Tinton Falls, NJ – Pamela A. Bakker, author of historical research books, has published a new book titled McDowell’s Mill Fort in Markes, Pennsylvania, 1753-1840: French and Indian War to the establishment of a new nation (Sunbury Publishers, 2020). Bakker painstakingly reconstructs McDowell Mills Fort using information found in the Pennsylvania State Archives’ Colonial Records, Minutes of the Assembly, colonial tax records, surveys, regional histories and more, often through the voices of those living in the region.
The Governor of Pennsylvania stockaded the pre-existing mill and named it a Chief British Fort to hold the Penn Colony’s supplies for General Braddock’s campaign against the French in the Pittsburg area. A road, Burd’s Road, was constructed from that site west to meet Braddock’s Road weaving through Virginia and Maryland. When that campaign failed, the settlers were left defenseless as British troops retreated to the east, and the settlers were forced to organize themselves into militia to form a line of defense for the western part of the colony along the Appalachian Mountains. The fort suffered repeated attacks throughout the French and Indian War and Pontiac’s Rebellion and men who served in her stockade were among the first to enlist in the Pennsylvania Line during the Revolutionary War. The fort was razed in 1840 and only state markers remain.
Bakker helps the reader see the growing pressure in Pennsylvania as colonists interacted with their seemingly indifferent pacifistic Assembly; sister colonies who fought for Pennsylvania land; a disinterested British Parliament focused on the Atlantic Coast; dissatisfied Native American tribes forced to submit to land deals brokered by a confederation in which they had no voice; and African slaves working long hours under bondage to help colonists prosper. It is a story of perseverance and passion as people struggled to achieve the American dream through seemingly unsurmountable odds. The book is available at www.sumburypressstore.com and wherever books are sold.
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Pamela Bakker’s other books include: Eyes on the Sporting Scene, 1870-1930: Will and June Rankin, New York’s Sportswriting Brothers (McFarland Publishers, 2013) and The 104th Field Artillery Regiment of the New York National Guard, 1916-1919, (McFarland Publishers, 2014). Some of her articles include: “Mike Moynahan (1856-April 19, 1899), hard-hitting shortstop,” Nowlin, Bill and Hofmann, Paul, ed., The 1883 Philadelphia Athletics (SABR, 2020); “The Rankin Brothers: Will and June,” Nineteenth Century Notes, 19th Century Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research, summer 2013; and “Franklin County, Pennsylvania Abolitionist, Andrew Nerva Rankin, Esq.” in Schiwek, Beate A., Ed., Franklin County Historical Society-Kittochtinny Journal , Vol. XXIII, the 150th Anniversary Civil War Issue (Chambersburg: Heritage Books, 2011).