas it's from the point of view of one of the women, who volunteered for the program to get out of a lunatic asylum where her rich father sent her for the "crime" of living with a man she was not marred to & beneath her station.

it's not a bad book, but it's not a good one either. the sex scenes were not nearly as interesting as they could've been. and the N-word it tossed around too often for my taste. i understand that was part of the language at the time, but there have to be better alternatives. it might be OK for reading on a plane or at the beach or something.

while looking up the description on amazon for this i found out there is a a sequel about events after this novel from the POV some of the other women. it doesn't look like something i'm interested in.