FORTH TO THE WILDERNESS by Dale Van Every

FORTH TO THE WILDERNESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled The First American Frontier: 1754-1774, this confused but exciting book by a seasoned historian and novelist tells of early wilderness explorations, Pontiac's War, and efforts to establish peace with the Indians by means of the ""Proclamation Line"" of 1763. When the French and Indian War ended, the English, hoping to prevent future wars, proclaimed that a line, the ""Proclamation Line"", along the Appalachians from Canada South, formed the western frontier of English America: to the west of the mountains were Indian Lands into which no white man could go without a permit; to the east lay white territory. Almost at once Pontiac, an Ottawa chief who hated the English, went to war, the worst Indian war this country was to know. Bringing with him French allies and Indian tribes, he fell on white settlements in Pennsylvania and along the Great Lakes and the Ohio, plundering and killing, capturing villages and forts, massacring garrisons and the inhabitants of lonely farms, disrupting the wilderness trade of such men as Sir William Johnson and the great trader, George Croghan. He was at last defeated, but the ""Proclamation Line"" still endured in theory; nothing, however, could keep white settlers from crossing the mountains into forbidden Indian territory: the first American frontiersman had come to stay. Well documented but badly arranged, this book will interest students and teachers of pre-Revolutionary history, and should form an excellent supplementary reader and reference book. Amateur historians may prefer to take it in small doses.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1961
Publisher: Morrow