The Pioneers by David McCullough

The Pioneers by David McCullough

The Pioneers by David McCullough is a captivating historical account of the first voyage by New Englanders to the Northwest Territory in the late 18th century. Led by Reverend Manasseh Cutler, a group of settlers ventured into the uncharted lands of what is now Ohio to establish communities. McCullough’s goal was to shed light on the lives and experiences of these pioneers who are not widely known to the general public.

The book delves deep into the lives of the settlers who embarked on this arduous journey to Marietta, Ohio. Despite the challenges they faced, the pioneers persevered, and their journey resulted in no loss of life or spirit. The Pioneers highlights the importance of freedom of religion, free universal education, and the prohibition of slavery as key principles established in the Northwest Ordinance.

What I Liked

I love that this book focuses on the “early frontier” portion of American history. In schools, we all learn about the settlement of the West – Oregon, etc., but the settlement of the East was arguably larger and more impactful.

This book pairs well with Life on the Mississippi and Empire of Liberty.

What I Didn’t Like

Not a whole lot – it was a solid book. Now, it didn’t quite meet my David McCullough expectations. I think it’s one of his weaker books. But, that’s like saying well, Tom Brady / Max Verstappen / Serena Williams had an off-day. It’s still solid, and engaging all around.

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