Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm a History Buff...

Lately I finished reading a historical novel about the settlement of Northwest Territory from the 1770's through the period of the War of 1812. It's an older book, published in the 1960's called "The Frontiersman-A Narrative by Allan W. Eckert". This author made a regular career of telling the detailed story of the westward migration of European and American settlers to the areas east of the Mississippi River including Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. By selecting two real-life main characters of the era, the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and the Frontiersman, Simon Kenton, then tracing their true life adventures, he tells the story. The book is long, nearly 700 pages, with a rich supporting cast of characters from Kenton's friend, Daniel Boone; the renegade Blue-Jacket, William Henry Harrison, governor, frontier general and eventual President of the US. Even Chicago's Very Own Billy Caldwell makes a cameo appearance at the end of the book. The author took pains to stick to the historic facts, while creating dialog to make the story flow. The book portrays "the Indians" in a sympathetic light; a note, it was written before the era of political correctness, so no one is called "native American" or "Afro-American. In the photo below, looking east along Wacker Drive in Chicago, at the end of the sidewalk where the buildings now stand to the right of the bridge was the site of Fort Dearborn. It was destroyed and most of the inhabitants killed in August of 1812; this incident is one of many detailed in the book.

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