Throughout the 1850’s and early 1860’s, Antoine Joseph Campbell played a pivotal role as the U.S. Interpreter to the Upper and Lower Dakota Agencies. Joseph was a mixed-blood who carefully toed the line between Dakota and White, always upholding his duty while seeking peace and justice for both cultures. He is the main character of the book, Grace at Spirit Lake. He also plays an important role in, Thy Eternal Summer, but some of his actions are replaced by the main character Alfred Riggs. Below is an excerpt from a personal narrative written by Celia Stay Campbell, Joseph’s daughter:
“Father’s voice always had a charm for his daughter, Celia, and so, I shall always drop a word, which shall always bloom as roses around his pathway, and he shall know that while friends have turned fickle, and enemies dangerous, his daughter has watched and prayed, that all will yet come right. Now, how carefully that noble man’s name has been kept from history. When he did so much to alleviate the wrongs of the Red Man. How he soothed wounded feelings, by kind words, and wise councils and material aid. He could not see one come to him for naught, and risking his own life and welfare for these prisoners. How they promised of their own accord to help him by a good word when back to civilization, without asking. Where are those good words?”
Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862. Edited by Gary Clayton Anderson and Alan R. Woolworth. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1988.