Benjamin Franklin leads troops through the wilderness from Philadelphia to Bethlehem

SUNBURY, Pa.Sunbury Press has released John L. Moore’s Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks, the fourth of eight volumes in the Frontier Pennsylvania series.

About the Book:
ffaf_fcAs the officer in charge at Hyndshaw’s Fort in the Pocono Mountains, Captain John Van Etten knew that few Indian war parties raided the settlements during the snowy winter months, but that warm spring weather often signaled the sudden onslaught of Indian attacks.

The captain himself was wary, and he made it a point to keep his troops on their guard. He had good reason for this. The morning of May 7, 1757, for instance, he learned that while on sentry duty during the night, some of his men had observed “that the dogs kept an unusual barking and running to a particular place … ” With daylight, the soldiers ventured out to investigate “and found that an Indian had stood behind a tree about 25 yards from the fort. Being told, I went to see and found it true, his tracks being visible enough to be seen.”

John L. Moore’s non-fiction book contains true stories of Van Etten and other real people caught up in the struggles that took place all along the Pennsylvania frontier throughout the 1700s. Other chapters tell how:

Blacksmith Anton Schmidt repaired guns for Indian hunters who came to the Moravian mission at Shamokin. He knew Chief Shikellamy, the Iroquois territorial governor who lived in the town at present-day Sunbury. When Shikellamy died in 1748, carpenters at the mission made a wooden coffin for him, and Schmidt was one of four men who carried the old chief to his grave. Seven years later, as Indian attacks shattered the long peace that William Penn had established in 1681, the blacksmith guided a small military force headed by Benjamin Franklin from Philadelphia over muddy country roads to Bethlehem, where the Moravian Church was based. Franklin’s column included a wagon carrying firearms for settlers to use against enemy Indians. It also transported equipment for building stockade forts in the mountains.

Major James Burd, the commandant at Fort Augusta, welcomed a delegation of Iroquois leaders. In March 1757, they came down the Susquehanna River’s North Branch in a fleet of fifteen canoes and three flat-bottom boats. The visitors ““informed me that there was 800 French and Indians marched from Fort Duquesne against this fort, and they were actually arrived at the head of the West Branch of this river, and were there making canoes and would come down as soon as they were made.” To Burd’s relief, no such invasion ever occurred.

Captain Patrick Work, a Pennsylvania officer who in October 1757 was marching his troops along a forest trail that crossed Peters Mountain north of present-day Harrisburg. As they reached the top of the ridge, “the advance guard, consisting of a sergeant and 12 men, discovered a party of Indians … Our party advanced supposing them to be friends until they came within about a hundred yards, when the Indians fired upon them, which was returned briskly by our men.”

The author uses 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.

Excerpt:
ben_franklinJanuary 1756
In January 1756 Benjamin Franklin was in Northampton County preparing to lead a column of Pennsylvania soldiers into the mountains to fortify strategic passes north of Bethlehem. “Just before we left Bethlehem, eleven farmers, who had been driven from their plantations by the Indians, came to me requesting a supply of firearms, that they might go back and fetch off their cattle,” Franklin reported. “I gave them each a gun with suitable ammunition.”

A steady rain began as Franklin’s men moved out, “and it continued raining all day,” he said. By the time the troops stopped for the night and took shelter in a barn, “we were … as wet as water could make us.”

Writing years later in his autobiography, Franklin remarked, “It was well we were not attacked in our march, for our arms were of the most ordinary sort, and our men could not keep their gun locks dry.”

Franklin said that the farmers hadn’t been as fortunate. The Indians had met them along the road and killed ten of the eleven. “The one who escaped informed that his and his companions’ guns would not go off, the priming being wet with the rain,” Franklin said.

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.

Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks
Authored by John L. Moore
List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
106 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065136
ISBN-10: 1620065134
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Forts-Forests-and-Flintl…

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

Who killed Jack Armstrong along the Juniata River?

SUNBURY, Pa.Sunbury Press has released John L. Moore’s Bows, Bullets, and Bears, the first of eight volumes in the Frontier Pennsylvania series.

bbab_fcAbout the Book:
Jack Armstrong died violently along the Juniata River in early 1744.

Armstrong was a rough-and-tumble frontier trader whose sharp business practices antagonized one Indian too many. He and two men who worked for him traveled into the woods in early 1744 and never came out again. Word soon crossed the frontier that all three had been murdered. Obscure, but richly detailed documents tell how and why Iroquois Indians living along the Susquehanna River at present-day Sunbury developed evidence that exposed the Native Americans involved in Armstrong’s murder.

John L. Moore’s nonfiction book contains true stories of Armstrong and other real people caught up in the struggles that took place all along the Pennsylvania frontier throughout the late 1600s and 1700s. The stories are set mainly in the valleys of the Delaware, Juniata, Lehigh, Ohio and Susquehanna rivers.

Other chapters tell how:

A colonial-era witch trial.

A colonial-era witch trial.

The Philadelphia jury in Margaret Mattson’s 1683 witchcraft trail delivered a split verdict. She was acquitted of bewitching her neighbors’ cows, but found guilty of being known as a witch. Presiding over the trial was William Penn, who let Margaret go home after her husband and son posted a bond for her “good behavior.”

Moravian missionaries who traveled along the Susquehanna River’s West and North Branches during a famine in 1748 found many Indians sick with smallpox and suffering from starvation. The people in one native town were boiling tree bark for food. In another village they were cooking grass.

Early in the French & Indian War, an influential Iroquois chief known as “The Belt of Wampum” urged Pennsylvania officials to build a fort on the Susquehanna River at the native town called Shamokin, present-day Sunbury. “Such Indians as continue true to you want a place to come to and to live in security,” The Belt said in early 1756.

Frances Slocum, a small girl kidnapped by Indians from her home along the Susquehanna River during the America Revolution, spent most of her adult life as a Miami Indian. In 1839, her brother Joseph and his daughters traveled from Pennsylvania to Indiana to visit her. They traveled by stage coach, canal boat and horse-drawn railroad during their 19-day journey west.

Anecdotes throughout the book describe how Native Americans and Europeans hunted bears, ate bear meat, and used bearskins for blankets and mattresses.

Excerpt:
February 1744
By the early 1740s, an Indian trader named Jack Armstrong, who operated out of Lancaster County, had developed a reputation for employing sharp and even antagonistic practices in his dealings with the Delaware Indians who lived, hunted, and trapped along the Susquehanna and the Juniata Rivers. Some of the trader’s white friends had even cautioned him about being overly harsh with his Indian customers and especially about angering them. If Armstrong wasn’t particularly likeable, he was nevertheless a successful trader and a well-known frontier personality. But as hard and tough as Armstrong was, events that occurred along the Juniata River during early 1744 proved that one of his customers, a Delaware Indian known as John Musemeelin, was tougher, harder, and more ferocious.

Armstrong’s story begins in early 1744 when the trader and two men who worked for him, James Smith and Woodworth Arnold, loaded their string of pack horses with trade goods—gun powder, gun flints, lead bullets, glass beads, scissors, woolen blankets, combs, little bells, and other items. For such goods, native trappers would eagerly swap the skins of deer, bears, beavers, elk, otters, foxes, raccoons, and wildcats.

Shikellamy

Shikellamy

The three men headed north and followed the trail along the Susquehanna, and then, well north of present-day Harrisburg, swung west and headed out the Juniata toward the Allegheny Mountains. That was in February. By late March and early April, as spring came on, a rumor swept across the frontier: Armstrong and his men had disappeared and weren’t ever coming out of the woods.

As it turned out, all three had been murdered. Since the killings took place in Indian Country—well beyond what was then the western boundary of Pennsylvania—an Indian chief conducted the first official inquiry in the case. Indeed, records of the Pennsylvania colony contain a detailed account of this chief’s investigation into the disappearance and murder of Jack Armstrong. The account itself was dictated by Chief Shikellamy, an Oneida who represented the Iroquois Confederacy at Shamokin and who led the investigation that exposed the killer. Located at the forks of the Susquehanna River, Shamokin was the largest Indian town in what is now Pennsylvania. Shikellamy subsequently had the man arrested and incarcerated. Conrad Weiser, a Pennsylvania German who was the colony’s Indian agent, recorded Shikellamy’s narrative.

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 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.

Bows, Bullets, and Bears
Authored by John L. Moore
List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
96 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065112
ISBN-10: 1620065118
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Bows-Bullets-and-Bears-9…

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

Coming soon — John L. Moore's "Frontier Pennsylvania Series" with art by Andrew Knez, Jr.

Northumberland, PA —  Sunbury Press has signed author John L. Moore of Northumberland, PA to publish his well-known Frontier Pennsylvania history series, which will reach eight volumes with the latest release:

  • Forts, Forests and Flintlocks
  • Bows, Bullets and Bears
  • Cannons, Cattle and Campfires
  • Pioneers, Prisoners and Peace Pipes
  • Rivers, Raiders and Renegades
  • Settlers, Soldiers and Scalps
  • Travelers, Traders and Tomahawks
  • Warriors, Wampum and Wolves

Each volume will be 8×5 inch paperbacks, ranging from 50 to 70 pages, with full-color covers.

john(From the Republican Herald Dec. 23, 2012):

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.

Regarding cover artist Andrew Knez, Jr.:

THE FISHERI have been marketing my “Frontier Art” full time since the spring of 2000. The text that accompanies many of my paintings or prints is material from extensive research into period journals, diaries, archival records and I have a number of experts with whom I consult about particular details of an intended painting. It is not uncommon for the research into a particular portrayal of an event or proper clothing and accoutrements represented to take much longer than the actual painting. The text helps the viewer to have a more in-depth understanding of the subject of the painting. One-thousand copies of my recent book entitled “Eastern Frontier Art” sold out in twenty months through word of mouth, a few small ads in historical publications and personal appearances at historical sites. My art has graced the covers and/or pages of many books including the Kentucky Social Studies S. E. textbook by Harcourt Publishing, Rockhouses and Rhododendron, Volumes 1 and 2 by John Curry, The Indian Capture of Jacob Nicely by Robert Nicely, On the Banks of the Gauley by Rock Foster and Skulking in the Woods by Ben Scharff. To date, I have had my art on the covers of over 70 national and international publications including Backwoodsman, Muzzle Blasts, Muzzleloader, On the Trail, Black Powder Cartridge News, Journal of the Americas and Precision Shooting Magazine. I also was commissioned to create the video cover art for “The Captives”, an award winning documentary about the abduction of Mary Draper Ingles. I was made a Signature member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society along with being accepted as a member of the American Plains Artists. My originals are in many private, corporate and historical collections such as: The National Rifle Association, Bushy Run Battlefield, The Beaver County Historical Center, Old Bedford Village, The Brandy Station Foundation, Prickett’s Fort, Wilderness Road State Park, Contemporary Longrifle Association and Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.

For more information about the artist:  http://www.andrewknezjr.com/

For more information, please visit http://www.sunburypressstore.com/