The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania

By Solon J. Buck; Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck et al. | Go to book overview

XVI. Intellectual Life

THE first pioneers who felled the forests and built new homes in the wilderness were engaged--perhaps unconsciously--in establishing on the frontier the folkways and material culture of Europe or of the Atlantic seaboard. In their wake came pioneers of a different type, engaged in transplanting the germs of culture, in the narrower sense of intellectual achievement, from Europe and the eastern centers of settlement to the western country. Probably few of these pioneers of culture were fully conscious of their function in this respect. Certainly the lawyers, physicians, and schoolteachers who went west were motivated by the desire to advance themselves as truly as were the farmers and the mechanics. Among the ministers only might one find instances of selfless devotion to a cause, and even among them, human beings as they were, the motive of economic advancement was often present though perhaps not dominant.

The earliest of these pioneers of intellectual culture naturally received their impetus and training from eastern sources, either from the near east of the Atlantic seaboard or from the far east of western Europe, but in a very short time these men were training a considerable proportion of their successors. A survey of the backgrounds of the men who achieved prominence in the learned professions in western Pennsylvania before 1810 discloses a wide variety of cultural heritage. Fourteen of the lawyers, judges, and physicians included in the survey were educated abroad, six at Princeton, two at Dickinson College (or Carlisle Academy), two at Jefferson College (or Canonsburg Academy), and sixteen at miscellaneous or unknown institutions. A far larger proportion of the ministers were educated in the West. Of eighty-three whose formal schooling is known, forty-four were trained at Canonsburg Academy, Jefferson College, or Washington College, and two at Greersburg Academy; eleven were educated at Princeton, eight at Dickinson or Carlisle, and eight at other schools

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The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • I. the Natural Environment 1
  • Ii. the Indian Regime 19
  • Iii. Forerunners of White Occupation 46
  • Iv. the French Occupation 67
  • V. the Indian Reservation 96
  • Vi. the Cultural Heritage of the Pioneers 115
  • Vii. the Coming of the Settlers 135
  • Viii. the Establishment of Political Boundaries 156
  • Ix. the Revolution and Indian Relations, 1774-95 175
  • X. the Expansion of Settlement 1790-1820 204
  • Xi. the Development of Transportation 229
  • Xii. Frontier Economy 261
  • Xiii. Commercial and Industrial Foundations 288
  • Xiv. Domestic Life 318
  • Xv. Community Life 349
  • Xvi. Intellectual Life 372
  • Xvii. Religion 401
  • Xviii. Local Government and Community Control 430
  • Xix. Frontier Radicalism and Rebellion 454
  • Xx. Jeffersonian Democracy 474
  • Xxi. the Pattern of Culture 488
  • Bibliographical Essay 493
  • Index 539
  • Maps 557
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