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Throughout the mid-1800s, Coast and Interior Salish families arranged strategic cross-cultural marriages, and these alliances played a crucial role in regional settlement and spared Puget Sound's upper corner from the tragic conflicts other regions experienced. Although accounts of the men exist in a variety of records, the contributions of their native wives remain unacknowledged.
Author Candace Wellman hopes to shatter stereotypes surrounding these relationships. The four women profiled--Caroline Davis Kavanaugh, Mary Fitzhugh Lear Phillips, Clara Tennant Selhameten, and Nellie Carr Lane--exhibited exceptional endurance, strength, and adaptability. Remembered as loving mothers and good neighbors, they ran successful farms, nursed and supported family members, served as midwives, and operated profitable businesses. They visited relatives and attended ancestral gatherings, often with their children. Each woman's story is uniquely her own, but together they and other intermarried women left lasting legacies. They were peace weavers.