Bloody Mohawk

Bloody Mohawk : The French and Indian War & American Revolution on New York's Frontier

4.18 (200 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In this narrative history of the Mohawk River Valley and surrounding region from 1713 to 1794, Professor Richard Berleth charts the passage of the valley from a fast-growing agrarian region streaming with colonial traffic to a war-ravaged wasteland. The valley's diverse cultural mix of Iroquois Indians, Palatine Germans, Scots-Irish, Dutch, English, and Highland Scots played as much of a role as its unique geography in the cataclysmic events of the 1700sthe French and Indian Wars and the battles of the American Revolution. Patriots eventually wrenched the valley from British interests and the Iroquois nations, but at fearsome cost. When the fighting was over, the valley lay in ruins and as much as two-thirds of its population lay dead or had been displaced. But by not holding this vital inland waterwaythe gateway to the West, "the river between the mountains"America might have lost the Revolution, as well as much or all of the then poorly defined province of New York.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 370 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 25mm | 635g
  • English
  • Maps; Illustrations, black and white
  • 1883789664
  • 9781883789664
  • 450,392

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This sweeping historical narrative chronicles events instrumental in the painful birth of a new nationfrom the Bloody Morning Scout and the massacre at Fort William Henry to the disastrous siege of Quebec, the heroic but lopsided Battle of Valcour Island, the horrors of Oriskany, and the tragedies of Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley massacre and the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition's destruction of the Iroquois homeland in western New York State. Caught in the middle of it all was the Mohawk River Valley.

Berleth explores the relationship of early settlers on the Mohawk frontier to the Iroquoian people who made their homes beside the great river. He introduces colonists and native leaders in all their diversity of culture and belief. Dramatic profiles of key participants provide perspectives through which contemporaries struggled to understand events. Sir William Johnson is here first as a shopkeeper, then as a brother Mohawk and militia leader, and lastly as a crown official charged with supervising North American Indian affairs. We meet the frontier ambassador Conrad Weiser, survivor of the Palatine immigration, who agreed not at all with Johnson or his party. And we encounter the young missionary, Samuel Kirkland, as he leaves Johnson's household for a fateful sojourn among the Senecas.

Johnson's heirs did much to precipitate the outbreak of violent hostilities along the Mohawk in the first months of the War of Independence. Berleth shows how the Johnson family sought to save their patrimony in the valley just as patriot forces maneuvered to win Native American support. When Joseph Brant rushed Native Americans to war behind the British, it fell to General Philip Schuyler, wealthy scion of an old Albany family, to find a way to protect the Mohawk region from British incursion. His invasion of Canada fails; his tattered army fights at Valcour Island, Ticonderoga, Hubbardton, retreating steadily. Not until on the line of the Mohawk was the enemy stopped.
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Review quote

"Bloody Mohawk offers an enjoyable and readable run through the history of the Mohawk River Valley. ... I love the way Berleth balances a mighty landscape against equally compelling characters. -- Kathleen Hulser, Public Historian, Senior Curator of History, The New-York Historical Society "Public Historian, Senior Curator of History, The New-York Historical Society"
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Rating details

200 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 38% (77)
4 44% (87)
3 16% (31)
2 2% (4)
1 0% (1)
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