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2009

Masters Theses

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Captive To The American Woods: Sarah Wakefield And Cultural Mediation, Sophia Betsworth Hunt Aug 2009

Captive To The American Woods: Sarah Wakefield And Cultural Mediation, Sophia Betsworth Hunt

Masters Theses

The life and narrative of Sarah Wakefield, an Anglo migrant who spent six weeks as a captive of the Santee Dakotas during the US-Dakota Conflict, show one woman's experience navigating the changing racial dynamics of the nineteenth-century Minnesota frontier. Using recent conceptualizations of “the frontier” as either a middle ground or woods, this thesis reconsiders Wakefield as a prisoner, not of Indians or her own conscience but of her region‟s ossifying racial divisions. Wakefield's initial attempts at intercultural communication, which included feeding starving Dakotas who knocked on her door, were consistent with Anglo notions about womanhood and ...