Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 25:4 (Fall 2005). Copyright © 2005 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


In this update of her 1984 book, Women and Indians on the Frontier, 1825-1915, Glenda Riley has provided a new introduction and framework for her earlier research on white women's interactions with American Indians in the American West. Riley has copiously compared 150 European-American men's documents and 150 white women's sources to gain insight into how white men and women may have viewed and interacted with Indians differently. Riley originally argued that white women "saw Indians more clearly and related to them more intimately than most men." Having read recent work that emphasizes European-American women's complicity in colonialism, she now acknowledges that white women "were still unable to free themselves from colonialist attitudes." Despite her extensive research and this new framework, the book is unconvincing and contradictory.