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History of the Early Settlement of the Juniata Valley [PA]
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History of the Early Settlement of the Juniata Valley [Pennsylvania]. U. J. Jones. Softcover, (1856), repr. 1997, New, Illus., Index, 388 pp.
The Juniata River collects its water from the mountains of central Pennsylvania. Ultimately, the torrent spills into the Susquehanna River just north of Harrisburg. The terrain of the Juniata watershed is often unrelenting and treacherous, and settlement of the area was not accomplished without great effort Settlers of the valley frequently faced hardship and misery of which there is no modern equivalent. This particular record offers a sobering illustration of the trials of pioneer life in early Pennsylvania, including ‘predatory incursions, massacres, and abductions by the Indians during the French and Indian Wars, and the War of the Revolution, &c.’ Therefore, it would come as no surprise that this section of Pennsylvania was once referred to as “the dark and bloody ground.”
The author’s principal mission was to give a more detailed, substantial recitation of actual events than what had come before, using first-hand accounts as his primary source of information to improve upon previous histories that were, in his words, “exceedingly brief, lacked detail. and in many instances were found grossly inaccurate.” This he has accomplished quite splendidly, incorporating all the pioneer stories he could muster into one comprehensive work, while still providing a broad view of important events which had an impact throughout the colonies. In regard to family histories, this book is replete with the names of early settlers, often their origins, where they began their homesteads, and, frequently, illuminating family anecdotes. Some additional topics of intrigue are: Tuscarora Valley—Its Mounds and Its Forts, Tommy Coleman, the Indian Fighter—Surprise of the Dunkard Murderers, and Hollidaysburg—The Holiday Family. This work also includes a number of illustrations that are mainly renderings of the local scenery. #J556 ISBN 0-7884-0807-0