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Frontier Illinois /
James E. Davis.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1998.
xx, 515 p. : ill., maps
0253334233 (alk. paper)
More Details
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1998.
0253334233 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
James E. Davis is William and Charlotte Gardner Professor of History and Professor of Geography at Illinois College
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-05-15:
Davis (history and geography, Illinois College) defines the frontier period in Illinois history as extending from prehistory through 1860. One in a series of state surveys covering the Trans-Appalachian frontier, this study concentrates on the social history of the early 19th century, broadly defining social history as virtually anything except politics. Yet political activity receives attention when related to extensive cultural and intellectual trends and movements. Abraham Lincoln is given a few more index entries than "indolence," but "food" has more than both combined. Davis buttresses broad generalizations with well-chosen, concrete examples. Readers learn how early settlers defined Yankees and why they complained about them. Illinois towns, Davis explains, frequently expanded westward because prevailing winds normally carried embers, smells, and noise eastward. Interesting findings include statistics indicating the relative absence of violence in early Illinois. Race and gender issues receive more attention than they do in traditional pioneer history. Drawing on more than 70 manuscript collections, an impressive array of recent journal articles, and a variety of other sources, Davis provides an incisive portrait of prairie society. Readable, discursive notes. A fresh and sophisticated survey of early Illinois. All levels. J. Y. Simon; Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, December 1998
Choice, May 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Unpaid Annotation
"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. In this sweeping history of the making of the state, Davis tells the story of Illinois from the Ice Age to the eve of the Civil War. He describes the earliest Native American civilizations, 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 that 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, even over explosive issues such as slavery. Davis treats these developments in careful detail, while keeping the reader mindful of the experiences of Illinois' ordinary people.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
A Note on Quotations, Citations, and Sourcesp. xxi
Prologue: Three Observersp. 1
Vast Lands and Contending Peoples
The Shaping of Settlementp. 11
Commingling Culturesp. 24
Thes South and War for Empirep. 43
Light British Rulep. 56
An American Presence
A Tenuous Conquestp. 67
Firm Foundationsp. 90
Rumblings Across the Landp. 113
Statehood and Troubles
Shaping a Statep. 155
Migration, Trials, and Tragedyp. 178
The Formative 1830s
Excttement in the Landp. 201
Transportation, Towns, Institutionsp. 220
Social Clashes and Economic Collapsep. 246
Cooperation and Conflict
Race. Ethnicity, and Classp. 285
Conflicts and Communityp. 320
Frontier Illinois Fades
Ties That Bindp. 355
Changing Ecology, Enolving Societyp. 385
Notesp. 429
Works Citedp. 485
Indexp. 505
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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