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Frontier Illinois (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier Series)

De (autor) Walter T. Nugent, Malcolm J. Rohrbough
Notă GoodReads:
en Limba Engleză Paperback – August 2000
“O, this is a delightful country!” one newly arrived settler wrote to a friend back East. Indeed, as James E. Davis shows, many newcomers found Illinois a hospitable and relatively peaceful place in which to start a new life. Davis tells a sweeping story of the making of the state from the Ice Age to the eve of the Civil War. He describes the earliest Indiana civilisations, the coming of LaSalle and Joliet and the founding of the French colony, the brief history of British Illinois, and the complex history of subsequent settlement which brought distinct cultural traditions to Illinois. A major theme of this book is the relative absence of violence, at least after the Blackhawk War of 1832, eve over explosive issues such as slavery. Throughout, Davis keeps the reader mindful of Illinois' ordinary people.
James E. Davis begins his volume on the frontier period in Illinois history with three eye-witness accounts of the settlement process during its highest tide, the 1830s. We hear Sarah Aiken, of northern New York, David Henshaw, of Massachusetts, and Charles Watts, an Englishman, describe what Illinois life was really like in those days, and why Sarah wrote to a friend back home, 'O, this is a delightful country!'
Professor Davis then looks far back into the Illinois of the glaciers, and the series of Indian civilisations that changed the land. These included the villages around Cahokia, where 20,000 people lived in the year 1100 C.E., more than in any city in Europe. The French explorers La Salle and Jolliet appear next, the precursors of other French men and women who created stable settlements like Kaskaskia and the rest of the old French colonial zone, in uneasy accommodation with the Indians. The brief history of British Illinois, and the Revolutionary War which assured Illinois' American future, then follow. Davis then traces the complex settlement process, first from Kentucky to the south, and later from New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio to the east, bringing distinct cultural traditions to Illinois.
One of his most important findings, and a major theme of this book, is the relative absence of violence, at least after the Blackhawk War of 1832 which removed the last substantial Indian presence from the state. Among whites, however, whether they came from the upland South or from Yankee roots, struggles over land, court houses, county seats, railroads, markets, and even the explosive fugitive slave question were resolved with a minimum of bloodshed. Davis explains all of these events in Illinois' early history and many more. Railroads started crisscrossing the state in the 1840s; Chicago began its role as the gateway between East and West; and in the 1850s, on the eve of the Civil War, Illinois passed beyond its frontier period.
Throughout the book, James E. Davis keeps the reader mindful of what happened to Illinois' ordinary people. This will not surprise those familiar with his best-known previous work, Frontier America, 1800-1840, a path-breaking synopsis of the early demographic history of Trans-Appalachia. For many years a professor of history at Illinois College in Jacksonville (the oldest continuing higher-educational institution in the state), and a renowned teacher there, Davis brings to life in this book the frontier period of Illinois history.
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ISBN-13: 9780253214065
ISBN-10: 0253214068
Pagini: 515
Ilustrații: 13 b&w photos
Dimensiuni: 152 x 230 x 35 mm
Greutate: 0.85 kg
Editura: Indiana University Press
Seria A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier Series


A Note on Quotations, Citations, and Sources
Part I. Vast Lands and Contending Peoples
Chapter 1. The Shaping of Settlement
Chapter 2. Commingling Cultures
Chapter 3. The South and War for Empire
Chapter 4. Light British Rule
Part II. American Presence
Chapter 5. A Tenuous Conquest
Chapter 6. Firm Foundations
Chapter 7. Rumblings Across the Land
Part III. Statehood and Troubles
Chapter 8. Shaping a State
Chapter 9. Migration, Trials, and Tragedy
Part IV. The Formative 1830s
Chapter 10. Excitement in the Land
Chapter 11. Transportation, Towns, and Institutions
Chapter 12. Social Clashes and Economic Collapse
Part V. Cooperation and Conflict
Chapter 13. Race, Ethnicity, and Class
Chapter 14. Conflicts and Community
Part VI. Frontier Illinois Fades
Chapter 16. Ties that Bind
Chapter 17. Changing Ecology, Evolving Society
Works Cited


“A comprehensive, readable history of this distinctive prairie state before the Civil War. . . .This deft synthesis of existing knowledge is likely to become the standard modern history of Illinois.”--Kirkus Reviews

“Davis provides an incisive portrait of prairie society. . . . A fresh and sophisticated survey of early Illinois.”--Choice

“Extensively researched, and with excellent endnotes, Frontier Illinois is an important study. A lively account of how the frontier gave shape to the later state, it questions traditional stereotypes of the West and offers a new outlook as to the real nature of the Illinois frontier.” --Journal of the Early Republic

Notă biografică

James E. Davis is William and Charlotte Gardner Professor of History and Professor of Geography at Illinois College. He is the author of FRONTIER AMERICA, 1800-1840: A COMPARATIVE DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF THE SETTLEMENT PROCESS (1977), DREAMS TO DUST (1989), and a number of articles, monographs, edited works, and reviews. Professor Davis is recipient of the Harry J. Dunbaugh Distinguished Professor Award for outstanding teaching (1981 and 1993) and was an NEH Fellow in St. Petersburg and Moscow, where he studied Russian architecture and art. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society and as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the JOURNAL OF ILLINOIS HISTORY.