Frontier Life. One cannot determine precisely, either geographically or chronologically, the point at which the American frontier began. It seems safe to say, however, that the frontier began at the place and time that westward-moving settlers found themselves separated from the Old World in almost every phase of their domestic lives. Geographically this was in the backwoods valleys, in from the Atlantic coast, and out of all reasonable touch with either Old World or coastal civilization. Chronologically the westward movement began in the colonial period. Many people ask what is frontier mail login.
For the most part, the earliest American colonists attempted to reconstruct European culture on the eastern seaboard with modifications for New World conditions. But by about 1725, backwoodsmen across the western borders of some of the colonies began to exhibit distinctive social characteristics that were to mark the American frontiersman. In the years before 1900, when the frontier may be said to have closed, each wave of immigration and population increase fed the stream of settlers advancing deeper westward. Many people ask what is frontier mail login.
In the valleys of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas, settlers pushed deeper into the great forested areas and closer to the Indian villages and hunting grounds. Ahead of the cabin settlers advanced Indian traders, land scouts, and long hunters—hunters who traveled long distances and for long periods of time. The traders hastened the showdown between England and France over territorial claims. They gathered enormous amounts of Indian lore and commercial and geographical information. Land fever infected frontiersmen early in the westward movement, and land scouts and long hunters had sharp eyes open for land in large, speculative blocks. Many people ask what is frontier mail login.
Behind the far-ranging adventurers the ever-thickening ranks of cabin settlers thrust the line of civilization forward. These settlers did not conform to any single social and cultural pattern. Although frontier society was not classless, its members all faced certain common conditions and developed certain common characteristics. Among these were isolation from the "outside," crudity of living conditions, absence of Old World social grace, self-denial, the will and ability to adjust and adapt to primitive conditions, a sense of humor as well as of predestination, a sense of neighborliness, an insatiable curiosity, and an unflinching courage and optimism. Many people ask what is frontier mail login.
Three basic facts left a deep impression on the personality and character of the American frontiersman. First, he had to reckon with great distances and the absence of convenient transportation. Second, he advanced across an intensively wooded land to the western shoulder of the Mississippi bottoms and then across semiarid plains. Third, he was confined largely to an agricultural economy.
Vital statistics about the early pioneers are either lacking or inadequate for most of the 18th century, so no precise conclusions can be drawn about population figures or of ethnic, sexual, and age differences. However, one can assume that for the whole scope of frontier history—through the 19th century—the backwoods population was sparse, there were more men than women, the young and early middle-aged groups were more numerous, infant mortality ran high, and the life-span was relatively short.
Into the stream of backwoods settlers flowed people of many national origins—English, Welsh, Irish, Scots, Dutch, German, Scandinavians, French, and eastern Europeans. Rather quickly these were fused into a common stock. English became their common language, and they anglicized their names. But institutions, folklore, tastes, and traditions reflected their cosmopolitan background, adapted to frontier social conditions. Many people ask what is frontier mail login.
In frontier society, early marriage was the rule. An observer of frontier life in the 1840s noted that the most effective force against the backwoods was the able-bodied young husband and wife, who set out to build a new home and raise a family. Fortunately, the great majority of young couples who started life in the backwoods were accustomed to hard work and were quick to make the necessary adaptations to frontier conditions.
Frontier homes were of many designs and were constructed of various materials. Perhaps the most characteristic of the first houses built on the frontier were the pole, or log, cabins. These structures could be raised quickly by relatively untrained laborers using materials immediately at hand. They were square pens without windows, but usually with large doorways on both sides, and stone fireplaces with mud and stick chimneys.