Dodge, Mary Mapes. "An Indian Mother." The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century Women's Writings. Ed. Glynis Carr. Online. Internet. Posted: Fall 1999.

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Children's Periodicals in the United States During the Nineteenth Century...



 THERE is not much to be said about the beauty of Indians--generally speaking. Occasionally we hear of a pretty Indian girl but we seldom see her or her portrait. Fancy-pictures of Indians are common enough, but we have had engraved a portrait of a real Indian mother--a Piute squaw--and her two children. The baby or papoose is wrapped up tight in a sort of portable cradle, made of cloth or bark stretched over a frame made of saplings, with a board back to it. In this cradle or case the baby is hung up on a branch to sleep, or swung about, or tossed over its mother's shoulder, or stood up in a corner.

The Piute Indians are rather poor creatures. They hang around the Pacific Railroad stations and beg for money, or clothes, or any thing, except soap, that they think they can get. They are always dirty and have a sullen look. They live in wigwams covered with sail-cloth, or bark, or calico, whichever happens to be the most convenient. But these Indian children may grow up to be respectable and industrious citizens, for although many of the Indian tribes of the West are lazy and thriftless, and some hostile and treacherous, there are Indians upon whom white missionaries have exerted such a good influence that they are industrious and thrifty, cultivating the soil, supporting schools, and even publishing newspapers.

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