The Revolution on the Upper Ohio, 1775-1777

Compiled from the Draper Manuscripts in the Library of the Wisconsin Historical Society


Author: Thwaites, Reuben Gold, Louise Phelps Kellogg
Publication Date: 1908
Reprint Date: 2009
Pages: xxvi 275 pp.


Based upon the famous Draper Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society, this transcription of original sources was conceived as a sequel to the Society’s volume on Lord Dunmore’s War of 1774. The documents selected by Thwaites and Kellogg pick up the story in March 1775 and continue through May 1777, essentially the first two years of the American Revolution. The sources, while not forming a continuous narrative, nonetheless shed light on the principal incidents and personalities (Matthew Arbuckle, William McKee, George Morgan, the Delaware chief White Eyes, and the Seneca chief White Mingo) of importance along the broad frontier that extended from the Greenbrier region of Virginia to Kittanning on the Upper Allegheny. The focus of the documents is on the defense of the American border while it was still being undertaken by the militia of the western counties. The volume closes with the transfer of the command of Fort Pitt to General Hand-an officer of the Continental army-signifying a milestone in American military history and in the history of westward expansion. In these pages the reader will learn about daily life on the frontier; massacres and other atrocities; the reactions of Americans in the West to news of the Revolution in the East; daring missions to re-arm the militia; plots and counter-plots hatched by the British, Spanish, Patriots, and the regional Indian tribes (Creeks, Shawnees, Delawares, Ottawas, Senecas); and the crucial Treaty of Pittsburgh of September 1775 agreed to by the colonists and a large Indian delegation. The net effect of the latter was to free up a number of frontiersmen to fight in the eastern campaign of the Revolution and, perhaps more importantly, to open up Kentucky and by extension the western territory to greater settlement by Americans. While not a genealogical volume in the true sense of the term, The Revolution on the Upper Ohio, 1775-1777 allows us to place many individuals-any one of whom is easily found in the detailed index at the end of this intriguing book-on the frontier during the two years under investigation.

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