does a book come along with the appeal and interest of Forts of
the Pennsylvania Frontier 1753-1758. With Pennsylvania’s Provincial
Quaker controlled pacifist government slow to react to the mounting
tension from Indian attacks and the on going French and Indian War
on its wilderness borders, pressure was growing from frontier settler’s
for protection on Pennsylvania’s western borders. Unwillingly, Pennsylvania
began an extensive program of military action culminating in the
building of forts on its frontier.
By 1756 more than a dozen forts garrisoned by paid PA troops marked
for the first time a boundary between white frontier settlements
and a hostile wilderness. It was the beginning of a sense of independence.
But this book is about more than the frontier forts built by Pennsylvania!
It is about all the frontier forts occupying Pennsylvania’s soil.
It’s about the French invasion, their forts and claims to Pennsylvania.
It’s about Virginia and the Ohio Company and the three forts erected
on Pennsylvania soil in Virginia’s unsuccessful opposition to this
French invasion into the Ohio Valley. And certainly, it’s about
the British takeover of fort building and frontier protection in
the southern and western parts of the Province in the later half
of the 1750’s.
For the period covered by this volume, each fort is allotted a
separate section, and where necessary the account is carried beyond
the year 1758 in order to round out the story. Additionally, the
histories of some forts as previously known must be corrected and
amplified in the light of new information. Although much of the
interest in the frontier forts, and especially those built by Pennsylvania,
has been regional or local; these forts were in fact essential parts
of organized and inclusive military undertakings and cannot be dealt
with either adequately or accurately without some knowledge of over-all
military systems and the current political atmosphere of the time.
Similarly, this book includes background accounts of the Indians
and their place in the regional history of the 1750’s. Even during
the F&I War, when opposing Europeans built forts and fought battles,
it was the Indian raids and in subsequent years Indian warfare that
became a familiar and characteristic aspect of frontier life.
Together, these erected monuments to our early history have long
held a strong historical and romantic appeal to our shared sense
of history. On the historical scene, these frontier forts stand
as relics marking the close of the day of unarmed colonists and
friendly Indians and the beginning of an era of frontier conflicts
and troubled Indian relations. It is to these strong-willed adventurers
who presided over this era of frontier conflict, troubled Indian
relations, and our eventual independence that this book is dedicated.
Hunter is considered by many historians, both past and present,
to be the greatest Pennsylvania writer/historian of the 20th century.
His attention to detail, his unique writing style, and his love
of history is reflected in this book.
Hardback, (1960) reprint 596pp., Was $49.95, now $35.00.