The Fronteirsmen Essay, Research Paper
AP American Studies Period 5/6
24 September 2000
Title and Author
The title of the book was The Frontiersman by Allan W. Eckert. The significance of the title was that there were many settlers trying to survive on the frontier, where the book takes place. The settlers made a name for themselves by how much land they got and how well they survived, and were called the frontiersman.
The majority of The Frontiersman takes place in the area of present day Ohio. The story also takes place around Kentucky and some parts of Michigan, but it?s mainly centered around Ohio. The book takes place from 1775 to 1836. The setting plays a significant role to the story and it?s characters because throughout the course of the novel, the settlers are traveling around the Ohio-Kentucky-Michigan area collecting land. The settlers want to make a name for themselves, and to do this they need to take property from the Indians. The time period and the location of the novel plays an important role in the lives of the settlers and how the actions they make effect history.
The main character of The Frontiersman was Simon Kenton. When Simon was young, he ran away from home. He did not want to have anything to do with his family anymore, so he changed his name from Simon Kenton to Simon Butler. When he ran away from home, he was rather small. Throughout the course of the novel, Simon grows, and when he is finished growing he is quite a large man. Simon?s massive size intimidates some other people, and everyone knew who he was because he was so big. Simon was good at just about everything. He possessed many trades and skills. Eventually, Simon meets his family again and they are impressed and proud of him for his size and what he has accomplished in his life.
Throughout the story, Simon searches for the Canelands. The Canelands was a place Simon heard his uncles telling stories about, where the game was extremely plentiful. This was Simon?s ideal place and he searches for it for a long time. He is angered when he finds out the Indians are a threat to the Canelands. Simon goes around collecting as much land as he possibly could. Most of it gets taken away by the end of the story, and by the end of his life he really does not have that much land at all. Simon protected other settlers and gave a lot of his land away to other people.
Tecumseh?s father died when he was very young, and Chiksika raised him. Chiksika taught Tecumseh everything because he felt sorry for him. Tecumseh?s younger brother becomes a prophet and relays his messages to the people. Tecumseh was also a very skilled worker, incredibly wise, and a great leader.
Blue Jacket is a white man who wanted to become an Indian. Like Tecumseh, he was very skilled and wise. Blue Jacket fought in several battles and was a good warrior. He captured Simon once when he ran away. Blue Jacket was a chief on an Indian tribe as well.
Daniel Boone was a legendary frontiersman that Simon had heard about, and they become good friends. Simon and Daniel protect Kentucky together. Daniel left the frontier because he felt it was getting too crowded. Boone was the best known of the entire frontiersman.
Simon Girty was Simon?s best friend when they went into the wilderness. The two friends become blood brothers. Simon Girty joined the Indians and became very popular with them. He tried to help Simon whenever he would get captured. He convinced the Indians to sell Simon as a slave to the British so he could get his independence too. They remained friends through all of this. Simon Girty named a town after himself also.
The beginning of The Frontiersman basically describes the life of Simon and Tecumseh. Simon ran away from home when he was young and isolated himself from the rest of the world. One day he met up with some of the rough frontiersman that he had heard much about. Together, they go on journeys fighting Indians and collecting land. The white people make treaties with the Indians, and on several occasions they break the treaties. This angers the Indians, and they fight. Later, the British come into the picture. They promise the Indians food and supplies but they only use them for their own gain. The British set up forts along Lake Erie and many rivers. Many battles are fought, which was described in great detail. The Indians win some, and the settlers win some. Tecumseh came in and stands up for the rest of the Indians. He accepted the treaties for the time being. He traveled to different tribes all along the frontier and attempted to unite all of the tribes to fight back against the white people. Tecumseh united the tribes. However, the unity of the tribes never really worked out and by the time the Indians realized the plan was futile, it was too late. The Indians get pushed back farther and father west, until they lost basically all of their land and willpower to fight back. The end of the book is basically about Simon dying. Many times throughout the story Simon was captured by the Indians and tortured in some way or another, such as having to run the gauntlet.
Point of View
The story is told in 3rd person. The perspective switches between that of Simon and the Indians.
The author is telling the reader in my opinion that anyone is capable of achieving anything they want. The author encourages the reader to make a name for themselves and to set goals they can achieve. I learned so much from reading this book. The graphic detail of the gory battles will remain in my mind for a long time to come. By reading this book, I have a better sense of some of the things both the Indians and the early settlers had to go through, how they lived, how they survived, etc. The Frontiersman gave me a better understanding of the early history of the United States.
I personally liked the book. I felt it was really a ?good? book. I am a very picky reader and most books seem to bore me, but The Frontiersman had just what I liked, lots of action, violence, and gore. The book was interesting and very detailed. The only complaint I have about it is that the first hundred or so pages of the book are a little boring, and the reader may get impatient reading that part, but after that it gets so much better. Would I recommend this book to someone else my age? I would have to say yes because it is such a great book for the reasons described above and I wouldn?t want anyone to miss out on such a great novel.