Trans Allegheny Pioneers tells the story of the first white settlements west of the Alleghenies. The book focuses on the history of the Ingles family, and on the heroic Mary Draper Ingles, best-known for her courageous escape from Indian captivity. The book also contains historical illustrations of Ingles descendants and other figures important to the settlement of the region.
This is the full 530 page third edition with a new preface by Brooks F. McCabe, Jr, and also includes the full prefaces to the second and third edition. This wealth of front matter gives the best possible context to this classic book.
Trans-Allegheny Pioneers is rich in historical context and descriptions of the life and times of early settlers in West Virginia’s Kanawha Valley. Beginning with Mary Draper Ingles ordeal in the 1750’s and continuing to the turn of the 19th Century, it was a time of dramatic cultural and economic change. Hale’s book provides a personal and fascinating snapshot of that formative period.
Trans-Allegheny Pioneers is, without a doubt, one of the most celebrated accounts of life on the Virginia frontier ever written. The author’s concern, of course, is on “the progressive frontier explorations and settlements along the entire Virginia border, from the Alleghenies to the Ohio, and from the New River-Kanawha and tributaries in the Southwest, where settlements first began, to the Monogahela and tributaries, in the Northwest and along the Ohio, where the frontier line of settlements was last to be advanced. . . .” His focal point is the region of the New River-Kanawha in present-day Montgomery and Pulaski counties, Virginia. Chronologically, the account picks up in the 1740s but truly hits its stride in 1755 with the Indian attack at Draper’s Meadows, which resulted in the deaths of a number of settlers and the capture (and ultimate escape) of Mary Ingles and Bettie Draper.
The author ably uses the device of the Indian raid and subsequent flight to tell us about life along the frontier and the names of the families who settled there. Other chapters are devoted to the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774 and biographical sketches of its participants. Point Pleasant, in fact, prefigured the conflicts that characterized the frontier theater of the American Revolution. Elsewhere Mr. Hale provides a detailed chronology of milestones along the Trans-Allegheny, Daniel Boone’s years along the New River-Kanawha, and a sketch of the early history and progress of nearby Charleston, West Virginia. This is essential reading for anyone interested in frontier history or the genealogies of mid-18th century families who resided in the Valley of Virginia.