Frontier Retreat on the Upper Ohio, 1779-1781


Author: Kellogg, Louise Phelps
Publication Date: 1885
Reprint Date: 2003
Pages: 547 pp.


This collection of original documents chronicles two critical years of the Revolutionary War along the western frontier of the United States. Originally published as Volume V in the distinguished Draper Series of the Wisconsin Historical Society, the documents were selected by Louise Phelps Kellogg, a leading authority on frontier history at the time of the book’s original publication. Readers are encouraged to read Mrs. Kellogg’s instructive historical Introduction which elucidates the events chronicled in the documents. The central figure in the book is Col. Daniel Brodhead, the commandant at Fort Pitt. At the outset, Brodhead is relishing his victories over the western Indians in the vicinity of the fort and longing to invade the country of the Five Nations. Circumstances would conspire to frustrate the colonel from achieving his objective. Probably his greatest accomplishment was squelching a large Loyalist uprising in 1780. At the end of the day, his ambitions, repressive treatment of the civilian population, and questionable ethics combined would set back the American cause on the frontier between 1779 to 1781.

Most of the action described in the correspondence and other documents unfolds in the frontier communities of Fort Pitt, Fort Vincennes, Detroit, Wheeling, and other places in western Pennsylvania, southwestern Virginia, and Kentucky. Genealogists should savor the accounts of the remarkable conditions under which their frontier ancestors were forced to live. They will also find numerous references to the thousands of settlers who flocked into the region at this time, despite the threat of Indian reprisal. The comprehensive index at the back of the work makes it easy to find them.

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