Cover of book Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities

Candace Wellman ’68 Socio. 

WSU Press: 2018


This enlightening and detailed recounting of the lives of indigenous women in Salish Coast communities, specifically around Bellingham Bay, explores cross-cultural marriages throughout this region during the mid-1800s. The exciting and taxing lives of Lummi member Jenny Wynn, Snoqualmie member Elizabeth Patterson, Nlaka’pamux member Mary Allen, and the Haida wife of Fort Bellingham commander George W. Pickett—who later became a Confederate brigadier general—provide insight into how they held together marriages and families, significantly impacted communities, and mediated between Native people and settlers.

The stories are not as cheerful as some historians might like to claim, but they are captivating. This book sheds light not only on several monumental events, but more importantly on small events that formed these Salish Coast communities. The strong women in this book were responsible for an increased pool of teachers, the growth of Whatcom County, and the development of southeast Alaska. Mrs. Pickett (her first name lost to time) was the mother of an influential artist. This book is definitely worth a read to learn more about the influence of these women that persists to the present.


Purchase Interwoven Lives from WSU Press.