Document Type

Book Review


The Ordeal of Thomas Barton is a highly informative read that I recommend for anyone interested in the history of eighteenth-century Pennsylvania. Scholars will find the book useful for its many connections to the histories of settlement, religion, politics, Indian diplomacy, and warfare on the Pennsylvania frontier. The book's author, Gettysburg College English professor James P. Myers, Jr., has written the most deeply researched account of Barton's importance in eighteenth-century religion and politics, and has contributed some of the finest overall scholarship on early Pennsylvania in recent years. Based in Huntington Township in what is now Adams County, and later in Lancaster, Barton was an Anglican frontier clergyman, missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (S.P.G.), and a client of the Penn family. The word ordeal aptly summarizes the tumultuous life and career of Thomas Barton, which spanned the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. [excerpt]