LEWIS WETZEL, INDIAN FIGHTER by C. B. Allman

LEWIS WETZEL, INDIAN FIGHTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

First copyrighted in 1939 but with no indication of additional new material, this book by a great-nephew of the Lewis Wetzel of the title is a disconnected and flowery account of the exploits of a West Virginia frontiersman who spent his life killing Indians to avenge the ""massacre"" of his father at their hands. One of seven children, Lewis Wetzel was born in 1763 in Pennsylvania and was taken the next year by his family across the Alleghenies to Big Wheeling Creek in West Virginia -- dangerous country in those days. Growing up on the frontier, Lewis was still a boy when Indians killed his father; after that ""like a true knight of old, he dedicated his life to decimating the heathen"" -- in other words, to killing Indians on sight with ""his trusty rifle"". Although he seems to have talked a great deal to girls, Lewis never married, was unkind to his mother, and on occasion was in trouble with the law. In the early 1800's he went south, ""ripples from his boat ... telling his friends that he was gone"". He never came back. In 1808, at the age of 44, he died in Natchez. The book is assembled from many sources and includes -- with proper credit -- large excerpts from a volume published in 1883: Wetzel the Scout by R.C.V. Myers. In it as well are poems, authentic family records, descriptions of forgotten Indian atrocities and gory killings, and a good many hitherto unrecorded conversations and private thoughts. The book is of some value historically for its bibliography and appendices. Index. Illustrated.

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1961
Publisher: Devin Adair