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America's First Frontier

America's First Frontier

by Francis Whiting Halsey


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The powerful story of the brave men and women who helped build America.

In New York's early days, settlers journeyed into the wilderness to build a new life. They faced hunger, disease and the biggest threat of all—mankind. Hostile Indians, French mercenaries and British loyalists were all daily threats to the lives and homesteads of the early pioneers.

The frontiers of New York were critical to the success of the revolution and the founding of America. The empire of the Iroquois and the Five Nations was at the pinnacle of its power and influence. The French and the British wanted to use the land for their own profit. And the Americans wanted freedom.

Never was the resourcefulness and courage of Americans more apparent than at the very edges of civilization in an untamed land. They cleared their own fields and built their own homes. When the men volunteered for militias and marched off to battle, to fight and perhaps die, pioneer women were left alone to guard their homes and children.

From the first settlers in the 17th century through the American Revolution, Halsey shows how important the New York frontier was to the founding of America—and the dramatic personal courage of those who lived there.

This book was originally published under the title The Old New York Frontier.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948697071
Publisher: HVA Press
Publication date: 05/27/2020
Pages: 442
Sales rank: 1,091,092
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Francis Whiting Halsey was born in Unadilla, New York in 1851. He was a journalist, lecturer, editor and historian. He lectured extensively and was a member of New York State History Association. He wrote for The New York Times and was the first editor of its Book Review. He died in 1919.

Table of Contents


Why This History 3

Part I Indians and Fur Traders

I The Iroquois and the Susquehanna 11

II Indian Villages in the Upper Valley 21

III The Coming of White Men (1614-1740) 32

Part II Missionaries and the French War 1650-1769

I Jesuits and Church of England Men 43

II Missionaries from New England 52

III Gideon Hawley's Coming 56

IV War Interrupts Mr. Hawley's Work 63

V New Men at Oghwaga 69

VI Pontiac's War and After It 73

VII Last of the Indian Missions 80

Part III Land Titles and Pioneers 1679-1774

I William Penn and Sir William Johnson 87

II The Fort Stanwix Deed, and Patents that Followed It 99

III The Patent Called Wallace's 106

IV The First Settlers 116

V Journal of a Tour in 1769 138

Part IV The Border Wars Begun 1776-1777

I Causes that Led to the Wars 147

II Why Brant Came to the Susquehanna 157

III Brant's Arrival in Unadilla 168

IV General Herkimer's Conference with Brant 176

V The Battle of Oriskany 185

Part V Overthrow of the Frontier 1777-1778

I Alarm Among the Settlements 201

II Cobleskill, Springfield, and Wyoming 207

III German Flatts Destroyed 223

IV The Burning of Unadilla and Oghwaga 229

V The Cherry Valley Massacre 238

Part VI The Sullivan Expedition 1779

I General Clinton at Otsego Lake 255

II Brant's Return and the Battle of Minisink 263

III General Clinton's Descent of the Susquehanna 271

IV Iroquois Civilization Overturned 278

Part VII Last Years of the War 1780-1783

I Schoharie and the Mohawk Laid Waste 287

II Sir John and Brant Return 295

III Colonel Willett Expels the Invaders 301

IV Final War Scenes 308

V The Iroquois After the War 317

Part VIII The Restoration of the Frontier 1782-1800

I Return of the Former Settlers 331

II Men Who Came from New England 337

III Pioneers by Way of Wattles's Ferry 347

IV William Cooper, of Cooperstown 357

V Jacob Morris and Talleyrand's Visit 365

VI Churches-Father Nash and Others Founded 373

VII A Great Highway 379

VIII Economic Facts in Pioneer Life 392

Bibliography, Etc.:

Material in Print 403

Manuscripts 410

A Few of the Many 411

A Personal Note 413

Index 415

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