Now in paperback
Frontier IllinoisJames E. Davis
"A comprehensive, readable history of this distinctive prairie state before the Civil War.... This deft synthesis of existing knowledge is likely to become the standard modern history of Illinois." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Davis provides an incisive portrait of prairie society.... A fresh and sophisticated survey of early Illinois." -- Choice
"O, this is a delightful country " one newly arrived settler wrote to a friend back East. Indeed, as James E. Davis shows, many newcomers found Illinois a hospitable and relatively peaceful place in which to start a new life. In this sweeping history of the making of the state, Davis tells the story of Illinois from the Ice Age to the eve of the Civil War. He describes the earliest Indiancivilizations, the coming of LaSalle and Joliet and the founding of the French colony, the brief history of British Illinois, and the complex history of subsequent settlement that brought distinct cultural traditions to Illinois.
A major theme of this book is the relative absence of violence, at least after the Blackhawk War of 1832, even over explosive issues such as slavery. Davis treats these developments in careful detail, while keeping the reader mindful of the experiences of Illinois' ordinary people.
James E. Davis is William and Charlotte Gardner Professor of History and Professor of Geography at Illinois College. He is author of Frontier America, 1800--1840: A ComparativeDemographic Analysis of the Settlement Process and Dreams to Dust.
A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier series -- Walter Nugent and Malcolm Rohrbough, general editors
Sales territory is worldwideA History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier1998; 432 pages, 13 b&w photos, 5 maps, notes, bibl., index, 6 x 9cloth 0-253-33423-3 $39.95 L / 28.50paper 0-253-21406-8 $18.95 t / 13.50
"A comprehensive, readable history of this distinctive prairie state before the Civil War...This deft synthesis of existing knowledge is likely to become the standard modern history of Illinois."--Kirkus Reviews "Davis provides an incisive portrait of prairie society... A fresh and sophisticated survey of early Illinois."--Choice "Extensively researched, and with excellent endnotes, Frontier Illinois is an important study. A lively account of how the frontier gave shape to the later state, it questions traditional stereotypes of the West and offers a new outlook as to the real nature of the Illinois frontier." --Journal of the Early Republic