Anna’s Story

(Please note: There are more interesting details about what went on in the Cheyenne village in my post “Life Within The Tribe”)

Details On Anna Brewster Morgan :

Anna Bell Brewster was born December 10, 1844 at Atlantic City, New Jersey, just five months after the death of her father, John Brewster. John and his two brothers were lawyers. John was educated in Philadelphia, but he moved to Atlantic City after his marriage. It was here his children were born: Jonathan, Margaret, Daniel, and Anna. After his death, the family later moved to Philadelphia.

At the age of five, Anna was taken in by Mrs. Rittenhouse and stayed with her until her death six years later. Anna then lived with the Shooster family. They took her with them when they moved to Illinois to homestead. Anna was living in Illinois when she accepted an invitation to come live with her brother, Daniel, near Delphos, Kansas.

Anna lived with Daniel until her marriage to James Simeon Morgan on September 13, 1868. She was 19 years old at the time of the marriage; a beautiful young lady with blonde hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion (contrary to the actress in the movie).  She was also a school teacher.

One month later, on October 3, 1868, Anna’s husband was working in a field about a mile north of their modest homestead, when he was attacked and shot by a band of Sioux Indians. He survived, but was crippled by the attack.   His frightened horses ran back to the farmhouse. Anna, expecting the worst, strapped a pistol on her side, mounted one of the horses, then set out to find her husband.

Anna was following the horses south, when the Sioux men saw her approaching. They hid in the bushes, then pounced on her as she came up from the Solomon River. After brutally raping her, they tied her to her horse and brought her back to their camp– which was a several-day journey away.

Not long After Anna was taken, her Sioux captors crossed paths with the same Cheyenne tribe that had earlier kidnapped Sarah White, and Anna was traded to the Cheyenne.

After meeting young Sarah at the camp– who had also been repeatedly raped during her capture, and was now unwilling to speak–  Anna’s defiant and protective nature took over. She set an example for Sarah, resisting the Cheyenne in every way possible, and made sure that everyone knew she was a force to be reckoned with.

But since the Cheyenne admire bravery, Anna quickly gained a deep and profound respect from the people of the village. So much so, that one of the chiefs (namely “Tokalah” in the film) eventually proposed marriage to her. Anna accepted, partly because it made life much easier, but some also speculate because she had grown to admire him.  She later became pregnant with his child.

When Gen. George Custer’s rescue efforts began, some of the tribe’s chiefs were taken hostage, including “Tokalah” (who in real life, remains unnamed). Custer threatened to hang the chiefs, if Anna and Sarah were not returned.

Finally, Anna and Sarah were released, and returned to their families on March 22, 1869. Anna’s husband was still crippled from the initial attack, and was not able to accompany her brother and Custer to the negotiations.

James Morgan and Anna were not happy after they were reunited. Anna gave birth to “Tokalah’s” son, Ira Arthur, on December 7, 1869.  She dearly loved him, and remarked that he “reminded her very much of his father”.  Ira died around the age of two, just ten days after the birth of her second child (from James). The couple had two sons together, Claud and Glen. When Glen was around two, Anna took her two children and left her husband, moving back to her brother’s house.  James asked for and was granted a divorce.

Anna was of course shunned by the community for bearing the child of a Native American man and divorcing her husband.  She mostly avoided publicity.  Which would probably explain why there are no pictures of her to be easily found online (if at all).

She once remarked to a friend, “I often wish they had never found me.”  Nobody can be certain if this was because she was truly happy living with the Cheyenne, or if she had simply grown weary of the persecution she was suffering in the white community.

After her remaining children were grown, Anna (being a strong, Christian woman) did her best to live with the stigma of what she had endured after the kidnapping and her divorce. The stress wore heavily on her, and she was later admitted to a mental hospital, in Topeka, KS. She passed away at the age of 57, on June 11, 1902. She is buried not far from the entrance of the Delphos Cemetery, next to her and “Tokalah’s” son, Ira.  James Morgan is buried at Fruita, Colorado.

Those who do believe Anna was in love with her chief, romanticize that the ending in the movie represented the ending that Anna wanted in her heart– but couldn’t pursue, because she had no idea whether anyone from the tribe had survived Custer’s vengeful attack, or where they might be even if they did.

Below is a picture of Anna and little Ira’s headstones:



19 responses to “Anna’s Story

  1. Anna

    March 8, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I love this movie and the real story is quite disturbing. Anna never really complained about her life in captivity and her unhappiness so this could have assigned for eventually accepting her life in Cheyenne tribe. Being brave and beautiful why couldn’t she deeply touched a heart of an Indian? Everything was possible. People get attracted by opposite charachters, cultures . looks.
    Is there any pictures in any archives of Anna?
    Thank you for the information. I love the movie but find myslef often wondering about the real Anna. What did she really want, why she felt into depression and could not find happiness later in life? Did she miss Tokalah? Certainly she was not the only woman who would have been abducted by Indians at that time? Why she never wanted to talk about it? Why she said to her neighbour once ” Sometimes I wish they never found me” . I am sure she had a lot of support from her brother or community to have recovered , yet she did not. The way her life ended is a really sad story.

    • Stolen Women Captured Hearts

      March 16, 2009 at 7:14 am

      Yeah, it was really sad. I have been looking everywhere for photos of Anna and Sarah, but I am starting to think I will never find them for free on the internet. I may have to pay online newspaper archives, or track down Anna and Sarah’s living relatives, to see if they can email me a copy.

      I think what probably drove Anna crazy was losing her and Tokalah’s child, then spending the rest of her days wondering weather or not Tokalah was still alive, or not. And not being able to go to him.

      But niether could she move on. She remained silent because the people back then were not sympathetic to a white woman falling in love with a Native man. Their hearts were not softened by such a story, and they were not impressed. Marrying another man outside your race, and having that man’s child, when you were already legally married to someone else, was pretty much the worst possible thing a woman could do back then… The entire community completely turned their backs on her. And the more she spoke kindly about Tokalah, the more people hated her. So eventually, she decided that she was never going to get the community’s sympathy, and decided it was in her best interest to remain silent.

      Still, it must have been terrible for her to be having all these feelings, and not be able to talk about it with anyone, other than a few short remarks to a close friend. And to always wonder if the man who held your heart was dead or alive. I think that would drive any woman crazy.

      • Flora

        March 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm

        There’s a great book called The Unredeemed Captive– a girl, Eunice Williams, was captured at age 7 in 1704 Massachusetts. Her family tried for years to “redeem” her but she married a Native American at 16 and led a very interesting life to age 95– she preferred it to the idea of going back. The book Captive Histories by Evan Haefeli includes views of the story from the oral histories of natives. French, Jesuit, Puritan, various tribes, wars, alliances– must have been complicated to live then. When Americans do gene testing, they are often surprised to find so many traces — African, Native, European, Asian. There was a lot more intermarriage going on than we learned in school.
        “The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families”. These pages were astonishing to me. Peter Ustinov, on his mother’s side, was a member of the Ethiopian Royal Family. Heather Locklear—Tuscarora. George Washington’s brother married the daughter or granddaughter of an African. Lawrence Washington built Mount Vernon– and so the first lady of the estate was a woman of color. Amazing stories.

      • C

        March 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

        I just recently saw the movie and decided to find out as much as possible about the actual events. It didn’t take long to find out that Anna had made some comments to a neighbor. An Indian chief, not the one who had captured her, proposed to her and she accepted in order to better her situation, which is what happened. She no longer had to work hard, he was good to her, and she began to care for him. When she heard that there were white people nearby she didn’t want to see them, but her brother came to see her. Could she have told him that she wanted to stay, I wonder, and would it have done any good if she had? Cynthia Parker, the white wife of an Indian, said she wanted to go back to her good husband after she was “rescued” and tried to, but was not allowed to. White women at that time were expected to die rather than be raped especially by anyone other than a white man, in fact that was called a fate worse than death. I heard that saying from people who were born as late as around the early 1900s. Among the whites it was beyond belief that any woman would voluntarily marry an Indian. Not only that, Anna once commented that she often wished the whites had never found her. That she lived long enough to have her Indian husband’s child made her an outcast. I think Anna’s actual story is not as clear cut as we would like. I intend to find out more about Anna and Sarah if possible. I like the ending of the movie because it is too sad to know the real one. I think that this story is a small part of what was going on on a larger scale at the time. Custer had also captured some Indian women, but we only hear from Custer about how they were treated. For years we read history written by the victors, but there is some written by the Native Americans and whites, who were horrified by what happened at places such as Sand Creek and Washita Creek. When Custer attacked the encampment at the Little Big Horn and the Indians won it was called a massacre, but when Custer attacked Black Kettle’s camp it was usually called a battle. Many of the Indian women there met, to coin a phrase, a fate worse than rape. It is good that there are movies that show Indians as human beings and employ indians to play the parts. For many years they were portrayed by white actors usually as wild savages with no motives for endless attacks and murders. Native Americans were fighting for their land, freedom, and families, I would say that they were angry and desperate. They couldn’t ride up to an army post and demand that Indian captives be released and that the whites go to a reservation. We cannot say how all Native Americans behaved any more than we can say how all whites behaved, since we are all individuals. Terrible things were done on both sides, but I am sure that Indians loved their wives as much as whites loved theirs.

      • Sandy

        July 26, 2013 at 3:26 am

        I too have been about what the real Anna & Sarah looked like, I have even been about what “Tokalah” & Anna’s husband looked like too. My dad used to read a lot of history stuff & he did tell me a lot of people were pretty heartless back then. He told me that when women & young girls get kidnapped by Indians. If the captives manage to escape back home, families are heartless enough to disown them because they can’t deal with the fact that their daughters/sisters were gang raped, etc. even though it’s not the victim’s. My dad also told me in some cases, captives actually end up liking their captors better than their own families. I have also have been curious about if Anna really loved “Tokalah” or she had what would be called this day & time “Stockholm Syndrome”
        Either way she probably got better treatment from “Tokalah” than she did from her own husband.

    • Stolen Women Captured Hearts

      November 5, 2013 at 12:52 am

      I’m not sure if there are any photos of her. You really had to go out of your way to get a photo of yourself back in those days, and it wasn’t cheap by their standards. but pictures of them sure would be nice, huh?

  2. Claudia

    March 31, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    my god what a movie !!! i cried for 2 hours watching it!!!

  3. gwen

    June 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    je m appelle gwenaele et je suis francaise!!
    je suis passionnée par les tribues amerindiennes et par ce film!
    je voudrais le regarder en francais mais je ne trouve pas comment le telecharger! pouvez vous m aider?????

    thank you very much

    • Stolen Women Captured Hearts

      June 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      Je m’excuse de mon français est mauvais. Essayez de contacter LMN peut-être qu’ils peuvent vous aider. Here:

    • Stolen Women Captured Hearts

      November 5, 2013 at 12:57 am

      Copiez tous les mots ici et utilisez “Google Translate”

  4. Alisha Johns

    September 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Yeah Anna really did have a hard life. But, in my heart i wish it happened more like the movie. We may never know what really happend. Just what was this Tokalah really like, how old was he? What did he look like? Were they in love? And the list just keeps going on and on. My parents already believe marrying into another race is wrong and evil. Just what would they have done with me when I returned? I’d hate to think of it. I have never dated in my life but I am not usually attracted to white guys. To tell you the truth it is mainly Native Americans that I am attracted to. Is crazy. Its almost like they are speaking to me. We are so connected in ways that I still discovering. I long to be with them. Mainly the Sioux. When I hear or speak their words I go crazy, I cry, I get goosbumps, and so much more. It is not just because I have Indain anestors. They are not Sioux anyway. Even be for I knew I did I would cry thinking I was not Indain at all. I think something has been leading up to them my whole life. I want to die because i can’t get to them right now. As Sarah said to Anna in the movie, you know where you belong now and if you don’t leave you’ll die. Thats how I feel.You may think I’m crazy but I’m not lying.

  5. Dawn Redmond

    November 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

    It is very interesting to read of Anna and Sarah’s ‘true’ stories. Theirs is less known, its only because I researched it after seeing the movie Stolen Women I came across this. Of course the most famous ‘captive’ of all was Cynthia Ann Parker; she was captured by the Comanches as a young child, and later like Anna she was returned to the ‘whites’ but essentially died of a broken heart missing her husband and children; her son Quanah Parker was the last Chief of the Comanches.

    Writing in the Crowell Index on October 8, 1909, Tom Champion opined, “…I am convinced that the white people did more harm by keeping her away from them than the Indians did by taking her at first.”

  6. oberee

    January 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    micheal greyeyes is the most lucious man I have ever seen. Tokalah was so breath taking, what a man. I can’t stop watching this movie, I’m driving my family crazy talking about it. I’m on a mission to buy every micheal greyeyes movies. Mrs. Greyeyes is a dancer from New York she is truly the the luckiest woman in the world to sleep with Tokalah every night.

  7. L.Hart

    January 13, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Awesome information. I have seen this movie several times and read many difference articles on the lives of both women. Sad that in real life Anna could not find her way back to Tokala and be with the man she loved. She may have lived a longer and happier life rather then dying alone in a mental hosiptal from depression.


    February 6, 2013 at 4:06 am

    “Annas Story Stolenwomencapturedheartss Blog” ended up being a excellent blog.

    If perhaps it owned alot more pictures this would likely
    be perhaps even a lot better. All the best -Carina

    • Stolen Women Captured Hearts

      November 5, 2013 at 1:06 am

      I wish there were more pictures. I could add plenty if I took them from the movie… But I didn’t want movie pictures. And sadly, there are almost none in existence for the real people involved in this.

  9. Julie

    June 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    The story of Anna Brewster really intrigues me. I can only imagine what it would have been like to have lived the life she did. Loving one man, living with another, such a tragedy, and then losing the child of the man you really loved, must have been heart-wrenching, which probably led to her demise at such a young age, in addition to the fact that she had no real support, and was being shunned by others who could not accept the love that was in her heart. The real travesty is that she was taken from her “people.” The Cheyenne loved her, she loved them, she should never have been taken away from them! I wonder what her life and the life of her first husband would have been like if this would not have happened. I can only guess that everyone would have been much better off. I wish there was more information on this story, and I would love to see photographs! It would be awesome if there could be a book written about this courageous woman who not only loved with all of her heart, but stayed true to who she really was despite what other people thought!

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    July 18, 2013 at 7:06 am

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  11. Christian

    July 22, 2013 at 9:23 pm

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    ! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new things on your blog.


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