(Photo of a painting by Robert Griffing, b. 1940 : A Cherokee scout for General Edward Braddock's advance on the French and their Indian allies at Fort Duquesne, 1755, before the French attacks Braddocks' column and show the general, who perished July 13, 1755. Scenes from SCOTT WEIDENSAUL, THE FIRST FRONTIER: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America:)
Left and Below: Fort Duquesne, built at a point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers come together to form the Ohio River, was long seen as important for controlling the Ohio Country, both for settlement and for trade. Englishman William Trent had established a highly successful trading post at the forks as early as the 1740s, to do business with a number of nearby Native American villages. Both the French and the British were keen to gain advantage in the area. As the area was within the drainage basin of the Mississippi River, the French claimed it as theirs. Many of the charters of the British colonies on the east coast of North America granted land indefinitely to the west, setting the scene for conflict.
Saturday 905P Eastern Time: THOMAS S. KIDD, PATRICK HENRY: First Among Patriots. Library Journal “Kidd convincingly explains that the popular but controversial Henry was passionate about both liberty and virtue and believed that for America to succeed its laws must be grounded in Christianity, with strong local and state (rather than strong federal) government. . . . Kidd’s investigation into the role of religion in Henry’s politics and the contradictions between what he publicly espoused and personally practiced gives readers fresh, illuminating insight into a leader whose orations inspired revolution and turned a minor lawyer into a political giant.”
Saturday 920P Eastern Time: THOMAS S. KIDD, PATRICK HENRY
1755: Below: The Braddock expedition took the field with a picked column, in which George Washington served as a volunteer officer. The column crossed theMonongahela River on 9 July 1755, and shortly afterwards collided head-on with an Indian and French force who were rushing from Fort Duquesne to oppose the river crossing.
Saturday 935P Eastern Time: JAMES BROOKHISER, JAMES MADISON. Karl Rove “Richard Brookhiserhas written a lively, deeply informed, and penetrating look at the small man who played such a big role in America’s founding. Father of the Constitution, prime mover behind approval of the Bill of Rights, trusted advisor and confidant to the young nation’s first president, and its fourth chief executive himself, James Madison is also our country’s first practical politician. He founded not just the first American political party, but also the American system of party politics itself. For James Madison had come—after long study and extended practical experience—to believe deeply in majority rule, public opinion, and a government of, by and for the people.”
Saturday 950P Eastern Time: JAMES BROOKHISER, JAMES MADISON. Wall Street Journal
“Madison is remembered today as one of the key framers of the Constitution and the drafter of the Bill of Rights; as the husband of the vivacious Dolley Madison; and as the president who barely escaped capture by the British punitive expedition that raided Washington during the War of 1812. But he deserves to be remembered for a great deal more. Richard Brookhiser, in the latest in his series of concise and highly readable books about the Founding Fathers, conveys the man in full and files a strong paternity suit pointing to Madison as the father of American politics.”
Below: Braddock, rallying his men time after time, fell at last, mortally wounded by a shot through the chest. Although the exact causes of the defeat are debated to this day, a contributing factor was likely Braddock's underestimation of how effectively the French and Indians could react in a battle situiaton, and how rapidly the discipline and fighting effectiveness of his own men could evaporate.
Saturday 1005P (705P Pacific Time): . SCOTT WEIDENSAUL, THE FIRST FRONTIER: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America. “With a novelist's flair, he conveys the experiences of ordinary people pitted against powerful and unpredictable nature. . . Mr. Weidensaul invites readers to imagine the bloody ground beneath modern America's apparently tame landscape.”—The Wall Street Journal
Saturday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): SCOTT WEIDENSAUL, THE FIRST FRONTIER, 2 of 4
Braddock’s defeat also served to catapult Washington into the first rank of colonial personages even though he was only 23 years old. He had achieved fame throughout the colonies for his expedition with Christopher Gist to carry a demand that the French evacuate the Ohio Valley. He achieved international notoriety for his conduct at Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity. The French labeled him a cold blooded killer after the Iroquois chieftain Tanacharison tomahawked Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville and washed his hands in his brains over an insult he had received from the French commander at Fort Duquense.
Below: Braddock was borne off the field by Washington and another officer, and died on 13 July 1755, just four days after the battle. Before he died Braddock left Washington his ceremonial sash that he wore with his battle uniform and muttered some of his last words which were 'Who would have thought?'
Saturday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): SCOTT WEIDENSAUL, THE FIRST FRONTIER, 3 of 4. Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul, who grew up in the heart of the old Eastern frontier, has written more than two dozen books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist, Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds
The attack on Fort Duquesne was part of a large-scale British expedition with 6,000 troops led by General John Forbes to drive the French out of the contested Ohio Country (the upper Ohio River Valley) and clear the way for an invasion of Canada. Forbes ordered Major James Grant of the 1st Highland Regiment to reconnoiter the area with 850 men. When Grant proceeded to attack the French position, his force was outmanouevred, surrounded, and largely destroyed by the French and their native allies led by François-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery. Major Grant was taken prisoner and the British survivors retreated fitfully to Fort Ligonier.
Saturday 1050P (750P Pacific Time): SCOTT WEIDENSAUL, THE FIRST FRONTIER, 4 of 4
Saturday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): LAURENCE BERGEN, COLUMBUS: The Four Voyages 1 of 2. Laurence Bergreen is the author of several award-winning biographies, including those of Louis Armstrong, Al Capone, Irving Berlin, and James Agee. He has written for many national publications including Esquire and Newsweek, taught at the New School for Social Research, and served as Assistant to the President of the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. Bergreen has also served as a nonfiction judge for the National Book Awards and as a judge for the PEN/Albrand Nonfiction Award.Voyage to Mars is soon to be an NBC-TV television movie that will premier in spring 2002, and a weekly series that will debut in fall 2002. Bergreen lives in New York City.
Below: Braddock's retreat, borne from the field. The general died soonafter. He was buried just west of Great Meadows, where the remnants of the column halted on its retreat to reorganize. Braddock was buried in the middle of the road and wagons were rolled over top of the grave site to prevent his body from being discovered and desecrated. George Washington presided at the burial service, as the chaplain had been severely wounded.
Saturday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): LAURENCE BERGEN, COLUMBUS 2 of 2
Saturday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): EMMA CHRISTOPHER A MERCILESS PLACE: The Fate of Britain's Convicts After the American Revolution. 1 OF 2. "It is a rare pleasure to review a book that will appeal not only to the specialist in the field, but also to the general reader. A Merciless Place is such a book, a work of original scholarship that clearly indicates years of hard labor in the archives, and also a beautifully crafted literary endeavor, one that should attract anyone who appreciates excellent writing . . . Thoroughly researched, brilliantly written, deeply humane, A Merciless Place is a model of modern legal scholarship." --H-Net
Saturday 1150P (850P Pacific Time): EMMA CHRISTOPHER A MERCILESS PLACE 1 OF 2. Emma Christopher is an Australian Research Council Fellow at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Slave Trade Sailors and their Captive Cargoes, 1730-1807 and co-editor of Many Middle Passages. She has been a Mellon Fellow at the Huntington Library and a Gilder Lehrman Fellow at Yale University
Below: 1758, Return to Fort Duquense: The attack on Fort Duquesne was part of a large-scale British expedition with 6,000 troops led by General John Forbes to drive the French out of the contested Ohio Country (the upper Ohio River Valley) and clear the way for an invasion of Canada. Forbes ordered Major James Grant of the 1st Highland Regiment to reconnoiter the area with 850 men. When Grant proceeded to attack the French position, his force was outmanouevred, surrounded, and largely destroyed by the French and their native allies led by François-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery. Major Grant was taken prisoner and the British survivors retreated fitfully to Fort Ligonier. After repulsing this advance party the French, deserted by some of their native allies and vastly outnumbered by the approaching Forbes, blew up their magazines and burnt Fort Duquesne. In November the French withdrew from the Ohio Valley and British colonists erected Fort Pitt on the site.
Saturday /Sun 1205A (905 Pacific Time): THOMAS S. KIDD, PATRICK HENRY: First Among Patriots. An Associate Professor of History at Baylor University, winner of a 2006–2007 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and author of numerous books on American religious history, Thomas S. Kidd lives in Waco, Texas.
Saturday /Sun 1220A (920 Pacific Time): THOMAS S. KIDD, PATRICK HENRY.
Saturday /Sun 1235A (935P Pacific Time): DAVID S. REYNOLDS, MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America. “Consistently enlightening. . . . Mightier than the Sword deftly explores the social-intellectual context and personal experience out of which Stowe’s novel evolved into a grand entertainment and a titanic engine of change.” (Dan Cryer - Boston Globe )
Saturday /Sun 1250A (950P Pacific Time): DAVID S. REYNOLDS, MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD. David S. Reynolds, a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is the author or editor of 15 books, including "Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America," "Walt Whitman's America," "John Brown, Abolitionist," "Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson," "George Lippard," "Faith in Fiction," and "Beneath the American Renaissance." He is the winner of the Bancroft Prize, the Christian Gauss Award, the Ambassador Book Award, the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has been interviewed some 80 times on radio and TV, on shows including NPR's "Fresh Air," "Weekend Edition," and "The Diane Rehm Show," ABC's "The John Batchelor Show," and C-SPAN's "After Words," Brian Lamb's "Book Notes," and "Book TV." He is a regular contributor to "The New York Times Book Review" and is included in "Who's Who in America," "Who's Who in American Education," and "Who's Who in the World." David Reynolds was born in Providence, Rhode Island. For much of his childhood he lived in West Barrington, Rhode Island in a home attached to the Nayatt Point Lighthouse (built in 1828). His father, Paul Reynolds, sold life insurance and later became an artist. His mother, Adelaide Koch Reynolds, was an artist, art teacher, and sometime illustrator who designed newspapers ads and Hallmark greeting cards. David Reynolds attended the Providence Country Day School, where he later taught for a year after his graduation from college. He received the B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College and the Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught American literature and American Studies at Northwestern University, Barnard College, New York University, Rutgers University, Baruch College, and the Sorbonne-Paris III. Since 2006, he has been at the CUNY Graduate Center. Besides writing and teaching, he enjoys songwriting and tennis as hobbies.
The French and Indians attacked Fort Ligonier (above and left) on October 12, 1758, and very nearly took it. The British artillery sited on the sandstone cliffs was the deciding factor, though, and the besiegers retreated. Fort Ligonier swelled in population as British troops assembled for the attack on Fort Duquesne. In fact, in November 1758 it was the second largest city in Pennsylvania! (Among the British forces was the young George Washington.) The French saw the score and retreated from Fort Duquesne (below). The British captured this most strategic location and renamed the site “Pittsburgh”. Building and defending Fort Ligonier was key to this victory. By March 1766 the fort had served its purpose and was decommissioned.
Below: The French held Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War, and it became one of the focal points for that war because of its strategic location. The French held the fort successfully early in the war, turning back the expedition led by General Edward Braddock. George Washington served as one of General Braddock's aides. A smaller attack by James Grant in September 1758 was repulsed with heavy losses. Two months later, on November 25, the Forbes Expedition under General John Forbes captured the site after the French destroyed Fort Duquesne the day before. The British built a much smaller fort on the site, and named it Fort Pitt.
Fort Duquesne was located where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio. The location in downtown Pittsburgh is now known as Point State Park or "the Point." The park includes a brick outline of the fort's walls. In May 2007, Thomas Kutys, an archaeologist with A.D. Marble & Company, a Cultural Resource Management firm based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, rediscovered a stone and brick drain thought to have drained one of the fort's many buildings. Due to its depth in the ground, this drain may be all of the fort that has survived. The entire northern half of the site the fort is thought to have occupied was destroyed by the heavy industrial usage of the area in the 19th century.