American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland by Stephen Aron

By Stephen Aron

Within the center of North the USA, the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers come jointly, uniting waters from west, north, and east on a trip to the south. this can be the zone that Stephen Aron calls the yank Confluence. Aron's leading edge e-book examines the historical past of that area -- a house to the Osage, a colony exploited by way of the French, a brand new frontier explored by way of Lewis and Clark -- and focuses at the region's transition from a spot of overlapping borderlands to at least one of oppositional border states. American Confluence is a full of life account that might pride either the novice historian.

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Additional info for American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State (History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)

Example text

38 The communities that early colonists established also looked more like French villages than Canadian settlements. Instead of dispersing their dwellings along the riverfront as had occurred along the St. Lawrence, the habitants who moved into the Mississippi valley resided in compact villages whose layout hearkened back to a remembered French blueprint. In the Illinois Country, colonists usually occupied square town lots that contained residence, garden, stable, barn, and barnyard animals. Adjacent to the village was a large commonly fenced field, which was itself divided but not fenced, into long, narrow strips owned by individual habitants.

From the Spanish, at least indirectly, had come deadly microbes, wondrous horses, and perhaps even a few other exotic items of European origin. But Spanish explorers had never reached the Osages’ villages, and Spanish colonial settlements and missions remained far to the southeast in Florida and to the southwest in New Mexico. Direct contact between the Indians of the lower Missouri valley and Europeans arrived only in the last decades of the seventeenth century. These newcomers, however, came from the north, not the south, and they represented France, not Spain.

But while furs alone did not entice French imperial officials, word of a possible waterway across the continent encouraged a change of view. 23 Combining secular and religious impulses, the expedition was led by an experienced trader, Louis Jolliet, accompanied by a Jesuit priest, Father Jacques Marquette, and a few boatmen. Following Lake Michigan south, the party found its way to the Illinois River and then reached the Mississippi. In two birchbark canoes, they then proceeded downstream. Very quickly, the explorers learned that birchbark canoes, so well suited to travel on the Great Lakes, were less satisfactory on the Mississippi.

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