Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Aaron McGaffey Beede

North Dakota

"Poet & linguist, lawyer, Episcopal missionary to the Indians of North Dakota, and, [in] 1919 . . . county judge of Sioux Count, Fort Yates, N.D."

[Bio/History note, accompanying Typescript ms. of a 1919 paper by Beede, entitled "Western Sioux cosmology and 'Letting go of the ghost,'" Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois][For a more comprehensive biogrpahical note on Beede, see Aaron McGaffey Beede & Ralph Gordon Beede Papers, Chester Fritz Library, Department of Special Collections, University of North Dakota]

According to the archivist note, to the Aaron McGaffey Beede and Ralph gordon Beede Papers, University of North Dakota, Beede was a North Dakota pioneer. He graduated in 1884 from Bates College and took up teaching, and the study of law. He attended the Andover Theological Seminary (in Massachusetts) and received his Bachelor of Divinity degree there in 1890. From 1891 to 1894 Beede served as superintendent of schools at Alfred, Maine. He departed for South Dakota and was teaching there in 1895. He then moved on to North Dakota. In 1899 Beed received a doctorate degree from Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Illinois).

During the period 1901-1916, Beede was a missionary in Sioux country. (He had learned the Sioux language at age fifteen.)

In 1914 he was appointed the first county judge of Sioux County. He entered the private practice of law in 1922, and in 1924 served as state's attorney from 1925-1927.

Biographical Sketch


A. McG. Beede, Toward the Sun, Poems (Bismark, North Dakota: Bismark Tribune Co., 1916) [online text]


A. McG. Beede, Sitting Bull-Custer (Bismarck, North Dakota: Bismark Tribune Co., 1913)

____________, Large Indian Cornfeilds in North Dakota Long Ago, and an Indian Dram Petite for School Children (Bismarck, North Dakota: Bismark Tribune Co., 1914)

____________, Heart-in-the-Lodge (Bismarck, North Dakota: Bismarck Tribune Co., 1915/1916)