Jane Gibbs “Little Bird That Was Caught”

Illustrations by Tessie Bundick

Ramsey County Historical Society

A story for ages 8-12

In 1834, five-year old Jane was placed into a covered wagon without her parents’ knowledge to travel with a family she did not know. They took her through great woods and savannahs in the wagon, boating across Lake Michigan and then up rivers until they reached Minnesota. While her new family was building a log cabin, Jane discovered that other people already lived there in houses made of tree bark or buffalo skins and spoke a language called Dakota. And she came to love these people. From then on, Jane lived in two worlds, that of the white missionary family, and of the native people who treated her like a daughter. She spoke two languages, lived by two sets of rules, and answered to two names: Jane and “Little Bird That Was Caught.” This true story tells of Jane’s amazing experiences as a child of two cultures.

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Additional Information:

The home and farm that Jane established is now an historical site:

Gibbs Farm

Gibbs Farm Virtual Resources

History of Gibbs Farm