Franklin, TN, August 02, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- The long awaited Hoffman biography of Simon Girty, the scourge of the early American frontier, is now in print. The culmination of 18 years of meticulous research, and the first serious work about Girty since 1890, it finally presents the factual story of the oft-maligned and misunderstood “bad boy” of American frontier history.
Who was Simon Girty? Simply put, he was one of the most misunderstood icons of the Revolutionary period in the Northwest Territory. Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1741, and orphaned at a young age, he was captured during the French and Indian War and adopted by the Senecas. After becoming fluent in several Indian languages, he interpreted for the British Indian Department, and participated in Dunmore's War, fought for both sides in the American Revolution, played a major role during the Indian Wars, and was pursued by American forces during the War of 1812.
His defection to the British during the Revolutionary War, after learning that the true motivation of many of the founding fathers was accumulation and speculation in Indian lands, produced instant infamy. He witnessed the torture and death of William Crawford, rescued Simon Kenton from a similar fate, participated in the Battle of Sandusky, the ambush at Blue Licks [where Daniel Boone’s son Israel was killed], and the Indian victories over Harmar and St. Clair. Finally, he witnessed the final defeat of the Indians by “Mad” Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. As a result of his unique position, Simon's story illuminates all the dynamics of early frontier conflict, from American, British and Native American perspectives.
During his lifetime, Girty became associated with many famous personalities, including Seneca Sachem Guyasuta, Sir William Johnson, John Connolly, William Crawford, Matthew Elliott, John Murray [Lord Dunmore], Simon Kenton, George Rogers Clark, Mingo Chief Logan, Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, Half King of the Wyandots, Captain Pipe of the Delawares, Moravian missionaries David Zeisburger and John Heckewelder, Shawnee Chiefs Tecumseh and Blue Jacket, Miami Chief Little Turtle, Detroit Governor Henry Hamilton, General Wayne, and Daniel Boone. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin also make appearances in his story.
After wading through the many misconceptions and fallacies surrounding Girty’s life, the author has produced an impartial and extremely engaging read. Lending his powerful narrative skills to Girty’s story, he has separated the myth from the legend, and in the process has illuminated an oft-neglected period of frontier history. Simon Girty Turncoat Hero is American history at its best.
"Hoffman casts a clarifying light on one of the most misunderstood men in American history"
- John Mack Faragher, Yale University
Author of Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer
"At Last! Hoffman has done what the vast majority who have written about Simon Girty have failed to do: he has shown this very remarkable individual as neither renegade nor traitor; rather as the man of principle and courage that he truly was. Bravo!"
- Allan W. Eckert
Author of Wilderness Empire, The Frontiersman and other works about the early American frontier.
"This is a terrific book, very well grounded in the primary source material, well organized, and well written. Simon Girty Turncoat Hero does for Girty what Faragher did for Boone, namely carefully examines a mythic American figure, strips away the layers of legend, and allows a crisply drawn historic figure to emerge."
- Larry L. Nelson, Ph.D.
Author of A Man of Distinction Among Them: Alexander McKee and British Indian Affairs Along the Ohio Country Frontier
Format: 6” x 9” hardback
Pages: 360 [including epilogue, appendix of Girty descendants, principle characters, notes and sources, bibliography, and index]
Illustrated: 6 maps
ISBN 10: 0-9753667-6-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-9753667-6-9
Price: $28.95 US/ $30.95 CAN
Available from: publisher’s website, local bookstores, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
To request a review copy or to schedule interviews, book signings or appearances with the author, please email david.kane@Americanhistoryimprints.com or call them at the above toll–free number
About the Author
Phillip W. Hoffman scripted shows for Combat! and other dramatic television series in the 1960’s. In addition, for nine years he taught screenwriting at the late Jay Silverheels’ Indian Actor’s Workshop in Los Angeles. Hoffman is also an award winning, world renowned cutlery designer whose Lakota knives were accepted into the Permanent Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He lives with his wife Mary Ann and two Labrador Retrievers near Pensacola, Florida.
The author's interest in Simon Girty began when he was introduced to the character in Allan Eckert's Wilderness Empire and The Frontiersmen. Appearing numerous times in both books, Girty's nature vacillated between being a ruthless, bloodthirsty renegade, to a loyal, courageous moralist. Following up on his interest in Girty, after a few months of preliminary research in 1988, the biographer was solidly hooked, and the result is the masterful biography described above.
Contact: David Kane [david.kane@Americanhistoryimprints.com]