Zebulon Butler: Hero of the Revolutionary Frontier

Zebulon Butler: Hero of the Revolutionary Frontier

Zebulon Butler: Hero of the Revolutionary Frontier

Zebulon Butler: Hero of the Revolutionary Frontier

Synopsis

This is a comprehensive study of the life of Zebulon Butler, a participant in the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and the intercolonial confrontations known as the Yankee-Pennamite Wars. Butler migrated to Pennsylvania in 1769 and soon became the military and civil leader of the Connecticut settlers in the Wyoming Valley of Northeastern Pennsylvania. During the Revolutionary War, he served in one of the most dangerous theatres of the war--the isolated Susquehanna frontier of Pennsylvania--where the struggling settlers were subject to Indian-Tory attacks and the hostility of the Pennsylvania government. After the war, Butler sought peace with the Pennsylvania authorities and exercised a steadying influence on the Wyoming community. When the longstanding land controversy between Connecticut and Pennsylvania again erupted in civil war and sparked a separate state movement encouraged by Ethan Allen, Butler counseled peace and assisted Timothy Pickering in the establishment of Luzerne County.

Excerpt

The life of Zebulon Butler provides a fascinating insight into the daily activities, the trials and tribulations, of one of those heroic individuals whom we can proudly and justifiably designate nation builders. We are pleased to present this biography of such a distinguished patriot and presume to believe that the reader will find it both informative and enjoyable. We particularly hope that it will provide present and future generations of students with a strong desire to explore and appreciate their unique American heritage.

The narrative is based primarily on the papers of Zebulon Butler, over 1,000 items, which are among the collections of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and the eleven volumes of the Susquehannah Company Papers, published by that Society. Other sources have been listed in the bibliography. We have followed the custom of retaining the letter h at the end of the Susquehannah Company, but not at the end of the river by that same name. Since most of the quotes are from primary sources, we have retained the spelling and punctuation as found, in the belief that to do so adds a certain authenticity to the narrative. On numerous occasions we have had to make difficult decisions as to how much background or additional information should be included, especially as pertains to the battles and events of the War for Independence. in most instances, we have tried to limit the discussion to those events involving or surrounding Zebulon Butler, lest the study become too long.

The finished product is dedicated to our families, who have encouraged us through the years of our education and through the many months of our research and writing. Although we follow custom in doing so, we realize that we cannot adequately acknowledge all those who have aided us in the preparation of this book. Nevertheless, we wish to express our gratitude to John Lord Butler, Jr., direct descendant of Zebulon, and to Monica Reynolds, Ph.D., and William L. Conyngham, for their encouragement and support. We also wish to thank Harold E. Cox, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, History Department, Wilkes University, for his advice and assistance; Raymond W. Champagne, Ph.D., Professor of History . . .

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