In as much as no connected and complete history of the Pennsylvania
and New York frontier had been published at the time this book was
published, the author William Brewster undertook to write its history
in 1954. In early 18th century New England, adjoining townships,
fully organized at the time of settlement with churches and schools,
were closely-knit together, insuring their mutual support and protection.
To the south, the large plantations of Virginia were located along
lowland rivers and afforded easy access, communication and European
luxuries. Only across the mountains in the western parts of the
colonies was there a real wilderness frontier where the frontiersmen
could only depend on themselves. Many were so poor, that without
horse or cow, they made their way into secluded mountain coves and
squatted in cabins without windows or floor. Here they raised or
hunted what they ate, made what they wore, doctored themselves,
and worshipped their creator alone if at all. The sun rarely penetrated
the dense foliage to warm the ground beneath, but the hardships
of the wilderness made these pioneers strong and this is their story
on the Pennsylvania and New York frontier.
Interesting topics in Mr. Brewster’s book include the Susquehanna
Indian town of Shamokin, The Great Lancaster Treaty of 1744, Frontier
Forts like Ticonderoga, the Albany Congress and Susquehanna Purchase,
Sir William Johnson, Frances Slocum, The Wyoming and Cherry Valley
Massacres, and the Sullivan Expedition.
Hardback, 237 pp., extensive footnotes, was $39.95, now $29.95