On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. I will be presenting a program on Jane Smith Williamson in the History Lounge at the Minnesota Historical Society, 345 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102. The museum and my presentation are free on Tuesdays so this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to all that MNHS has to offer.
Jane Williamson spent nearly 50 years with the Dakota in Minnesota as both a teacher and a Presbyterian missionary. She never married and devoted her life to trying to improve the quality of life for her Dakota students in terms of their daily lives, trying to ensure that they had warm clothes, enough food and sufficient shelter.
She also was an astute businesswoman and a marvelous correspondent as she captured the daily life of the mission in letters that she wrote to friends and family across the country. My goal is to see her never before published letters combined into a volume that is accessible to the public.
Her story is really intriguing – from her birth into a slave-holding family in South Carolina to her childhood in an ardent abolitionist home in Ohio to her work with the Dakota in Minnesota and South Dakota. Hope to see you at MNHS on January 26.