Peterson native Roger Stoner's new novel, "Horse Woman's Child," tells the history of the upper Midwest in a story depicting the life of the notorious Santee Sioux leader, Inkpaduta.
Early in 1857, after an altercation with a settler near Smithland, his people's weapons were taken from them by the Smithland Militia and they were ordered to leave the area. This was the beginning of the wintertime trek up the Little Sioux River during which the outcast band of nearly starving Native Americans replenished their supplies and weapons by stopping at isolated settlers' cabins to beg for or steal what they needed to survive.
As they traveled farther north and away from civilization, Inkpaduta and his men became more and more aggressive. Their stops at Waterman, Long Grove (Peterson), Sioux Rapids, and Gillette's Grove are described in detail in the novel. Their anger spilled over when they reached the Iowa Great Lakes region, only to find more white interlopers well-established there.
In a rash decision, Inkpaduta decided to rid his country of the intruders who had come uninvited into his homeland. The infamous Spirit Lake Massacre followed, in which over 30 settlers were killed and four young women were taken prisoner.
In "Horse Woman's Child," Stoner puts forward an historically correct fictionalization of Inkpaduta's birth in the early part of the 19th century leading up to the recorded events that culminated in Inkpaduta's decision to attack the Lakes Region settlers. Both the Indians' perspective and the white population's response to the continuing tensions that grew from their clashing cultures on what was then the American frontier are depicted.
The book is available in both hard and soft cover from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. For signed copies you can contact the author by calling 712-295-5571 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Signed copies are also available at The Book Vine in Cherokee, and Stoner will be at The Book Vine at 1 p.m. this Saturday, December 10, for a book signing.