Kenneth H. Winn: George Sibley and Breach of Promise on the American Frontier

Kenneth H. Winn tells the story  of Indian agent George Sibley and Ellen Lorr whose failure to marry touched off a legal and political battle in early 1800s Missouri.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
4:00pm @ Central Library

Kenneth H. Winn tells the seldom-heard story of Indian agent George Sibley and Ellen Lorr, whose failure to marry touched off a legal and political battle in early 1800s Missouri, on Sunday, May 16, at 2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

In 1812 Sibley asked Lorr, the daughter of his Indian language interpreter, to live with him, making a written promise to protect her from the “frown of fortune.” When the War of 1812 drove them from Fort Osage, near present-day Kansas City, to St. Louis, Lorr sued Sibley for failing to marry her. The battle soon became political as the old French colonial elite rallied to Lorr, while their new American opponents took Sibley’s side.

Winn is currently the director of the Missouri Supreme Court Library.

This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Speakers Series, a program of the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Admission is free. Click here or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.

Listen to the audio