Eagle Woman

American peace activist (born 1820, near Big Bend of the Missouri River [in what is now South Dakota], U.S.—died December 18, 1888, Miles City, Montana)

Eagle Woman That All Look At (also known as Waŋblí Ayútepiwiŋ in Sioux, and as Matilda Picotte Galpin, 1820 – December 18, 1888) was a Lakota activist, diplomat, trader, and translator who was known for her efforts mediating the conflicts between white settlers, the United States government, and the Sioux. She is credited with being the first woman to become a chief among the Sioux.


  • Have I not told you that the white men are as thick as the blades of grass' I have been to the lodge of the Great Father. I know what I say! Now break up your council of war. Leave here - and I will make you a great feast.
    • Speaking to an angry mob of 5,000 which had surrounded the general store on the Grand River reservation, as quoted in Eagle Woman Who All Look At. South Dakota Hall of Fame – Champions of Excellence (2010).
  • Shame on you, cowards to come here, five thousand of you, to slaughter a half-dozen white men. And you come here for what reason? You have been killing their cattle right along, day after day, and not one of them has said anything to you about the loss - and then when you shoot one of your own people, you come here to kill a white man for it ... You are not brave to come here to kill a half-dozen white men!
  • This man belongs to me now! You cannot touch him!

Quote about Eagle Woman

  • As Mrs. Galpin stood in the midst of that immense crowd of blood-thirsty Indians, and argued and pleaded for lives of the white men, regardless of her own perilous position, it was the grandest spectacle I ever saw, or ever expect to see taking all the circumstances into account.
  • Interesting persons who occupied cabins were Mrs. Charles E. Galpin and her daughter, Miss Lou Galpin [sic], the former being the wife of Maj. Galpin, the famous trader ... Mrs. Galpin was a woman of unusual mental capacity, who was well known throughout the Dakota country, and her daughter had been well educated in St. Louis. They were just returning to Grand River Agency from Chicago, where they had been procuring a wedding trousseau for Miss Lou, who was soon to be married to Capt. Harmon.
  • An Indian woman, names Mrs. Galpin, is also with the [1872 Sioux delegation to Washington D.C.]; she has been a great friend of the whites and has more influences with the hostile Indians than most of the chiefs
  • I consider her a very meritorious person and trust that she will remain unmolested in her laudable efforts to educate her children. Mrs. Galpin is the bright particular star of the Sioux Nation, and I honor her for her former deeds and for her present unexceptionable conduct.
  • Mrs. Galpin ... is one of the finest women in the world ... She speaks no English, only her native Sioux. She is a friend of her own race and also of the whites. Her friendship is not proved by words but by deeds.
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