New WHSP Biography Explores Indian Agent’s Life

Wisconsin Historical Society Press releases new book.

Wisconsin Historical Society Press Logo
For Immediate Release

MARCH 2016
CONTACT: Kristin Gilpatrick, Marketing Manager
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
 

“The Silver Man”: Indian Agent Traverses Tumultuous Times

The Silver Man_ The Life and Times of Indian Agent John KinzieTraverse the Midwestern frontier — from the turbulent changes of settlement to the tragedies of the Black Hawk War — with the man whose job it was to mediate it all, Indian Agent John Kinzie. A new Wisconsin Historical Society Press biography, The Silver Man: The Life and Times of Indian Agent John Kinzie, chronicles the Wisconsin agent’s life, and in doing so, shares his front-row perspective of a pivotal time in the history of the American Midwest and American Indian relations. From the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War to the monopoly of the American Fur Company and the forced removal of thousands of Ho-Chunk people from their native lands, Kinzie served as the primary agent in Fort Winnebago (present-day Portage), Wisconsin, working to find common ground between two seemingly polar parties.

Drawing from Kinzie’s own writings-as well as those of his famous author wife, Juliette Kinzie-biographer Peter Shrake explores this unique story, shining light on a dark and confusing time.
SPECIAL BOOK LAUNCH EVENTS
Publication of this book was made possible in part through a generous grant from the organization that operates the Historic Indian Agency House where Kinzie lived, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Wisconsin. The Dames are hosting two special book launch events at the Indian Agency House in Portage this spring to celebrate the book’s release.
      Indian Agency House Book Party: On May 15, join author Peter Shrake and the Colonial Dames at 1 p.m. to celebrate both the opening day for the historic site this season and the release of the book. The event will feature a presentation on the “Life and Times of Indian Agent John Kinzie.” A book signing in the house’s gift shop will follow.
      The Kinzies: A Historic Couple: Then, at 6:30 p.m. on June 28 Shrake kicks off the site’s Summer Lecture Series. He will be joined by Kathe Crowley Conn, author of the Society Press’s biography for young readers on Juliette Kinzie, for a unique look at the story of the couple and how this husband-wife team made history, shaped history, and recorded the history of the Wisconsin frontier.
MORE EVENTS
In addition to special events at the Kinzie historic site in Portage, Shrake will be sharing the Indian agent’s story at book talks throughout Wisconsin and beyond, including:
THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2016: BOOK TALK & SIGNING
Time: 6:30 p.m.
 Location: Baraboo Public Library, Baraboo, Wis.
TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2016: BOOK TALK & SIGNING
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Heritage Hill Historical Park, Education Center, Green Bay, Wis.
SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016: WAR OF 1812 REENACTMENT EVENT
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Villa Louis, a Wisconsin Historical Society site, Prairie du Chien, Wis. The book talk takes place during Villa Louis’ annual War of 1812 Reenactment Weekend. The celebration runs July 16 and 17, with a book talk at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. A book signing will follow.
TUESDAY, AUG. 2, 2016: HISTORY SANDWICHED IN TALK & SIGNING
Time: 12:15 p.m.
Location: Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll Street, Madison, Wis. This lecture is part of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s History Sandwiched In program at its museum on the square in Madison. A book signing will follow.
 
About the author
Peter Shrake is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, focusing on Jacksonian Indian policy in Wisconsin. He also earned a master’s degree of library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin. Shrake served as the executive director of the Sauk County Historical Museum for eight years. For three years he worked as a reference archivist for the Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives. Since 2011, he has been the archivist at Circus World Museum. He lives in Baraboo with his wife and sons.
Media: For review copies of this book, please contact Kristin Gilpatrick, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 816 State St., Madison, WI 53706; 608-264-6465; email: kristin.gilpatrick@wisconsinhistory.org.
The Wisconsin Historical Society Press has been publishing the best of
Wisconsin history and culture, as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society, since 1855
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Available in print and electronic formats. Go to www.wisconsinhistory.org/shop

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