Missouri State Archives
The Indomitable Mary Easton Sibley
Kristie C. Wolferman
July 16, 2009
36 minutes 14 seconds (36:14)
Acknowledged as a significant figure in the history of women on the early western frontier, Mary Easton Sibley may be little known to modern readers. Yet, as wife to the Indian factor at Fort Osage, she became one of the most innovative and influential pioneer teachers. Ultimately, she founded Lindenwood University, a school that continues to thrive today. Although Sibley's life has been told in older accounts, Kristie Wolferman's book is the first to fully draw on Mary and George Sibley's journals and letters, which shed light on Sibley's views regarding women's social and political roles, slavery, temperance, religion, and other topics. Wolferman depicts not merely a frontier heroine and educational pioneer but an assertive woman who did not hesitate to express unconventional views. This biography not only brings to life one of Missouri's most remarkable women educators, but also demonstrates how her story reflects educational, religious, and social developments in both the state and the nation.