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found it easy to repeat the operation on another frontier. Preemption laws became established features. The Revolution gave opportunity to confiscate the claims of Lord Fairfax, Lord Granville, and McCulloh to their vast estates, as well as the remaining lands of the Pennsylvania proprietors. The 640 acre (or one square mile) unit of North Carolina for preemptions, and frontier land bounties, became the area awarded to frontier stations by Virginia in 1779, and the “section” of the later federal land system. The Virginia preëmption right of four hundred acres on the Western waters, or a thousand for those who came prior to 1778, was, in substance, the continuation of a system familiar in the Old West.
The grants to Beverley, of over a hundred thousand acres in the Valley, conditioned on seating a family for every thou
thousand acres, and the similar grants to Borden, Carter, and Lewis, were followed by the great grant to the Ohio Company. This company, including leading Virginia planters and some frontiersmen, asked in 1749 for two hundred thousand acres on the upper Ohio, conditioned on seating a hundred families in seven years, and for an additional grant of three hundred thousand acres after this should be accomplished. It was proposed to settle Germans on these lands.
The Loyal Land Company, by order of the Virginia council (1749), was authorized to take up eight hundred thousand acres west and north of the southern boundary of Virginia, on condition of purchasing “rights” for the amount within four years. The company sold many tracts for £3 per hundred acres to settlers, but finally lost its claim. The Mississippi Company, including in its membership the Lees, Washingtons, and other great Virginia planters, applied for two and one-half million acres in the West in 1769. Similar land companies Code of Va., 1819,” ii, p. 357; Roosevelt, “Winning of the West,” i, p. 261; ii, pp. 92, 220.
of New England origin, like the Susquehanna Company and Lyman's Mississippi Company, exhibit the same tendency of the Old West on the northern side. New England's Ohio Company of Associates, which settled Marietta, had striking resemblances to town proprietors.
These were only the most noteworthy of many companies of this period, and it is evident that they were a natural outgrowth of speculations in the Old West. Washington, securing military bounty land claims of soldiers of the French and Indian War, and selecting lands in West Virginia until he controlled over seventy thousand acres for speculation, is an excellent illustration of the tendency. He also thought of colonizing German Palatines upon his lands. The formation of the Transylvania and Vandalia companies were natural developments on a still vaster scale.32
XII. The final phase of the Old West, which I wish merely to mention, in conclusion, is its colonization of areas beyond the mountains. The essential unity of the movement is brought out by a study of how New England's Old West settled northern Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, the Adirondacks, central and Western New York, the Wyoming Valley (once organized as a part of Litchfield, Connecticut), the Ohio Company's region about Marietta, and Connecticut's Western Reserve on the shores of Lake Erie; and how the pioneers of the Great Valley and the Piedmont region of the South crossed the Alleghanies and settled on the Western Waters. Daniel Boone, going from his Pennsylvania home to the Yadkin, and from the Yadkin to Tennessee and Kentucky, took part in the whole process, and later in its continuation into Missouri.33 The
32 Alden, “New Governments West of the Alleghanies ” (Madison, 1897), gives an account of these colonies. (See the more recent work by C. W. Alvord, “The Mississippi Valley in British Politics, 1763-1774" (1917).]
33 Thwaites, “ Daniel Boone" (N. Y., 1902); [A. Henderson, “ Con
social conditions and ideals of the Old West powerfully shaped those of the trans-Alleghany West.
The important contrast between the spirit of individual colonization, resentful of control, which the Southern frontiersmen showed, and the spirit of community colonization and control to which the New England pioneers inclined, left deep traces on the later history of the West.34 The Old West diminished the importance of the town as a colonizing unit, even in New England. In the Southern area, efforts to legislate towns into existence, as in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia, failed. They faded away before wilderness conditions. But in general, the Northern stream of migration was communal, and the Southern individual. The difference which existed between that portion of the Old West which was formed by the northward colonization, chiefly of the New England Plateau (including New York), and that portion formed by the southward colonization of the Virginia Valley and the Southern Piedmont was reflected in the history of the Middle West and the Mississippi Valley.35 quest of the Old Southwest” (N. Y., 1920), brings out the important share of up-country men of means in promoting colonization).
34 Turner, in “ Alumni Quarterly of the University of Illinois," ii, 133-136.
35 [It has seemed best in this volume not to attempt to deal with the French frontier or the Spanish-American frontier. Besides the works of Parkman, a multitude of monographs have appeared in recent years which set the French frontier in new light; and for the Spanish fron. tier in both the Southwest and California much new information has been secured, and illuminating interpretations made by Professors H. E. Bolton, I. J. Cox, Chapman, Father Engelhart, and other Cali. fornia and Texas investigators, although the works of Hubert Howe Bancroft remain a useful mine of material. There was, of course, a contemporaneous Old West on both the French and the Spanish fron. tiers. The formation, approach and ultimate collision and intermingling of these contrasting types of frontiers are worthy of a special study.]
THE MIDDLE WEST 2
Arnerican sectional nomenclature is still confused. Once "the West” described the whole region beyond the Alleghanies; but the term has hopelessly lost its definiteness. The rapidity of the spread of settlement has broken down old usage, and as yet no substitute has been generally accepted. The “Middle West” is a term variously used by the public, but for the purpose of the present paper, it will be applied to that region of the United States included in the census reports under the name of the North Central division, comprising the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin (the old “ Territory Northwest of the River Ohio "), and their trans-Mississippi sisters of the Louisiana Purchase, - Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. It is an imperial domain. If the greater countries of Central Europe,– France, Germany, Italy, and Austro-Hungary,- were laid down upon this area, the Middle West would still show a margin of spare territory. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo constitute its gateways to the Eastern States; Kansas City, Omaha, St. Paul-Minneapolis, and Duluth-Superior dominate its western areas; Cincinnati and St. Louis stand on its southern borders; and Chicago reigns at the center. What Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore are to the Atlantic seaboard these cities are to
1 With acknowledgments to the International Monthly, December, 1901.
the Middle West. The Great Lakes and the Mississippi, with the Ohio and the Missouri as laterals, constitute the vast water system that binds the Middle West together. It is the economic and political center of the Republic. At one edge is the Populism of the prairies; at the other, the capitalism that is typified in Pittsburgh. Great as are the local differences within the Middle West, it possesses, in its physiography, in the history of its settlement, and in its economic and social life, a unity and interdependence which warrant a study of the area as an entity. Within the limits of this article, treatment of so vast a region, however, can at best afford no more than an outline sketch, in which old and well-known facts must, if possible, be so grouped as to explain the position of the section in American history.
In spite of the difficulties of the task, there is a definite advantage in so large a view. By fixing our attention too exclusively upon the artificial boundary lines of the States, we have failed to perceive much that is significant in the westward development of the United States. For instance, our colonial system did not begin with the Spanish War; the United States has had a colonial history and policy from the beginning of the Republic; but they have been hidden under the phraseology of “interstate migration” and “territorial organization."
The American people have occupied a spacious wilderness; vast physiographic provinces, each with its own peculiarities, have lain across the path of this migration, and each has furnished a special environment for economic and social transformation. It is possible to underestimate the importance of State lines, but if we direct our gaze rather to the physiographic province than to the State area, we shall be able to see some facts in a new light. Then it becomes clear that these physiographic provinces of America are in some respects com