(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

John Selkirk

John Selkirk, a Scottish Presbyterian minister. Considered too liberal by his Scottish congregation, he emigrates, with his family, to Virginia’s Shenando Valley. After establishing a new home and a new church, he decides to move a day’s journey west in spite of rumors of sporadic Indian uprisings. Shortly after the move, he is killed by an Indian.

Jean Selkirk

Jean Selkirk, John Selkirk’s wife.

Andrew Selkirk

Andrew Selkirk, John Selkirk’s son and fellow settler in the Shenando Valley.

Colonel Matthew Burke

Colonel Matthew Burke, a wealthy landowner and developer of the Shenando Valley, from whom John and Andrew Selkirk buy their tract.

Conan Burke

Conan Burke, Colonel Matthew Burke’s son, who has settled on his father’s land. His homestead is attacked by a band of Indians and his family taken captive. He is later reunited with his wife and daughter after their escape from captivity.

Elizabeth Selkirk

Elizabeth Selkirk, John Selkirk’s daughter and the wife of Conan Burke. Kidnapped by Indians, she is made the squaw of Long Thunder. She finally escapes with her daughter and, after a long trek through the wilderness, is reunited with her husband.

Eileen Burke

Eileen Burke, the daughter of Elizabeth Selkirk Burke, with whom she escapes from the Indians.

Andrew Burke

Andrew Burke, Elizabeth Selkirk Burke’s infant son, killed by an Indian.

Stephen Trabue

Stephen Trabue, a driver and guide.

Nancy Milliken Selkirk

Nancy Milliken Selkirk, Andrew Selkirk’s wife.

Mother Dick

Mother Dick, an old woman captured by Indians along with Elizabeth Selkirk Burke.


Ajax and


Barb, servants captured along with Elizabeth Selkirk Burke by Indians.

Robin Selkirk

Robin Selkirk and

Tam Selkirk

Tam Selkirk, Elizabeth Selkirk’s brothers.

George Washington

George Washington, a young surveyor.