Frontier Ways: Sketches of Life in the Old West

University of Texas Press
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Edward Everett Dale gives a first-hand account of the way pioneer families and cowboys of the frontier lived. Dr. Dale has lived in a sod house, and he once rode the range as cook to a group of cowboys. In this book he draws on his varied experiences to describe all aspects of frontier life—the building of a home, the problems of finding wood and water, the procuring and cooking of food, medical practices, and the cultural, social, and religious life of pioneer families.

This edition is a digital facsimile of the 1959 edition.

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About the author

Edward Everett Dale (1879 Ai1972) was Research Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Texas Press
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Published on
Jun 28, 2010
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Pages
279
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ISBN
9780292789586
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / State & Local / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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The activities of a young boy on a small farm in the Texas Cross Timbers during the 1880s seem especially distant today. No one can remember the adventure of a sixteen-and-a-half-mile journey, which consumed the greater part of a day; or hurried predawn dressing in a frosty cold loft while the fragrance of a hearty breakfast wafted upward through the floor cracks; or a two-room schoolhouse, where the last half of Friday afternoon was given over to “speaking pieces” or to spelling and ciphering matches.

Through the recollections of Edward Everett Dale we are able to view a pattern of life in rural America now gone forever. For The Cross Timbers is a story which, with but a few minor variations, could have been told about a vast number of small boys on farms cleared from the virgin forests in the timbered regions of many states.

After presenting a brief introduction to the members of the Dale family and the plant, animal, and bird life of the Lower Cross Timbers countryside, the author describes his boyhood of a past century. He tells of his home, its furnishings, and the food served there, as well as the neighbors and relatives who come to visit. We learn of the superstitions, the humorous homespun expressions, the mores of early rural Texans. We hunt and fish with young Master Dale in the thick woods and along the clear creeks. Pioneer life demanded much hard work, but not to the exclusion of a diverting social life—both of which included the youngsters, as the author so graphically relates. Dale tells us also of the religious and secular education of the era, showing the significance of the home in supplementing these two influences.

Anyone reading this volume must be impressed by the great differences in the lifeways of rural children today and of those of the end of the nineteenth century.

In this unique biography of Thomas Jefferson, leading journalist and social critic Christopher Hitchens offers a startlingly new and provocative interpretation of our Founding Father. Situating Jefferson within the context of America's evolution and tracing his legacy over the past two hundred years, Hitchens brings the character of Jefferson to life as a man of his time and also as a symbolic figure beyond it.

Conflicted by power, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and acted as Minister to France yet yearned for a quieter career in the Virginia legislature. Predicting that slavery would shape the future of America's development, this professed proponent of emancipation elided the issue in the Declaration and continued to own human property. An eloquent writer, he was an awkward public speaker; a reluctant candidate, he left an indelible presidential legacy.

Jefferson's statesmanship enabled him to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase with France, doubling the size of the nation, and he authorized the Lewis and Clark expedition, opening up the American frontier for exploration and settlement. Hitchens also analyzes Jefferson's handling of the Barbary War, a lesser-known chapter of his political career, when his attempt to end the kidnapping and bribery of Americans by the Barbary states, and the subsequent war with Tripoli, led to the building of the U.S. navy and the fortification of America's reputation regarding national defense.

In the background of this sophisticated analysis is a large historical drama: the fledgling nation's struggle for independence, formed in the crucible of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and, in its shadow, the deformation of that struggle in the excesses of the French Revolution. This artful portrait of a formative figure and a turbulent era poses a challenge to anyone interested in American history -- or in the ambiguities of human nature.

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The activities of a young boy on a small farm in the Texas Cross Timbers during the 1880s seem especially distant today. No one can remember the adventure of a sixteen-and-a-half-mile journey, which consumed the greater part of a day; or hurried predawn dressing in a frosty cold loft while the fragrance of a hearty breakfast wafted upward through the floor cracks; or a two-room schoolhouse, where the last half of Friday afternoon was given over to “speaking pieces” or to spelling and ciphering matches.

Through the recollections of Edward Everett Dale we are able to view a pattern of life in rural America now gone forever. For The Cross Timbers is a story which, with but a few minor variations, could have been told about a vast number of small boys on farms cleared from the virgin forests in the timbered regions of many states.

After presenting a brief introduction to the members of the Dale family and the plant, animal, and bird life of the Lower Cross Timbers countryside, the author describes his boyhood of a past century. He tells of his home, its furnishings, and the food served there, as well as the neighbors and relatives who come to visit. We learn of the superstitions, the humorous homespun expressions, the mores of early rural Texans. We hunt and fish with young Master Dale in the thick woods and along the clear creeks. Pioneer life demanded much hard work, but not to the exclusion of a diverting social life—both of which included the youngsters, as the author so graphically relates. Dale tells us also of the religious and secular education of the era, showing the significance of the home in supplementing these two influences.

Anyone reading this volume must be impressed by the great differences in the lifeways of rural children today and of those of the end of the nineteenth century.

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