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. One month later, on October 3, 1868, Anna Brewster Morgan was captured by Indians just northwest of present-day Delphos during an Sioux raid. The Indians had raided up the Solomon River, shot Mr. Morgan, and taken Anna captive. A Cheyenne war party had captured a Miss Sarah C. White near Concordia on an earlier raid. Eventually, Anna was traded to this same band of Cheyenne. On March 22, 1869, both women were rescued by General George Armstrong Custer, near the Wichita Mountains of today's Lawton, Oklahoma.
James Morgan and Anna were not happy after they were reunited. Anna gave birth to a half-Indian son, Ira Arthur, December 7, 1869. Ira died around the age of two, just ten days after the birth of their second child, May. The couple had two sons, Claud and Glen. When Glen was around two, Anna left her husband and moved back to her brother's house. James asked for and was granted a divorce.
Being a strong, Christian woman, Anna did her best to live with the stigma of what she had endured during her captivity and her divorce. The stress wore heavily on her, and she was later admitted to a mental hospital. She died in Topeka, Kansas in 1902. Little Ira and his mother are buried in the Delphos Cemetery. James Morgan is buried at Fruita, Colorado.
In 1997, director Jerry London produced a made for TV movie "Stolen Women, Captured Hearts." Although the movie was praised for it's realistic coverage of the American Indian, it did not follow the "true" and "realistic" life of Anna Brewster Morgan and her unsuccessful struggle at regaining her pre-captive life.
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