Joseph Priestley wrote to his neighbors in the 1790s at a time when the country was politically divided …

Joseph Priestley wrote to his neighbors in the 1790s at a time when the country was politically divided …

NORTHUMBERLAND, Pa. – Sunbury Press has released the Letters to the Inhabitants of Northumberland by Joseph Priestley, edited by John L. Moore.

About the Book:

A world-famous Englishman, Dr. Joseph Priestley addressed the 12 letters in this little book to “the Inhabitants of Northumberland and its Neighborhood.” Nearly 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia, the locale was an obscure village of log houses that had grown up at the confluence of the Susquehanna River’s North and West branches.

Priestley was in his early 60s when he decided to settle there in 1794. The clergyman/scientist had originally intended to devote his sunset years to writing about theological topics and conducting scientific experiments, but controversy over his political and theological beliefs followed him from Great Britain.

He soon found himself the target of frequent and caustic attacks in newspapers throughout the United States that aligned themselves with the Federalist government and policies of President John Adams. On one occasion, when relations between the U.S. and French governments had deteriorated, Priestley was even accused to being a spy for France.

When he found himself increasingly unpopular and misunderstood by the people of his new hometown, Priestley responded by writing these letters. He explained his political and religious beliefs, but also told how, why, and when he had become an honorary citizen of France; listed the reasons why he admired the U.S. Constitution; and justified his decision not to become a U.S. citizen.

Priestley also attacked his critics, especially William Cobbett who wrote under a pen name, Peter Porcupine. “It is commonly said,” Priestley wrote, “that when much dirt is thrown, some will stick; and on this principle I suppose it is that I have been distinguished so often by my principal antagonist, Mr. Cobbett.”

In 1799 the letters were reprinted in book form by Northumberland printer Andrew Kennedy. The book consisted of two parts. Letters 1 through 7 appeared in Part I, with letters 8 through 12 in Part II. The final item in Part II was Maxims of Political Arithmetic, Applied to the Case of the United States of America, an article that Priestley had printed anonymously in 1798 in the Philadelphia Aurora, a newspaper published by Benjamin Franklin Bache, the grandson of Priestley’s old friend Ben Franklin.

Spelling, typography and punctuation have been modernized throughout the text. For instance, the character fappears throughout the original, often to represent the letter s. This practice was common during the 18th century, but has fallen into disuse. It has been eliminated in these pages.

In editing this volume of the Letters, the editor found it helpful to have a variety of online dictionaries at his fingertips, among them en.oxforddictionaries.com. That’s because Priestley, his colleagues and his critics often employed words that have fallen into disuse, among them conventicle (a secret or unlawful religious meeting); oppugn(question the truth or validity of); and sectary (a member of a religious or political sect).

The Georgian-style mansion that Priestley built overlooking the Susquehanna survives as a museum that has portraits and a statue of the man. These images make it easy to envision the elderly man sitting at his desk in the library, dipping his quill pen in an ink well, then writing these letters – slowly, deliberately – in longhand.

The Friends of the Joseph Priestley House sponsored the republication of Priestley’s book. Three members of the Friends – Deb Bernhisel, Susan Brook and Tom Bresenhan – transcribed the letters using OCR text from Google and a scan of the first edition.

About the Editor:

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.

Letters to the Inhabitants of Northumberland: and its Neighborhood on Subjects Interesting to the Author and to Them

Authored by Joseph Priestley, Foreword by John L Moore

List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm) 
Black & White on Cream paper
100 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067789
ISBN-10: 1620067781
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

Coming soon on Kindle

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Letters-to-the-Inhabitants-of-Northumberland-9781620067789.htm

John L Moore kicks off the "Revolutionary Pennsylvania" series

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Tories, Terror, and Tea, John L Moore’s first installment of his new Revolutionary Pennsylvania history series.

About the Book:
With the sesquicentennial of the American Revolution on the horizon, Tories, Terror, and Tea delves deeply into contemporary accounts of the times that so severely tried the souls of Rebels and Tories alike. Author John L. Moore paints a surprisingly fresh picture of the era. His true stories range from the eastern cities to the rustic frontier.

There’s a common misconception that the American Revolutionary War pretty much ended when the British surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781. Not true. More than eight months later, a force of Indians and British burned the western Pennsylvania settlement of Hannastown, then the Westmoreland County seat. The town was never rebuilt.

Everybody knows that American soldiers suffered terribly during the winter the Continental Army spent at Valley Forge. Few recall that Brigadier General Anthony Wayne couldn’t get Pennsylvania political officials to provide suitable clothing for the troops of the Pennsylvania Line although he repeatedly documented that hundreds of men lacked even “a single rag of a
shirt.”

Did you know that when the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia as the British army approached, its members went first to Bethlehem and sought to make the Moravian town the U.S. capital for the duration of the war? Or that the wagon hauling the Liberty Bell away from the British broke down on the street in Bethlehem?

About the Author:
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.

Tories, Terror, and Tea
Authored by John L Moore
List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
124 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067901
ISBN-10: 1620067900
BISAC: History / United States / Revolutionary War

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Tories-Terror-and-Tea-97…

Newspaper boy finds copy of Playboy in the yard, moral dilemma follows

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.Jan. 6, 2017PRLog — Sunbury Press has released “Skunks, Nuts and Other Stories: A Chronicle Culled from the Oral Histories of the Moore/Evans Clan,” a (true) short story compilation from veteran newspaperman John L Moore.

About the Book:
snaos_fcAs a boy delivering newspapers after school, author John L. Moore once found a copy of Playboy magazine on the grass beside the sidewalk. In “Skunks, Nuts, and Other Stories,” he details the dilemma that picking up the magazine created for him.

Moore’s collection of two dozen yarns told by and about members of his extended family reveal the humor, sadness, heroism, resourcefulness and resiliency that his family members experienced in dealing with the world around them. Without meaning to, they sometimes took part in historic events and had chance encounters with famous people.

Its real-life characters include: an aging Vietnam veteran who refuses to forget his long-dead comrades; an uncle telling about his great-grandfather’s Civil War trophies; a teenage girl selling cookies to buy groceries for her younger siblings during the Depression; and a father who plays Santa Claus for his son’s Kindergarten class.

About the Author:
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.

Advance Praise:
“From the Revolution to the 20th century, John L Moore’s family tales are humorous or poignant, capturing how the family connected to the world, the lessons learned, and the connections made to eternity.” — the Publisher

Skunks, Nuts and Other Stories
Written by John L Moore
List Price: $19.95
Hardcover
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc. (January 4, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620068079
ISBN-13: 978-1620068076
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
BISAC: Humor / Family

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Skunks-Nuts-and-Other-St…

Bunch of naked drunken women pursue Moravian monk in New York wilderness

SUNBURY, Pa.Sunbury Press has released John L. Moore’s Warriors, Wampum, and Wolves, the eighth of eight volumes in the Frontier Pennsylvania series.

wwaw_fcAbout the Book:
In April 1753, frontier missionary David Zeisberger prepared for a month-long voyage up the Susquehanna River’s North Branch by walking along the river bank at present-day Sunbury and selecting a suitable tree to fashion into a dugout canoe.

Zeisberger and another missionary felled the tree, then spent two days hollowing its trunk into the shape of a canoe, before setting sail. A month later they came upon a fleet of 25 canoes carrying Nanticoke Indians upriver. “As far as the eye could reach, you could see one canoe behind the other along the Susquehanna,” the missionaries wrote.

Zeisberger is one of many real characters who people the pages of this non-fiction book about the Pennsylvania frontier. Others include Shikellamy, the Iroquois half-king at Shamokin; Conrad Weiser, the Pennsylvania colony’s Indian agent; Teedyuscung, king of the Delawares; Benjamin Franklin, builder of frontier forts; and a Delaware war chief known as Shingas the Terrible.

Author John L. Moore used journals, letters, official reports and other first-person accounts to portray the frontiersmen and the events and conflicts in which they were involved.

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

weiser w iroquiosWhat Others Say:
“Moore brings us an engaging treatment of Gen. Edward Braddock’s ill-fated campaign in 1755 to oust the French from the Ohio Valley. His account gives us a fresh perspective of something often lost in the histories of this march through the wilderness – the troubles the British army experienced with logistics and their erstwhile Native American allies.

“Moore includes a later description by Moravian missionary John Heckewelder of how horses’ hooves made ‘dismal music’ as they walked over the unburied bones of Braddock’s soldiers. But Moore’s book is overall about a lost world of encounters in the forest between the colonial Americans and the Iroquois and Delaware – the tree paintings along trails and the travails of a Seneca given the English name of Captain Newcastle. It’s a world worth visiting.” ~ Robert B. Swift, author of “The Mid-Appalachian Frontier: A Guide to Historic Sites of the French and Indian War.”

“One can’t go wrong with this work. It’s the kind of tale one might read aloud to one’s children out in the woods at evenings while huddled around a campfire.” ~ Thomas J. Brucia, Houston, Texas, bibliophile, outdoorsman and book reviewer

“As someone who despised history classes in high school and practically fell asleep during college history courses, I must admit that I immensely enjoyed this fascinating read.” ~ Catherine Felegi, Cranford, N.J., writer, editor, and blogger at: cafelegi.wordpress.com

David Zeisberger

David Zeisberger

Excerpt:
Friday, July 3: “We spent a very noisy night. The confusion and noise never ceased, and the drinking was kept up all night long. There were about 200 drunken people in the town.” The residents of the town were using their canoes to ship rum from Oswego on Lake Ontario.

Zeisberger and Cammerhoff decided that they would get as much rest as they could and depart for Onondaga as early as possible in the morning. “I remained in our hut very tired,” the bishop wrote. “In the evening, when I left our prison for a short time, I could scarcely walk as I had eaten very little for several days. During the afternoon, my faithful David tried to make some tea for me.” To obtain water, Zeisberger walked to a spring half a mile away with an empty kettle. “On his way back with the kettle of water, several of the drunken savages caught him and drew him into a house, took his kettle, (and) drank the water.”

With a determined effort, Brother David managed to regain possession of the kettle and returned to the spring to refill it. “But some drunken savages pursued him again,” Cammerhoff said. “He … ran too quickly for them and gained the hut, but by a long circuit through long grass. David then boiled the water with much trouble and fear, and we refreshed ourselves with some tea, the only nourishment I had taken in two days.”

“Towards evening, David went out once more, and on his return a troop of drunken women came rushing toward him. Some were naked, and others nearly so. In order to drive them away, he was obliged to use his fists and deal out blows to the right and left. He climbed up a ladder, but when he had scarcely reached the top, they seized it and tore it from under his feet, but he regained our retreat in safety.”

This same day the brother of an important chief came to visit the Moravians. The man “was still sober,” the bishop reported. “We … told him of our intention to start early tomorrow morning and gave him a piece of tobacco and several pipe stems to present to the chiefs when they were sober. We asked him to tell them that we deeply regretted having come such a long distance without being able to talk to them.”

johnAbout the Author:
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’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.

Warriors, Wampum, and Wolves
Authored by John L. Moore
List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
86 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065181
ISBN-10: 1620065185
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Warriors-Wampum-and-Wolv…

Cover artwork by Andrew Knez, Jr.  For more information about Andrew’s work, please see:http://www.andrewknezjr.com/

Unintentional germ warfare dooms many Native Americans

SUNBURY, Pa.Sunbury Press has released John L. Moore’s Settlers, Soldiers, and Scalps, the seventh of eight volumes in the Frontier Pennsylvania series.

ssas_fcAbout the Book:
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. Scalping of Jane McCreaMoore 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.

What Others Say:
“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

Excerpt:
On the Susquehanna River, Dutch colonial officials reported in 1661 “a great mortality from smallpox among the Minquas,” Indians who were also known as the Susquehannocks.

smallpoxIn 1663 Swedish colonists recorded that “smallpox raged terribly among the Indians” along the lower Delaware and “ill-disposed people advised them to leap into the river and bathe themselves, whereby many perished.”

A combination of sickness and warfare destroyed Indian communities along the lower Hudson River. Indeed, an English colonist named Daniel Denton reported that when the English had conquered New Amsterdam in 1664 and renamed the town New York, Indians in the vicinity were living in six towns. But by 1670, the year of Denton’s report, “they are reduced to two small villages.” Their reduction pleased Denton. “Where the English come to settle,” he remarked, “a divine hand makes way for them by … cutting off the Indians either by wars … or by some raging mortal disease.”

smallpox-killed-the-native-americansWherever the Europeans settled in the Middle Atlantic colonies, diseases they unwittingly brought with them devastated native people who lived in the region. Consider the events that occurred along the New Jersey side of the Delaware River in the late 1670s. English colonists purchased land from the Indians, traded with them, and established the village of Burlington. Soon after, smallpox swept through native settlements and killed many. The settlers, who were Quakers, became fearful when they realized some Native Americans believed that the newcomers had deliberately exposed them to the disease. These Indians wanted to start a war against their new neighbors.

About the Author:
johnJohn 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’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.

Settlers, Soldiers, and Scalps
Authored by John L. Moore
List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
86 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065167
ISBN-10: 1620065169
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Settlers-Soldiers-and-Sc…

Cover artwork by Andrew Knez, Jr.  For more information about Andrew’s work, please see:http://www.andrewknezjr.com/