Friday, February 26, 2010

The Oneida Nation's Contributions at Valley Forge

Cass Lake author, Greg Chester, likes digging for stories that are often lost in the telling of our history. His new book, "The Oneida Nation's Contributions at Valley Forge", tells how the Oneida nation, based in what is now upstate New York, came to the rescue of George Washington and the Continental Army during the difficult winter of 1777-78. Here's an excerpt:

The Epic Food Trek

The story begins with Oneida Chief Adam Shenandoah calling his people together upon learning of the dire condition of General Washington's army at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in the winter of 1777-78. Their village of Oriska was on the south shore of the Mohawk River east of Ft. Stanwix. Shenandoah described the soldier's great needs. After careful discussion and deliberation within the men's and women's councils they determined that food would make the greatest impact. They assembled 600 bushels of dried corn from their critical winter stocks. They would share with their allies what was most dear to them, the staple food that enabled them to survive through the winter.

Chester also tells how the Oneida helped LaFayette and the Continental Army at the Battle of Barren Hill. "The Oneida Nation's Contributions at Valley Forge" is available at McKenzie Place in Bemidji and the Village Book Store in Grand Rapids.

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