Rainy Lake House: Twilight of Empire on the Northern Frontier

Rainy Lake House: Twilight of Empire on the Northern Frontier

By: Theodore Catton (author)Hardback

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In September 1823, three men met at Rainy Lake House, a Hudson's Bay Company trading post near the Boundary Waters. Dr. John McLoughlin, the proprietor of Rainy Lake House, was in charge of the borderlands west of Lake Superior, where he was tasked with opposing the petty traders who operated out of US territory. Major Stephen H. Long, an officer in the US Army Topographical Engineers, was on an expedition to explore the wooded borderlands west of Lake Superior and the northern prairies from the upper Mississippi to the forty-ninth parallel. John Tanner, a "white Indian" living among the Ojibwa nation, arrived in search of his missing daughters, who, Tanner believed, were at risk of being raped by the white traders holding them captive at a nearby fort. Rainy Lake House weaves together the captivating stories of these men who cast their fortunes in different ways with the western fur trade. Drawing on their combined experiences, Theodore Catton creates a vivid depiction of the beautiful and dangerous northern frontier from a collision of vantage points: American, British, and Indian; imperial, capital, and labor; explorer, trader, and hunter. At the center of this history is the deeply personal story of John Tanner's search for kinship: first among his adopted Ojibwa nation; then in the search for his white family of origin; and finally in his quest for custody of his half-Indian children. Rainy Lake House is a character-driven narrative about ambition, adventure, alienation, and revenge. Catton deftly crafts one grand narrative out of three and reveals the perilous lives of the white adventurers and their Indian families, who lived on the fringe of empire.

About Author

Theodore Catton is an associate research professor of history at the University of Montana. He is the author of Inhabited Wilderness: Indians, Eskimos, and Alaska's National Parks and American Indians and National Forests.


Contents Maps Timeline Introduction: Rainy Lake House, 1823 Part One: Leave-Takings 1. The Explorer 2. The Hunter 3. The Trader Part Two: Long 4. "The English Make Them More Presents" 5. Encounters with the Sioux 6. Race and History 7. To Civilize the Osage Part Three: Tanner 8. Westward Migration 9. "Six Beaver Skins for a Quart of Mixed Rum" 10. The Test of Winter 11. Red Sky of the Morning 12. Warrior Part Four: McLoughlin 13. Fort William 14. Marriage a la facon du pays 15. Bad Birds 16. The Restive Partnership 17. The Pemmican War 18. The Battle of Seven Oaks 19. The Surrender of Fort William 20. Lord Selkirk's Prisoner 21. Time of Reckoning 22. London Part Five: Long 23. The Wonder of the Steamboat 24. A Christian Marriage 25. Up the Missouri 26. To the Rocky Mountains 27. Mapmaker 28. The Northern Expedition Part Six: Tanner 29. The Coming of The Prophet 30. A Loathsome Man 31. Sorcery and Sickness 32. Taking Fort Douglas 33. Rough Justice 34. In Search of Kin 35. Between Two Worlds Part Seven: McLoughlin 36. Chief Factor 37. Providence 38. Opposing the Americans Part Eight: Collision 39. Working for Wages 40. Children of the Fur Trade 41. The Ambush 42. The Pardon 43. "We met with an American" 44. The Onus of Revenge 45. Journeys Home Epilogue: Mackinac, 1824 - and After Postscript: John Tanner as a Source AcknowledgementsNotes

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781421422923
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 424
  • ID: 9781421422923
  • weight: 703
  • ISBN10: 1421422921

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