Book Review presents reviews of recent publications on Pennsylvania subjects by noted scholars, historians and journalists.

War in the Peaceable Kingdom: The Kittanning Raid of 1756
by Brady J. Crytzer
Westholme Publishing, 256 pp., cloth $28

The title of this book describes its content and contribution better than does the subtitle. The Delaware town of Kittanning on the Allegheny River was an important place – the residence of the war chiefs Shingas and Tewea (Captain Jacobs) and the source of multiple French-backed Indian raids – and its destruction by Lt. Col. John Armstrong and 300 Pennsylvania militia was an important event, but War in the Peaceable Kingdom tells the broader story of the French and Indian War in Pennsylvania.

Crytzer examines the political struggles within the colony as it confronted devastating Indian assaults on its western frontier and abandoned pacifist principles to declare war and pay bounties on Indian scalps. He also pays attention to the decisions, actions and experiences of Lenape people – Western Delawares in the Ohio Country and Eastern Delawares in the Wyoming and upper Susquehanna valleys – in an era of escalating imperial conflict and intertribal tension.

The raid on Kittanning constitutes the final chapter of the book but not of Pennsylvania’s Indian war, which continued until a series of diplomatic maneuvers brought delegates from a dozen tribes to the Treaty of Easton in 1758, effectively neutralized France’s Indian alliance in the Ohio Country, and opened the way for Gen. John Forbes’ successful campaign to destroy Fort Duquesne, events Crytzer recounts with a few brushstrokes in a brief epilogue.

Although the writing is imprecise in places, the imperialism of the Iroquois is overdone, and the report of Shingas’ demise in the historic record is somewhat premature, War in the Peaceable Kingdom does a good job of sketching the political, intertribal and interethnic contests necessary to understand Kittanning, its people and its destruction.

Colin G. Calloway
Dartmouth College