This is the story of a city that shouldn’t exist. In the seventeenth century, what is now America’s most beguiling metropolis was nothing more than a swamp: prone to flooding, infested with snakes, battered by hurricanes. But through the intense imperial rivalries of Spain, France, and England, and the ambitious, entrepreneurial merchants and settlers from four continents who risked their lives to succeed in colonial America, this unpromising site became a crossroads for the whole Atlantic world.Lawrence N. Powell, a decades-long resident and observer of New Orleans, gives us the full sweep of the city’s history from its founding through Louisiana statehood in 1812. We see the Crescent City evolve from a French village, to an African market town, to a Spanish fortress, and finally to an Anglo-American center of trade and commerce. We hear and feel the mix of peoples, religions, and languages from four continents that make the place electric—and always on the verge of unraveling. The Accidental City is the story of land-jobbing schemes, stock market crashes, and nonstop squabbles over status, power, and position, with enough rogues, smugglers, and self-fashioners to fill a picaresque novel.Powell’s tale underscores the fluidity and contingency of the past, revealing a place where people made their own history. This is a city, and a history, marked by challenges and perpetual shifts in shape and direction, like the sinuous river on which it is perched.
Essays by the foremost labor historian of the Black experience in the Appalachian coalfields.
This collection brings together nearly three decades of research on the African American experience, class, and race relations in the Appalachian coal industry. It shows how, with deep roots in the antebellum era of chattel slavery, West Virginia’s Black working class gradually picked up steam during the emancipation years following the Civil War and dramatically expanded during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
From there, African American Workers and the Appalachian Coal Industry highlights the decline of the region’s Black industrial proletariat under the impact of rapid technological, social, and political changes following World War II. It underscores how all miners suffered unemployment and outmigration from the region as global transformations took their toll on the coal industry, but emphasizes the disproportionately painful impact of declining bituminous coal production on African American workers, their families, and their communities. Joe Trotter not only reiterates the contributions of proletarianization to our knowledge of US labor and working-class history but also draws attention to the gender limits of studies of Black life that focus on class formation, while calling for new transnational perspectives on the subject. Equally important, this volume illuminates the intellectual journey of a noted labor historian with deep family roots in the southern Appalachian coalfields.
Exploration of African American contributions to the state of Florida during the era of Reconstruction
Despite their shortcomings, “radical” politicians, including African Americans, made worthy contributions to the state of Florida during the era of Reconstruction. Joe Richardson disputes many of the misconceptions about the state’s debt and corruption by exploring how some African American politicians were quite capable and learned their duties quickly. Even more remarkable was the rapidity with which the unlettered ex-slaves absorbed education and adjusted to their status as free men. African Americans in the Reconstruction of Florida delves into the problems encountered by the freed men and traces their successes and failures during the first decade after emancipation.
The Atlantic slave trade was the largest forced migration in history, and its toll in lives damaged or destroyed is incalculable. Most of those stories are lost to history, making the few that can be reconstructed critical to understanding the trade in all its breadth and variety. Randy J. Sparks examines the experiences of a range of West Africans who lived in the American South between 1740 and 1860. Their stories highlight the diversity of struggles that confronted every African who arrived on American shores.The subjects of Africans in the Old South include Elizabeth Cleveland Hardcastle, the mixed-race daughter of an African slave-trading family who invested in South Carolina rice plantations and slaves, passed as white, and integrated herself into the Lowcountry planter elite; Robert Johnson, kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Georgia, who later learned English, won his freedom, and joined the abolition movement in the North; Dimmock Charlton, who bought his freedom after being illegally enslaved in Savannah; and a group of unidentified Africans who were picked up by a British ship in the Caribbean, escaped in Mobile’s port, and were recaptured and eventually returned to their homeland.These exceptional lives challenge long-held assumptions about how the slave trade operated and who was involved. The African Atlantic was a complex world characterized by constant movement, intricate hierarchies, and shifting identities. Not all Africans who crossed the Atlantic were enslaved, nor was the voyage always one-way.
“Original and revelatory.”—David Blight, author of Frederick DouglassAvery O. Craven Award FinalistA Civil War Memory/Civil War Monitor Best Book of the YearIn April 1865, Robert E. Lee wrote to Ulysses S. Grant asking for peace. Peace was beyond his authority to negotiate, Grant replied, but surrender terms he would discuss. The distinction proved prophetic.After Appomattox reveals that the Civil War did not end with Confederate capitulation in 1865. Instead, a second phase of the war began which lasted until 1871—not the project euphemistically called Reconstruction, but a state of genuine belligerence whose mission was to shape the peace. Using its war powers, the U.S. Army oversaw an ambitious occupation, stationing tens of thousands of troops in outposts across the defeated South. This groundbreaking history shows that the purpose of the occupation was to crush slavery in the face of fierce and violent resistance, but there were limits to its effectiveness: the occupying army never really managed to remake the South.“The United States Army has been far too neglected as a player—a force—in the history of Reconstruction… Downs wants his work to speak to the present, and indeed it should.”—David W. Blight, The Atlantic“Striking… Downs chronicles…a military occupation that was indispensable to the uprooting of slavery.”—Boston Globe“Downs makes the case that the final end to slavery, and the establishment of basic civil and voting rights for all Americans, was ‘born in the face of bayonets.’ …A remarkable, necessary book.”—Slate
What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive?
Central Appalachia and south Wales were built to extract coal, and faced with coal’s decline, both regions have experienced economic depression, labor unrest, and out-migration. After Coal focuses on coalfield residents who chose not to leave, but instead remained in their communities and worked to build a diverse and sustainable economy. It tells the story of four decades of exchange between two mining communities on opposite sides of the Atlantic, and profiles individuals and organizations that are undertaking the critical work of regeneration.
The stories in this book are told through interviews and photographs collected during the making of After Coal, a documentary film produced by the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University and directed by Tom Hansell. Considering resonances between Appalachia and Wales in the realms of labor, environment, and movements for social justice, the book approaches the transition from coal as an opportunity for marginalized people around the world to work toward safer and more egalitarian futures.
In the decades before the Civil War, the small number of slaves who managed to escape bondage almost always made their way northward along the secret routes and safe havens known as the Underground Railroad. Offering a new perspective on this standard narrative, Matthew Clavin recovers the story of fugitive slaves who sought freedom by—paradoxically—sojourning deeper into the American South toward an unlikely destination: the small seaport of Pensacola, Florida.Geographically and culturally, across decades of rule by a succession of powers—Spain, Great Britain, and the United States—Pensacola occupied an isolated position on the margins of antebellum Southern society. Yet as neighboring Gulf Coast seaports like New Orleans experienced rapid population growth and economic development based on racial slavery, Pensacola became known for something else: as an enclave of diverse, free peoples of European, African, and Native American descent. Farmers, laborers, mechanics, soldiers, and sailors learned to cooperate across racial lines and possessed no vested interest in maintaining slavery or white supremacy. Clavin examines how Pensacola’s reputation as a gateway to freedom grew in the minds of slaves and slaveowners, and how it became a beacon for fugitives who found northern routes to liberation inaccessible.The interracial resistance to slavery that thrived in Pensacola in the years before the Civil War, Clavin contends, would play a role in demolishing the foundations of Southern slavery when that fateful conflict arrived.
Go to resource on all the furnaces that made Alabama internationally significant in the iron and steel industry
This work is the first and remains the only source of information on all blast furnaces built and operated in Alabama, from the first known charcoal furnace of 1815 (Cedar Creek Furnace in Franklin County) to the coke-fired giants built before the onset of the Great Depression. Woodward surveys the iron industry from the early, small local market furnaces through the rise of the iron industry in support of the Confederate war effort, to the giant internationally important industry that developed in the 1890s. The bulk of the book consists of individual illustrated histories of all blast furnaces ever constructed and operated in the state, furnaces that went into production and four that were built but never went into blast.
Written to provide a record of every blast furnace built in Alabama from 1815 to 1940, this book was widely acclaimed and today remains one of the most quoted references on the iron and steel industry.
With this colorful study, Reid Mitchell takes us to Mardi Gras--to a yearly ritual that sweeps the richly multicultural city of New Orleans into a frenzy of parades, pageantry, dance, drunkenness, music, sexual display, and social and political bombast. In All on a Mardi Gras Day Mitchell tells us some of the most intriguing stories of Carnival since 1804. Woven into his narrative are observations of the meaning and messages of Mardi Gras--themes of unity, exclusion, and elitism course through these tales as they do through the Crescent City.Moving through the decades, Mitchell describes the city's diverse cultures coming together to compete in Carnival performances. We observe powerful social clubs, or krewes, designing their elaborate parade displays and extravagant parties; Creoles and Americans in conflict over whose dances belong in the ballroom; enslaved Africans and African Americans preserving a sense of their heritage in processions and dances; white supremacists battling Reconstruction; working-class blacks creating the flamboyant Krewe of Zulu; the birth and reign of jazz; the gay community holding lavish balls; and of course tourists purchasing an authentic experience according to the dictates of our commercial culture. Interracial friction, nativism, Jim Crow separatism, the hippie movement--Mitchell illuminates the expression of these and other American themes in events ranging from the 1901 formation of the anti-prohibitionist Carrie Nation Club to the controversial 1991 ordinance desegregating Carnival parade krewes.Through the conflicts, Mitchell asserts, "I see in Mardi Gras much what I hear in a really good jazz band: a model for the just society, the joyous community, the heavenly city...A model for community where individual expression is the basis for social harmony and where continuity is the basis for creativity." All on a Mardi Gras Day journeys into a world where hope persists for a rare balance between diversity and unity.
1992 Myers Center Outstanding Book on Human Rights
Historians have produced scores of studies on white men, extraordinary white women, and even the often anonymous mass of enslaved Black people in the United States. But in this innovative work, Adele Logan Alexander chronicles there heretofore undocumented dilemmas of one of nineteenth-century America’s most marginalized groups—free women of color in the rural South.
Ambiguous Lives focuses on the women of Alexander’s own family as representative of this subcaste of the African-American community. Their forbears, in fact, included Africans, Native Americans, and whites. Neither black nor white, affluent nor impoverished, enslaved nor truly free, these women of color lived and died in a shadowy realm situated somewhere between the legal, social, and economic extremes of empowered whites and subjugated blacks. Yet, as Alexander persuasively argues, these lives are worthy of attention precisely because of these ambiguities—because the intricacies, gradations, and subtleties of their anomalous experience became part of the tangled skein of American history and exemplify our country’s endless diversity, complexity, and self-contradictions.
Written as a “reclamation” of a long-ignored substratum of our society, Ambiguous Lives is more than the story of one family—it is a well-researched and fascinating profile of America, its race and gender relations, and its complex cultural weave.
Lynching is often viewed as a narrow form of violence: either the spontaneous act of an angry mob against accused individuals, or a demonstration of white supremacy against an entire population considered subhuman. However, in this new treatise, historian Guy Lancaster exposes the multiple forms of violence hidden beneath the singular label of lynching.
Lancaster, who has written extensively on racial violence, details several lynchings of Blacks by white posses in post-Reconstruction Arkansas. Drawing from the fields of history, philosophy, cognitive science, sociology, and literary theory, and quoting chilling contemporary accounts, he argues that the act of lynching encompasses five distinct but overlapping types of violence. This new framework reveals lynching to be even more of an atrocity than previously understood: that mobs did not disregard the humanity of their victims but rather reveled in it; that they were not simply enacting personal vengeance but manifesting an elite project of subjugation. Lancaster thus clarifies and connects the motives and goals of seemingly isolated lynch mobs, embedding the practice in the ongoing enforcement of white supremacy. By interrogating the substance of lynching, American Atrocity shines new light on both past anti-Black violence and the historical underpinnings of our present moment.
The blossoming of Appalachian studies began some thirty years ago. Thousands of young people from the hills have since been made aware of their region’s rich literary tradition through high school and college courses. An entire generation has discovered that their own landscapes, families, and communities had been truthfully portrayed by writers whose background was similar to their own.
An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature is an anthology of literary criticism of Appalachian novelists, poets, and playwrights. The book reprises critical writing of influential authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Cratis Williams, and Jim Wayne Miller. It introduces new writing by Rodger Cunningham, Elizabeth Engelhardt, and others.
Many writers from the mountains have found success and acclaim outside the region, but the region itself as a thriving center of literary creativity has not been widely appreciated. The editors of An American Vein have remedied this, producing the first general collection of Appalachian literary criticism. This book is a resource for those who teach and read Appalachian literature. What’s more, it holds the promise of introducing new readers, nationally and internationally, to Appalachian literature and its relevance to our times.
Karen L. Graves details how teachers were targeted, interrogated, and stripped of their professional credentials, and she examines the extent to which these teachers resisted the invasion of their personal lives. She contrasts the experience of three groups--civil rights activists, gay and lesbian teachers, and University of South Florida personnel--called before the committee and looks at the range of response and resistance to the investigations. Based on archival research conducted on a recently opened series of Investigation Committee records in the State Archives of Florida, this work highlights the importance of sexuality in American and education history and argues that Florida's attempt to govern sexuality in schools implies that educators are distinctly positioned to transform dominant ideology in American society.
Winner, 2017 Ragsdale Award
A timely study that puts current issues—religious intolerance, immigration, the separation of church and state, race relations, and politics—in historical context.
The masthead of the Liberator, an anti-Catholic newspaper published in Magnolia, Arkansas, displayed from 1912 to 1915 an image of the Whore of Babylon. She was an immoral woman sitting on a seven-headed beast, holding a golden cup “full of her abominations,” and intended to represent the Catholic Church.
Propaganda of this type was common during a nationwide surge in antipathy to Catholicism in the early twentieth century. This hostility was especially intense in largely Protestant Arkansas, where for example a 1915 law required the inspection of convents to ensure that priests could not keep nuns as sexual slaves.
Later in the decade, anti-Catholic prejudice attached itself to the campaign against liquor, and when the United States went to war in 1917, suspicion arose against German speakers—most of whom, in Arkansas, were Roman Catholics.
In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan portrayed Catholics as “inauthentic” Americans and claimed that the Roman church was trying to take over the country’s public schools, institutions, and the government itself. In 1928 a Methodist senator from Arkansas, Joe T. Robinson, was chosen as the running mate to balance the ticket in the presidential campaign of Al Smith, a Catholic, which brought further attention.
Although public expressions of anti-Catholicism eventually lessened, prejudice was once again visible with the 1960 presidential campaign, won by John F. Kennedy.
Appalachia North is the first book-length treatment of the cultural position of northern Appalachia—roughly the portion of the official Appalachian Regional Commission zone that lies above the Mason-Dixon line. For Matthew Ferrence this region fits into a tight space of not-quite: not quite “regular” America and yet not quite Appalachia.
Ferrence’s sense of geographic ambiguity is compounded when he learns that his birthplace in western Pennsylvania is technically not a mountain but, instead, a dissected plateau shaped by the slow, deep cuts of erosion. That discovery is followed by the diagnosis of a brain tumor, setting Ferrence on a journey that is part memoir, part exploration of geology and place. Appalachia North is an investigation of how the labels of Appalachia have been drawn and written, and also a reckoning with how a body always in recovery can, like a region viewed always as a site of extraction, find new territories of growth.
In this paperback edition of An Appalachian New Deal: West Virginia in the Great Depression, Jerry Bruce Thomas examines the economic and social conditions of the state of West Virginia before, during, and after the Great Depression. Thomas’s exploration of personal papers by leading political and social figures, newspapers, and the published and unpublished records of federal, state, local, and private agencies, traces a region’s response to an economic depression and a presidential stimulus program. This dissection of federal and state policies implemented under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program reveals the impact of poverty upon political, gender, race, and familial relations within the Mountain State—and the entire country. Through An Appalachian New Deal, Thomas documents the stories of ordinary citizens who survived a period of economic crisis and echoes a message from our nation’s past to a new generation enduring financial hardship and uncertainty.
As the long boom of post-World War II economic expansion spread across the globe, dreams of white picket fences, democratic ideals, and endless opportunities flourished within the United States. Middle America experienced a period of affluent stability built upon a modern age of industrialization. Yet for the people of Appalachia, this new era brought economic, social, and environmental devastation, preventing many from realizing the American Dream. Some families suffered in silence; some joined a mass exodus from the mountains; while others, trapped by unemployment, poverty, illness, and injury became dependent upon welfare. As the one state most completely Appalachian, West Virginia symbolized the region's dilemma, even as it provided much of the labor and natural resources that fueled the nation's prosperity.
An Appalachian Reawakening: West Virginia and the Perils of the New Machine Age, 1945-1972 recounts the difficulties the state of West Virginia faced during the post-World War II period. While documenting this turmoil, this valuable analysis also traces the efforts of the New Frontier and Great Society programs, which stimulated maximum feasible participation and lead to the ultimate rise of grass roots activities and organizations that improved life and labor in the region and undermined the notion of Appalachian fatalism.
2020 American Book Award winner, Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award
Weatherford Award winner, nonfiction
With hundreds of thousands of copies sold, a Ron Howard movie in the works, and the rise of its author as a media personality, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis has defined Appalachia for much of the nation. What about Hillbilly Elegy accounts for this explosion of interest during this period of political turmoil? Why have its ideas raised so much controversy? And how can debates about the book catalyze new, more inclusive political agendas for the region’s future?
Appalachian Reckoning is a retort, at turns rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful, to the long shadow Hillbilly Elegy has cast over the region and its imagining. But it also moves beyond Hillbilly Elegy to allow Appalachians from varied backgrounds to tell their own diverse and complex stories through an imaginative blend of scholarship, prose, poetry, and photography. The essays and creative work collected in Appalachian Reckoning provide a deeply personal portrait of a place that is at once culturally rich and economically distressed, unique and typically American. Complicating simplistic visions that associate the region almost exclusively with death and decay, Appalachian Reckoning makes clear Appalachia’s intellectual vitality, spiritual richness, and progressive possibilities.
“A singular achievement. Mark Banker reveals an almost paradoxical Appalachia that trumps all the stereotypes. Interweaving his family history with the region’s latest scholarship, Banker uncovers deep psychological and economic interconnections between East Tennessee’s ‘three Appalachias’—its tourist-laden Smokies, its urbanized Valley, and its strip-mined Plateau.”
—Paul Salstrom, author of Appalachia’s Path to Dependency
"Banker weaves a story of Appalachia that is at once a national and regional history, a family saga, and a personal odyssey. This book reads like a conversation with a good friend who is well-read and well-informed, thoughtful, wise, and passionate about his subject. He brings new insights to those who know the region well, but, more importantly, he will introduce the region's complexities to a wider audience."
—Jean Haskell, coeditor, <i>Encyclopedia of Appalachia</i>
Appalachians All intertwines the histories of three communities—Knoxville with its urban life, Cades Cove with its farming, logging, and tourism legacies, and the Clearfork Valley with its coal production—to tell a larger story of East Tennessee and its inhabitants. Combining a perceptive account of how industrialization shaped developments in these communities since the Civil War with a heartfelt reflection on Appalachian identity, Mark Banker provides a significant new regional history with implications that extend well beyond East Tennessee’s boundaries.
Writing with the keen eye of a native son who left the area only to return years later, Banker uses elements of his own autobiography to underscore the ways in which East Tennesseans, particularly “successful” urban dwellers, often distance themselves from an Appalachian identity. This understandable albeit regrettable response, Banker suggests, diminishes and demeans both the individual and region, making stereotypically “Appalachian” conditions self-perpetuating. Whether exploring grassroots activism in the Clearfork Valley, the agrarian traditions and subsequent displacement of Cades Cove residents, or Knoxvillians’ efforts to promote trade, tourism, and industry, Banker’s detailed historical excursions reveal not only a profound richness and complexity in the East Tennessee experience but also a profound interconnectedness.
Synthesizing the extensive research and revisionist interpretations of Appalachia that have emerged over the last thirty years, Banker offers a new lens for constructively viewing East Tennessee and its past. He challenges readers to reconsider ideas that have long diminished the region and to re-imagine Appalachia. And ultimately, while Appalachians All speaks most directly to East Tennesseans and other Appalachian residents, it also carries important lessons for any reader seeking to understand the crucial connections between history, self, and place.
Mark T. Banker, a history teacher at Webb School of Knoxville, resides on the farm where he was raised in nearby Roane County. He earned his PhD at the University of New Mexico and is the author of Presbyterian Missions and Cultural Interaction in the Far Southwest, 1850–1950. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Presbyterian History, Journal of the West, OAH Magazine of History, and Appalachian Journal.
A beautifully produced companion volume to the public television documentary The Appalachians fills the void in information about the region, offering a rich portrait of its history and its legacy in music, literature, and film. The text includes essays by some of Appalachia’s most respected scholars and journalists; excerpts from never-before-published diaries and journals; firsthand recollections from native Appalachians including Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, and Ralph Stanley; indigenous song lyrics and poetry; and oral histories from common folk whose roots run strong and deep. The book also includes more than one hundred illustrations, both archival and newly created. Here is a wondrous book celebrating a unique and valuable heritage.
In many communities across North America in the 1960s and 1970s, the rural-relocation movement became both a way of life and a path forward for many people inclined to buck the mainstream—and Paul Salstrom embraced it. His experiences in rural Lincoln County, West Virginia, led him to the self-sufficient, “neighborly networking” lifestyle well known in many Appalachian communities since the early nineteenth century.
In Appalachia’s Alternative to Mainstream America, Salstrom outlines his Appalachian experiences in a memoir, revisiting this back-to-the-land tradition that guided his cultural experience during this time. While he pursued a number of experimental alternatives to a mainstream way of life during the late 1960s, it was not until he landed in Lincoln County a few years later that he found himself engaging in an alternative way of living that didn’t feel “experimental” at all. This distinctive way of life was largely characterized by a closer connection to the earth—local sufficiency informed by homesteading, subsistence farming, and gardening—and the community-wide trading of favors in a spirit of mutual aid.
Over time, Salstrom’s engagement in this “neighborly” occupation has nurtured an informed belief that Americans will be drawn back to landed customs, taking care of the earth and of one another to thrive as individuals and communities. Facing today’s pandemics, climate change, and deepening political divisions, says Salstrom, Americans urgently need to create a groundswell of localized food security and energy production.
This book presents archaeology addressing all periods in the Native Southeast as a tribute to the career of Jefferson Chapman, longtime director of the Frank H. McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Written by Chapman’s colleagues and former students, the chapters add to our current understanding of early native southeastern peoples as well as Chapman’s original work and legacy to the field of archaeology. Some chapters review, reevaluate, and reinterpret archaeological evidence using new data, contemporary methods, or alternative theoretical perspectives— something that Chapman, too, fostered throughout his career. Others address the history and significance of archaeological collections curated at the Frank H. McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, where Chapman was the director for nearly thirty years. The essays cover a broad range of archaeological material studies and methods and in doing so carry forth Chapman’s legacy.
Every American city had a small, self-aware, and active black elite, who felt it was their duty to set the standard for the less fortunate members of their race and to lead their communities by example. Rank within this black upper class rested on such issues as the status of one’s forebears as either house servants or field hands, the darkness of one’s skin, and the level of one’s manners and education.
Professor Gatewood’s study examines this class of African Americans by looking at the genealogies and occupations of specific families and individuals throughout the United States and their roles in their various communities. The resulting narrative is a full and illuminating account of a most influential segment of the African-American population. It explores fully the distinctive background, prestige, attitudes, behavior, power, and culture of this class. The Black Community Studies series from the University of Arkansas Press, edited by Professor Gatewood, continues to examine many of the same themes first explored in this important study.
Like a well-planned time capsule, Arkansas is a fascinating picture of the state’s evolution: from a wilderness explored by Hernando de Soto to a rowdy and often lawless frontier, a partner in the shameful dislocation of Native Americans, a state in the Confederacy, a source of homegrown populists, and always a land of opportunity.
As Harry S. Ashmore states in his introduction to this third volume of the John Gould Fletcher Series, “Arkansas still stands up as its author intended, a poet’s imaginative treatment of a ‘history both tragic and comic—with its deep legendary roots going far back into the remote prehistoric past.’ It has earned a permanent place among the books that must be read by those who seek to understand the matrix in which new forces of economic and social change are reshaping Arkansas’s traditional society.”
Often thought of as a primitive backwoods peopled by rough hunters and unsavory characters, early Arkansas was actually productive and dynamic in the same manner as other American territories and states. In this, the second volume in the Histories of Arkansas, S. Charles Bolton describes the emigration, mostly from other southern states, that carried Americans into Arkansas; the growth of an agricultural economy based on cotton, corn, and pork; the dominance of evangelical religion; and the way in which women coped with the frontier and made their own contributions toward its improvement. He closely compares the actual lifestyles of the settlers with the popularly held, uncomplimentary image.
Separate chapters deal with slavery and the lives of the slaves and with Indian affairs, particularly the dispossession of the native Quapaws and the later-arriving Cherokees. Political chapters explore opportunism in Arkansas Territory, the rise of the Democratic Party under the control of the Sevier-Johnson group known as the Dynasty, and the forces that led Arkansas to secede from the Union. In addition, Arkansas’s role in the Mexican War and the California gold rush is treated in detail.
In truth, geographic isolation and a rugged terrain did keep Arkansas underpopulated, and political violence and a disastrous experience in state banking tarnished its reputation, but the state still developed rapidly and successfully in this period, playing an important role on the southwestern frontier.
Winner of the 1999 Booker Worthen Literary Prize
Distilled from Arkansas: A Narrative History, the definitive work on the subject since its original publication in 2002, Arkansas: A Concise History is a succinct one-volume history of the state from the prehistory period to the present. Featuring four historians, each bringing his or her expertise to a range of topics, this volume introduces readers to the major issues that have confronted the state and traces the evolution of those issues across time.
After a brief review of Arkansas’s natural history, readers will learn about the state’s native populations before exploring the colonial and plantation eras, early statehood, Arkansas’s entry into and role in the Civil War, and significant moments in national and global history, including Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, the Elaine race massacre, the Great Depression, both world wars, and the Civil Rights Movement. Linking these events together, Arkansas: A Concise History offers both an understanding of the state’s history and a perspective on that history’s implications for the political, economic, and social realities of today.
Arkansas: A Narrative History is a comprehensive history of the state that has been invaluable to students and the general public since its original publication. Four distinguished scholars cover prehistoric Arkansas, the colonial period, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and incorporate the newest historiography to bring the book up to date for 2012.
A new chapter on Arkansas geography, new material on the civil rights movement and the struggle over integration, and an examination of the state’s transition from a colonial economic model to participation in the global political economy are included. Maps are also dramatically enhanced, and supplemental teaching materials are available.
“No less than the first edition, this revision of Arkansas: A Narrative History is a compelling introduction for those who know little about the state and an insightful survey for others who wish to enrich their acquaintance with the Arkansas past.”
—Ben Johnson, from the Foreword
This study is the first published in the Histories of Arkansas, a new series that will build a complete chronological history of the state from the colonial period through modern times. Under the general editorship of noted historian Elliott West, this series will include various thematic histories as well as the chronologically arranged core volumes.
In Arkansas and the New South, 1874–1929 Carl Moneyhon examines the struggle of Arkansas’s people to enter the economic and social mainstreams of the nation in the years from the end of Reconstruction to the beginning of the Great Depression. Economic changes brought about by development of the timber industry, exploitation of the rich coal fields in the western part of the state, discovery of petroleum, and building of manufacturing industries transformed social institutions and fostered a demographic shift from rural to urban settings.
Arkansans were notably successful in bringing the New South to their state, relying on individual enterprise and activist government as they integrated more fully into the national economy and society. But by 1929 persistent problems in the still dominant agricultural sector, the onset of the depression, and heightening social tensions arrested progress and dealt the state a major economic setback that would only be overcome in the years following World War II.
Expanding upon scholarly articles that merely touch on this era in Arkansas history and delving into pertinent primary sources, Moneyhon offers not only an overall look at the state but also an explanation for the singular path it took during these momentous years.
Arkansas’s rich folk tradition is shown by the variety of its manifestations: a 250-year-old ballad, an archaic method of hewing railroad crossties with a broadax, the use of poultices and toddies to treat the common cold, and swamps of evil repute are all parts of the tradition that constitutes Arkansas folklore. In fact, as the essays selected by W.K. McNeil and William M. Clements show, these few examples only begin to tell the story.
Starting with a working description of folklore as “cultural material that is traditional and unofficial” and characterized by a pattern of oral transmission, variation, formulaic structures, and usually uncertain origin, the authors survey in detail a wide array of folk objects, activities, beliefs, and customs. Among the rich offerings in this sourcebook are a discussion of the history of folklore research in Arkansas, an examination of some of the traditional songs and music still being preformed, a thoughtful exploration of the serious side of “tall tales” and “windies,” an investigation of folk architecture in Arkansas and what it reveals about our cultural origins, a study of many traditional foods and there preparation methods, an analysis of superstitions and beliefs, and a description of festivals and celebrations that are observed to this day.
Complemented by biographies of reference works and audio and video recordings of the state’s folk materials, An Arkansas Folklore Sourcebook is the first complete guide to the study of one state’s “unofficial culture.”
Arkansas Post, the first European settlement in what would become Jefferson’s Louisiana, had an important mission as the only settlement between Natchez and the Illinois Country, a stretch of more than eight hundred miles along the Mississippi River. The Post was a stopping point for shelter and supplies for those travelling by boat or land, and it was of strategic importance as well, as it nurtured and sustained a crucial alliance with the Quapaw Indians, the only tribe that occupied the region.
The Arkansas Post of Louisiana covers the most essential aspects of the Post’s history, including the nature of the European population, their social life, the economy, the architecture, and the political and military events that reflected and shaped the Post’s mission.
Beautifully illustrated with maps, portraits, lithographs, photographs, documents, and superb examples of Quapaw hide paintings, The Arkansas Post of Louisiana is a perfect introduction to this fascinating place at the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, a place that served as a multicultural gathering spot, and became a seminal part of the history of Arkansas and the nation.
In 2013, the New York Times identified Nashville as America’s “it” city—a leading hub of music, culture, technology, food, and business. But long before, the Tennessee capital was known as the “Athens of the South,” as a reflection of the city’s reputation for and investment in its institutions of higher education, which especially blossomed after the end of the Civil War and through the New South Era from 1865 to 1930.
This wide-ranging book chronicles the founding and growth of Nashville’s institutions of higher education and their impressive impact on the city, region, and nation at large. Local colleges and universities also heavily influenced Nashville’s brand of modernity as evidenced by the construction of a Parthenon replica, the centerpiece of the 1897 Centennial Exposition. By the turn of the twentieth century, Vanderbilt University had become one of the country’s premier private schools, while nearby Peabody College was a leading teacher-training institution. Nashville also became known as a center for the education of African Americans. Fisk University joined the ranks of the nation’s most prestigious black liberal-arts universities, while Meharry Medical College emerged as one of the country’s few training centers for African American medical professionals. Following the agricultural-industrial model, Tennessee A&I became the state’s first black public college. Meanwhile, various other schools— Ward-Belmont, a junior college for women; David Lipscomb College, the instructional arm of the Church of Christ; and Roger Williams University, which trained black men and women as teachers and preachers—made important contributions to the higher educational landscape. In sum, Nashville was distinguished not only by the quantity of its schools but by their quality.
Linking these institutions to the progressive and educational reforms of the era, Mary Ellen Pethel also explores their impact in shaping Nashville’s expansion, on changing gender roles, and on leisure activity in the city, which included the rise and popularity of collegiate sports. In her conclusion, she shows that Nashville’s present-day reputation as a dynamic place to live, learn, and work is due in no small part to the role that higher education continues to play in the city’s growth and development.
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