Cover: Masters of the Middle Waters: Indian Nations and Colonial Ambitions along the Mississippi, from Harvard University PressCover: Masters of the Middle Waters in HARDCOVER

Masters of the Middle Waters

Indian Nations and Colonial Ambitions along the Mississippi

Product Details


$43.00 • £37.95 • €39.95

ISBN 9780674987678

Publication Date: 03/11/2019


360 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 photos, 4 maps

Belknap Press


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Moving through a multicentury historical span from ancient Cahokia to the early nineteenth century, the study highlights a constantly shifting world of inter-ethnic connections, alliances, and struggles that repeatedly became remade as diverse Native communities and Eurocolonial powers successively attempted to assert and maintain power throughout exceedingly valuable waters and terrain.—Christine DeLucia, Canadian Journal of History

Lee’s epic narrative takes us from the fall of Cahokia to the rise of the United States… Does justice to the complexity and significance of local and continental Indigenous and Indigenous-European networks over centuries… [A] sweeping history.—Angela Calcaterra, Early American Literature

Masters of the Middle Waters tells a completely new story about the vast center of North America between the collapse of the Mississippian city-state of Cahokia around 1200 and U.S. domination in the 1800s. Lee reveals how kinship and alliance networks and the control of riverways were the keys to power, showing that what happened in this region had repercussions from the Great Lakes and Great Plains to the British, French, and Spanish empires in North America and Europe.—Kathleen DuVal, author of Independence Lost

Jacob Lee does for Middle America what Richard White did for the Great Lakes in Middle Ground. In this important work, Lee bridges the arbitrary divide between the pre- and post-contact eras. He pays due attention to Illinois and Osage power as well as to French, Spanish, and British colonial policies; indigenous leaders figure as prominently as colonial traders and agents. Masters of the Middle Waters will earn a place among a growing literature that demonstrates the central role of Native Americans in early American history.—Colin Calloway, author of The Victory with No Name

In this brilliant book, Lee deftly explores the fortunes of empires and natives at the heart of the continent and, it turns out, at the long-hidden center of its history. Masters of the Middle Waters illuminates the interplay of rivers and kinship networks in sustaining families, trade, and alliance in a landscape of great power and deep memories.—Alan Shaw Taylor, author of American Revolutions

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