This book follows the amazing life of John Corbly, circa 1733 to 1803, from the time he was shanghaied in Ireland as a young teenager to the troublesome times of the Whisky Rebellion in frontier Pennsylvania.
Once in America, he experiences some good luck. Indentured to a good Christian family, he learns farming, believing it to be his destiny. But those were not God's plans for him, and this unassuming young man eventually becomes a lay preacher and evangelist.
Persecuted for his beliefs, he moves his family to the wild frontier of Pennsylvania. Once he reaches this untamed area, like the other frontiersmen, Corbly finds only pain and suffering as crops fail, there is no money, and Indian raids wipe out whole communities in a matter of minutes.
The Fledgling government has little respect for these rugged frontiersmen. The bureaucrats think this remote province across the mountains is good for only one thing - collecting taxes - that these poor, unfortunate frontier families are not able to pay. More fear and anguish results from the brutal actions of the Federal government who send troops and drag the suspected "insurrectionists" out of their beds in the dead of winter.
Yet, through it all, the indefatigable Rev. John Corbly never loses faith, establishes many churches throughout Pennsylvania, and continues to evangelize until his dying breath.