Last Updated on May 10, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 426
Diony Hall Jarvis
Diony Hall Jarvis, a pioneer wife and a lover of books and learning who is by nature introspective and is often philosophical and poetic in her thoughts. She frequently muses over her own identity and the part she is playing in the settling of a new land. She sees herself and the others creating order out of disorder. Combining the idealist and the practical woman, she trains herself carefully for her mission by learning the homely arts that will be needed to establish enduring order. When, after Berk’s return, she is faced with the problem of choosing between her two husbands, she is loyal to the one to whom she first gave herself.
Berk Jarvis, her husband, a strong, adventurous, restless fighting man experienced in enduring the many hardships of pioneer life and the dangers of Indian warfare. Intent on avenging his mother’s murder and bringing back her hair, he leaves his wife and child in order to achieve his goal. He represents the early pioneers who opened the wilderness for white American occupancy and who fought the Indians and the British who tried to drive them out.
Evan Muir, married to Diony after Berk’s supposed death. Patient, industrious, and capable, he is a symbol of the men who followed the wilderness trail blazers and conquerors. Such men as Evan were needed to establish the settlements and homesteads on a permanent basis.
Thomas Hall, Diony’s father, a wilderness surveyor who accepted land as pay for surveying a great tract for a Maryland company. A cultured man, he has encouraged Diony’s studies in the arts and philosophy. Though disappointed in Diony’s choice of Berk, he permits their marriage.
Elvira Jarvis, mother of Will, Berk, and Jack Jarvis. She is scalped by an Indian.
Betty Hall, Diony’s younger sister. In contrast to Diony, who is excited by the prospect of a pioneer life in newly settled country, Betty loves the seaboard towns and the settled life there, and she romantically dreams of going east to live.
Polly Hall, wife of Thomas Hall. A pious Methodist, she opposes Berk and Diony’s going into the wilderness because they will be taking land that belongs to the Indians.
James (Jim) Harrod
James (Jim) Harrod, valorous founder of Harrod’s Fort and Harrodstown.
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark, the commander at Harrod’s Fort.
Daniel Boone, the famed wilderness pioneer who helped build Harrodstown.