scholarly collection of facts about the Indian history of Pennsylvania
in general and the Susquehannocks in particular, researched from
over 300 different books and sources.
Originally published in 1908, this book is a treasure house on
the Indian history of Pennsylvania. This scholarly collection about
the Indian history of Pennsylvania in general and the Susquehannocks
in particular, is unparalleled in the books written before the founding
of the United States and the Revolutionary War.
The Susquehannocks lived mainly on the Susquehanna River and its
tributaries from the north end of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland
up the river into southern New York. The number of Susquehannocks
is uncertain, but the best guess is that they numbered somewhere
between 5,000 and 7,500 at their peak in the 1600ís and their rapid
decline into the 1700ís culminated with the massacre of the last
20 members by the Paxtang Boys at the jail in Lancaster, PA.
Although almost completely forgotten today, the Susquehannock were
once one of the most formidable tribes in the mid-Atlantic region.
At the time of first European contact, they dominated the Susquehanna
and Potomac River valley areas but little was known about them as
they lived inland far from the coast. And by the late 1600ís, these
once noble and heroic Indians had their number so decimated by disease
from the white man and wars with their bitter enemies the Iroquois,
that their numbers were probably no more than 300-400.
They must have been impressive physical specimens as both John
Smith in 1608 and the Swedes thirty years later commented on their
size and physical attributes. Their constant warfare with the Iroquoian
speaking tribes in the region made these people superior warriors.
Using the rivers of the mid-Atlantic region as their highway, they
routinely attacked the Delaware, Nanticoke, Conoy and Powhatans
living on their borders. Their large stockaded forts (villages)
afforded them great protection as they dominated the Pennsylvania
area in the 1500 and 1600ís and evidence of their presence in the
Susquehanna River Valley will remain on the rocks and in caves until
the end of time. This exhaustive and interesting series of historical
papers describing the Pennsylvania Indians prior to and during the
early days of the white man populating Pennsylvania gives the reader
a thorough and complete year by year analysis of Indian activity
in the Commonwealth prior to the forming of the United States.
Paperback, 1909 (reprint), 415 pp, $29.95.