Kentucke's Frontiers

Kentucke's Frontiers

Craig Thompson Friend
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Format: Hardback 13 b&w illus., 7 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-35519-5
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Winner, 2011 Kentucky Governor's Award

American culture has long celebrated the heroism framed by Kentucky’s frontier wars. Spanning the period from the 1720s when Ohio River valley Indians returned to their homeland to the American defeat of the British and their Indian allies in the War of 1812, Kentucke’s Frontiers examines the political, military, religious, and public memory narratives of early Kentucky. Craig Thompson Friend explains how frontier terror framed that heroism, undermining the egalitarian promise of Kentucke and transforming a trans-Appalachian region into an Old South state. From county courts and the state legislature to church tribunals and village stores, patriarchy triumphed over racial and gendered equality, creating political and economic opportunity for white men by denying it for all others. Even in remembering their frontier past, Kentuckians abandoned the egalitarianism of frontier life and elevated white males to privileged places in Kentucky history and memory.

Author Bio

Craig Thompson Friend is Professor of History at North Carolina State University. He is author of Along the Maysville Road: The Early American Republic in the Trans-Appalachian West and editor of The Buzzel About Kentuck: Settling the Promised Land.


“This engaging history examines the political, military, religious, and public memory narratives of early Kentucky, explaining how frontier terror framed heroism, undermining the egalitarian promise of Kentucke and transforming a trans-Appalachian region into an Old South state.”

“Deftly weaving together numerous interpretive strands, Craig Friend’s first-rate study explains how the passage from 'Kentucke' to 'Kentucky' turned the first trans-Appalachian frontier from the leading edge of America’s New West to the border of its Old South. This book is both an essential and an elegant read. ”
 — Stephen Aron, author of How the West Was Lost: The Transformation of Kentucky From Daniel Boone to Henry Clay

“This is a fine contribution to the historiography of Kentucky and frontier history. Kentucke's Frontiers is a 'must have' for professors and students who are interested in both of these subjects. ”
 — Northwest Ohio History

“This is an eminently readable book, and [Friend] has done a wonderful job of weaving together the voices of the residents of frontier Kentucky of all racial and social groups. . . . Kentucke's Frontiers is a wonderful resource for those interested in learning more about the first trans-Appalachian state and the trans-Appalachian west more broadly. ”
 — The Tennessee Historical Quarterly

“In this rich, challenging, and enjoyable book, Friend examines the social, cultural, economic, political, and military histories of Kentucke (now Kentucky) from the 1720s to the War of 1812. . . . The merits of this sweeping book are too numerous to chronicle sufficiently in this brief review. Nevertheless, Friend is at his strongest in his examination of the roles of memory and mythology in justifying white domination.”
 — American Studies

“Anyone interested in the history of the American frontier or the creation of the Bluegrass State will certainly want to add this volume to his or her library. ”
 — The Journal of Southern History

“Friend's narrative is detailed and engaging . . . [His] skillful infusion of contemporary historiography and methodology separates his study of frontier Kentucky from previous works. ”
 — The Journal of American History

“Kentucke's Frontiers . . . is an excellent book—thoroughly researched, beautifully written, handsomely produced, and creatively documented. ”
 — North Carolina Historical Review

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Walter Nugent and Malcolm J. Rohrbough
1. The Indians' Frontiers
2. Colonial Kentucke
3. Revolutions
4. Peopling Kentucke
5. Seeking Security and Stability
6. From Kentucke to Kentucky
7. An Old South Frontier
8. Remembering
Citations and Essays on Sources

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