The best books on Dunmore’s War (1774 Ohio frontier)

Who am I?

Lori Benton is an award-winning, multi-published author of historical novels set during the 18th century North America. Her literary passion is bringing little known historical events to life through the eyes of those who lived it, particularly those set along the Appalachian frontier, where European and Native American cultural and world views collided. Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore’s campaign against the Shawnee nation on the eve of the Revolutionary war, culminating in the Battle of Point Pleasant, is a fascinating, complex, and poignant example of the armies and individuals that planned, fought, and resisted the campaign.

I wrote...

Many Sparrows

By Lori Benton,

Book cover of Many Sparrows

What is my book about?

Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would... In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year-old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Dunmore's New World: The Extraordinary Life of a Royal Governor in Revolutionary America

Why did I love this book?

With a broader focus than the 1774 campaign into the Ohio Valley known as Dunmore’s War, James David’s book gave me a vivid picture of the late colonial North American and British landscape in which Dunmore lived and moved and had his being. An engaging read as well as an indispensable resource for a historical fiction writer.

By James Corbett David,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dunmore's New World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dunmore's New World tells the stranger-than-fiction story of Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, whose long-neglected life boasts a measure of scandal and intrigue rare in the annals of the colonial world. Dunmore not only issued the first formal proclamation of emancipation in American history; he also undertook an unauthorized Indian war in the Ohio Valley, now known as Dunmore's War, that was instrumental in opening the Kentucky country to white settlement. In this entertaining biography, James Corbett David brings together a rich cast of characters as he follows Dunmore on his perilous path through the Atlantic world…

Book cover of A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774

Why did I love this book?

A comprehensive examination of the Ohio Valley native nations during the decades leading up to Dunmore’s War. Though the covering of the actual campaign makes up a small portion of this book, any researcher desiring a balanced view of the conflict for land in the Ohio couldn’t ask for a better resource than A Country Between.

By Michael N. McConnell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Country Between as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Ohio Country in the eighteenth century was a zone of international strife, and the Delawares, Shawnees, Iroquois, and other natives who had taken refuge there were caught between the territorial ambitions of the French and British. A Country Between is unique in assuming the perspective of the Indians who struggled to maintain their autonomy in a geographical tinderbox.

Book cover of Point Pleasant 1774: Prelude to the American Revolution

Why did I love this book?

Osprey books are often the best place to start when researching a new historical topic. While writing my novel, Many Sparrows, I relied on this slender volume more than any other. Richly illustrated, packed with maps, vivid without getting bogged down in detail… if you want to begin delving into the topic of Dunmore’s War (Point Pleasant being its single notable battle), this is the book for you.

By John F. Winkler, Peter Dennis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Point Pleasant 1774 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The only major conflict of Lord Dunmore's War, the battle of Point Pleasant was fought between Virginian militia and American Indians from the Shawnee and Mingo tribes. Following increased tensions and a series of incidents between the American settlers and the natives, Dunmore, the last colonial governor of Virginia, and Colonel Andrew Lewis led two armies against the tribes. On October 10, 1774 Lewis and his men resisted a fierce attack, led by Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, or Cornstalk, at Point Pleasant, near the mouth of the Kanawha river. Despite significant losses on both sides, Lewis succeeded in forcing the Shawnee…

Book cover of The Ohio Frontier, Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830

Why did I love this book?

Part of the “History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier” series, this book presents readers with many entertaining and informative accounts of Ohio life throughout the frontier era. The period covered in this book is just over 100 years, so Dunmore’s War, while given attention, is not explored in detail. Still, I found this book a valued and comprehensive survey that helped me to understand the political and cultural factors that led to the conflict in 1774, as well as what followed after.

By R. Douglas Hurt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ohio Frontier, Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Ohio Frontier
Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830

R. Douglas Hurt

"This exhaustively researched and well-written book provides a comprehensive history of Ohio from 1720 to 1830."
-Journal of the Early Republic

Nowhere on the American frontier was the clash of cultures more violent than in the Ohio country. There, Shawnees, Wyandots, Delawares, and other native peoples fought to preserve their land claims against an army that was incompetent at the beginning but highly trained and disciplined in the end.

Sales territory is worldwide
A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier
1996; 440 pages, 23 b&w photos, 7 maps, bibl.…

Book cover of The Border Wars of the Upper Ohio Valley

Why did I love this book?

Yet another book about the Ohio frontier broader in scope than Dunmore’s War, but a chapter in this book is devoted to it. What sets this book apart is its focus on individual men and women who struggled to survive (and in some instances shaped) the constant wars on the Ohio frontier during the period: Daniel Boone; Chief Logan; the Zane family; Simon Kenton; Lewis Wetzel; the Girty brothers; George Rogers Clark, and more. The examination of their lives and the events they witnessed, lived through, and helped shape, lends a fuller picture of life during this turbulent era.

By William Hintzen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Border Wars of the Upper Ohio Valley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Conflict between the settlers and the Indians in the Pittsburg PA, Wheeling WV. area 1769-1794. Wetzel, Boone, Zane, Kenton, Girty.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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