Summary and Info
In A Gathering of Rivers, Lucy Eldersveld Murphy traces the histories of Indian, multiracial, and mining communities in the western Great Lakes region during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. For a century the Winnebagos (Ho-Chunks), Mesquakies (Fox), and Sauks successfully confronted waves of French and British immigration by diversifying their economies and commercializing lead mining.Focusing on personal stories and detailed community histories, Murphy charts the changed economic forces at work in the region, connecting them to shifts in gender roles and intercultural relationships. She argues that French, British, and Native peoples forged cooperative social and economic bonds expressed partly by mixed-race marriages and the emergence of multiethnic communities at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien. Significantly, Native peoples in the western Great Lakes region were able to adapt successfully to the new frontier market economy until their lead mining operations became the envy of outsiders in the 1820s.