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Dear America Wiki
Not to be confused with Florence Finch.

"I'm not sure if I told him the right thing or not. It's hard telling good from bad out here. Right from wrong used to be a whole lot easier back in Missouri. But I'm sure glad to know there's something in that head of my brother's besides rocks!"
—Florrie Mack Ryder[4]

Florence "Florrie" Alma (née Mack Ryder; July 26, 1835 – c. 1905) was the daughter of Mrs. and Joseph Mack. Following her father's death, her mother married Mr. Ryder and they took on his name. In 1848, the family traveled on the Santa Fe Trail and settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Florrie was the older sister of Jem and Cimarron.


Early life[]

Florrie was born on July 26, 1835.[1] She was named after her father's sister Florence. Florrie had a younger brother, Jem. Their father, Joseph, was an army surgeon who passed away during the Mexican–American War.

Santa Fe Trail[]

After her mother was remarried to Mr. Ryder, it was decided that the family would move to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he was part-owner of a general store. Florrie was sad to part with her aunt and uncle as well as her best friend Caroline. They started their journey in early June 1848, making their way to Independence, Missouri first. There Mr. Ryder formed a wagon train with him acting as the head driver along with Frenchie. From then on, they traveled on the Santa Fe Trail. Florrie befriended the artist Mr. St. Clair, whom encouraged her to draw, and the sisters Louisa and Eliza Nutting.

In late June, Florrie quarreled with her new friend Eliza, whom went missing a few days later. She was found by the Ryders dog Mr. Biscuit. Florrie and the sisters became closer friends from then on. In early July, Mr. St. Clair passed away when his tent caught fire. Florrie was devastated by the news. The wagon train reached the midpoint of their journey in mid-July. Florrie's family headed to Bent's Fort, while Louisa's and Eliza's went on the path to California. The girls said a tearful goodbye. At Bent's Fort, Florrie's mother was able to get much needed medical attention since she had fallen ill while being pregnant.

Florrie and Jem became friends with many people at the fort, including Manny Rodriguez, Muldoon, and Letty. She also befriended a Cheyenne girl named Mo'e'ha, whom she was particularly sad to part from. Florrie's mother's condition grew worse, leading her to give birth to her baby too early. After burying the baby, Mr. Ryder took Florrie and Jem ahead to Santa Fe while Mrs. Ryder stayed behind to recover. In Santa Fe, they were welcomed by Mr. Ryder's partners, the Villarreals. Florrie and Jem stayed in their care when Mr. Ryder went to fetch their mother. They returned with a baby, Cimmaron, whose family had died while travelling. She was adopted by the Ryders.

Later life[]

Florrie married a ranchero, Ricardo José Alma, at the age of twenty-two in 1858. The same year, the young couple set out to Colorado where gold had been discovered. Florrie became one of the first women to reach the top of Pikes Peak. She and her husband eventually settled in Colorado Springs, where they raised their five children together. When Florrie was older she published a book of sketches which she dedicated to Mr. St. Clair. She died at the age of seventy.

Personality and traits[]

Florrie was known for having a stubborn streak, such as when she declared she would not leave Missouri without her beloved dog Mr. Biscuit. She preferred to think of herself as being strong-willed rather than stubborn. Florrie disliked her stepfather, Mr. Ryder, at first, mostly for not being her real father. She gradually grew to love and respect him, even calling him "Papa" eventually. Florrie had a strong imagination, and loved reading and hearing stories. Additionally, she had a talent for drawing which Mr. St. Clair encouraged her to cultivate.

Family tree[]

The Ryder-Alma Family Tree
(1) Joseph Mack
Mrs. Ryder
(2) Mr. Ryder
Ricardo José Alma
Florence Mack Ryder
Jem Mack Ryder
Ellen Ryder
Missouri Ryder
(b./d. 1848)
Cimmaron Ryder
(b. 1848)
Five children

Behind the scenes[]



See also[]

Dear America characters
Main characters

Remember "Mem" Whipple | Deliverance Trembley | Lozette Moreau | Catharine Logan | Prudence Emerson
Abigail Stewart | Lucinda Lawrence | María Rosalia de Milagros | Hattie Campbell | Mary Driscoll
Florence "Florrie" Mack Ryder | Susanna Fairchild | Clotee Henley | Amelia Martin | Emma Simpson
Sarah Nita | Phillis "Patsy" Frederick | Libby West | Priscilla "Pringle" Rose | Mary "Polly" Rodgers
Nannie Little Rose | Angeline Reddy | Sarah Jane Price | Teresa Viscardi | Anetka Kaminska
Zipporah Feldman | Minette "Minnie" Bonner | Angela Denoto | Margaret Ann Brady | Kathleen Bowen
Simone Spencer | Lydia Pierce | Nell "Nellie Lee" Love | Bess Brennan | Minerva "Minnie" Swift | Grace Edwards
Julie Weiss | Madeline Beck | Amber Billows | Piper Davis | Dawn "Dawnie Rae" Johnson | Molly Flaherty

Supporting characters

Antoinetta Viscardi | Leon Nasevich | Daniel Pierce | Erma Jean Love | Patrick Flaherty

Lists of characters by book

A Journey to the New World | I Walk in Dread | Look to the Hills | Standing in the Light
Love Thy Neighbor | The Winter of Red Snow | Cannons at Dawn | A Line in the Sand
Valley of the Moon | Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | All the Stars in the Sky
Seeds of Hope | A Picture of Freedom | A Light in the Storm | When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly | The Great Railroad Race
Down the Rabbit Hole | Land of the Buffalo Bones | My Heart Is on the Ground | Behind the Masks
My Face to the Wind | West to a Land of Plenty | A Coal Miner's Bride | Dreams in the Golden Country
A City Tossed and Broken | Hear My Sorrow | Voyage on the Great Titanic | A Time for Courage
When Christmas Comes Again | Like the Willow Tree | Color Me Dark | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Christmas After All | Survival in the Storm | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
My Secret War | Early Sunday Morning | The Fences Between Us | With the Might of Angels
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?