Often thought of as a primitive backwoods peopled by rough hunters and unsavory characters, early Arkansas was actually quite productive and dynamic. Bolton describes migration, agricultural growth, religion, the roles of women, slavery, the dispossession of the Cherokees and Quapaws, and many other facets of Arkansas's development.
Closely comparing reality with popularly held, uncomplimentary images, Bolton (history, U. of Arkansas, Little Rock) provides a detailed study of the development of a state dogged by geographic isolation, political violence, and disastrous banking, yet. He describes the emigration that carried Americans into Arkansas, the growth of an agricultural economy, the dominance of evangelical religion, and the lives of women on the frontier. Separate chapters deal with slavery, Indians, political opportunism, the rise of the Democratic Party, the Mexican War, the California gold rush, and succession from the Union. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.