Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki

Florrie on the cover

All of the characters that appear in All the Stars in the Sky.

Main characters[]

Florrie Mack Ryder[]

Main article: Florence Mack Ryder

Florence "Florrie" Mack Ryder (July 26, 1835[1] – c. 1905)[2] was the daughter of Mrs. and Joseph Mack, and older sister of Jem. Her father was killed in battle during the Mexican–American War. Florrie's mother was remarried to Mr. Ryder, whom Florrie disliked at first. The family traveled on the Santa Fe Trail to settle in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Mr. Ryder owned a store. Florrie made many friends along the way, including Mr. St. Clair, Louisa and Eliza Nutting. When her family stopped at Bent's Fort, she befriended Manny Rodriguez and Mo'e'ha. There her mother gave birth to Missouri whom died soon after. A few months later, the family gained a new member, Cimarron, a baby the Ryders adopted.

Supporting characters[]

Eliza and Louisa Nutting[]

Eliza Nutting (born c. 1838)[3] and Louisa Nutting Edwards[2] (born c. 1834)[3] were the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Nutting. In 1848, the sisters befriended Florence Mack Ryder on the Santa Fe Trail. The three girls loved exploring together. Florrie became angry with Eliza when she thought that she had read her diary. Before they could make up, Eliza went missing for several days when she wandered off. In late July, the sisters said goodbye to Florrie since their family was heading for California. In 1858, Eliza came to Santa Fe to teach. Her favorite student was Cimmaron Ryder. Louisa became a concert violinist. She met Florrie again in Denver when she attended one of her concerts.

Jem Mack Ryder[]

Jem Mack Ryder was the adventurous younger brother of Florrie. He did not remember much of his father who died when he was little. Jem took to Mr. Ryder, whom his mother was remarried to, much faster than his sister. He was very excited to travel on the trail. During his travels, Jem learned to think more critically but still primarily thought of fun and adventure. He often got into scrapes. In his later life, Jem sought his fortune with Florrie and her husband in the Colorado gold fields as a carpenter. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted with the 2nd Colorado Infantry in 1861. He worked as a medic and met his future wife, Ellen, in the makeshift hospital.

Manny Rodriguez[]

Manuel "Manny" Rodriguez (born c. 1835)[4] was a boy around Florrie's age who lived at Bent's Fort. There he helped his father break horses in the corral. Manny was befriended by Florrie and Jem when the family came to the fort in 1848. He taught his friends some words in Spanish and particularly enjoyed competing with them to see who could eat the most of Letty's pie. Manny bid his friends "Vaya con dios" when they left the fort. In August 1849, Bent's Fort burned down. Manny and his father presumably went somewhere else to live. Florrie never saw Manny again, but she always thought of him when she danced the Cuna.


Mo'e'ha ("Magpie"), was a Cheyenne girl whom Florrie befriended. In August 1848, they met outside of Bent's Fort. Mo'e'ha called Florrie "Vehpotse" after she pointed to a flower when asked her name. The girls communicated through hand gestures and drawings in the dirt. Mo'e'ha also taught Florrie a few words in her language. When Florrie's mother became sick, Mo'e'ha took her to her mother and she exchanged honey for some medicine. As a parting gift, Mo'e'ha left a pair of moccasins for Florrie who then left a drawing of a magpie for Mo'e'ha. Florrie later had Mr. Ryder leave another gift when he went to fetch Mrs. Ryder. Though she never saw Mo'e'ha again, Florrie thought of her every time she saw a magpie.

Mr. Ryder[]

Mr. Ryder was a trader and co-owner of a general store in Santa Fe. His mother's name was Edwina. Mr. Ryder traveled along the Santa Fe Trail, which was how he met Mrs. Mack in Missouri. They married and he became stepfather to her two children, Florrie and Jem. The family traveled on the Santa Fe Trail with Mr. Ryder as one of the head drivers. At Bent's Fort, Mrs. Ryder gave birth to a daughter whom died on the same day. Mr. Ryder decided to carry on to Santa Fe and left his wife to rest at the fort. He helped Florrie and Jem settle in with his business partner, Carlos Villareal, and bought a house before going to fetch their mother. On the way back, they found a baby, Cimmaron, whom they adopted.

Mrs. Ryder[]

Mrs. Ryder ("Mama;" formerly Mack) was Florrie's and Jem's mother. Her first husband passed away during the Mexican–American War. She was remarried to Mr. Ryder and it was decided that the family would move to Santa Fe, though she had some reservations. On the trail, Florrie often helped her mother due to her being with child. She became ill and the family stopped at Bent's Fort for treatment. Mrs. Ryder became worse and gave birth to her baby, Missouri, who passed away on the same day. She stayed behind while the others left for Santa Fe. Mr. Ryder came to fetch her later on. They came across a baby, whom they decided to adopt and named Cimmaron. In Santa Fe, they settled in their new house.

Mr. St. Clair[]

Mr. St. Clair (died July 9, 1848)[5] was an artist travelling on the Santa Fe Trail to draw authentic sketches of trail life. At fourteen, his parents died and he became a sign painter to support himself. Mr. St. Clair travelled all over drawing sketches and maps. He also painted on occasion. In 1848, he met Florrie on the trail and they became friends. She was very impressed with his drawings, calling them "magnificent." Mr. St. Clair encouraged Florrie to draw by giving her tips often and gifted her a shading pencil. One night, he fell asleep with his lantern still on and his tent caught fire. Florrie was heartbroken by his passing. As an adult, Florrie published a book of sketches which she dedicated to Mr. St. Clair.

Minor characters[]

  • "Abuelita" was the grandmother of Carlos, Juan, and Rosalita Villarreal. She was a noted storyteller called a "cuentista." Listening to her helped Florrie and Jem Ryder improve their Spanish.
  • Agnes was an old goat at Bent's Fort known for running up and down the ladder to the roof.
  • Dr. Antoine was a French doctor from St. Louis. He treated Mrs. Ryder when the family came to Bent's Fort.
  • Mr. Biscuit, originally Shep, was Florrie's dog. He was named Mr. Biscuit after he ate a whole batch of biscuits on his own. Mr. Biscuit was going to be left in Arrow Rock until Florrie declared she would not leave without him. He eventually lived with the Ryders in Santa Fe.
  • Carlos Villarreal was Mr. Ryder's business partner whom lived in Santa Fe with wife, Lupe, and their three children. He traveled on the Camino Real, bringing goods from Mexico to sell.
  • Carlos, Juan, and Rosalita Villarreal were the three children of Carlos and Lupe. They quickly became friends with Florrie and Jem.
  • Caroline was Florrie's best friend in Arrow Rock whom she was sad to be parted from.
  • Cimarron Ryder (born late 1848) was the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ryder. They found her while traveling to Santa Fe. Her family most likely died of cholera. The Ryders decided to adopt her and named her after the area where she was found.
  • Mr. Cooper was a trader and old friend of Mr. Ryder. He was said to a rich man.
  • Captain Elias was the captain of the wagon train that the Ryders took west.
  • Mr. Elliot was a wealthy trader who was killed by thieves for his goods and money. Mr. Ryder told his story to Florrie and Jem to pass the time.
  • Ernestine Wilcox was a trader's wife from St. Louis who insisted on bringing her thirteen canaries with her.
  • Mr. Fayette was a trader and friend of Mr. Ryder who was described as "quite a beau."
  • Florence and Henry was the aunt and uncle of Florrie. She was the sister of Joseph Mack. Florrie was named for her aunt. Before leaving Missouri, Florence gave her niece of jar of honey.
  • "Fortune-teller" was the cook of Ernestine Wilcox whose real name was unknown. She was supposedly a fortuneteller. Florrie, Louisa, and Eliza went to get their fortunes told by her and were disappointed by her "nonsense."
  • Frenchie was the co-head driver of the wagon train. He was an old friend of Mr. Ryder and the two had traveled the same route together several times.
  • Joseph "Joe"[6] Mack ("Papa") was the father of Florrie and Jem. He was an army surgeon during the Mexican–American War and died in battle. Florrie had only a few memories besides what her mother told her, such as that he made the best cornmeal pancakes. As such, Florrie called pancakes "Joe-cakes" as a small way to think of him.
  • Kit Carson was a famous mountain man who Mr. St. Clair once travelled with.
  • Letty was a kind-hearted cook at Bent's Fort whom Florrie befriended. She and her husband were formerly enslaved persons from Missouri. After her husband participated in the Taos Revolt, Mr. Bent set them both free. Florrie loved listening to her stories.
  • Lupe Villarreal was the wife of Carlos and mother of their three children. She was in charge of the general store and often had Florrie join her to ease her lonliness.
  • The McAlisters were a family whom were supposed to take in Mr. Biscuit until it was decided that he was going to come to Santa Fe too.
  • Missouri Ryder (born and died August 9, 1848)[7] was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ryder. She was born too soon and died on the same day.
  • Reverend Mitchell Hester was a man whom died of cholera along with his wife. After coming across their bodies, Captain Elias ordered for them to be buried quickly and burn their wagon.
  • Father Morgan was the priest at Bent's Fort who held Missouri's funeral.
  • Muldoon was a talkative trader at Bent's Fort who befriended Florrie. He taught her how to fire a musket and often told stories to her and Jem.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Nutting were Eliza's and Louisa's parents. They settled in San Francisco with their daughters.
  • Old Bozeman was a trader at Bent's Fort who often bragged. After his wig fell off once, Florrie and Jem started calling him "Old Baldman."
  • Old Juan was a Mexican trader whom told stories.
  • Owl Woman (Mis-stan-stur) was a Cheyenne woman whom helped save Mr. Bent's life. They got married later on.
  • Reuben was a one-eyed donkey who wore a sombrero and followed Muldoon everywhere.
  • Rosie and Velvet was the Ryders' horses whom Florrie fed and brush as one of her chores.
  • Sendaval was a Mexican trader who was traveling on the same wagon train as the Ryders.
  • Mr. Vieth was a blacksmith at Bent's Fort whom Florrie described as "friendly."
  • Mr. Wendell was a trader at Bent's Fort who knew the ways of the Cheyenne and spoke their language.
  • William Bent was the owner of Bent's Fort and husband of Owl Woman whom helped save his life.

Epilogue characters[]

  • Ellen Ryder was the wife of Jem Ryder whom she met during the Civil War, while she worked as a laundress and nurse.
  • Ricardo José Alma was a ranchero and the husband of Florence Mack Ryder. After marrying in 1858, the couple went to Colorado to strike it rich in the gold fields. They went on to build a ranch near Colorado Springs and had five children together.


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?