Published: October 2, 2017
NEW YORK CITY — A large archive of Pond family missionary writings from the Minnesota frontier went big as it hit the block at Swann Auctions Sept. 28 printed and manuscript Americana sale, achieving $112,500 including the buyer’s premium.
The archive mainly focuses on the travel and experiences of Samuel Pond, who left his family in Washington, Conn., to bring the Gospel to the Indians on the northwestern frontier, settling at first with the Dakota Sioux tribe. His family left Connecticut in the years following to join him in the mission, with many of the letters surviving to extended family that stayed behind in New England.
As the missionaries taught the Native Americans agriculture, they were granted land to stay with them and assimilated in peace. A Sept. 25, 1838 letter describes a conflict between Sioux and nearby Chippewa: “Another party from here and Big-Stone Lake went out in the month of Aug. and returned with a scalp about the last of the month. Since that time, they have been dancing almost every night around the scalp. Many nights they dance from dark till light and frequently they spend much of the day in the same manner. . . The Chippeways were driven across the Mississippi.”
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