Pioneer, fur trader, and frontier diplomat, Christopher Gist, the
first Colonial explorer of the Ohio territory, is also Annosanah
- speaker of true words. In spite of his Wyandot title, he knows
he must deceive the very Indians who have named him. In the guise
of an emissary inviting the Ohio tribes to a conference, he searches
the Ohio Valley for land best suited for white settlement. On this
first journey in 1750 for the Ohio Company, he seeks to replace
his lost inheritance through land speculation, thus setting the
stage for the eventual displacement of these Indian people. In the
next decade France and England fight the last of the French and
Indian Wars. A willing participant, Gist sees the destruction of
his home, a stormy relationship with an arrogant young George Washington
whose life he twice saves, a fiasco at Fort Necessity, and the annihilation
of General Braddock’s Redcoats. But this life of adversity only
prepares him for the most challenging task any frontiersman could
face: liaison between two peoples as different as the worlds from
which they come.
The author consistently remains close to the historical record,
yet he richly embellishes the on site action and inter-personal
relations with a fertile, but authentic, imagination.
5 ˝” x 8 ˝”, paperback, 280 pages, published 2005, $30.00.