I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. — James Madison

Conquest of the Old Northwest - James Baldwin



This book is the second part of Baldwin's history of the discovery and settlement of the Ohio Valley. It begins with an overview of the rival claims between the French and English. Although most of the earliest settlers were French, by the end of the 18th century England became predominant. Introduces lesser known French and English heroes of the region, such as Juchereau, Vincennes, Joncaire, Carver, and Clark, as well as the predominant Indian chiefs of the era.

[Cover] from Conquest of the Old Northwest by James Baldwin
Old Northwest
MAP SHOWING THE OLD NORTHWESET AND ITS BOUNDARIES AT THE PRESENT TIME.


[Title Page] from Conquest of the Old Northwest by James Baldwin [Copyright Page] from Conquest of the Old Northwest by James Baldwin

Preface

While every American is familiar with the events connected with the discovery and colonization of the eastern shores of our country, the history of the Old Northwest that magnificent section of our country lying west of the Alleghanies and bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Great Lakes—is comparatively unknown. It has a history as varied, as interesting, and as important as that of any other portion of the North American continent, and yet few persons realize the extent to which the events attending its early exploration, its conquest, and its settlement have determined the destiny of our country as a whole.

So far as is known to the writer, no attempt has hitherto been made to relate the story of these events in a connected order, free from extraneous details and adapted to the comprehension and tastes of younger readers. Park-man, in his monumental series of historical narratives, has told this story in connection with many others having but slight relation to the Old Northwest; Justin Winsor, in his very scholarly volumes relating to the French regime in America, has done the same. But the works of these writers are too voluminous for general readers, and being designed for mature thinkers they fail to be attractive to the majority of young people just beginning to acquire a taste for historical reading. The author of this volume, while indebted to Winsor and Parkman and many other writers for the facts which he relates, has followed his own method of telling the story, keeping always in mind as the central thought the discovery and development of the Old Northwest and its final conquest for freedom and civilization. He has not attempted a complete history, but rather a connected series of sketches, selecting from the very large number of events and incidents that might have been related those which seemed to him most necessary to the interest and the continuous unfolding of the narrative.

Although this volume and its companion, The Discovery of the Old Northwest, are each supplementary to the other, yet each relates its own story and is complete in itself. The one covers a period of two hundred years, from Jacques Cartier (1535) to the completion of the French colonization of the Old Northwest. The other continues the story for another hundred years, ending with the last struggle, in that region, between the forces of barbarism and civilization (1832) and the completion of the American conquest.

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