Two Different Kind of People

“What book changed how you see the world and why?”

This is such a difficult question to answer. I’m sitting here mentally going through books that I have read throughout my lifetime thus far and am drawing a blank. There are a great many books that have affected me. That have helped to shape who I am. They may have opened my eyes to the new perspectives, to different sides of the story.

The first story that I read that opened my eyes to the hardships and injustices of the Native American people was probably Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo. I read this book when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I spent my summer reading it. There was a lot in this book that was not meant for a child to read but I couldn’t get enough of it. I needed to know more. The hardships that she went through. The fact that women were often viewed as nothing more than property to bought, sold, traded, or discarded truly disturbed me. I didn’t understand why in the world Louis and Clark couldn’t just hire her as their guide. Why did they have to hire her abusive drunk of a husband when it was Sacajawea who was the one who would help them on their exploration the most? There were so many things that happened in this book that bothered me, why would a grown man want a child to be his wife and things like that.

This book was not meant for young eyes but I found it, read it, and looking back it probably did change the way I viewed the world in the sense that it showed me that there are injustices everywhere, throughout history. There will always be people who want to be in control of others but there are always going to be people who will want to help others as well. Despite all of the hardships that Sacajawea went through she didn’t give up. She helped others. She never allowed her circumstances or other people to defeat her, to break her spirit. I wanted to be like her. I felt like she was a hero that should be celebrated. I hoped that there were more people in the world like her. More good than bad.

I guess this is probably the book that changed how I viewed the world the most.

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About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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6 Responses to Two Different Kind of People

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    I’ve long been intrigued by the life — and contributions — of Sacajawea. In 4th or 5th grade, I read one of those juvenile “biogs” that featured her (among scores of other figures in the Bobbs-Merrill “Childhood of Famous Americans” series — which I’ll discuss a bit more on Hound Day). Though “fictionalized” quite a bit and clearly aimed at the age I was at the time, it still provided lots of fascinating details about the Native American society in which she was raised, and which gave her some of the skills she used later with L & C’s expedition. That juvvy bio didn’t — of course — reveal that horrid relationship with her owner / “husband… or the abuse he heaped upon her.
    I haven’t read the book you cited, but I did read — within the past half dozen years or so — a fictionalized “diary” of Sacajawea. Obviously not her actual diary, but very skillfully written from her POV with heavy reliance on the L & C records from that expedition. Fascinating stuff. I’ll hunt for the title later if I get time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      I’m not sure if this is the same book, but this one seems to take a similar approach — converting archival fact into a “diary” format from her POV:
      Bird Woman (Sacajawea) the Guide of Lewis and Clark:

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I used to read biographies all the time, but I haven’t in a long time. This sounds like one I’d like to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It took many years for me to hear the truth about Sacajawea’s life. The sanitized versions of it never made sense to me, but that goes for most history and even the world right now. I have found that if something makes no sense, it is because information is missing.
    BTW, all women (and Indians in general, as they were not citizens), had no rights. She ‘belonged’ to her husband and could not just be hired by Lewis and Clark. Life was completely different then. It wasn’t until the 1970s that a married American woman could get a credit card in her own name, no matter how much money she earned. She couldn’t get most medical procedures,(and I am not talking about abortion,which I abhor), without her husband’s permission, they could not vote, they sometimes could not inherit and when they did, it was often held in trust by some male and they were not allowed to make their own wills. In France, all women were under a man’s authority and needed his permission to marry, move or get an education. I am not sure when those were appealed, but it wasn’t until 1965 that a woman could get a job without her husband’s permission, and believe it or not, 2013 when the laws against women wearing pants in Paris was repealed.
    George Rodgers Clark is something of a state hero in Indiana, and since I have lived at the bottom of what is considered “Kentuckiana” for 28 years, you hear more. Sacajawea appealed to him for help as a widow and he paid for her children’s education. That was good to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I read a biography of her life when I was a child, but it mentioned nothing of the hardships she endured. I’ll have to educate myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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