Settlers, Soldiers, and Scalps

Settlers, Soldiers, and Scalps
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  • Item #: 9781620065167

Frontier Pennsylvania Series

Barbara Leininger and Marie LeRoy were teenage girls living along Penns Creek in central Pennsylvania in 1755 when an Indian war party captured them and carried them off to western Pennsylvania. This occurred early in the French & Indian War. For several years, the teenagers lived as Delaware Indians. Sometimes they had little to eat, and “ … we were forced to live on acorns, roots, grass and bark,” they said later.

After three years, they escaped from their captors and fled on foot across the forests of Ohio and Pennsylvania, eventually reaching the safety of the British fort at Pittsburgh.

The first-person narrative they dictated to a Philadelphia newspaper after their 1759 escape was one of many first-person documents that author John L. Moore uses to tell the true stories of real people in this non-fiction collection of articles that is part of the Frontier Pennsylvania Series.

Other accounts in the book tell how and why Native Americans took the scalps of their foes, kept written records of their wartime exploits, and employed fire as a weapon when hunting for deer.

The stories are set mainly in the valleys of the Delaware, Juniata, Lehigh, Ohio and Susquehanna rivers. 


“The people of 18th century frontier Pennsylvania – settlers, soldiers, and Indians alike – march across these pages in a human drama that we can understand, but more importantly feel almost 300 years later. Moore lets the actors describe themselves in their own words: the misunderstandings, conflicts, family tragedies, deaths, diseases, hunger, wars, and the simply mundane business of their everyday lives. Our storyteller takes just as much care in describing the Indians’ daily slog, quarrels, family life, customs and mores as he does their sometimes friends – and sometimes rivals – the European settlers. Both groups formed intertwined threads in a single frontier web.

“When he describes a famous campaign in the French & Indian War, Moore deftly uses his sources to make General Braddock’s doomed expedition come to life. Incidents of friendly fire, frightened European soldiers used to fighting in open spaces but never in woods, slow progress as an army builds a road (!) into the mountains – mile by mile – are all described as if patiently carved into oak to make woodcut prints.”

~ Thomas J. Brucia, Houston, Texas.

Bibliophile, outdoorsman and book reviewer  


John L. Moore, a veteran newspaperman, said he employed a journalist’s eye for detail and ear for quotes in order to write about long-dead people in a lively way. He said his books are based on 18th and 19th century letters, journals, memoirs and transcripts of official proceedings such as interrogations, depositions and treaties.

The author is also a professional storyteller who specializes in dramatic episodes from Pennsylvania’s colonial history. Dressed in 18th century clothing, he does storytelling in the persona of “Susquehanna Jack,” a frontier ruffian. Moore is available weekdays, weekends and evenings for audiences and organizations of all types and sizes.

Moore has participated in several archaeological excavations of Native American sites. These include the Village of Nain, Bethlehem; the City Island project in Harrisburg, conducted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission during the 1990s; and a Bloomsburg University dig in 1999 at a Native American site near Nescopeck. He also took part in a 1963 excavation conducted by the New Jersey State Museum along the Delaware River north of Worthington State Forest.

Moore’s 45-year career in journalism included stints as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal; as a Harrisburg-based legislative correspondent for Ottaway News Service; as managing editor of The Sentinel at Lewistown; as editorial page editor and managing editor at The Daily Item in Sunbury; and as editor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal in Bethlehem.

by John L. Moore
cover art by Andrew Knez, Jr.
Trade paperback - 5 x 8 x .3
86 Pages w/illustrations and maps
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic
HISTORY / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
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Price $9.99
Availability In-Stock

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