Seventeen-year-old Bill Crawford refused to be licked by the "hard times" of 1837. Putting every cent he owned into a tin trunk full of "Yankee notions," he set out afoot from New Hampshire for the Ohio country. His adventures on the road, as he crossed Vermont, York State, and Pennsylvania and moved southward through Ohio, furnished abundant tests of his courage and character.
A crooked Vermont horse dealer who nearly murdered Bill for his trade-goods; a bullying Erie canal boat captain who hired him as a driver; and a hard-riding Virginia slave-catcher shadowing the Underground Railroad are vivid personalities in the story.
Like other popular books by this author, Boy With A Pack is a horsy story. It is flavored with the racy pungency of stagecoaches and tavern stables, the brawl and bustle of the old Erie Canal, the excitement of backwoods trotting tracks, and the dusty plodding of westward migration in full tide a hundred years ago.