Thursday, May 26, 2011

West of Boston

Where does the West start?  What is it west of?

I live in a small town that was the first town established in my state.  Unlike every previous state, this one was established when pioneers traveled down a river from an existing colony into new lands, as opposed to sailing in from Europe and setting up shop wherever they happened to land.  This town was originally established as a trading post with the local Indians, but soon became caught up in an ongoing war between two tribes.  One of those tribes raided my town to obtain modern weaponry, and in the process killed or chased off the entire population.  The worst of it happened two blocks from my house.

Where do I live?  I live in Connecticut, in the heart of New England, halfway between Boston and New York City.  This was the wild and wooly frontier in the 1630s.  It was west of Boston and west of Providence, the only two English towns of any size in the region, and that meant it was in the West (at the time, that is).  The Mohawk Valley in New York, the Piedmont areas of the Carolinas and Virginia, the Miami Valley in Ohio, all places where pioneers settled, Indians fought, and frontier adventure was had.  All of them east of the Mississippi, but all with the danger and excitement that we think of when we consider the West.


  1. Are you familiar with the classic comic series "Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire" by William Messner-Loebs? No relation to the guy with the claws, Josh "Wolverine" MacAlistaire is a mountain man in 1808 Michigan, when that was the bleeding edge of the frontier. We get to see Tecumseh's rebellion, and the Great Quake that made the Mississippi run backwards. (Also, in the occasional humor bits, Johnny Appleseed, sasquatches, and an out-of-his-depth city-slicker poet obviously based on Edgar Allen Poe.) Other than the occasional humorous/satirical aside, though, the comic is pretty historically accurate as far as details of clothing, weapons, etc. as well as historical events (though MacAlistaire, wandering through the wilderness, is more involved with the individual people he encounters than with the Big Picture).

    Review in Alas! A Blog:

    and in ComicMix:

    Barnes and Noble has both collected volumes, at about $20 for vol. 1 and $5 for vol. 2 (and if you get both, that's enough to get you free shipping).

  2. I have never heard of this! Thanks for pointing it out. I'm adding it to the Christmas list. Anything else out there that I should know about?