She was a popular author, actress and activist for Native Americans at the turn of the 20th century.
The New York Times published this obituary:
Los Angeles, July 11 (AP)—Mrs. Marah Ellis Ryan, writer and authority on Indians, died today at her home in the Silver Lake district from encephalitis (sleeping sickness) at the age of 68. Mrs. Ryan went to live among the Hopi Indians twenty-five years ago and claimed to be the only white woman ever admitted to the secret religious rites. She was noted as an authority on the tribal life of the Indians in the United States and Mexico. Mrs. Ryan was born in Butler County, Pa., a daughter of Graham and Sidney Mechling Martin. As a young woman she wrote a few poems and stories under the pen-name of “Ellis Martin.” In 1883 she married S. Erwan Ryan of New York, an actor, who died several years ago. Among the many books by Mrs. Ryan issued over a period of thirty-six years, 1889-1925, were the following: “In Love’s Domain,” “Squaw Eloise,” “A Flower of France,” “That Girl Montana,” “Indian Love Letters,” “The Woman of Twilight,” “The House of the Dawn,” “Treasure Trail,” and “The Dancer of Tuluum.”
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... Ryan’s biggest problem in this novel was developing the rather complex character of Rachel Hardy ... Ryan was familiar with Chinook, but unfamiliar with the Kutenai language ... and cleverly told story that Miss Ryan writes of the days when the Spaniard was riding, an arrogant conqueror, over the mountains and across the deserts of Mexico ...
Famous quotes containing the word ellis:
“I always seem to have a vague feeling that he is a Satan among musicians, a fallen angel in the darkness who is perpetually seeking to fight his way back to happiness.”
—Havelock Ellis (18591939)