This sweeping historical narrative chronicles events instrumental in the painful birth of a new nation from the Bloody Morning Scout and the massacre at Fort William Henry to the disastrous siege of Quebec, the heroic but lopsided Battle of Valcour Island, the horrors of Oriskany, and the tragedies of Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley massacre and the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition's destruction of the Iroquois homeland in western New York State. Caught in the middle of it all was the Mohawk River Valley.
In this narrative history of the Mohawk River Valley and surrounding region from 1713 to1794, Professor Richard Berleth charts the passage of the valley from a fast-growing agrarian region streaming with colonial traffic to a war-ravaged wasteland. The valley's diverse cultural mix of Iroquois Indians, Palatine Germans, Scots-Irish, Dutch, English, and Highland Scots played as much of a role as its unique geography in the cataclysmic events of the 1700s the French and Indian Wars and the battles of the American Revolution. Patriots eventually wrenched the valley from British interests and the Iroquois nations, but at fearsome cost. When the fighting was over, the valley lay in ruins and as much as two-thirds of its population lay dead or had been displaced. But by not holding this vital inland waterway the gateway to the West, the river between the mountains, America might have lost the Revolution, as well as much or all of the then poorly defined province of New York.