“Excitement abounds in Scott Weidensaul’s detailed history of the first clashes between European settlers and Native Americans on the East Coast.”—Nancy Marie Brown, author of The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman
Frontier: the word carries the inevitable scent of the West. But before Custer or Lewis and Clark, before the first Conestoga wagons rumbled across the Plains, it was the East that marked the frontier—the boundary between complex Native cultures and the first colonizing Europeans.
Here is the older, wilder, darker history of a time when the land between the Atlantic and the Appalachians was contested ground—when radically different societies adopted and adapted the ways of the other, while struggling for control of what all considered to be their land.
The First Frontier traces two and a half centuries of history through poignant, mostly unheralded personal stories—like that of a Harvard-educated Indian caught up in seventeenth-century civil warfare, a mixed-blood interpreter trying to straddle his white and Native heritage, and a Puritan woman wielding a scalping knife whose bloody deeds still resonate uneasily today. It is the first book in years to paint a sweeping picture of the Eastern frontier, combining vivid storytelling with the latest research to bring to life modern America’s tumultuous, uncertain beginnings.
“Exciting and revealing . . . a stirring panorama of the land and the peoples who made their mark on it from the late sixteenth to eighteenth centuries . . . This is a rich tableau that both excites and informs about the forging of early American society.”—Booklist
“Weidensaul’s delightful storytelling brings to life the terrors and hopes of the earliest days of America.”—Publishers Weekly