This book represents an effort to tell the revolutionary history of the Western Pennsylvania border; to describe the trials, the sacrifices, the errors and the heroisms of the frontiersmen, in their conflicts with tories, British partisans and savages, during the years when Washington and his generals were fighting for independence along the Atlantic seaboard. The American Revolution covered many fields of action, and the operations on each contributed to the grand result. The men who defended the western border against the savage tribes were doing their work essential to the cause of freedom as well as the ragged Continentals who faced British and Hessian battalions in New York or New Jersey.

Naturally the operations in the East, where the main conflict raged and the issue was decided, have received the chief attention of historians; but the struggles on the western frontier have been unduly neglected. Some attention has been given to the revolutionary history of the New York and Tennessee frontiers, but no book tells, in connected form, of the important operations in that great trans-montane region of which Ft. Pitt was the center, during the years from 1775 to 1783.

Many volumes of border history have been published but none of them has been devoted to this period. Most of them are out of print or beyond the reach of the average reader. Those that have enjoyed the greatest popularity have been collections of frontier adventures, based chiefly on unreliable traditions, marvelous and often absurd, in many cases disproven by contemporary records made public in recent years.

I have tried, by a study of the original records, to find the facts and to set them forth in plain, condensed and impartial form. The tale is sufficiently interesting and more instructive without the embellishments of fiction.

A prime object of this publication is to stimulate a local interest in pioneer history. It is good for those who participate in the wondrous industrial development of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio to know how this fertile region was won and held from savagery. The inhabitants of Pittsburg and its neighborhood who feel an inclination to study the early times, enjoy, at the present day, facilities which were beyond their reach only half a dozen years ago. These facilities have come through the establishment and rapid up-building of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburg. Without that institution this work could not have been written in Western Pennsylvania. The library already contains almost every book and pamphlet that has been published, within 130 years, bearing on our pioneer history. Many of these works are extremely rare and valuable, but they are now within the reach of lall. The library contains all the authorities quoted in this volume, so that any reader who may desire to investigate for himself will find ample opportunity.

Pittsburg, Pa., May 1, 1900.


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