University of Wisconsin–Madison

‘The Silver Man’ by Peter Shrake (’10)

Shrake photo 1 (1)The Silver Man is a new book by SLIS Alum Pete Shrake (’10) and published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in April. The Silver Man chronicles the life and times of John H. Kinzie, Indian agent at Fort Winnebago – in what is now Portage – from 1828 through 1833. The book is a culmination of 5 years of research and writing utilizing original materials from the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Newberry Library, the Chicago Historical Society, Georgetown University, and the National Archives. The project began with an invitation by Historic Indian Agency House to deliver a presentation on Kinzie’s career as Indian Agent. That lecture in turn led to an article published in the Wisconsin Magazine of History two years later. The Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Chapter of The National Society of Colonial Dames of America (the organization that owns and administers the Historic Indian Agency House) raised the idea of expanding the article into a book and provided funding for publication. Shrake is the Archivist for Circus World and lives in Baraboo.