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Presented By: William L. Clements Library

The Clements Bookworm: Detroit’s Hidden Channels, French-Indigenous Families in the 18th Century

Author Conversation with Karen Marrero

"Detroit's Hidden Channels" Book Cover, featuring a manuscript map from the Clements Library "Detroit's Hidden Channels" Book Cover, featuring a manuscript map from the Clements Library
"Detroit's Hidden Channels" Book Cover, featuring a manuscript map from the Clements Library
Dr. Karen Marrero discusses her new book Detroit’s Hidden Channels: The Power of French-Indigenous Families in the Eighteenth Century (2020).

French-Indigenous families of the 18th century were a central force in shaping the history of Detroit. Situated where Anishinaabe, Wendat, Myaamia, and later French communities were established and where the system of waterways linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico narrowed, Detroit’s location was its primary attribute. While the French state viewed Detroit as a decaying site of illegal activities, the influence of the French-Indigenous networks grew as members diverted imperial resources to bolster an alternative configuration of power relations. Women furthered commerce by navigating a multitude of gender norms of their nations, allowing them to defy the state that sought to control them by holding them to European ideals of womanhood. By the mid-18th century, French-Indigenous families had become so powerful, incoming British traders and imperial officials courted their favor. These families would maintain that power as the British imperial presence splintered on the eve of the American Revolution.

Karen Marrero is a past Clements Library research fellow and a professor at Wayne State University.

Register at myumi.ch/gjgzR

This episode of the Bookworm is generously sponsored by Douglas Johnson.

The Clements Bookworm is a webinar series in which panelists and featured guests discuss history topics. Recommended books, articles, and other resources are provided in each session. Inspired by the traditional Clements Library researcher tea time, we invite you to pull up a chair at our [virtual] table. Live attendees are encouraged to post comments and questions, respond to polls, and add to our conversation and camaraderie.
"Detroit's Hidden Channels" Book Cover, featuring a manuscript map from the Clements Library "Detroit's Hidden Channels" Book Cover, featuring a manuscript map from the Clements Library
"Detroit's Hidden Channels" Book Cover, featuring a manuscript map from the Clements Library
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