Missionaries of numerous faith backgrounds permeated the Great Lakes during the middle of the nineteenth century. Catholics and a variety of Protestant clergy proselyted the diverse American Indian populations. Some did so independently, but the majority of them worked under some governing body such as the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM).

Conflicted Mission: Faith, Disputes, and Deception on the Dakota Frontier expertly tells the story of a number of missionaries who worked under the auspices of the ABCFM in Minnesota from around 1830 through the end of the Civil War. In doing so, Linda Clemmons, associate professor of history at Illinois State University, adds an important contribution to the field of American Indian/missionary relations.

The life of missionaries is difficult. The work is perplexing and exhausting, the pay is minimal, and the reception from those who are the subjects of their efforts is often tepid at...

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