This is something I uncovered recently during my research. It's a 1905 short story by Susa Young Gates, early Mormon novelist and daughter of Brigham Young. The story tells of Sally, a thirteen-year-old Native American, who lives with a white Mormon family in Salt Lake City and is the object of desire of two Native American men: the "noble" Kanosh and the "savage" Walkara.
The story is of interest for several reasons. First, for BYU students and Provoans (?), it draws upon local Provo folklore and stages its climactic showdown between Kanosh and Walkara in Rock Canyon beneath the towering Squaw Peak. Second, and far more importantly, it's an interesting and problematic text about Mormonism, race, and gender. Scholars who wish to study more about Mormon literature's historic treatment and representation of the racial other, as well as its handling of issues like interracial marriage and the Lamanite curse, should not overlook "The Courtship of Kanosh." In fact, I read this story as a kind of precursor to texts like Arianne Cope's "White Shell" and The Coming of Elijah, which are very much in conversation with the kind of racism expressed within and through Gates's story.
The Courtship of Kanosh:
A Pioneer Indian Love Story
By Susa Young Gates.
Improvement Era, Novemeber 1905
The few tins and coppers in Mrs. Mary's pioneer log cabin twinkled and flashed in the light of the blazing logs upon the great hearthstone, that chilly afternoon in September, 1848. Every article in that meagerly furnished room was clean and free from a housekeeper's reproach. The white chief's wife had gone across the fort with her baby, leaving the thirteen-year old Indian maiden, Sally, in full possession of the cozy log-cabin.
And lo, Sally had a lover! There he sat, on the door step, his great blanket folded about his arms and muffling his chin; his neck was sunk low in his drooping shoulders, and his attitude expressed either sadness or anger.
Sally paid no attention whatever to him. It was not that Kanosh lacked in rugged Indian manliness and strength, nor was he without a certain dark beauty, the beauty of primal nature, full and free. For his limbs were carved in heroic mold, and his dark, proud face was a model of Indian power and sagacity.
Kanosh had first seen Sally two months before, when he had visited the big white chief in company with Walker, Sowiette and a great band of Utah and Shoshone Indians.
The Indian chiefs had come in to the fort to learn what were the white men's intentions, and to make some sort of treaty for their own advantage, as well as to trade horses for food and firearms.
At the close of the long conference, in which Kanosh had accepted old Sowiette's position of conciliation, the chiefs had been invited to break bread with the white chief, their friend and brother.
On entering the large room of the central log cabin in the fort, Kanosh, a little in advance of the others, saw a maiden of his own blood assisting in the service of their dinner. Her long hair still hung down her back, but it was neatly braided in two broad plaits, and although her plump form looked somewhat awkward in the "civilized" dress which replaced the Indian blanket, the dark eyes were very soft and bright, and the lips were full of love and laughter.
The girl saw Kanosh quite as soon as he saw her, but no answering flash sparkled in her brown eyes. Instead, she coolly set the dish of meat she was carrying upon the table, and walked back to the inner room with a gesture that would have been a toss of the head in a white maiden.
Poor young chieftain! Although he tried to listen to the important discussions which his fellow chiefs were carrying on with the white Father, through the interpreter-and although there was very much that was novel and startling in this first civilized meal of which he had partaken-he could not listen, he could not attend, he could not eat. Fate, the hag, had thrust out her time-worn hand and had seized his quivering heart between her relentless fingers.