Way through the Wilderness: The Natchez Trace and the Civilization of the Southern Frontier

Way through the Wilderness: The Natchez Trace and the Civilization of the Southern Frontier

by William C. Davis
     
 

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The author of the highly acclaimed biography, Jefferson Davis: The Man and The Hour, has produced a vivid portrait of the lives of those adventurous pioneers who opened up, settled, and developed the old Southwest.

Overview

The author of the highly acclaimed biography, Jefferson Davis: The Man and The Hour, has produced a vivid portrait of the lives of those adventurous pioneers who opened up, settled, and developed the old Southwest.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On April 7, 1798, Congress created the Mississippi Territory, a land that had seen French, British and Spanish rule within four decades. Davis (Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour) chronicles the development of the Old Southwest (Mississippi and Alabama) from early settlement through the 1830s. Settlers came overland from Nashville, Tenn., to Natchez, Miss. (the ``Trace''), or by boat on the great river. This is lively history, replete with colorful characters-Col. James Wilkinson, Aaron Burr, Sir William Dunbar and a man who tried his hand at everything, Gideon Lincecum. The author paints a vivid picture of Natchez as sin city with its drinking, whoring and gambling. He charts the rise of King Cotton and conflicts between merchants and planters. He describes Indian-white relations, the struggles to set up schools and churches and state politics. Davis leaves no doubt the Southern Frontier was just as wild as the Wild West. Illustrations. BOMC and History Book Club alternates. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Davis (Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour, LJ 11/15/91) has written another outstanding book about American history. In this fascinating story of the importance of the Natchez Trace for opening a direct road between Nashville and Natchez, Mississippi, Davis takes his readers down many "roads" along the Natchez Trace. He begins with "The Road to Empire," a history of the land and the first explorers. Descriptions of the first trailblazers battling the ever-present poison ivy (without calamine lotion) certainly bring the enormity of their achievement to life. Each succeeding chapter is rich in interesting anecdotes that give insight into the dangers of travel, the army's role in forging out a wagon road, Indian treaties, and an entertaining chapter detailing temptations along "The Road to Ruin." Davis is an author who has an interesting story to tell and knows how to tell it. This volume should have great appeal for anyone interested in early American history.-Dorothy Lilly, Grosse Pointe North H.S. Lib., Mich.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807121320
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 9.03(h) x 0.88(d)

What People are saying about this

Stephen B. Oates
"Spectacular non-fiction storytelling. Drawing on exhaustive, original research, Davis summons from the mists of history a parade of fascinating characters who pioneered the Natchez Trace."

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