Monthly Archives: October 2014

Who killed Jack Armstrong along the Juniata River?

SUNBURY, Pa.Sunbury Press has released John L. Moore’s Bows, Bullets, and Bears, the first of eight volumes in the Frontier Pennsylvania series.

bbab_fcAbout the Book:
Jack Armstrong died violently along the Juniata River in early 1744.

Armstrong was a rough-and-tumble frontier trader whose sharp business practices antagonized one Indian too many. He and two men who worked for him traveled into the woods in early 1744 and never came out again. Word soon crossed the frontier that all three had been murdered. Obscure, but richly detailed documents tell how and why Iroquois Indians living along the Susquehanna River at present-day Sunbury developed evidence that exposed the Native Americans involved in Armstrong’s murder.

John L. Moore’s nonfiction book contains true stories of Armstrong and other real people caught up in the struggles that took place all along the Pennsylvania frontier throughout the late 1600s and 1700s. The stories are set mainly in the valleys of the Delaware, Juniata, Lehigh, Ohio and Susquehanna rivers.

Other chapters tell how:

A colonial-era witch trial.

A colonial-era witch trial.

The Philadelphia jury in Margaret Mattson’s 1683 witchcraft trail delivered a split verdict. She was acquitted of bewitching her neighbors’ cows, but found guilty of being known as a witch. Presiding over the trial was William Penn, who let Margaret go home after her husband and son posted a bond for her “good behavior.”

Moravian missionaries who traveled along the Susquehanna River’s West and North Branches during a famine in 1748 found many Indians sick with smallpox and suffering from starvation. The people in one native town were boiling tree bark for food. In another village they were cooking grass.

Early in the French & Indian War, an influential Iroquois chief known as “The Belt of Wampum” urged Pennsylvania officials to build a fort on the Susquehanna River at the native town called Shamokin, present-day Sunbury. “Such Indians as continue true to you want a place to come to and to live in security,” The Belt said in early 1756.

Frances Slocum, a small girl kidnapped by Indians from her home along the Susquehanna River during the America Revolution, spent most of her adult life as a Miami Indian. In 1839, her brother Joseph and his daughters traveled from Pennsylvania to Indiana to visit her. They traveled by stage coach, canal boat and horse-drawn railroad during their 19-day journey west.

Anecdotes throughout the book describe how Native Americans and Europeans hunted bears, ate bear meat, and used bearskins for blankets and mattresses.

Excerpt:
February 1744
By the early 1740s, an Indian trader named Jack Armstrong, who operated out of Lancaster County, had developed a reputation for employing sharp and even antagonistic practices in his dealings with the Delaware Indians who lived, hunted, and trapped along the Susquehanna and the Juniata Rivers. Some of the trader’s white friends had even cautioned him about being overly harsh with his Indian customers and especially about angering them. If Armstrong wasn’t particularly likeable, he was nevertheless a successful trader and a well-known frontier personality. But as hard and tough as Armstrong was, events that occurred along the Juniata River during early 1744 proved that one of his customers, a Delaware Indian known as John Musemeelin, was tougher, harder, and more ferocious.

Armstrong’s story begins in early 1744 when the trader and two men who worked for him, James Smith and Woodworth Arnold, loaded their string of pack horses with trade goods—gun powder, gun flints, lead bullets, glass beads, scissors, woolen blankets, combs, little bells, and other items. For such goods, native trappers would eagerly swap the skins of deer, bears, beavers, elk, otters, foxes, raccoons, and wildcats.

Shikellamy

Shikellamy

The three men headed north and followed the trail along the Susquehanna, and then, well north of present-day Harrisburg, swung west and headed out the Juniata toward the Allegheny Mountains. That was in February. By late March and early April, as spring came on, a rumor swept across the frontier: Armstrong and his men had disappeared and weren’t ever coming out of the woods.

As it turned out, all three had been murdered. Since the killings took place in Indian Country—well beyond what was then the western boundary of Pennsylvania—an Indian chief conducted the first official inquiry in the case. Indeed, records of the Pennsylvania colony contain a detailed account of this chief’s investigation into the disappearance and murder of Jack Armstrong. The account itself was dictated by Chief Shikellamy, an Oneida who represented the Iroquois Confederacy at Shamokin and who led the investigation that exposed the killer. Located at the forks of the Susquehanna River, Shamokin was the largest Indian town in what is now Pennsylvania. Shikellamy subsequently had the man arrested and incarcerated. Conrad Weiser, a Pennsylvania German who was the colony’s Indian agent, recorded Shikellamy’s narrative.

About the Author:
johnJohn L. Moore, a veteran newspaperman, said he employed a journalist’s eye for detail and ear for quotes in order to write about long-dead people in a lively way. He said his books are based on 18th and 19th century letters, journals, memoirs and transcripts of official proceedings such as interrogations, depositions and treaties.

The author is also a professional storyteller who specializes in dramatic episodes from Pennsylvania’s colonial history. Dressed in 18th century clothing, he does storytelling in the persona of “Susquehanna Jack,” a frontier ruffian. Moore is available weekdays, weekends and evenings for audiences and organizations of all types and sizes.

Moore has participated in several archaeological excavations of Native American sites. These include the Village of Nain, Bethlehem; the City Island project in Harrisburg, conducted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission during the 1990s; and a Bloomsburg University dig in 1999 at a Native American site near Nescopeck. He also took part in a 1963 excavation conducted by the New Jersey State Museum along the Delaware River north of Worthington State Forest.

Moore’s 45-year career in journalism included stints as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal; as a Harrisburg-based legislative correspondent for Ottaway News Service; as managing editor of The Sentinel at Lewistown; as editorial page editor and managing editor at The Daily Item in Sunbury; and as editor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal in Bethlehem.

Bows, Bullets, and Bears
Authored by John L. Moore
List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
96 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065112
ISBN-10: 1620065118
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Bows-Bullets-and-Bears-9…

Cover artwork by Andrew Knez, Jr.  For more information about Andrew’s work, please see:http://www.andrewknezjr.com/

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Troutman recounts billions of years of history in the Mahanoy, Mahantongo and Lykens Valleys

POTTSVILLE, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Steve E. Troutman’sGeology of the Mahanoy, Mahantongo, and Lykens Valleys: Something about the Earth We Walk On.

gotmmalv_fcAbout the Book:
Author Steve E. Troutman taps his training in geology to take you on a tour of the Mahantongo, Mahanoy and Lykens Valleys from the beginning of time until humans arrived. Steve explains in layman’s terms the variety of geological features present as well as the conditions that led to them. He also includes images and discussions about the flora and fauna that were present during the geologic time scale.

Excerpt:
Let us now consider our local area comprised of the Mahanoy, Mahantongo and Lykens Valleys. Within the larger Mahantongo Valley is contained the Hoofland Valley. Within in the Lykens Valley is contained the coal bearing rock layers of Bear Valley which is north of Williamstown. Within the Mahanoy Valley is contained the coal bearing rock near Trevorton.

All the rocks in the area of our study are sedimentary. These rocks all originated within water or were associated with water as their environment of deposition. Red mud like is found on the Mississippi Delta, forms into red shale layers. Deep water sediments, such as in the Caribbean Sea today, are calcium rich and become limestone. Sands like those found at the ocean beaches are turned into sandstone. These layers of sedimentary rocks are termed rock strata. Sandstone which contains larger sedimentary grains of various sizes including larger pebbles is named conglomerate.

About the Author:
071 (2)

Steve Troutman was born in 1952, into a family with many living grandparents, all with roots in the Mahantongo Valley of Pennsylvania. He developed an interest in genealogy at an early age due to his parents’ interest in family history. Steve studied geology at Franklin and Marshall College, but did not pursue a career in this field. Instead, he continued working for the family business, Troutman Bros. Inc. of Klingerstown, Pa. He is the author of many books on local history and genealogy, including several with his wife, Joan. The Troutmans live and work in the heart of the Mahantongo Valley.

Geology of the Mahanoy, Mahantongo, and Lykens Valleys: Something about the Earth We Walk On
Authored by Steve E. Troutman
List Price: $29.95
8″ x 10″ (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
Full Color on White paper
74 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065198
ISBN-10: 1620065193
BISAC: Science / Earth Sciences / Geology

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Geology-of-the-Mahanoy-M…

Donehoo’s Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania is a must-have reference

HARRISBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released a new edition of Dr. George P. Donehoo’s classic 1928 work Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania.

ivapnip_fcAbout the Book:
Originally published in 1928 by The Telegraph Press as A History of the Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania with Numerous Historical Notes and References

This book, Dr. George P. Donehoo’s Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania, was written and published in the early 20th century. That was a time when Americans were just beginning to become enthusiastic fans of much that was, or seemed to be, related to Native Americans. That was a time when Americans romanticized about the people who lived here before the Europeans and others arrived. During the time that Dr. Donehoo was creating this informative book, Americans couldn’t get enough of the popularized images of Indians. Books, paintings, songs and movies delivered exciting images of Native American life.

Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania is a valuable reference book for anyone, student or other, who wants to learn more about the land’s inhabitants before it ever became “Penn’s Woods.” Although first published in 1928, it was reprinted in 1977. Now it is being reprinted again. The need for this reprint comes from Dr. Donehoo’s translations of the hundreds of Native American names that appear across the commonwealth. We must accept a sorry fact: Pennsylvania’s Native American population is almost totally gone from the commonwealth. In addition, the main things that they left behind might be their countless arrowheads and their hundreds of Native American place names. While not all citizens of the Keystone State are interested in our state’s Indian heritage, all should be aware of it.

The author, Dr. George P. Donehoo, was a scholar who studied many aspects of Native American culture. At the time that he was studying and writing, there had been very little archaeology to support his work; yet Dr. Donehoo was able to explain much about the Native Americans’ several languages, their sweeping historical events and the many important historical sources on which he based his information. Above all, Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania explains the meanings of hundreds of Indian names–from Achsinning (Standing Stone) to Zinachson (Demon’s Den) that still appear throughout our commonwealth. Although most Native Americans and their culture have vanished from Pennsylvania, their colorful place names are a permanent reminder of their once-vibrant presence. Because Dr. George P. Donehoo was so diligent and conscientious in his work, this book explains those fascinating names. For the many readers who do appreciate our Native American heritage, this book will continue to be a welcome addition to their libraries. The reader will soon realize why Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania is a marvelous reference work.

Excerpt:
MAHANOY, MAHONING, MAHONY.
A name that is much used over the entire state, chiefly as a name of various creeks and runs, but also as a village and town name, with various compounds. Is a corruption of Mahoni, “a lick,” and with the locative, ink, or ing, “at the lick,” having reference to the “licks” which were frequented by deer, elk, and other animals. The principal streams having the name are; the stream, now called Mahoning, which enters the Lehigh River from the south, opposite Weissport, Carbon County; the creek that enters the Susquehanna from the east in Northumberland County, now called Mahanoy; the creek that enters the Allegheny River, from the east in Armstrong County, formerly called Mohulbucteetam (which see); the stream that enters the Beaver from the west, at Lawrence Junction, Lawrence County, called Mahoning River; the stream, now called Penns Creek, which enters the Susquehanna, from the west, at Selinsgrove, was formerly called Big Mahonoy, or Mahony. There are several other smaller streams in various parts of the state, which have the same name, with various modifications.

Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania: with Numerous Historical Notes and References
Authored by Dr. George P. Donehoo, Foreword by Guy Graybill, Introduction by Warren K. Moorehead
List Price: $24.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
480 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065228
ISBN-10: 1620065223
BISAC: History / Native American

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Indian-Villages-and-Plac…

Coming soon — John L. Moore’s “Frontier Pennsylvania Series” with art by Andrew Knez, Jr.

Northumberland, PA —  Sunbury Press has signed author John L. Moore of Northumberland, PA to publish his well-known Frontier Pennsylvania history series, which will reach eight volumes with the latest release:

  • Forts, Forests and Flintlocks
  • Bows, Bullets and Bears
  • Cannons, Cattle and Campfires
  • Pioneers, Prisoners and Peace Pipes
  • Rivers, Raiders and Renegades
  • Settlers, Soldiers and Scalps
  • Travelers, Traders and Tomahawks
  • Warriors, Wampum and Wolves

Each volume will be 8×5 inch paperbacks, ranging from 50 to 70 pages, with full-color covers.

john(From the Republican Herald Dec. 23, 2012):

Moore, a veteran newspaperman, said he employed a journalist’s eye for detail and ear for quotes in order to write about long-dead people in a lively way. He said his books are based on 18th and 19th century letters, journals, memoirs and transcripts of official proceedings such as interrogations, depositions and treaties.

The author is also a professional storyteller who specializes in dramatic episodes from Pennsylvania’s colonial history. Dressed in 18th century clothing, he does storytelling in the persona of “Susquehanna Jack,” a frontier ruffian. Moore is available weekdays, weekends and evenings for audiences and organizations of all types and sizes.

Moore has participated in several archaeological excavations of Native American sites. These include the Village of Nain, Bethlehem; the City Island project in Harrisburg, conducted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission during the 1990s; and a Bloomsburg University dig in 1999 at a Native American site near Nescopeck. He also took part in a 1963 excavation conducted by the New Jersey State Museum along the Delaware River north of Worthington State Forest.

Moore’s 45-year career in journalism included stints as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal; as a Harrisburg-based legislative correspondent for Ottaway News Service; as managing editor of The Sentinel at Lewistown; as editorial page editor and managing editor at The Daily Item in Sunbury; and as editor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal in Bethlehem.

Regarding cover artist Andrew Knez, Jr.:

THE FISHERI have been marketing my “Frontier Art” full time since the spring of 2000. The text that accompanies many of my paintings or prints is material from extensive research into period journals, diaries, archival records and I have a number of experts with whom I consult about particular details of an intended painting. It is not uncommon for the research into a particular portrayal of an event or proper clothing and accoutrements represented to take much longer than the actual painting. The text helps the viewer to have a more in-depth understanding of the subject of the painting. One-thousand copies of my recent book entitled “Eastern Frontier Art” sold out in twenty months through word of mouth, a few small ads in historical publications and personal appearances at historical sites. My art has graced the covers and/or pages of many books including the Kentucky Social Studies S. E. textbook by Harcourt Publishing, Rockhouses and Rhododendron, Volumes 1 and 2 by John Curry, The Indian Capture of Jacob Nicely by Robert Nicely, On the Banks of the Gauley by Rock Foster and Skulking in the Woods by Ben Scharff. To date, I have had my art on the covers of over 70 national and international publications including Backwoodsman, Muzzle Blasts, Muzzleloader, On the Trail, Black Powder Cartridge News, Journal of the Americas and Precision Shooting Magazine. I also was commissioned to create the video cover art for “The Captives”, an award winning documentary about the abduction of Mary Draper Ingles. I was made a Signature member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society along with being accepted as a member of the American Plains Artists. My originals are in many private, corporate and historical collections such as: The National Rifle Association, Bushy Run Battlefield, The Beaver County Historical Center, Old Bedford Village, The Brandy Station Foundation, Prickett’s Fort, Wilderness Road State Park, Contemporary Longrifle Association and Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.

For more information about the artist:  http://www.andrewknezjr.com/

For more information, please visit http://www.sunburypressstore.com/