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Bloody Mohawk: The French and Indian War & American Revolution on New York's Frontier Paperback – January 15, 2009
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Richard Berleth creates an exceptional narrative here that is forever driven by the unique geography of the Mohawk Valley, as well as by the people who settled there from the powerful Iroquois, to avaricious European fur traders, to the colonials who fought in and ultimately won a series of devastating eighteenth-century wars. --Robert Weibel, New York State Historian & Chief Curator New York State Museum
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
Richard Berleth has done so brilliantly in "Bloody Mohawk." Author Berleth sets out to tell the story of the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars as conducted and experienced in New York's Mohawk Valley with a singularity of purpose and geographic fidelity that I believe would be warmly applauded by the authors he unabashedly borrows from. Having been born in Schenectady, now living in Lake George, and having made it my business over the last few decades to read all the histories I could find of these wars as conducted and experienced in Central New York, I think I'm in a reasonably good position to judge his effort, and I find it first-rate.
Berleth holds an English lit Ph.D., and it shows. He can spin a yarn with the best of them, but there's much more.Read more ›
Three different wars in the course of 200 years left their mark on this critical passage. French, English, American and Native Americans would make this strategic corridor the most heavily contested real estate on the North American continent. The most savage Native American battles were fought here, with massacres making Custer's Last Stand looking like child's play. Through the Mohawk and the Lake Champlain valleys Britain would defeat France during the French and Indian War. During the American Revolution more men died in the little known Battle of Oriskany than in any other battle, including Saratoga, Yorktown and Bunker Hill. The carnage was simply appalling. In the end, thousands of Loyalists, including the remaining Iroquois, were uprooted and driven into Canada, never to return. And only 40 years later, the completion of the Erie Canal would forever change trading patterns on the North American Continent making New York City the preeminent mercantile center of our Nation and, ultimately, of the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I used sections of BLOODY MOHAWK to add to my notes on the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James B. Lineberry
This is as well-written a history of war in the Mohawk Valley as I've read. Berleth manages to tie seemingly disparate events into overarching themes and provides the context that... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carl Johnson
Like many histories this one slogs a little because of the breadth of the subject matter. This is one of my favorite periods in history so I have read several books on the topic. Read morePublished 5 months ago by D-Man
This well-researched and highly readable book provides a fascinating look into the early history of European settlement in central New York. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Terry Thompson
Very detailed and easy to follow despite the wide range of geography that needed to be coveredPublished 11 months ago by Mark Marker
We were given a recommendation by a fellow that took part in reinactments. We bought three copies to give visiting young grandchildren who were avid readers. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Consumerjo
I read extensively about this period of the struggle for independence and I can honestly say it is rare for me to be surprise by anything I have read. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Donald Powlen