Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 560

Gilbert (Gil) Martin

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Gilbert (Gil) Martin, a young pioneer, a hard worker ambitious to have a place of his own at Deerfield and willing to continue fighting after each defeat. Seneca Indians burn his first home, and he is wounded in the ambushing of General Herkimer’s militia. He works on the land and fights when needed, until the valley is at last safe and he is able to return with his family to Deerfield.

Magdelana (Lana) Borst Martin

Magdelana (Lana) Borst Martin, his pretty wife. She loses her first baby after the flight from Deerfield to Fort Schuyler but bears a boy, Gilly, the following spring and another boy, Joey, in August of the next year. Recovery from this birth is prolonged, but by the end of the war, she has a baby girl to take to Deerfield with her husband and boys.

Mark Demooth

Mark Demooth, a captain of the militia, a small, slightly built man rather proud of himself.

John Wolff

John Wolff, a Tory convicted of aiding the British and sent to prison; he later escapes to Canada.

Blue Back

Blue Back, a friendly old Oneida Indian, dirty and paunchy, who likes Gil. He warns the Deerfield residents of a planned raid and later serves as scout and guide for the militia. His young Indian wife is proud of his fertility despite his age.

Mrs. Sarah McKlennar

Mrs. Sarah McKlennar, Captain Barnabas McKlennar’s widow, for whom Gil works as a hired hand. Her home is burned by two drunken Indians who take her bed out for her while the fire is burning.

Joseph Brant

Joseph Brant, an Indian chief who refuses to pledge neutrality in the war.

General Benedict Arnold

General Benedict Arnold, General Herkimer’s successor, appointed to reorganize the patriot army and lead it against St. Leger’s camp.

Jurry McLonis

Jurry McLonis, a Tory who seduces Nancy Schuyler.

Nancy Schuyler

Nancy Schuyler, Mrs. Demooth’s maid, who bears Jurry’s child and is taken by an Indian as his wife.

Hon Yost

Hon Yost, Nancy’s brother, another Tory who, when arrested, promises to spread in the British camp false reports of American strength.

Clem Coppernol

Clem Coppernol,


(The entire section contains 560 words.)

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Critical Essays