No incident connected with the American War for Independence is more productive of a sense of horror than the Wyoming Valley massacre. Attributable to renegade Tories and blood-thirsting Indians, it represents the real savagery of uncivilized and unrestrained warfare. The very awfulness of the occurrence served to inspire the American Colonists with added determination to win their freedom. The quiet of the peaceful valley lying along the Susquehanna River was suddenly disturbed in July of 1778 by invading bands of Indians and Tories. Such resistance as was offered proved unavailing and but few of the inhabitants managed to escape torture, scalping and death. Those who did, fled through the wilderness to Connecticut and beyond.
It is from one of the survivors that the incidents set forth in ths diary have come down to us. We are indebted to Orra E. Monnette, a Director and Past President of the California Society, who originally brought the diary to the attention of the Society, for the privilege of printing portions of it, and he has graciously written for us an appreciative foreword.
Diary of the Revolution
A Remarkable, Vivid Portrayal, in Personal Form
The War of the American Revolution was not founded in disloyalty to Great Britain. It did not have its rise from unpatriotic hopes or desires. In a way, it is not to be properly entitled a "Revolutionary War", because that was not its thought, purpose or objective, in its inception.
True history records, and under analytical investigation, definitely shows that the war of the American Revolution should be more properly denominated a political and social evolution. This cause was protracted into strife because of the inequities and unfairness growing out of taxation and imposts which the mother country wrongly considered and unfairly exacted. Not being well advised and not giving proper consideraition, England adopted a policy which incited opposition, then open rebellion and finallv the Declaration of lndependence, winning of the war and consummated bv the extablishment of a separate independent nation, with a new Governmental organization.
The stirring episodes through which the pioneers and patriots of that day passed, in the chronicles and development of the process, outlined above, are entrancing in their revelation of individual bravery, heroic sacrifice and valiant adherence to the cause of justice and freedom.
The story has oftimes been told, and needs no new recital to enrich the legacy given to American descendants, but illustratively and with much inspiration. there is here presented a diary of the Revolutionarv War, in which the participant, Mrs. Elizabeth Dewey Follett, formerlv of Windsor, Conn., and at that time of Wvoming, Pa., faithfully records with intelligent emotion and tragic experience, the main events and tragedies reflected in the great sacrifice made for American freedom.
In brief, it is a vivid accounting and in its final charge, an appeal to the deep seated, earnest patriotism of all loyal American citizens.
Orra E. Monnette
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The Bulletin. Sons of the Revolution in the State of California. Vol. 5 No. 2. May-June, 1932. pp 2-6.