Eighteenth-century Kentucky was a place where Indian and European cultures collided—and, surprisingly, coincided. But this mixed world did not last, and it eventually gave way to nineteenth-century commercial and industrial development. How the West Was Lost tracks the overlapping conquest, colonization, and consolidation of the trans-Appalachian frontier. Not a story of paradise lost, this is a book about possibilities lost. It focuses on the common ground between Indians and backcountry settlers which was not found, the frontier customs that were not perpetuated, the lands that were not distributed equally, the slaves who were not emancipated, the agrarian democracy that was not achieved, and the millennium that did not arrive. Seeking to explain why these dreams were not realized, Stephen Aron shows us what did happen during Kentucky's tumultuous passage from Daniel Boone's world to Henry Clay's.
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