This little girl was Alice Cunningham Fletcher. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1845. As she grew older, the thought came to her that if she felt so happy out in the open, how must the Indians feel who had lived a free out-of-door life for generations.
Gradually she began to think that these people, whom the world called savages, must have learned something about how to live happily. Alice Fletcher resolved that, if ever there came a time when it was possible, she would go to the home of the Indians and try to discover their secrets.
Meanwhile she studied all that books and museums could teach her of the story of the Red Men. At last, there did come a day when she decided to go and live among them. It meant leaving behind her, beloved libraries, fine concerts, beautiful pictures, and even a comfortable bed and easy chair. Miss Fletcher felt, however, that there was something that meant more than comfort to her. It was the doing of a definite piece of work that she believed would be useful to the world.
Therefore, she left the friends with whom she could talk of books, pictures, and music, and went to live among the Dakota and Omaha Indians. From the door of her rude wigwam of buffalo skins, she could watch the little Indian children at play and see the everyday life of the older members of the tribe.