Friction on the frontier

groundThree books by Alan Taylor reveal the growing pains of our early republic.  In William Coopers Town, Taylor describes the rise and fall of one William Cooper, a  self-made gentleman by way of a dodgy land deal, who rose to power, only to fall from grace when he backed the Federalists against the Republicans.  His son, the novelist James Fenimore Cooper, used the pen to justify his father’s life.  Divided Ground describes the friendship between a clergyman and a Mohawk which became estranged over the struggle for land on the frontier in the nascent United States.   The Internal Enemy reveals a little known episode during the War of 1812, the flight of slaves to British protection.  The flight demonstrated the longing for freedom among enslaved peoples and precipitated fears of rebellion on the plantations.

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