Part I of the Frontier Partisans Podcast exploring the remarkable American life of Simon Girty is up. You can access it here.
Girty was an ace Frontier Partisan — and, for most of the past couple of centuries, the most hated and reviled man in American frontier history. Simon Girty and his brothers James and George — who had all been captured and adopted by Indians during the French & Indian War — defected to the British at the height of the American Revolution in 1778, and would play active roles in operations against American settlements in western Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Early triumphalist history portrayed them as race-traitors and fiends.
We’ve (hopefully) moved past such caricatures now and can recognize that this isn’t a good guys vs. bad guys morality play. The cultural, political and military terrain of borderlands is always complex, and nowhere more so than along the Ohio River in the mid-to-late 18th century, where world-historical tectonic shifts were underway, and every individual must struggle to keep their footing.
It’s high time for Frontier Partisans to tackle this great American story, in all its tragedy and glory, and I’m enjoying the doing of it. Hope you enjoy the listening.