This weeks' thoughts: this page's inspiration -
the movie and the book

It may surprise you to find out that up until a month ago, I had never read "Drums Along The Mohawk". I had seen the movie adaptation several times, and was never particularly impressed by it. Henry Fonda's Gil is fine, but everybody else is rather annoying, especially the incredibly hysterical Magdelena. I think the reason I take pains to debunk certain myths and legends here is to balance the rather florid technicolor tale by John Ford.

By chance, I found a paperback copy of Walter D. Edmonds' "Drums.." on my dad's bookshelf. I could not tear myself away from it! Not only are the characters vividly and realistically portrayed, the historical accuracy(for a work of fiction)is astounding. Edmonds is the only fiction writer I've read who cites the references he used to create his story. Notably, he names Stone's biography of Brant, Jeptha Simms, and Howard Swiggett's "War Out of Niagara". "War.." paints a vivid picture of the life and times of Walter Butler; unfortunately it's long out of print. "Drums.." ably borrows the historical facts from well known works, and weaves them into a compelling story. Do yourself a favor and find a copy of "Drums"; it captures the tension, fear, and despair of people living under the gun on the frontier.

send any comments to the scribe.
Copyright Greg Ketcham 1997