This morning, Donovin Sprague reviews a book about one of the largest families here in the Dakota area. So many folks came to the vast prairie to settle down and begin a family, Reshaw did just that.
Reshaw: The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard
by: Jefferson Glass
This new book is about the life of John Baptiste Richard (pronounced “Reshaw” by the French) who was a mountain man, fur trader, Indian trader, military interpreter, scout, and many other things. He was a noted character in Wyoming during the mid-nineteenth century.
The inspiration for the book began as the author researched Richard’s Bridge which was the first successful bridge across the North Platte River and was only a few hundred yards from the author’s home. From there the interesting life of John Baptiste Richard began to unfold from history and collected documents which the author obtained. Through research and halfway through the writing of the book a genealogy of the Richard family was discovered, which included the father of Mr. Richard and a brief history. The genealogy is included in the book along with some historic photographs. Much of the history includes his colorful life in Colorado and Wyoming. He had an early connection to other well-known French families who eventually ended up at Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations.
A valuable addition to this history would be to include more of the matrilineal side of the Richard family connecting to the Lakota. Many French-Lakota families at Pine Ridge descend from this family. The families also use various spellings of the last name. Many others from this family could have their own books.