The Proving Years
When Jason Potter’s older brother Eph heads off to join the Ohio militia under General Harrison’s command, Jason goes with him. It is the fall of 1812, and General Harrison is preparing to lead his men in a campaign against the combined forces of Chief Tecumseh and British General Proctor in the territory around Lake Erie. Though too young at 14 to join himself, Jason’s skill as a hunter and his natural gift for tending the sick make him a welcome aid to both the regular soldiers and the volunteer militia men. He also becomes friends with young Lucy Verdon, daughter of one of the officers. She encourages him to make a start towards the seemingly impossible ambition of becoming a doctor. In the growing tension of the army camp that waits for a chance to move against the British, Jason teaches Lucy some woodcraft—little knowing how important it will prove for her as the war intensifies around them.
In this story, Cateau de Leeuw brings into focus the little-told contribution of General Harrison’s Army of the Northwest in the war of 1812. One of the few generals that the independent-minded militia men trusted, Harrison took command in Ohio after the tragic surrender of Detroit. His task was to push the British back and secure the northern American frontier.