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The first European settlers who crossed the Alleghenies in the 18th century had fascinating stories, braving the wilderness and surviving in harsh circumstances of the frontier.
This history consists of a combination of individual stories of local people who were distinguished, and the way of life and difficulties faced by those in the wild, rugged terrain. For the first settlers, even a regular food supply was a challenge, alongside the construction of homes and other basic necessities. It was a harsh existence, with pioneers endangered by wild creatures and the Native American tribes who were variously amenable or hostile to the new settlers.
Mrs. Ingles was a village woman taken captive by the Native Americans, and for a time she helped them with their daily tasks and chores. With another woman as her companion, she staged an escape from captivity - thereafter she lived as a fugitive. Her trek across forests, rivers and mountains are related in vivid detail, her hardship and fight with hunger emblematic of the struggles the early settlers underwent to make their footholds last.
The concluding chapters contain a timeline of events pertinent to the development of villages and small towns in Virginia, showing how amenities were introduced and conditions gradually improved.