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Forth to The Wilderness

By Dale Van Every

The story of how pioneers penetrated the Appalachian Mountains into the Mississippi River Valley.

The first American frontier along the Appalachian barrier was a drama: terrible to be part of, magnificent to look back on. Its components were full measures of horror, war, confusion, and supercharged politicking from campfire site to European chancellery.

This opening phase of the settlement epic has receded in memory, overshadowed by the later westward roll of the wagon trains. Personalities covered include the “gatekeepers”: George Croghan, Henry Bouquet, William Johnson, and John Stuart. Events covered include the French and Indian War, the war of Pontiac, and Lord Dunmore’s War.

It is brought now to the forefront of our minds by a historian, Dale Van Every, in a remarkable recreation, Forth to the Wilderness…

Born in 1896, American author Dale Van Every turned out a number of volumes on American history, including a biography of Charles Lindbergh. Van Every was also a busy playwright in the 1920s; his Broadway offering Telling the World was filmed in 1929, whereupon the writer set up shop in Hollywood. His screenplays include the literary adaptations Trader Horn (1931) and Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932). In 1937, he shared an Oscar nomination for the film version of Kipling’s Captains Courageous. In 1940, Dale Van Every produced the Paramount actioner Rangers of Fortunes, then returned to screenwriting, remaining in this field until 1957.

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