Thanks to a heads up from FP reader Brian Mack, I got an order in at the Fort Plain Museum for Tim Todish and Gary Zaboly’s new magnum opus on Rogers’ Rangers. By ordering through Fort Plain you can get a small discount and a portion of proceeds supports the museum.
This book is magnificent — the culmination of a lifetime of scholarship and publications about Rogers’ Rangers. A second volume is coming from Zaboly next year that will cover colonial rangers from New England to Georgia, which, given the project I am embarked on, is a wonderful thing.
If your stick floats in the direction of French & Indian War history, or the history of special operations — get this book. I unreservedly recommend it for any Frontier Partisan library, and I tip my hat to Todish and Zaboly for this exceptional piece of work.
Speaking of Gary Zaboly — he scouted up a piece of good news about the kerfuffle over reenactment of the Bushy Run Battle. Bushy Run was one of the most significant battles in Frontier Partisan history — one I recounted in the Frontier Partisans Podcast.
The 1763 victory in western Pennsylvania by Col. Henry Bouquet over a strong native army of Ohio Indians broke the fever of Pontiac’s War. It also set up tensions in the Pennsylvania backcountry that had revolutionary implications.
In our current climate of pearl-clutching hypersensitivity and iconoclasm, where certain cultural elements seek to wrest control of history by erasing it and overwriting narratives, the tradition of re-enacting the battle was under existential threat. That threat has lifted — for the moment. From Pittsburg’s ABC affiliate:
ENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society wasn’t going down without a fight.
A group of volunteers with the society traveled to Harrisburg on Wednesday to attend the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission meeting and urge the leaders to allow the group to continue with plans for their annual reenactment of the Battle of Bushy Run.
The event is held in August at the Bushy Run Battlefield in Penn Township. The battle was part of Pontiac’s War in 1763 between British troops and Native Americans.
Earlier this year, the PHMC enacted new guidelines banning force-on-force reenactments and also banning non-Native Americans from portraying Native Americans during reenactments.
On Wednesday, the PHMC voted unanimously to allow the Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society to continue with plans for the reenactment this year, as long as the society purchased insurance and assumed liability.
The PHMC is now planning to undertake a comprehensive study of best practices in historical reenactments and use the findings to craft a policy to guide reenactments at commonwealth-owned historical sites in the future.
Brian H. says
My wife worked on the Navajo reservation for a number of years. More than once she talked about how the people that she worked with and for didn’t worry too much about white peoples ‘pearl-clutching’ (team mascots, tv portrayals, etc). Much larger issues in Indian Country. I don’t dismiss the truth that stereotypes can cause harm, but I suspect they’ll care more about it after they get more of their people out of poverty.
John Maddox Roberts says
I knew Tony Hillerman in the last years of his life. He told me that he was at a Native American assembly petitioning Congress concerning native rights when a bunch of activists, (none of them Indians) protested vehemently about the term “Indian” instead of the truly important issues the Natives were concerned with. Tony said that the chairman of the Native committee remarked to him, “Hell, I’m just glad Columbus wasn’t looking for Turkey.”
Oh Lord, that’s good.
It seems to me that such people as the activists you mention are incredibly arrogant, patronizing, and yet naive to go about deciding what another group should find offensive. (Naive in the sense that just about everyone has more important issues to concern themselves with.)
Sabaton History has released a video about Albert Roche probably the greatest French soldier of the First World War.
David Wrolson says
Found a book in my X-Ring. “Trails of the Smoky Hill” about the trails along the Smoky Hill River in Kansas (the heart of Cheyenne territory)-Found it in a footnote in “Hancock’s War: Conflict on the Southern Plains.”
I am absolutely gobsmacked that some of the Oglala Lakota were hanging about the Arkansas and Smoky Hill Rivers in 1867.
I still hope to run across indications that some Sioux and Comanche rode together on a raid against the whites. That is my Holy Grail (if you will).
Outstanding. Keep us apprised of your findings.
There was a lot of disruption on the Plains in the 1850s and 60s, a lot of movement. And it seems to me that the Oglala were just the folks to travel looking for a fight.