A Stranger in Her Native Land


A Stranger in Her Native Land

Alice Fletcher and the American Indians

Joan Mark

Women in the West Series

428 pages


January 1989


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About the Book

Called "Her Majesty" because of her resemblance to Queen Victoria and known as "the measuring woman" among the Indians whose land allotments she administered, Alice Fletcher (1838–1923) commanded respect from both friend and foe. She was the foremost woman anthropologist in the United States in the nineteenth century and instrumental in the adoption of the policy of severalty that dominated Indian affairs in the 1880s. This is the full and intimate story of a woman who, as she grew in understanding of Indian ways, came to recognize that she was the one who was alien, a stranger in her native land.

Joan Mark recreates the long and active life of Alice Fletcher from diaries, correspondence, and other records, placing her achievements for the first time in a feminist perspective. Sustained by a sense of mission, Alice Fletcher challenged her society's definition of what women could be and do.

Author Bio

Joan Mark, associate in the history of anthropology; Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University; is the author of Four Anthropologists: An American Science in Its Early Years (1980) and coeditor, with Frederick F. Hoxie, of With the Nez Perces: Alice Fletcher in the Field, 1889–1892, by E. Jane Gay (1981, also a Bison Book).


1989 Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize, sponsored by the History of Science Society, winner

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