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 delved 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 forty years.

Author Robert Silbernagel answered questions presented in chat during the program. Many of these questions were also answered live at the end of the program recording.

Viewers recommended several titles for additional reading:

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