The 2016 Missouri History Book Award goes to Carl J. Ekberg’s and Sharon K. Person’s St. Louis Rising: The French Regime of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive, adding to acclaim that has already seen it selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title.
Ekberg and Person delve into the origins of St. Louis by examining the career and life of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive, a French government official instrumental in shaping the early village life of what became a great American city. A wealth of new source materials allow readers to reexamine the complexities of politics, Indian affairs, marriage customs, slavery, the role of women, and material culture that characterized the 1760s. What emerges is an alternative version of the oft-told tale of St. Louis’s founding places the event within the context of Illinois Country society. Vividly depicting life in a colonial outpost, St. Louis Rising provides a trove of new information on everything from the fur trade to the arrival of the British and Spanish in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War—and explodes the many histories that rely on the self-aggrandizing recollections of others.