WE select this as one of the reprints of our Ohio Valley Historical Series, believing that in it the Indian "Customs, Manners, Traditions, Theological Sentiments, Mode of Warfare, Military Tactics, Discipline, and Encampment, Treatment of Prisoners, etc., are better explained and more minutely related than has been heretofore done," as the author expresses himself in his title page. His vivid pictures of the vagrant, precarious lives of the Indians, little more than a century ago, in the then unbroken wilderness which has given place to the prosperous State of Ohio, written without any pretense to style or learning, bear every impress of truthfulness; and as a faithful record of an eyewitness of their condition, habits, etc., it deserves to be perpetuated. It has been several times reprinted, with more or less accuracy, but all the editions may now be classed among the scarce books.
James Smith was born in 1737, in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, at that time the backwoods frontier, the extreme limit of civilization. As might be expected, he received but a limited education in book-learning, but, as befitted a backwoods boy, he was well versed in wood-craft, active in the hunt, and inured to all the hardships and trials of a frontier life. At the age of eighteen, in 1755, he was taken captive by the Indians, was adopted into one of their families, and accompanied them in all their wanderings, till his escape in 1759. He returned to Conoeocheague early in 1760, and was received with great joy by his family and friends.
He settled himself at his old home in the ordinary routine