A Way Through the Wilderness: The Natchez Trace and the Civilization of the Southern Frontier

Written by William C. Davis
Category: · History

Merchants, bankers, planters, soldiers, Kaintucks and gamblers, all were tied in one way or another to that enchanting, storied, and often mysterious highway of the American Frontier: the Natchez Trace.

Beginning life as a shadowy Indian trail, the road became the means by which almost everything made its way to the Old Southwest as European and American explorers arrived.

From the pioneers journeying south after the Revolutionary War through to the 1830s, Davis uses the Natchez Trace to weave a history of life in the Old Southwest.

The danger and adversity faced on the Natchez Trace shaped the communities as much as the education, religion and enlightenment that radiated from it.

In A Way Through the Wilderness, William C. Davis uses the everyday experiences and daily struggles travellers and settlers to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the Old South West and those who inhabited it..

Praise for A Way Through the Wilderness

“This is lively history, replete with colorful characters … Davis leaves no doubt that the Southern Frontier was just as wild as the Wild West.” — Publishers Weekly

“Davis adopts a soaring narrative voice that is seldom heard in the halls of academe, and he delights in the well-documented anecdote that often reads like a wild yarn told by a grizzled boatman around a campfire. And, almost incidentally, Davis succeeds in debunking much of what we think we know about the frontier.” — Los Angeles Times

William C. Davis is an American historian and former Professor of History who specialises in the Civil War and Southern States. A prolific writer, he has written or edited more than forty works on the subject and is four-time winner of the Jefferson Davis Award.


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