Donna L. Preston

The Pioneer Settlers

This book is a composite of first-hand accounts supplemented by select historical writings, and conveys a very readable and non-political history of the United States.

The Colonial Army lacked training, uniforms, and equipment of every type, and were set against highly-trained British soldiers and their allies, the Hessians, in numbers upwards of five times their own. They desperately needed outside help, and in due time after it became apparent that the Patriots were capable of winning their independence, the government of France began sending soldiers, and armaments; as well as naval power.
George Washington learned by experience that assistance during the war extended beyond material needs, when later he wrote: “The power and goodness of the Almighty were strongly manifest in the events of our late glorious Revolution.”
A Young Soldier's similar experience, in battle: “We hope that Providence comes to our aid again.”

“That Territory Northwest of the River Ohio”

«We were not going to be confined to that
little strip of land along the coast.”

Settlements began advancing into villages, and other than small streams to float produce in homemade craft to market, citizens became essentially land-locked.
The Steamboat, the Erie Canal, the Ohio Canals, the National Road and the Steam Locomotive; each in its own time, breathed new life and hope into the Country.
Recalling one of those spans of time, a citizen in Chillicothe told of a favorite topic for villagers: “Everyone devised some well thought-out plan for 'when the Canal's built.'"

The writers' narratives are engagingly informative; often are quite picturesque, and at times are solemnly revealing. The bravery of L. Boke in early to mid-1800s (in w. central Ohio): .."How we struggled to overcome the dense, ominous, wet, silent forest, the streamlets, the solitude. Just we two against time, need and trees.”
The heroism at Lockport, N.Y. “It took two years to cut a flight of double locks through a solid rock ridge.” “Water! Lake Erie's water is coming through!”
How very natural many were, in acknowledging the Divine in a variety of circumstances: E. Watson: “Considering the valley of the Hudson River, and the east-west pathway through the mountains…the argument was hard to counter that this was indeed a Divinely created pathway.” E. Hulbert: The Ohio River “With a lavish hand these waters were thrown where they would they would count magnificently toward the building of a new Republic…”
Hartley's and Hall's Daniel Boone: They describe a good man, independent, intrepid, yet responsible, and undaunted by Britain's 'Acts' to subdue the Colonists, he forged along into the heart of the 'wilds' of Kentucky.
J. Hall: with certain admiration, he portrayed the bark canoe as an essential companion to the explorers of the great Northern Frontier.
W. Irving: “Washington was in the saddle riding about a broken, woody and half-wild country; forming posts…”
(Manhattan during the war's dire straits).

440 printed pages
Original publication



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