Alabama endured warfare, slave trading, squatting, and speculating on its path to becoming America’s 22nd state, and Daniel S. Dupre brings its captivating frontier history to life in Alabama's Frontiers and the Rise of the Old South. Dupre’s vivid narrative begins when Hernando de Soto first led hundreds of armed Europeans into the region during the fall of 1540. Although this early invasion was defeated, Spain, France, and England would each vie for control over the area’s natural resources, struggling to conquer it with the same intensity and ferocity that the Native Americans showed in defending their homeland. Although early frontiersmen and Native Americans eventually established an uneasy truce, the region spiraled back into war in the nineteenth century, as the newly formed American nation demanded more and more land for settlers. Dupre captures the riveting saga of the forgotten struggles and savagery in Alabama’s—and America’s—frontier days.
Part One: Beginnings
1. La Florida and the Center of the World
2. The Indians’ Frontier
Part Two: The Imperial Frontier
3. The Birth of the Creeks
4. Trade and the Search for Order
Part Three: The Settlers’ Frontier
5. Ordering Alabama’s Frontier
6. Settlements and Transformations
7. The Creek War
8. The Cotton Frontier
Demonstrating an immersion into the most recent historiography and a keen ability to condense that scholarship into a new synthesis, Dupre offers a provocative consideration of how the peoples of a region--native, white, and black--were transformed by their interactions. In the Old Southwest's historiographical landscape, dominated by economic history, Alabama's Frontiers and the Rise of the Old South will have a substantial impact.
Craig Thompson Friend, author of
Alabama, like other future states carved from Transappalachia, experienced several frontiers. Beginning with De Soto’s attempted entrada in 1540, its many diverse Native Americans met Spanish, British, and ultimately American invaders. Dupre is especially clear on how each successive frontier really worked through the centuries until, by 1840 and Creek “removal,” the cotton frontier took hold. Well-sourced and well-written, this book is a fascinating read.
author of 'Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion'
Three great streams of humanity fashioned the story of the Alabama frontiers over two centuries: the native American people who had occupied this landscape for centuries; the arrival of Anglo-Americans, who sought the lands from the first group; the growing steam of slaves from the Upper South who cleared the farms and plantations and then worked them. No historian has captured the interactions of these three groups with such insight as Daniel Dupre's Alabama's Frontiers and the Rise of the Old South. A remarkable contribution to frontier and Southern history.
author of 'Rush to Gold'