From Library Journal
In this readable history, Cayton (The Frontier Republic, Kent State Univ., 1986) traces the development of Indiana from 1700, when the Miami tribe dominated the region, to 1850 and the end of the frontier. While some scholars might quibble with Cayton's definition and use of the term frontier, he does succeed in producing an enjoyable narrative history of the people who occupied Indiana for 150 years. While not as encompassing as James H. Madison's Indiana Way (Indiana Univ./Indiana Historical Society, 1986), this title focuses on some of the individuals involved in key aspects of Indiana history. Cayton admits that the people he includes are not necessarily those who played the most pivotal roles but are those about whom there is ample source material. He nonetheless provides a balanced perspective and never lapses into the "great man" notion of history. At times, though, one does lose a sense of the broader context in which some of these individuals lived. For the serious reader, the bibliographic essay is particularly good. Recommended for general readers and academic libraries.?Daniel D. Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ. Lib., Kent, Wash.
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"... excellent... valuable contributions to both the general and the informed reader." —American Historical Review
"Andrew Cayton has contributed another valuable addition to the historical literature on the Old Northwest.... a finely textured social history." —Michigan Historical Review
"Extremely readable and exciting treatments of the region during the 18th and 19th centuries." —The Annals of Iowa
"The research and scholarship that went into the work are excellent; so good, in fact, that the book should be on the required text list for all Transappalachian frontier courses." —History
Cayton's graceful, arresting narrative is grounded in primary and secondary sources, including classics by Emma Lou Thornbrough and Bernard Knollenberg, James Madison's The Indiana Way (CH, Jan'87), and new studies from such scholars as Richard White and Gregory Evans Dowd. Spanning 1700—1850 in ten chapters and an epilogue, Cayton's first-rate study interprets the successive worlds of the Miami (1700—1754), then of individuals whose experiences epitomized unfolding chapters of Indiana frontier history. With a keen ear for the revealing anecdote and apt quotation, the author treats the world of George Croghan (1750—1777); the village of Vincennes (1765—1777); the milieus of George Rogers Clark (1778—1787), Josiah Harmar, and John Francis Hamtramck (1787—1790); Little Turtle (1790—1795); Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison (wife of William Henry Harrison, 1795—1810); Tenskwatawa (1795—1811); Jonathan Jennings (1800—1816); and the end of the frontier (1816—1850). Along the way readers discover figures such as John and William Conner, the early rivalry between Centerville and Richmond, an explanation of why Indiana remained a state of small towns and farms until the latter half of the 20th century, and the basis for understanding one of the more interesting states of the Union. Fine illustrations, maps. All levels.D. W. Steeples, Mercer University, Choice, February 1997
"Cayton’s book will give pleasure to anyone who wants to know more about Indiana and its peoples, and will also be appreciated by scholars for its perceptive analyses and for its incorporation of recent research on a variety of topics." —Journal of the Early Republic
"A superb introduction to the latest scholarship on American frontiers." —William and Mary Quarterly
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