By Lucy Eldersveld Murphy
In a meeting of Rivers, Lucy Eldersveld Murphy lines the histories of Indian, multiracial, and mining groups within the western nice Lakes area in the course of the eighteenth and early 19th centuries. For a century the Winnebagos (Ho-Chunks), Mesquakies (Fox), and Sauks effectively faced waves of French and British immigration by way of diversifying their economies and commercializing lead mining.Focusing on own tales and distinct neighborhood histories, Murphy charts the replaced monetary forces at paintings within the sector, connecting them to shifts in gender roles and intercultural relationships. She argues that French, British, and local peoples cast cooperative social and monetary bonds expressed partially by way of mixed-race marriages and the emergence of multiethnic groups at eco-friendly Bay and Prairie du Chien. considerably, local peoples within the western nice Lakes quarter have been in a position to adapt effectively to the recent frontier marketplace economic system until eventually their lead mining operations grew to become the envy of outsiders within the 1820s.
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Additional resources for A Gathering of Rivers: Indians, Metis, and Mining in the Western Great Lakes, 1737-1832
This person was generally the most respected of the many civil chiefs, several of whom lived in each community. Sometimes village leaders were chosen based on merit rather than lineage. Councils of the elite—leaders and clan elders—formalized all appointments of chiefs. 43 Although the families of chiefs had elite status and inﬂuence, none could be said to have power in a traditional European sense because coercive authority would have violated the Indians’ most basic principle: individual freedom.
One Mesquakie woman was designated a chief after rescuing a party of fellow prisoners during the Fox Wars, according to information Jonathan Carver learned in , several decades after the fact. He wrote that after a battle in which the French and their allies overwhelmed a Mesquakie village: ‘‘On the return of the French to the Green Bay, one of the Indian chiefs in alliance with them, who had a considerable band of the prisoners under his care, stopped to drink at a brook. ’’ This woman was able to free her fellow prisoners because ‘‘the chief, from the extreme torture he suffered, was unable to call out .
Ironically, the French made peace by threatening renewed genocidal war, reminding the Native people that they had nearly exterminated the Mesquakies and would use force against tribes that did not cooperate. This is not to say that the Mesquakies, Sauks, Winnebagos, and their neighbors were not interested in acquiring trade goods. They were, but their decisions about social, economic, and military activities were governed by a variety of factors, the desire for trade goods being only one. The indigenous leaders’ wish to avoid conﬂicts with the French was another.
A Gathering of Rivers: Indians, Metis, and Mining in the Western Great Lakes, 1737-1832 by Lucy Eldersveld Murphy