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One Thousand White Women: The Journals of…

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd (original 1998; edition 1999)

by Jim Fergus

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3,0321592,709 (3.68)131
Title:One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
Authors:Jim Fergus
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (1999), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

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One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus (1998)


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So well crafted that it was hard to remember it was not a real journal of the time, but fictional.

A gift from K. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Beautiful, moving but wish it was longer. Were the women who agreed to the government proposal desperate or adventurous? I think they were both. These women made the best of their new lives; most were content with their unusual life-style, and through hard work they became healthier, stronger, more confident and independent, and felt free to be themselves.They bonded with their new community by learning the customs, and by teaching their culture.

Just wish they had more time to develop the story line; but in the short time they had it was wonderful to see just how much their expectations, perspectives and priorities of life changed. Their feelings of loyalty to their new communities, their acceptance and efforts to understand is remarkable despite frightening experiences.

Their new babies create an even tighter bond. But...toward the end of the novel the unfortunate depravity of some of the men in their group to murder innocents within an enemy community believing it will strengthen the new babies shocks and outrages the white women mothers, and virtually undoes the positive emotions they've developed.

But there is no time to protest or react because the United States government has ordered its military to wipe out the remaining Cheyenne natives who have not agreed to move to Fort Fetterman. The American soliders kill with a vengeance: man, woman and child. Wholesale murder of many innocents. Few survive.

A great read pulsating with raw emotions, love and hate, prejudice, stupidity, and wisdom, and humanity both fragile and strong.
  Bookish59 | May 31, 2018 |
I do have to say i am not normally one to read historical fiction. so for me to complete this book and enjoy it. As a work of fiction written in diary form the story flowed quite nicely. The descriptions were quite vivid and i got lost in the story felt like i was right there. I am looking forward to a second book or sequel to read. ( )
  gripLitGrl | Apr 11, 2018 |
Never one to hold to conventional expectations such as matrimony, May Dodd has been placed in a mental institution and taken from her children due to "promiscuous" behavior. When the government starts a program for 1000 white women to become brides to the Cheyenne in a program meant to foster better relations with Native Americans, she jumps at the chance for freedom and signs herself up, heading to the Nebraska Territory in 1875.

The book takes as its premise the request of a Cheyenne chief for 1000 women as brides for his warriors - what if the U.S. government had filled it? - and gives us the journal of one of those potential women. Fergus's take is an interesting one that provides much food for thought in how both women and non-whites (both Native American Indian and African American) were treated at the time. How much freedom can May Dodd ever have? How much will these women influence Cheyenne culture and vice versa? Will their children really be able to carry those hopes of peace, or will there continue to be conflict and their children never really fit anywhere? The characters have varying perspectives. May herself I found a bit grating, falling head-over-heels in love with someone almost instantly, and using an awful lot of ellipses in her journaling, which I found odd. But I think it will make for an interesting book discussion book and may interest people in reading the historical record as well. ( )
  bell7 | Mar 24, 2018 |
This was a book club selection that we chose given the interesting write up describing the book. Well that was the end of what I enjoyed. I felt this book could have been very good if it had taken a different direction. The concept had potential but the characters - while all interesting in their own right - just went along all too easily for me. I can't imagine women from this time just going off into the bush with a tribe of Indians and them adjusting so quickly to this lifestyle. I really wanted to like the book since there were moments where I felt the characters were real and there were moments of sadness. However in between those moments, the rest was just too unbelievable. Unfortunately not my favourite. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Jan 24, 2018 |
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Women will love her, that she is a woman

More worth than any man; men that she is
The rarest of all women.

- William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, V.1
To Dillon
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23 March 1875: Today is my birthday, and I have received the greatest gift of all - freedom!
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
One Thousand White Women begins with May Dodd's journey west into the unknown. A government program, in which woman are brought west as brides for the Cheyenne, is her vehicle. What follows is the story of May's adventures: her marriage to Little Wolf, chief of the Cheyenne nation, and her conflict of being caught between two worlds, loving two men, living two lives. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312199430, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An Indian request in 1854 for 1,000 white brides to ensure peace is secretly approved by the U.S. government in this alternate-history novel. Their journey west is described by May Dodd, a high-society woman released from an asylum where she was incarcerated by her family for an affair.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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