The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

Title:The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West
ISBN:9781501168680
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story—the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country.

As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory under the leadership of Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River.

McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler’s son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. They and their families created a town in a primeval wilderness, while coping with such frontier realities as floods, fires, wolves and bears, no roads or bridges, no guarantees of any sort, all the while negotiating a contentious and sometimes hostile relationship with the native people. Like so many of McCullough’s subjects, they let no obstacle deter or defeat them.


    The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West Reviews

  • Brina

    The summer is heating up; school is finally out, and for me that means reading a variety of books about Americana and what makes the country a great place to live. I have lived in Ohio for nearly twel...

  • Diane S ?

    2.5 There were parts I enjoyed, but parts that were flitting all over the place. I have been to Marietta, many times. Love it there, so it was interesting to see how it was named. Also the settling of...

  • Chrissie

    Going into this book with little information, I picked it up based on the merits of David McCullough’s earlier books. From the start, I was immediately struck by its excessive quantity of detail, th...

  • Minosh

    This book is infuriating. The fact that books that are so blatantly offensive towards Indigenous people can still be published in 2019 is disgusting. This book ignores decades of scholarship by Native...

  • Jean

    David McCullough is one of my favorite historians. He won two Pulitzer Prizes in 1993 and 2002 for his biographies of Truman and John Adams. The book starts out discussing the Northwest Ordinance of 1...

  • Linda

    David McCullough always writes appealing books and this one (read from an eARC provided by Edelweiss) does not disappoint. I've always learned from his books but this one was on a subject that I was ...

  • Jim

    David McCullough is a master storyteller and it shows in The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West. While it may not be as great as John Adams or Truman it is ...

  • Janis

    It’s always a treat to have a new David McCullough book! In The Pioneers, he tells the story of the early settlers of the Ohio River Valley, from those who first moved to the frontier and broke land...

  • Luke

    Unfortunately, especially in this day and age, people want their beliefs and their political messages/rhetoric justified in every book they read (or don't read for that matter). The reviews/ratings fo...

  • David Eppenstein

    Objectively this is a good book but it disappointed me. Since it did disappoint me I should be giving it two stars instead of three but my disappointment might be somewhat unfair and subjective so I g...