Elizabeth Taylor Ayer's life spanned nearly the entire nineteenth century. In an era when women rarely had professional careers, her work as a teaching missionary gave her more status and independence than most women enjoyed.
Black and white photograph of the Ho-Chunk leader Baptiste Lasallier wearing a mix of American Indian and Euro-American clothing, c.1855. After the treaty of 1859 the U.S. government recognized Lasallier as the "head chief" of the Ho-Chunk at Blue Earth.
In 1855, a federal treaty moved the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people from their reservation near Long Prairie to a site along the Blue Earth River. The Ho-Chunk farmed the area's rich soil with some success, but drew the hostility of white neighbors who wanted the land for themselves. Though they did not participate in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, they were exiled from Minnesota during the conflict's aftermath.
Winneshiek II (second from left) and other Ho-Chunk leaders, at Fort Snelling, c.1865. The man third from the left is thought to be Waukon Decorah, a leader in Ho-Chunk diplomatic relations with the United States.