Sunday, May 22, 2022

Also just in

Occasionally, books submitted here for review consideration address historical topics that are a bit too far outside the Civil War-era coverage range of CWBA. Nevertheless, I appreciate receipt of any title that someone makes the effort to send my way and wish to give all of them some form of acknowledgment. Below are two Colonial/Rev War subject matter releases that arrived recently in the CWBA mailbox.

1. From the description: "When Connecticut Yankees began to settle the Wyoming Valley in the 1760s, both the local Pennsylvanians and the powerful native Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) strenuously objected. The Connecticut Colony and William Penn had been granted the same land by King Charles II of England, resulting in the instigation of the Yankee-Pennamite Wars." Kathleen A. Earle's An Early History of the Wyoming Valley: The Yankee-Pennamite Wars & Timothy Pickering (The History Press, 2022) covers that conflict as well as a prominent associated event that occurred during the period of the Early Republic. More from the description: "In 1788, during ongoing conflict, a band of young Yankee ruffians abducted Pennsylvania official Timothy Pickering, holding him hostage for nineteen days. Some kidnappers were prosecuted, and several fled to New York's Finger Lakes as the political incident motivated state leaders to resolve the fighting." In chronicling a decades-long struggle between colonial Pennsylvania and Connecticut that also involved the powerful Iroquois Confederacy and the Delaware people that were allowed by the Iroquois to settle there, Earle's study "covers the early history of colonial life, war and frontier justice in the Wyoming Valley." Books like this are always welcome. I can't speak for what's covered in the history school rooms of today's New England and Pennsylvania, but I would venture to guess that mention of this regional conflict from long ago would draw a blank stare from the vast majority of Americans (although Sullivan's retaliatory campaign against the Iroquois during the period is well known). The narrative itself is peppered with quoted passages from firsthand writings, and illustrations are fairly abundant.

2. The next title, Robert W. Sands, Jr. and Patricia E. Millen's Washington Crossing (Arcadia Publishing, 2022), is a new installment from the publisher's Images of America series of photographic histories. From the description: The site of General George Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware during one of the darkest moments of the American Revolution "is marked by the creation of two historic parks: Washington Crossing State Park, New Jersey, created in 1912, and Washington Crossing Historic Park, Pennsylvania, created in 1917." The book "illustrates how these two parks commemorate George Washington's courage to lead his army across the ice-choked Delaware River on Christmas night 1776 to attack an isolated garrison of Hessians located at Trenton, which would turn the tide of the American Revolution." Containing well over 200 authoritatively captioned images, the compilation is drawn from "from the collections of historian Peter Osborne, the Washington Crossing Foundation, the Bucks County Historical Society, the Trenton Free Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the book includes an exposé of Emanuel Leutze's famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware--a world-renowned symbol of freedom."

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