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Tomahawks & Treaties: Micajah Callaway and the Struggle for the Ohio River Valley


by Rex Callaway


The settlement of the Ohio River Valley was a bitter contest between Native Americans who had inhabited that region for centuries and settlers from the east eager for new land and opportunity. Micajah Callaway’s life story is a perfect backdrop to expand on the series of historic incidents that unfolded around him. From the vantage point of an ordinary man caught up in the middle of an extraordinary chain of events, the author, his direct descendant, has described the battles, broken treaties, politics and intrigues that characterized the relationships between the conflicting parties on both sides.

Born near Lynchburg in Bedford County, Virginia, Micajah’s family included Uncle Richard and brother Flanders, both of whom were members of Daniel Boone’s famous trailblazing party that cut the Wilderness Road into Kentucky and founded Boonesborough in 1775. In the Spring of 1777, Micajah ran away from home to join a militia company that marched to the relief of Boonesborough. He then enlisted in Captain Daniel Boone’s Kentucky County militia company that was captured by Shawnee Chief Black Fish and his warriors while they were making salt at the Lower Blue Licks. Daniel Boone and Micajah were subsequently adopted into the Shawnee Nation. While Boone escaped to return to , Micajah lived on with the Shawnee for several years, learning their language and customs in the process. He later returned to his former world and served as a scout and interpreter for Brigadier General George Rogers Clark, Major General Richard Butler, and Major General “Mad Anthony” Wayne. As a result, Callaway became an active participant in the ensuing diplomatic negotiations and treaties that took place with the Shawnee Nation during the last quarter of the eighteenth century.

The author has included a series of thirty detailed maps, photographs and John Buxton’s artwork to help the reader visualize the stage on which this drama took place.

Paperback, 2010, 6” x 9”, 476 pp., index, biblio., 30 maps, illust. $22.95.
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