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Since September 2016, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough visited Marietta College multiple times as he conducted research for his book, The Pioneers, which was released on May 7, 2019. In the book, McCullough tells the story of a group of New Englanders, led by The Rev. Manasseh Cutler, who in the late 18th century ventured into the Northwest Territory — now Ohio — to create communities. McCullough's goal was to write about people not widely known to the general public. “I like to write about people who set out to do something that is thought to be impossible. And how they run into more complicated turns and tests of their fortune than they ever imagined or expected, and how they don’t give up,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

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