Prairie du Chien, WI – This Sunday, October 23, the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Villa Louis Historic Site and Wisconsin Historical Society Press are hosting a special book launch with Prairie du Chien author and historian Mary Elise Antoine on the history of African American women on the frontier of the Midwest, drawing on her latest Society Press book, Enslaved, Indentured, Free: Five Black Women on Upper Mississippi, 1800–1850.
The book shines a light on five extraordinary black women—Marianne, Mariah, Patsy, Rachel, and Courtney—whose lives intersect in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Drawing on legal documents, military records, court transcripts, and personal correspondence, she will share the stories of how four of these women eventually secured their freedom through perseverance, self-purchase or freedom suits, and in part through bonds they forged with one another. another. Antoine will also share some of the little-reported history of slavery in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
The free event starts at 2pm and is part of the Villa Louis Speaker Series. To accommodate a growing audience, this speaker series talk will be held at the nearby Dousman House Hotel, 230 N. Water St., Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Guests are encouraged to join Antoine for a walking tour of the first Fort Crawford site on the grounds of Villa Louis following the talk. Books will be available for purchase and signing (both before the talk and after the tour). Note that the walk is on grass, attendees are encouraged to wear appropriate footwear.
Media: For author interviews, review copies, and more, contact Society Press Sales and Marketing Manager Kristin Gilpatrick at [email protected].
The Lewis Villa Historic Site and Wisconsin Historical Society Press serve the Wisconsin Historical Society’s mission to collect, preserve and share our history.
For more information, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org/whspress.