John L. Moore, of Northumberland, will present “Fort Augusta’s Contribution to Gen. John Sullivan’s Expedition against the Western Iroquois Indians in 1779” at the April 18 meeting of the Northumberland County Historical Society. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hunter House, 1150 N. Front St., Sunbury.
Moore will tell how Indian hostilities impacted life in the Susquehanna Valley during 1778 and how the American military retaliated in 1779. Throughout the Revolutionary War, Fort Augusta served as a strategic defense against raids by British soldiers and their Indian allies. In 1778, as the war entered its fourth year, Indian war parties, often accompanied by British officers, raided rural settlements high up in the Central Susquehanna River basin.
The war parties not only terrorized white settlers who had moved into the region following the French & Indian War, but also disrupted agricultural production. Many settlers sought refuge at Fort Augusta. To end these attacks, Gen. George Washington in 1779 sent an army commanded by General John Sullivan from Pennsylvania up the Susquehanna to destroy Iroquois farms and towns in western New York. As Sullivan gathered his forces, first at Easton and then at Wilkes-Barre, Fort Augusta at Sunbury served as an important staging area for both supplies and troops that were heading upriver.
Moore is a self-published author of six books about the Pennsylvania Frontier. His most recent book is “Warriors, Wampum & Wolves.” He retired recently as editor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal, a weekly newspaper based in Bethlehem, Pa. and previously served as managing editor and opinion page editor of The Daily Item.
A professional storyteller with a life-long interest in archaeology, Colonial History, and American Indians, Moore frequently does living history interpretations for schools, organizations, and heritage festivals. He has studied archaeology and has participated in several archaeological excavations.
The program is open to the public and free of charge. A reception will follow Moore’s presentation. For more information, call 286-4083.