Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interview with Sarah Anderson

Today we are very fortunate to be albe to interview Sarah Anderson who was kidnapped by Indians from a wagon train back in 1849 while heading to California with her family. She is willing to step forward and answer some questions regarding her life with the Indians.

Author: Sarah, what was it like to be kidnapped.

Sarah: I was scared to death. You could say that life back in Virginia was easy and that the wagon train wasn't too hard to live with. But in the Indian village, I was a slave and servant. This one tribe beat me and the food was horrible. Then I went to live with the Arapaho people.

Author: What happened to you? How did you get to the Arapaho village.

Sarah: I was traded for goods that the other tribe wanted. The Arapaho people are much kinder. Eventually they trusted me. I blended into the tribe and became one of The People.

Author: What is life like in that village?

Sarah: First of all, the teepee is very comfortable. The flooring has a skin covering that attaches to the poles. I have a comfortable bed of furs and warm during the winter. The teepee is extremely spacious, enought room for five or six people to sleep inside.

Author: What do you do all day.

Sarah: I cook, sew clothes, repair the teepee, tend to the needs of my family, and fill the water bags. I collect wood for the fires and berries to eat, plus herbs and spices for cooking. When the hunters kill the buffalo, then I help bring back the meat and skins. Scraping the skins is hard work and takes time, but it is necessary in order to make more covers and clothing. An Indian woman doesn't have idle time on her hands. There is always work to be done.

Author: I understand that you are married to a warrior.

Sarah: Yes, I married Running Swift, a very brave man. He was kind and gentle. I loved him very much but he was killed in a raid. Our son, Little Feather, looks so much like him. I will teach him the ways of The People. If only I can get my mother-in-law, Dark Moon to like me and not cause me so much trouble.

Author: Do you miss your mother?

Sarah: Very much. I wish I knew if she and my father ever made it to California to live with my Uncle John. Not knowing worries me and makes me sad. Maybe one day I'll see both of them again.

Author: I want to thank Sarah Anderson for letting us interview her. We wish her much happiness living with the Arapahos.

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