Major Uriah Barber: Pioneer, Settler, Politician (1761 - 1846)

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Author House, May 27, 2011 - History - 452 pages
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The narrative of Uriah Barber is full of one cliff hanger after another as Barber, veteran of the Revolutionary War, and his younger step-brother Isaac Bonser lead five families across the new nation from Northumberland County in Pennsylvania to the Ohio River Valley.

Dashing Uriah, his wife Barbara, blond, intelligent and pregnant, head south with their six children and nanny, lovely Rachael Baird. Heading down the Susquehanna River with Isaac, wife Abigail their four children, the Wards, Beattys and McAdams, who were newlyweds. Two keelboats were constructed to float them down the long and twisting Susquehanna to Paxtang, present day Harrisburg, where they exchanged their boats for Conestoga wagons and horses. Needing another man to pole the second boat, dark handsome Shawnee scout Jacob Early was hired in Sunbury. When they reached Paxtang he returned home taking with him the heart of Rachael Baird.

Crossing the breadth of Pennsylvania on what is now Pennsylvania Turnpike, they encounter everything from broken axles, tornadoes, critically ill children, another pregnancy and a wagon tumbling over the mountainside taking everything.

They finish their journey aboard an amazing three-story high majestic keelboat named the Floating Palace. Just when they need him most Early shows up to help them finish their journey on the Monongahela, then the Ohio where they encounter sandbars, underwater trees and river pirates.

The rest of the story tells how Major Barber settled in southern Ohio and carved his name forever in the history of Scioto County. The tale is full of passion, love, hope, humor and tragedy enough for a Shakespearean play.

 

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About the author (2011)

The author, Dr. Watters is the great-great granddaughter of Uriah Barber. This relationship to the protagonist has given her a lifetime of information via family stories about Uriah and his adventures. Her aunt Juanita Ruth Barber Brown, great granddaughter of Uriah, has been a constant asset to the author as she took the facts and spun them into an exciting narrative of one of the first settlers of Scioto County, Ohio.

A professional genealogist Watters has included a wealth of information for those interested in the not only the families in Scioto County, Ohio but also those where the tale began in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Her work as an editor-contributor to several encyclopedias and other reference works, has made her a stickler for historic accuracy, including the clothing, music, and events during the years contained in everything she writes. This is especially true in regard to her crafting the story of Uriah Barber. However, don’t let this faithfulness to details make you assume her writings to be dry. Quite the contrary. Dr. Watters has been compared to both Michener and Twain, and draws the reader into the story by her descriptive passages.

You may well find it difficult to lay this book aside once you start reading so it is suggested you make time in your busy schedule to take an exciting journey back in time from the introduction of the Indigenous Peoples to Turtle Island, through the middle of the 18th Century when this nation was in the throes of youth, and ending mid-20th Century.

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