Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Kirstin L. Lawson, Dept. of History, Philosophy & Soc. Sci.

Second Advisor

Dr. John L.S. Daley, Dept. of History, Philosophy & Soc. Sci.

Third Advisor

Dr. Don Viney, Dept. of History, Philosophy & Soc. Sci.

Abstract

SETTLEMENT IN THE OLD NORTHWEST FRONTIER

AND THE MERGING OF CULTURE, 1750 -1790

An Abstract of the Thesis by Sandra Ellefsen

During the late 1700s, the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountain Chain became the main corridor that precipitated settlement into Kentucky. Along this frontier line, settlers had to contend with various Native American tribes, and settlement on the frontier from the beginning of colonization irrevocably altered the Native American way of life. Warfare, encroachment, and disease caused the Native American population to decline drastically in the process of contact; often as a result, Native tribes chose to adopt many settler captives to replace the lost tribal members. They treated assimilated captives as equals and members of the tribe, although the captives and the European American population often viewed Native American methods of assimilation as brutal. Settlers remained less tolerant of the Native Americans, even though to persevere in the wilderness, pioneers adopted many survival skills they had learned from their Native American counterparts. Regardless of this animosity, the result of the clash between these two cultures was a single, uniquely American culture, with neither original culture - Native American or European American - completely absorbing the other.

 
 

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