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George Rogers Clark and the War in the West

George Rogers Clark and the War in the West

Copyright Date: 1976
Pages: 136
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  • Book Info
    George Rogers Clark and the War in the West
    Book Description:

    "Much has been written about the famous conflicts and battlegrounds of the East during the American Revolution. Perhaps less familiar, but equally important and exciting, was the war on the western frontier, where Ohio Valley settlers fought for the land they had claimed -- and for their very lives. George Rogers Clark stepped forward to organize the local militias into a united front that would defend the western frontier from Indian attacks. Clark was one of the few people who saw the importance of the West in the war effort as a whole, and he persuaded Virginia's government to lend support to his efforts. As a result Clark was able to cross the Ohio, saving that part of the frontier from further raids. Lowell Harrison captures the excitement of this vital part of American history while giving a complete view of George Rogers Clark's significant achievements. Lowell H. Harrison, is a professor emeritus of history at Western Kentucky University and is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Lincoln of Kentucky, A New History of Kentucky, and Kentucky's Governors."

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4617-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. [Maps]
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. 1-18)

    When the fighting of the American Resolution began on the eastern seaboard in April 1775, it had little impact upon the few inhabitants of Kentucky. Although a surprisingly large number of hunters, trappers, land speculators, and other adventurers had explored the lovely lands south of the Ohio River, the first permanent settlements were just being established at Harrodsburg and Boonesborough. The settlers were more concerned with their immediate problems than they were with events occurring hundreds of miles and several weeks away.

    Of particular concern were the Indians. The British did not employ the Indians in frontier warfare during the...

    (pp. 19-38)

    Clark had estimated that he could accomplish his objectives with 500 men, and he had anticipated little difficulty in securing the 350 authorized by the state authorities. But he encountered disappointments from the outset. Recruiters for the Continental army and for state troops competed with Clark’s officers, and, despite the authority granted in his instructions, Governor Henry was soon complaining that Clark was recruiting too far east. The men who joined him, Henry warned, would not be exempt from the state draft.¹ An ancient boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Virginia had become so bitter that few Pennsylvanians would assist what...

    (pp. 39-60)

    Incomplete news of the American invasion, sped northward by one Francis Maisonville who had been in the Illinois country when the American arrived, reached Detroit on August 6. The news came as both a shock and a disappointment to Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton, who had been marshaling resources for an attack on Fort Pitt. Simon Girty, among others, had been collecting information about the disposition of military forces in western Pennsylvania. Now Hamilton’s attention would have to be turned elsewhere.

    Hamilton came from a Scottish family with Irish holdings, and many of his kinsmen had been prominent in government and...

  8. 4 The Detroit Eludes Clark
    (pp. 61-85)

    Much remained to be done after the surrender had been completed. When Clark learned that several British boats were coming down the Wabash with trade goods and provisions, he ordered Captain Helm and a group of volunteers northward to intercept them. Armed with four swivels from the fort, Helm’s men ambushed the British flotilla and forced its surrender without a shot fired. The townspeople became wildly excited when the spoils and prisoners reached Vincennes on March 5. The American officers received some clothing, urgently needed to preserve decency, but the remaining cargoes were sold, and the proceeds, amounting to nearly,...

    (pp. 86-99)

    A mild winter in 1781–1782 allowed some Indian raids to continue during the cold months, and their frequency increased with the coming of spring. News of the defeat at Yorktown did not reach Detroit until April 3, 1782, and then the British commander A. S. De Peyster tried to minimize its significance to the tribes. At a council held in June the Indians decided to eliminate the American settlements before British aid was curtailed. By late summer of 1782 they were striking heavy blows against the Kentucky settlements.

    Sure that Indian attacks were imminent, Clark had sought vainly for...

    (pp. 100-110)

    George Rogers Clark lived too long for the good of his reputation. The apex of his career was reached at Vincennes on February 25, 1779, when he accepted the surrender of Henry Hamilton. Although he performed valuable services between that time and the date of his separation from military service in 1783, his detractors succeeded in tarnishing his reputation before he resumed civilian life, and his postwar years diminished rather than enhanced his renown. Only occasionally after 1783 were there glimpses of the man who had displayed exceptional qualities of leadership during the war. His traducers must have enjoyed witnessing...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 111-116)
  12. A Note to Readers
    (pp. 117-121)
  13. Index
    (pp. 122-124)