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The Frontiersmen (Winning of America #1)

4.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,150 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
White man's massacre. Red man's revenge.

Driven from their homeland, the Indians fought bitterly to keep a final stronghold east of the Mississippi. Savage cunning, strength, skill and knowledge of the wilderness were their weapons, and the Indians used them mercilessly. But they couldn't foresee the white men who would come later, men who loved the land as much as they did
Paperback, 626 pages
Published August 1st 1981 by Bantam Books (first published June 1st 1967)
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Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
You can't mention The Frontiersman, or any of Allan W. Eckert's Winning of America Series, without noting its unique species: history-in-the-form-of-a-novel. It is not, repeat not, historical fiction. Instead, as Eckert takes pains to point out in his forward, every event described in the book actually occurred in the manner described. Every word used in dialogue comes from primary sources: journals, newspapers, diaries, etc.

What makes this book novelistic is that Eckert has taken the unorthodo
Jul 07, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends who do not have a weak stomach
Recommended to Lisa by: Grandpa
One of the best written historical novels about the settling of the American "West" at the time of the Revolutionary War. Western Ohio that is.

I rated The Frontiersmen a five star because it changed my view of American history. Eckert is a master at transporting the reader back to a historical moment, creating a good story around the facts, and making the reader care. This book left me in awe of our ancestors' ability to survive. This was a ruthless time and both Whites and Native Americans did
Mar 22, 2015 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Eckert, and probably my second or third experience with this strange and hard-to-define "narrative" style. From my understanding, it exists in that esoteric space between fiction and non; it reads as a novel, but hews too closely to an academic vibe with use of primary sources, etc. to be lumped in with an ordinary historical novel or whatever you wanna call it. I like it! You can get the immersive, intense experience of a well-researched novel without the usual (necessary) factual sket ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Mitzi rated it it was amazing
AMAZING. The research that went into this book is mind boggling, but when you add to it that this is just one in a series of SIX it is almost too much to fathom! I agree with the other reviews that say it is a tragedy that Simon Kenton isn't more well known, I developed a hardcore history crush on him as I read this book. :) A must read for anyone who is interested in the settling of Kentucky and Ohio!
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this book long ago and really enjoyed it. It may be harder to track down now...but if you like historical fiction it's a good read. Really.

I plan to "re-read" this if I can make room on my list. I read it back in the '70s and liked it a lot. Hope I can work in a reread.

......update 5/7/14.......

I read this first in 1970 and always remembered it as a good read. It is, it's so good I've decided to up my rating to 5 stars.

This book is history but written with all the excitement and interes
Mar 04, 2010 Adambmour rated it it was amazing
This is a revisit to my childhood. I had to read this in middle school over the summer. At the time I hated it because of its sheer size (600+ pages). But, upon reading it as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Frontiersmen chronicles the life of Simon Kenton (a Kentucky frontiersman) and Tecumseh (the leader of the Shawnee) and the events surrounding the white expansion into what is now known as Ohio and Kentucky. Unlike many historical books, Eckert uses various resources, journals, newspap ...more
Ó Ruairc
I've read the 'Frontiersmen' three or four times; it's a magnificent book. Be that as it may, I do find one shortcoming regarding Eckert's narrative. In the introduction, the author states that his book is fact, not fiction. Unfortunately, this is not entirely correct. Without a doubt, Eckert dramatizes a lot of the events that occurred during the time period in which 'The Frontiersmen' takes place. Too, he writes convincingly about a few incidents that have no basis for historical accuracy or c ...more
Parker F
Apr 19, 2016 Parker F rated it liked it
This book was so exciting that I refused to believe that it was true. I was right! Though Eckert prefaces the book with an explanation that, while his narrative style requires him to reconstruct conversations in a way that may not be entirely verbatim, everything he writes is well-supported by primary sources. But a little research reveals that his definition of primary source is often "something one crazy person said one hundred years later." Thus, the story advances a somewhat racist, revision ...more
Faith Justice
Dec 13, 2012 Faith Justice rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
The author calls this a novel about the settling of whites beyond the Allegheny Mountains, primarily in Kentucky and Ohio, but also a bit beyond to Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri. It reads like non-fiction--straightforward narrative with chapter notes. The author does impute emotions to the characters in a novelistic way. The dialog is supposedly taken from diaries and published accounts. I found the writing plain but the history fascinating, especially since I grew up in Ohio and was somewhat ...more
Steve Carroll
Apr 13, 2014 Steve Carroll rated it really liked it
My vacation read. This is an interesting series of quasi-historical fiction. They are structured like novels with dialogue interpolated but Eckert tries to stay as close as possible to the historical record. The series covers an area of history that I don't know much about, the founding of the states just West of the original colonies and this volume focuses on Ohio and Kentucky in particular. I picked up the 4th book in the series because it covers the founding of my home state of Illinois and ...more
Aug 10, 2007 Juls rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Buckeyes
Simon Kenton, what a hunk. All I can say is that Ohio is a sweet place to grow up and learn about history. This books is a fictional retelling of the history of wait, I forget, oh yeah, frontiersmen in Ohio. Written by a Buckeye, what's cool is that the events and places mentioned are still existing and visit-able. Yes I know that's not a word. Pretty factual hardcore writing, but it's a goodie.
Feb 17, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
What a great book. I think this should be required reading for for youth. Not just about interesting history, but human nature and Christianity. Ok, sure some controversy about BlueJacket and his genetics, and books statements, but I see as a small blemish. A lot to be learned in this book about the faults of humanity and incredible history.
Mar 30, 2014 Dpdwyer rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, history
I wanted to like this book more than I did. Eckert certainly did his homework. The level of historical detail about the settling of the Ohio Valley is excellent. His decision to write his account as a novel with dialogue taken (or sometimes imagined) from original sources didn’t entirely work for me. The characters tended to be one-dimensional, mainly heroes or villains, reminding me unfortunately of movies I watched as a kid on Saturday mornings. I would have preferred more depth of character, ...more
Derek Gilbert
Jan 21, 2009 Derek Gilbert rated it it was amazing
Another in the series of books from Allan W. Eckert about the formative period of the United States between the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. Simon Kenton and Tecumseh are the central figures in a meticulously researched historical novel, a genre Eckert has mastered.
Feb 05, 2016 Pmacke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
epic, detailed, at many times riveting ... the account of Simon Kenton's capture and ordeal at the hands of the Shawnee's is about as on-the-edge-of-your-seat reading as a book can accomplish, and is worth the price of admission on it's own ... at its most basic, the book is really a defining telling of the collision between whites and Indians, providing enlightening accounts of dozens of encounters told from both perspectives at a time when the "Wild West" was defined as any land outside the re ...more
Bill Osman
Apr 14, 2015 Bill Osman rated it it was amazing
My favorite Eckert...It's the historical account of the white man's infiltration into the Ohio River Valley and the subsequent conflicts that followed with the indigenous people (mostly Shawnee). The main character, Simon Kenton, ran seven Shawnee gauntlets and escaped capture, he saved Daniel Boone's life. I've read it twice. Eckert supports the events in the book with factual footnotes of his research. The first time I read the book, it took awhile, asI read each note and was fascinated by the ...more
Nov 19, 2008 P.D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone has that first book when they were a kid, that first book that initiated them to the world of literature. For me The Frontiersman was that book. It is a wonderful achievement of narrative history.
Jan 14, 2008 Caroline rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Simon Kenton and Tecumseh written in a very compelling and factual way with a wonderful narrative element. Anyone who lives in the Ohio Valley will be amazed by who came before us.
Feb 24, 2013 Shawn rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. It was certainly an epic read. I did not know much about the American nortwestern frontier and I learned a great deal. I will read much more from this author.
Jan 16, 2015 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only read the first 1/3 of this book, but it is excellent. Life on the American frontier in the 1770s. Reads like a novel, but very historically accurate.
May 29, 2014 Brian rated it liked it
Should be a reading assignment for Harry Reid and all the apologists for US policy regarding the wars with the aborigines. The Frontiersmen is excerpts from the diaries and letters of the eyewitnesses to the aborigines' brutality and atrocities. Stay close to a bathroom in case you have to vomit after reading of the burning at the stake of one American.

Eckert's historical narratives are the best way to read nonfiction history. Horrifying depictions of the brutality of both sides, but most espec
Mar 16, 2008 Lance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book about native americans I have ever read. A must read for those that have any interest in Native Americans especially Ohio natives.
Bob Mayer
Mar 30, 2011 Bob Mayer rated it really liked it
All of Eckert's books are classics. When the frontier was in the eastern United States. His books give us history, up close and personal.
Apr 05, 2015 Lu rated it really liked it
Anyone who thinks "the good ol' days" are just that, they haven't read historical narratives about the settling of America! Good Lord- people were merciless with each other. One white man (Simon Kenton) and one Native American (Tecumseh) are chronicled in this story about the settling of the Ohio River Valley. Based on letters and written documents, it's incredibly well written and reads like a novel, but it fits so neatly together that I am pretty certain the author took a lot of liberties. Sti ...more
Rick Morrissey
Jan 11, 2015 Rick Morrissey rated it really liked it
History that reads like a novel. The narrative style sweeps you up and you fall right into it. AE does not put words into the mouths of his subjects the books are footnoted, richly and carefully researched history. Simon Kenton was a contemporary, and friend, of Daniel Boone. The book tells his story and the story of other frontier giants such as Corn Planter, Blue Jacket and Simon Girty. It is set in the context of the, often brutal, settling of the Ohio Valley. I am amazed, based on his exploi ...more
Michael Thompson
May 20, 2015 Michael Thompson rated it really liked it
If you love history, specifically, early American history and you live somewhere along the Ohio River, this is a kick-ass book. Fascinating stories that are so over the top, you'd swear it was made up for a movie. I know there are some scholarly doubts about some of the assertions Eckert makes re: Tecumseh and Blue Jacket. If you can get past that, this is an amazing book. The section on the torture/death of Col. Crawford is still vivid and clear in my head after my 7th grade social studies teac ...more
Amazing Detail of early Native history

Mar 14, 2016 Carol added it
The only frontiersman we ever really hear about is Daniel Boone and we know there were many more who aided the new nation in its westward expansion. Allan Eckert brings many of those men to our attention in his epic and exhausting historical narrative "The Frontiersmen." Daniel Boone is certainly mentioned but the focal point of this piece of work is Samuel Kenton, who left his home in Virginia out of his perceived necessity to do so at the age of 16 and learned to not only survive in the wilder ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Marcus rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of Historical Fiction
It is important to remember when reading "The Frontiersmen" that it is historical fiction. Historical fiction is entertainment, and it was written for that purpose. But too often, I've found that non historians treat Eckert's work as historical fact.

When writing "The Frontiersmen," Eckert did research in the diaries and records of early settlers. While this is commendable work, and extensive, it focuses on one side of the American/Indian conflict on the Frontier. In contrast, there is very littl
Mark G
Dec 23, 2012 Mark G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is funny growing up as a kid watching the TV shows and learning in history classes the greatness of Daniel Boone though once I have read "The Frontiersmen" I realize the Simon Kenton, though friends with Daniel Boone, seems to have made more influence on the development of the frontier. This was such a great book to read and makes me respect the Native Americans of the Ohio Valley, particularly the Shawnee. Growing up I was taught by society that the Native Americans (aka Indians) were ruthle ...more
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Allan W. Eckert was an American historian, historical novelist, and naturalist.

Eckert was born in Buffalo, New York, and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area, but had been a long-time resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio, near where he attended college. As a young man, he hitch-hiked around the United States, living off the land and learning about wildlife. He began writing about nature and American hi
More about Allan W. Eckert...

Other Books in the Series

Winning of America (6 books)
  • Wilderness Empire (Winning of America)
  • The Conquerors: A Narrative
  • The Wilderness War
  • Gateway to Empire
  • Twilight of Empire

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