Walking the line of fire: violence, society, and the war for the Kentucky and Trans-Appalachian Frontier, 1774-1795

  • Darren Reid

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    One of the most understudied frontiers, the Kentucky frontier was also one of the most violent. For twenty years this region was affected by a bloody war that came to involve the new settler population, numerous Indian tribes, the British, and the American government. More than a border war, the battle for Kentucky and the trans-Appalachian west came to define the communities which grew up in its midst, altering world views, attitudes, and compounding prejudices. It is the purpose of this thesis to accomplish two goals: first, this work will tackle the lack of recent scholarship on this region by providing a detailed history of the Kentucky frontier during the American Revolution and its subsequent period. The second goal of this thesis is to study, analyse and understand how the violence generated by the war with the Indians helped to shape settler society. By thinking of violence not purely as the result of other, more potent social forces – racism, economic fears, competition for land – it is possible to study and understand its formative impact upon early American society. From the short term development of vendetta fuelled warfare to the long term impact this war had upon relations between white and Native America, the war for the trans-Appalachian west saw violence taking on a particularly important, particularly formative role.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    SponsorsArts & Humanities Research Council
    SupervisorMatthew Ward (Supervisor)


    • History
    • America
    • Early
    • Revolution
    • Frontier
    • Kentucky
    • Ohio
    • Native
    • American
    • Violence
    • Family

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