MOBILITY has been and still is an outstanding characteristic of the American people, and this characteristic is well illustrated in the early history of southwestern Pennsylvania. In less than a generation after the first planting of considerable settlements, the region was supplying pioneers for the planting of similar frontier settlements in Kentucky and Ohio. That does not mean, however, that southwestern Pennsylvania was fully occupied, even as an agricultural community. The professional frontiersmen, who resented the sight of the smoke from a neighbor's cabin; the speculator-farmers, who wanted to acquire choice sites in a wilderness; and many who were dissatisfied for one reason or another with their social or economic environment moved on. Their places were more than filled, however, by additional immigrants from the East and from abroad, especially from Ireland and Scotland; and the population of the section steadily increased. The newcomers and such of the sons of the earlier settlers as did not join the rush to the West acquired the lands of emigrants or the surplus lands of others, took up the less desirable lands that had not been wanted by the pioneers, or found places for themselves in the rising commerce and industry of the region. With the end of the Indian war in 1794 a considerable part of the stream of emigration from the section was deflected into northwestern Pennsylvania, and this region in time began to attract settlers from the East and from abroad.
The competition of the states, the federal government, and the great land companies for settlers to purchase and occupy their vacant lands was keen in the period following the close of the Revolution, and as a consequence the expansion of settlement in western Pennsylvania was greatly affected by the land system of the commonwealth. Unfortunately Pennsylvania was unable to establish and
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Publication information: Book title: The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania. Contributors: Solon J. Buck - Author, Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck - Author, Clarence McWilliams - Illustrator. Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press. Place of publication: Pittsburgh. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 204.