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THE AMERICAN FRONTIER
FREDERIC L. PAXSON
MARGARET BYRNE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA; AUTHOR
or "THE NEW NATION” AND “RECENT HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES"
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
BOSTON • NEW YORK CHICAGO • DALLAS
The Riberate Press Cambridge
COPYRIGHT, 1924. BY FREDERIC L. PAXSON
THIS BOOK OR PARTS THEREOF IN ANY FORM
The Riverside Press
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
a ot! 42918
WHEN I began my studies in the history of the West some twenty years ago, the State of Colorado, where I worked, still bore the imprint of the struggle of the preceding decade. The frontier was gone; and the frontiersmen there as elsewhere in the United States were adapting themselves to the life of a new century. Turner had already pointed out the significance of the frontier in our history, but the occasional historical pioneer who followed is lead must make his own tools, find his sources, and assemble his bibliographies.
This is all changed to-day. The Mississippi Valley Historical Review has become the organ of the Westerners, while the sound scholarship of Alvord and his host of associates has cleared the ground. The time is ripe for this synthesis, in which an attempt is made to show the proportions of the whole story. My successors will of course do better, but none will complete his task with a firmer conviction than I possess that the frontier with its continuous influence is the most American thing in all America. In future generations we may perhaps become an amalgam of the European races and lose the advantage of a fresh continent, but we shall still possess and be shaped by a unique heritage.
My debt to my indexer, Mr. David M. Matteson, is real, for he has at many places given me the advantage of his wide and accurate scholarship.
FREDERIC L. PAXSON MADISON, March, 1924