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 SRU History Professor Details Pennsylvania's Contributions to American Revolution 

 

SPOTLIGHT

8/9/2005

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

FOR PHOTO OF DR. DIXON: Click Here

LATEST BOOK BY SRU HISTORY PROFESSOR DETAILS PENNSYLVANIA’S CONTRIBUTIONS

TO AMERICAN REVOLUTION; MAY PROVIDE INSIGHT TO CURRENT WORLD AFFAIRS

     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Those following current events in world terrorism would do well to read Slippery Rock University history Professor Dr. David Dixon’s latest book “Never Come to Peace Again,” detailing the social and political climate leading to the American Revolution and offering historical analysis of the three-year Pontiac’s Uprising of 1763.

     Dixon, a member of the SRU history faculty since 1989, has just published his latest work which unintentionally carries historical similarities with current events and events in western Pennsylvania nearly 250 years ago.

     The expert American history professor examines the unrest by the early Pennsylvania settlers in the region and their displeasure with the quality – and quantity – of British government rule. This colonial agitation set in motion events that led to the American Revolution and the overthrow of British rule.

     “While nearly every American history students knows of the shots fired at Concord, few realize the first shots fired in anger against British soldiers took place at Fort Loudon on the Pennsylvania frontier in 1765 – nearly a decade before the shots at Lexington Green. Others are surprised to hear Pittsburgh had its own tea party, and in nearby Westmoreland County, a committee, meeting in a log courthouse, adopted resolutions remarkably similar to language used in the Declaration of Independence. That meeting was held a full year before the declaration was adopted by the Second Continental Congress,” Dixon explains.

      Dixon formulated his book “Never Come to Peace Again: Pontiac’s Uprising and the Fate of the British Empire in North America,” while teaching a Pennsylvania history course at SRU.

     “Many students, nearly all of them from Pennsylvania, arrived with preconceived notions about the commonwealth’s contributions to early America. They knew about William Penn, that our founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia to write the declaration and the Constitution of the United States, but they were unaware of the state’s pivotal role in the coming of the American Revolution,” he says. The book is available at major bookstores, on-line and at the Student Government Association Bookstore on campus and its branch Gallery 164 Bookstore in downtown Slippery Rock.

     “As part of Pennsylvania history, students need to understand the basis for revolutionary agitation deep in the backcountry of the commonwealth,” he adds. “This is the first examination of the war in more than 50 years and includes information from documents that were previously unavailable. I think the book offers new perspectives and new insights,” Dixon explains, pointing out his book details the causes, conduct and consequences of the war. “It will be excellent supplemental reading for high school and college students, as well as a good history for those interested in colonial America,” he adds.

     Dixon provides background on the Seven Year’s War, which ended in 1763 as the French turned over its possession of then-colonial lands to the British – but leaving regional native tribes still under foreign rule. “A rule the American Indians found intolerable,” Dixon explains.

     The Ottawa chief named Pontiac assembled a confederation of tribes, including the Delaware, Seneca, Chippewa, Miami, Potawatomie and Huron to challenge the British. The war, while unsuccessful, still resulted in a heavy toll on British forces and thus helped the colonists who were demanding freedom from England,” Dixon explains.

     Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, the 384-page work includes 23 black-and-white illustrations. Dixon’s other books include the award-winning “Hero of Beecher Island: The Life and Military Career of George A. Forsyth,” along with “Bushy Run Battlefield,” and “Fort Pitt Museum.” He has also published a number of anthologies, essays and has lectured extensively on the Seven Year War and the Civil War.

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