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Robert Silbernagel presents his new book The Cadottes: A Fur Trade Family on Lake Superior.
The Great Lakes fur trade spanned two centuries and thousands of miles, but the story of one particular family, the Cadottes, illuminates the history of trade and trapping while exploring under-researched stories of French-Ojibwe political, social and economic relations. Multiple generations of Cadottes were involved in the trade, usually working as interpreters and peacemakers, as the region passed from French to British to American control. Focusing on the years 1760 to 1840 — the heyday of the Great Lakes fur trade — Robert Silbernagel delves into the lives of the Cadottes, with particular emphasis on the Ojibwe–French Canadian Michel Cadotte and his Ojibwe wife, Equaysayway, who were traders and regional leaders on Madeline Island for nearly 40 years. In The Cadottes: A Fur Trade Family on Lake Superior, Silbernagel deepens the understanding of this era with stories of resilient, remarkable people.
Robert Silbernagel studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin and served as editorial page editor of the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colorado for 19 years. He writes a bimonthly history column for the Sentinel and is the author of several books on regional history including Troubled Trails: The Meeker Affair and the Expulsion of Utes from Colorado (Utah Press, 2011) and Historic Adventures on the Colorado Plateau (The History Press, 2018.)