1779 was the fifth year of the American Revolution, and many Iroquois Indians living in western New York sided with the British. Their war parties repeatedly raided frontier settlements in Pennsylvania and New York. To punish them, General George Washington sent an army led by General John Sullivan to invade the Iroquois homeland. Sullivan burned their villages and destroyed their farms, and Washington believed the Iroquois had been forced out of the war. But Washington had miscalculated: Sullivan had only kicked a hornet’s nest.
For the Iroquois, 1780 became a year for revenge. As winter ended, their warriors didn’t wait for the snow to melt before they sharpened their tomahawks, donned their snowshoes and headed for Pennsylvania. The first attacks caught settlers making sugar in their maple groves and rebuilding farms damaged by previous raids. The warriors terrorized the entire frontier. Across Pennsylvania, militia officers scrambled to protect their settlements. As William Maclay of Sunbury, Pa., implored Governor Joseph Reed, “… Help us if you can.”
Author John L. Moore draws on first-person accounts, letters, and depositions to bring these events to life. In researching the topic, he visited many of the sites of forts and skirmishes described in the book.
"1780: Year of Revenge" is a sequel to his 2018 book, "Scorched Earth: General Sullivan and the Senecas." It is also the third volume in his ongoing Revolutionary Pennsylvania Series.
About the Author:
John L. Moore, a veteran newspaperman, employed a journalist’s eye for detail and ear for quotes in order to write about long-dead people in a lively way. 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 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.
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