Report on Frontier - History

Report on Frontier - History

UNITED STATES, January 18, 1792.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I lay before you, in confidence, two reports, made to me by the Secretary for the Department of War, relatively to the present state of affairs on the Western frontiers of the United States.

In these reports the causes of the present war with the Indians, the measures taken by the Executive to terminate it amicably, and the military preparations for the late campaign are stated and explained, and also a plan suggested of such further measures on the occasion as appear just and expedient.

I am persuaded, gentlemen, that you will take this important subject into your immediate and serious consideration, and that the result of your deliberations will be the adoption of such wise and efficient measures as will reflect honor on our national councils and promote the welfare of out country.

G°. WASHINGTON.

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    Legends of America

    “Westward, ever westward.”

    The “Frontier” is defined as “a region at the edge of a settled area”. The “American Frontier,” began with the first days of European settlement on the Atlantic coast and the eastern rivers. From the start, the “Frontier” was most often categorized as the western edge of settlement. However, this was not always the case, as English, French, Spanish and Dutch patterns of expansion and settlement were quite different. Early on, thousands of French migrated to Canada and French fur traders ranged widely through the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds and, as far as the Rocky Mountains however, they rarely built settlements. The Dutch however, did establish permanent villages and trading posts in the Hudson River Valley but, did not push westward. The English, in the meantime, generally built compact settlements and didn’t push too far westward.

    In the course of the 17th century, the frontier had advanced up the Atlantic river courses and the tidewater region became the settled area. In the first half of the 18th Century, another advance occurred. Trappers and traders followed the Delaware and Shawnee Indians to the Ohio River as early as the end of the first quarter of the century.

    Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, made an expedition in 1714 across the Blue Ridge. The end of the first quarter of the century saw the advance of the Scotch-Irish and the Palatine Germans up the Shenandoah Valley into the western part of Virginia, and along the Piedmont region of the Carolinas. The Germans in New York pushed the frontier of settlement up the Mohawk River to German Flats. In Pennsylvania, the town of Bedford indicated the line of settlement. Settlements had also begun on New River, a branch of the Kanawha, and on the sources of the Yadkin and French Broad.

    The French and Indian Wars of the 1760s resulted in a complete victory for the British, who took over the French colonial territory west of the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River. Settlers then began to move across the Appalachians into areas such as the Ohio Country and the New River Valley. The King attempted to arrest the advance by his proclamation of 1763, forbidding settlements beyond the sources of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic, however, his proclamation would be in vain. From the beginning, the East feared the result of an unregulated advance of the frontier, and tried to check and guide it, but, would never be able to stop the flow of people heading westward.

    Following the victory of the United States in the American Revolution and the signing Treaty of Paris in 1783, the United States gained control of the British lands west of the Appalachian Mountains. During this time, thousands of settlers, such as Daniel Boone, crossed the Alleghanies into Kentucky and Tennessee, and the upper waters of the Ohio River were settled. Some areas, such as the Virginia Military District and the Connecticut Western Reserve, both in Ohio, were used by the states to reward veterans of the war. How to formally include these new frontier areas into the nation was an important issue in the Continental Congress of the 1780s and was partly resolved by the Northwest Ordinance in 1787.

    When the first census was taken in 1790, the continuous settled area was bounded by a line which ran near the coast of Maine and included New England except for a portion of Vermont and New Hampshire, New York along the Hudson River and up the Mohawk about Schenectady, eastern and southern Pennsylvania, Virginia well across the Shenandoah Valley, and the Carolinas and eastern Georgia. Beyond this region of continuous settlement were the small settled areas of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the Ohio River, with the mountains separating them and the Atlantic area. The isolation of the region caused the region to be called the “West,” and the concept of the Western Frontier began to evolve.

    For the next century, westward expansion would increase following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the subsequent Lewis and Clark Expedition By 1820 the settled area included Ohio, southern Indiana and Illinois, southeastern Missouri, and about half of Louisiana. These settled areas often surrounded Indian lands, whom the settlers protested against, which would later result in the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The frontier region of the time lay along the Great Lakes, where Astor’s American Fur Company operated in the Indians trade, and beyond the Mississippi River, where Indian traders extended their activity as far as the Rocky Mountains.

    The Great West by Currier & Ives

    The rising steam navigation on western waters, the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, and the westward extension of cotton culture added five frontier states to the Union. In the meantime, the Federal Government was continuing to expand the nation.

    In 1845, it annexed Texas and in 1846, the Oregon Treaty ended British claims to Oregon Territory. In 1848, following the Mexican-American War, Mexico ceded much of the West and Southwest to the United States. This included what would become the states of California, Nevada, Utah, parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming and in 1853 the United States bought an additional tract of land from Mexico. These new territories attracted hundreds of thousands of settlers.

    By the middle 1800s, the line of the frontier was indicated by the present eastern boundary of Indian Territory, Nebraska, and Kansas. Minnesota and Wisconsin still exhibited frontier conditions, but, the distinctive frontier of the period was found in California, where the gold discoveries had sent a sudden tide of adventurous miners, and in Oregon, and the settlements in Utah.


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    The Significance of the Frontier in American History

    Many primary documents relate to multiple themes in American history and government and are curated by different editors for particular collections. In the dropdown menu, we provide links to variant excerpts of the document, with study questions relevant to particular themes.

    1 In a recent bulletin of the Superintendent of the Census for 1890 appear these significant words: “Up to and including 1880 the country had a frontier of settlement, but at present the unsettled area has been so broken into by isolated bodies of settlement that there can hardly be said to be a frontier line. In the discussion of its extent, its westward movement, etc., it can not, therefore, any longer have a place in the census reports.” This brief official statement marks the closing of a great historic movement. Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development.

    Behind institutions, behind constitutional forms and modifications, lie the vital forces that call these organs into life and shape them to meet changing conditions. The peculiarity of American institutions is, the fact that they have been compelled to adapt themselves to the changes of an expanding people–to the changes involved in crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, and in developing at each area of this progress out of the primitive economic and political conditions of the frontier into the complexity of city life. Said Calhoun in 1817, “We are great, and rapidly–I was about to say fearfully–growing!”,2 So saying, he touched the distinguishing feature of American life. All peoples show development the germ theory of politics has been sufficiently emphasized. In the case of most nations, however, the development has occurred in a limited area and if the nation has expanded, it has met other growing peoples whom it has conquered. But in the case of the United States we have a different phenomenon. Limiting our attention to the Atlantic coast, we have the familiar phenomenon of the evolution of institutions in a limited area, such as the rise of representative government into complex organs the progress from primitive industrial society, without division of labor, up to manufacturing civilization. But we have in addition to this a recurrence of the process of evolution in each western area reached in the process of expansion. Thus American development has exhibited not merely advance along a single line, but a return to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line, and a new development for that area. American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating American character. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic coast, it is the Great West. Even the slavery struggle, which is made so exclusive an object of attention by writers like Professor von Holst, occupies its important place in American history because of its relation to westward expansion. In this advance, the frontier is the outer edge of the wave– the meeting point between savagery and civilization. Much has been written about the frontier from the point of view of border warfare and the chase, but as a field for the serious study of the economist and the historian it has been neglected.

    The American frontier is sharply distinguished from the European frontier–a fortified boundary line running through dense populations. The most significant thing about the American frontier is, that it lies at the hither edge of free land. In the census reports it is treated as the margin of that settlement which has a density of two or more to the square mile. The term is an elastic one, and for our purposes does not need sharp definition. We shall consider the whole frontier belt including the Indian country and the outer margin of the “settled area ” of the census reports. This paper will make no attempt to treat the subject exhaustively its aim is simply to call attention to the frontier as a fertile field for investigation, and to suggest some of the problems which arise in connection with it.

    In the settlement of America we have to observe how European life entered the continent, and how America modified and developed that life and reacted on Europe. Our early history is the study of European germs developing in an American environment. Too exclusive attention has been paid by institutional students to the Germanic origins, too little to the American factors. The frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization. The wilderness masters the colonist. It finds him a European in dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, and thought. It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe. It strips off the garments of civilization and arrays him in the hunting shirt and the moccasin. It puts him in the log cabin of the Cherokee and Iroquois and runs an Indian palisade around him. Before long he has gone to planting Indian corn and plowing with a sharp stick, he shouts the war cry and takes the scalp in orthodox Indian fashion. In short, at the frontier the environment is at first too strong for the man. He must accept the conditions which it furnishes, or perish, and so he fits himself into the Indian clearings and follows the Indian trails. Little by little he transforms the wilderness, but the outcome is not the old Europe, not simply the development of Germanic germs, any more than the first phenomenon was a case of reversion to the Germanic mark. The fact is, that here is a new product that is American. At first, the frontier was the Atlantic coast. It was the frontier of Europe in a very real sense. Moving westward, the frontier became more and more American. As successive terminal moraines result from successive glaciations, so each frontier leaves its traces behind it, and when it becomes a settled area the region still partakes of the frontier characteristics. Thus the advance of the frontier has meant a steady movement away from the influence of Europe, a steady growth of independence on American lines. And to study this advance, the men who grew up under these conditions, and the political, economic, and social results of it, is to study the really American part of our history.

    In the course of the seventeenth century the frontier was advanced up the Atlantic river courses, just beyond the “fall line,” and the tidewater region became the settled area. In the first half of the eighteenth century another advance occurred. Traders followed the Delaware and Shawnee Indians to the Ohio as early as the end of the first quarter of the century.3 Gov. Spotswood, of Virginia, made an expedition in 1714 across the Blue Ridge. The end of the first quarter of the century saw the advance of the Scotch-Irish and the Palatine Germans up the Shenandoah Valley into the western part of Virginia, and along the Piedmont region of the Carolinas.4 The Germans in New York pushed the frontier of settlement up the Mohawk to German Flats.5 In Pennsylvania the town of Bedford indicates the line of settlement. Settlements had begun on New River, a branch of the Kanawha, and on the sources of the Yadkin and French Broad.6 The King attempted to arrest the advance by his proclamation of 1763,7 forbidding settlements beyond the sources of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic, but in vain. In the period of the Revolution the frontier crossed the Alleghanies into Kentucky and Tennessee, and the upper waters of the Ohio were settled.8 When the first census was taken in 1790, the continuous settled area was bounded by a line which ran near the coast of Maine, and included New England except a portion of Vermont and New Hampshire, New York along the Hudson and up the Mohawk about Schenectady, eastern and southern Pennsylvania, Virginia well across the Shenandoah Valley, and the Carolinas and eastern Georgia.9 Beyond this region of continuous settlement were the small settled areas of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the Ohio, with the mountains intervening between them and the Atlantic area, thus giving a new and important character to the frontier. The isolation of the region increased its peculiarly American tendencies, and the need of transportation facilities to connect it with the East called out important schemes of internal improvement, which will be noted farther on. The “West,” as a self-conscious section, began to evolve.

    From decade to decade distinct advances of the frontier occurred. By the census of 18201 the settled area included Ohio, southern Indiana and Illinois, southeastern Missouri, and about one-half of Louisiana. This settled area had surrounded Indian areas, and the management of these tribes became an object of political concern. The frontier region of the time lay along the Great Lakes, where Astor’s American Fur Company operated in the Indian trade,11 and beyond the Mississippi, where Indian traders extended their activity even to the Rocky Mountains Florida also furnished frontier conditions. The Mississippi River region was the scene of typical frontier settlements.12

    The rising steam navigation 13 on western waters, the opening of the Erie Canal, and the westward extension of cotton 14 culture added five frontier states to the Union in this period. Grund, writing in 1836, declares: “It appears then that the universal disposition of Americans to emigrate to the western wilderness, in order to enlarge their dominion over inanimate nature, is the actual result of an expansive power which is inherent in them, and which by continually agitating all classes of society is constantly throwing a large portion of the whole population on the extreme confines of the State, in order to gain space for its development. Hardly is a new State or Territory formed before the same principle manifests itself again and gives rise to a further emigration and so is it destined to go on until a physical barrier must finally obstruct its progress.󈭣

    In the middle of this century the line indicated by the present eastern boundary of Indian Territory, Nebraska, and Kansas marked the frontier of the Indian country.16 Minnesota and Wisconsin still exhibited frontier conditions,17 but the distinctive frontier of the period is found in California, where the gold discoveries had sent a sudden tide of adventurous miners, and in Oregon, and the settlements in Utah.18 As the frontier had leaped over the Alleghanies, so now it skipped the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains and in the same way that the advance of the frontiersmen beyond the Alleghanies had caused the rise of important questions of transportation and internal improvement, so now the settlers beyond the Rocky Mountains needed means of communication with the East, and in the furnishing of these arose the settlement of the Great Plains and the development of still another kind of frontier life. Railroads, fostered by land grants, sent an increasing tide of immigrants into the Far West. The United States Army fought a series of Indian wars in Minnesota, Dakota, and the Indian Territory.

    By 1880 the settled area had been pushed into northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, along Dakota rivers, and in the Black Hills region, and was ascending the rivers of Kansas and Nebraska. The development of mines in Colorado had drawn isolated frontier settlements into that region, and Montana and Idaho were receiving settlers. The frontier was found in these mining camps and the ranches of the Great Plains. The superintendent of the census for 1890 reports, as previously stated, that the settlements of the West lie so scattered over the region that there can no longer be said to be a frontier line.

    In these successive frontiers we find natural boundary lines which have served to mark and to affect the characteristics of the frontiers, namely: the “fall line” the Alleghany Mountains the Mississippi the Missouri where its direction approximates north and south the line of the arid lands, approximately the ninety-ninth meridian and the Rocky Mountains. The fall line marked the frontier of the seventeenth century the Alleghanies that of the eighteenth the Mississippi that of the first quarter of the nineteenth the Missouri that of the middle of this century (omitting the California movement) and the belt of the Rocky Mountains and the arid tract, the present frontier. Each was won by a series of Indian wars.

    At the Atlantic frontier one can study the germs of processes repeated at each successive frontier. We have the complex European life sharply precipitated by the wilderness into the simplicity of primitive conditions. The first frontier had to meet its Indian question, its question of the disposition of the public domain, of the means of intercourse with older settlements, of the extension of political organization, of religious and educational activity. And the settlement of these and similar questions for one frontier served as a guide for the next. The American student needs not to go to the “prim little townships of Sleswick” for illustrations of the law of continuity and development. For example, he may study the origin of our land policies in the colonial land policy he may see how the system grew by adapting the statutes to the customs of the successive frontiers.19 He may see how the mining experience in the lead regions of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa was applied to the mining laws of the Sierras,20 and how our Indian policy has been a series of experimentations on successive frontiers. Each tier of new States has found in the older ones material for its constitutions.21 Each frontier has made similar contributions to American character, as will be discussed farther on.

    But with all these similarities there are essential differences, due to the place element and the time element. It is evident that the farming frontier of the Mississippi Valley presents different conditions from the mining frontier of the Rocky Mountains. The frontier reached by the Pacific Railroad, surveyed into rectangles, guarded by the United States Army, and recruited by the daily immigrant ship, moves forward at a swifter pace and in a different way than the frontier reached by the birch canoe or the pack horse. The geologist traces patiently the shores of ancient seas, maps their areas, and compares the older and the newer. It would be a work worth the historian’s labors to mark these various frontiers and in detail compare one with another. Not only would there result a more adequate conception of American development and characteristics, but invaluable additions would be made to the history of society.

    Loria,22 the Italian economist, has urged the study of colonial life as an aid in understanding the stages of European development, affirming that colonial settlement is for economic science what the mountain is for geology, bringing to light primitive stratifications. “America,” he says, “has the key to the historical enigma which Europe has sought for centuries in vain, and the land which has no history reveals luminously the course of universal history.” There is much truth in this. The United States lies like a huge page in the history of society. Line by line as we read this continental page from West to East we find the record of social evolution. It begins with the Indian and the hunter it goes on to tell of the disintegration of savagery by the entrance of the trader, the pathfinder of civilization we read the annals of the pastoral stage in ranch life the exploitation of the soil by the raising of unrotated crops of corn and wheat in sparsely settled farming communities the intensive culture of the denser farm settlement and finally the manufacturing organization with city and factory system.23 This page is familiar to the student of census statistics, but how little of it has been used by our historians. Particularly in eastern States this page is a palimpsest. What is now a manufacturing State was in an earlier decade an area of intensive farming. Earlier yet it had been a wheat area, and still earlier the “range” had attracted the cattleherder. Thus Wisconsin, now developing manufacture, is a State with varied agricultural interests. But earlier it was given over to almost exclusive grain-raising, like North Dakota at the present time.

    Each of these areas has had an influence in our economic and political history the evolution of each into a higher stage has worked political transformations. But what constitutional historian has made any adequate attempt to interpret political facts by the light of these social areas and changes?24

    The Atlantic frontier was compounded of fisherman, fur trader, miner, cattle-raiser, and farmer. Excepting the fisherman, each type of industry was on the march toward the West, impelled by an irresistible attraction. Each passed in successive waves across the continent. Stand at Cumberland Gap and watch the procession of civilization, marching single file– the buffalo following the trail to the salt springs, the Indian, the fur trader and hunter, the cattle-raiser, the pioneer farmer –and the frontier has passed by. Stand at South Pass in the Rockies a century later and see the same procession with wider intervals between. The unequal rate of advance compels us to distinguish the frontier into the trader’s frontier, the rancher’s frontier, or the miner’s frontier, and the farmer’s frontier. When the mines and the cow pens were still near the fall line the traders’ pack trains were tinkling across the Alleghanies, and the French on the Great Lakes were fortifying their posts, alarmed by the British trader’s birch canoe. When the trappers scaled the Rockies, the farmer was still near the mouth of the Missouri.

    Why was it that the Indian trader passed so rapidly across the continent? What effects followed from the trader’s frontier? The trade was coeval with American discovery. The Norsemen, Vespuccius, Verrazani, Hudson, John Smith, all trafficked for furs. The Plymouth pilgrims settled in Indian cornfields, and their first return cargo was of beaver and lumber. The records of the various New England colonies show how steadily exploration was carried into the wilderness by this trade. What is true for New England is, as would be expected, even plainer for the rest of the colonies. All along the coast from Maine to Georgia the Indian trade opened up the river courses. Steadily the trader passed westward, utilizing the older lines of French trade. The Ohio, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Platte, the lines of western advance, were ascended by traders. They found the passes in the Rocky Mountains and guided Lewis and Clark,25 Fremont, and Bidwell. The explanation of the rapidity of this advance is connected with the effects of the trader on the Indian. The trading post left the unarmed tribes at the mercy of those that had purchased fire-arms–a truth which the Iroquois Indians wrote in blood, and so the remote and unvisited tribes gave eager welcome to the trader “The savages,” wrote La Salle, “take better care of us French than of their own children from us only can they get guns and goods.” This accounts for the trader’s power and the rapidity of his advance. Thus the disintegrating forces of civilization entered the wilderness. Every river valley and Indian trail became a fissure in Indian society, and so that society became honeycombed. Long before the pioneer farmer appeared on the scene, primitive Indian life had passed away. The farmers met Indians armed with guns. The trading frontier, while steadily undermining Indian power by making the tribes ultimately dependent on the whites, yet, through its sale of guns, gave to the Indian increased power of resistance to the farming frontier. French colonization was dominated by its trading frontier English colonization by its farming frontier. There was an antagonism between the two frontiers as between the two nations. Said Duquesne to the Iroquois, “Are you ignorant of the difference between the king of England and the king of France? Go see the forts that our king has established and you will see that you can still hunt under their very walls. They have been placed for your advantage in places which you frequent. The English, on the contrary, are no sooner in possession of a place than the game is driven away. The forest falls before them as they advance, and the soil is laid bare so that you can scarce find the wherewithal to erect a shelter for the night.”

    And yet, in spite of this opposition of the interests of the trader and the farmer, the Indian trade pioneered the way for civilization. The buffalo trail became the Indian trail, and this became the trader’s “trace” the trails widened into roads, and the roads into turnpikes, and these in turn were transformed into railroads. The same origin can be shown for the railroads of the South, the Far West, and the Dominion of Canada.26 The trading posts reached by these trails were on the sites of Indian villages which had been placed in positions suggested by nature and these trading posts, situated so as to command the water systems of the country, have grown into such cities as Albany, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Council Bluffs, and Kansas City. Thus civilization in America has followed the arteries made by geology, pouring an ever richer tide through them, until at last the slender paths of aboriginal intercourse have been broadened and interwoven into the complex mazes of modern commercial lines the wilderness has been interpenetrated by lines of civilization growing ever more numerous. It is like the steady growth of a complex nervous system for the originally simple, inert continent. If one would understand why we are to-day one nation, rather than a collection of isolated states, he must study this economic and social consolidation of the country. In this progress from savage conditions lie topics for the evolutionist.27

    The effect of the Indian frontier as a consolidating agent in our history is important. From the close of the seventeenth century various intercolonial congresses have been called to treat with Indians and establish common measures of defense. Particularism was strongest in colonies with no Indian frontier. This frontier stretched along the western border like a cord of union. The Indian was a common danger, demanding united action. Most celebrated of these conferences was the Albany congress of 1754, called to treat with the Six Nations, and to consider plans of union. Even a cursory reading of the plan proposed by the congress reveals the importance of the frontier. The powers of the general council and the officers were, chiefly, the determination of peace and war with the Indians, the regulation of Indian trade, the purchase of Indian lands, and the creation and government of new settlements as a security against the Indians. It is evident that the unifying tendencies of the Revolutionary period were facilitated by the previous cooperation in the regulation of the frontier. In this connection may be mentioned the importance of the frontier, from that day to this, as a military training school, keeping alive the power of resistance to aggression, and developing the stalwart and rugged qualities of the frontiersman.

    It would not be possible in the limits of this paper to trace the other frontiers across the continent. Travelers of the eighteenth century found the “cowpens” among the canebrakes and peavine pastures of the South, and the “cow drivers” took their droves to Charleston, Philadelphia, and New York.28 Travelers at the close of the War of 1812 met droves of more than a thousand cattle and swine from the interior of Ohio going to Pennsylvania to fatten for the Philadelphia market.29 The ranges of the Great Plains, with ranch and cowboy and nomadic life, are things of yesterday and of to-day. The experience of the Carolina cowpens guided the ranchers of Texas. One element favoring the rapid extension of the rancher’s frontier is the fact that in a remote country lacking transportation facilities the product must be in small bulk, or must be able to transport itself, and the cattle raiser could easily drive his product to market. The effect of these great ranches on the subsequent agrarian history of the localities in which they existed should be studied.

    The maps of the census reports show an uneven advance of the farmer’s frontier, with tongues of settlement pushed forward and with indentations of wilderness. In part this is due to Indian resistance, in part to the location of river valleys and passes, in part to the unequal force of the centers of frontier attraction. Among the important centers of attraction may be mentioned the following: fertile and favorably situated soils, salt springs, mines, and army posts.

    The frontier army post, serving to protect the settlers from the Indians, has also acted as a wedge to open the Indian country, and has been a nucleus for settlement.30 In this connection mention should also be made of the government military and exploring expeditions in determining the lines of settlement. But all the more important expeditions were greatly indebted to the earliest pathmakers, the Indian guides, the traders and trappers, and the French voyageurs, who were inevitable parts of governmental expeditions from the days of Lewis and Clark.31 Each expedition was an epitome of the previous factors in western advance.

    In an interesting monograph, Victor Hehn32 has traced the effect of salt upon early European development, and has pointed out how it affected the lines of settlement and the form of administration. A similar study might be made for the salt springs of the United States. The early settlers were tied to the coast by the need of salt, without which they could not preserve their meats or live in comfort. Writing in 1752, Bishop Spangenburg says of a colony for which he was seeking lands in North Carolina, “They will require salt & other necessaries which they can neither manufacture nor raise. Either they must go to Charleston, which is 300 miles distant .. . Or else they must go to Boling’s Point in Va on a branch of the James & is also 300 miles from here. . . Or else they must go down the Roanoke–I know not how many miles–where salt is brought up from the Cape Fear.󈭵 This may serve as a typical illustration. An annual pilgrimage to the coast for salt thus became essential. Taking flocks or furs and ginseng root, the early settlers sent their pack trains after seeding time each year to the coast.34 This proved to be an important educational influence, since it was almost the only way in which the pioneer learned what was going on in the East. But when discovery was made of the salt springs of the Kanawha, and the Holston, and Kentucky, and central New York, the West began to be freed from dependence on the coast. It was in part the effect of finding these salt springs that enabled settlement to cross the mountains.

    From the time the mountains rose between the pioneer and the seaboard, a new order of Americanism arose. The West and the East began to get out of touch of each other. The settlements from the sea to the mountains kept connection with the rear and had a certain solidarity. But the over-mountain men grew more and more independent. The East took a narrow view of American advance, and nearly lost these men. Kentucky and Tennessee history bears abundant witness to the truth of this statement. The East began to try to hedge and limit westward expansion. Though Webster could declare that there were no Alleghanies in his politics, yet in politics in general they were a very solid factor.
    The exploitation of the beasts took hunter and trader to the west, the exploitation of the grasses took the rancher west, and the exploitation of the virgin soil of the river valleys and prairies attracted the farmer. Good soils have been the most continuous attraction to the farmer’s frontier. The land hunger of the Virginians drew them down the rivers into Carolina, in early colonial days the search for soils took the Massachusetts men to Pennsylvania and to New York. As the eastern lands were taken up migration flowed across them to the west. Daniel Boone, the great backwoodsman, who combined the occupations of hunter, trader, cattle-raiser, farmer, and surveyor-learning, probably from the traders, of the fertility of the lands of the upper Yadkin, where the traders were wont to rest as they took their way to the Indians, left his Pennsylvania home with his father, and passed down the Great Valley road to that stream. Learning from a trader of the game and rich pastures of Kentucky, he pioneered the way for the farmers to that region. Thence he passed to the frontier of Missouri, where his settlement was long a landmark on the frontier. Here again he helped to open the way for civilization, finding salt licks, and trails, and land. His son was among the earliest trappers in the passes of the Rocky Mountains, and his party are said to have been the first to camp on the present site of Denver. His grandson, Col. A. J. Boone, of Colorado, was a power among the Indians of the Rocky Mountains, and was appointed an agent by the government. Kit Carson’s mother was a Boone.35 Thus this family epitomizes the backwoodsman’s advance across the continent

    The farmer’s advance came in a distinct series of waves. In Peck’s New Guide to the West, published in Boston in 1837, occurs this suggestive passage:

    Generally, in all the western settlements, three classes, like the waves of the ocean, have rolled one after the other. First comes the pioneer, who depends for the subsistence of his family chiefly upon the natural growth of vegetation, called the “range,” and the proceeds of hunting. His implements of agriculture are rude, chiefly of his own make, and his efforts directed mainly to a crop of corn and a “truck patch.” The last is a rude garden for growing cabbage, beans, corn for roasting ears, cucumbers, and potatoes. A log cabin, and, occasionally, a stable and corn-crib, and a field of a dozen acres, the timber girdled or “deadened,” and fenced, are enough for his occupancy. It is quite immaterial whether he ever becomes the owner of the soil. He is the occupant for the time being, pays no rent, and feels as independent as the ” lord of the manor.” With a horse, cow, and one or two breeders of swine, he strikes into the woods with his family, and becomes the founder of a new county, or perhaps state. He builds his cabin, gathers around him a few other families of similar tastes and habits, and occupies till the range is somewhat subdued, and hunting a little precarious, or, which is more frequently the case, till the neighbors crowd around, roads, bridges, and fields annoy him, and he lacks elbow room. The preemption law enables him to dispose of his cabin and cornfield to the next class of emigrants and, to employ his own figures, he “breaks for the high timber,” “clears out for the New Purchase,” or migrates to Arkansas or Texas, to work the same process over.

    The next class of emigrants purchase the lands, add field to field, clear out the roads, throw rough bridges over the streams, put up hewn log houses with glass windows and brick or stone chimneys, occasionally plant orchards, build mills, school-houses, court-houses, etc., and exhibit the picture and forms of plain, frugal, civilized life.

    Another wave rolls on. The men of capital and enterprise come. The settler is ready to sell out and take the advantage of the rise in property, push farther into the interior and become, himself, a man of capital and enterprise in turn. The small village rises to a spacious town or city substantial edifices of brick, extensive fields, orchards, gardens, colleges, and churches are seen. Broad-cloths, silks, leghorns, crepes, and all the refinements, luxuries, elegancies, frivolities, and fashions are in vogue. Thus wave after wave is rolling westward the real Eldorado is still farther on.

    A portion of the two first classes remain stationary amidst the general movement, improve their habits and condition, and rise in the scale of society.

    The writer has traveled much amongst the first class, the real pioneers. He has lived many years in connection with the second grade and now the third wave is sweeping over large districts of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. Migration has become almost a habit in the West. Hundreds of men can be found, not over 50 years of age, who have settled for the fourth, fifth, or sixth time on a new spot. To sell out and remove only a few hundred miles makes up a portion of the variety of backwoods life and manners.36

    Omitting those of the pioneer farmers who move from the love of adventure, the advance of the more steady farmer is easy to understand. Obviously the immigrant was attracted by the cheap lands of the frontier, and even the native farmer felt their influence strongly. Year by year the farmers who lived on soil whose returns were diminished by unrotated crops were offered the virgin soil of the frontier at nominal prices. Their growing families demanded more lands, and these were dear. The competition of the unexhausted, cheap, and easily tilled prairie lands compelled the farmer either to go west and continue the exhaustion of the soil on a new frontier, or to adopt intensive culture. Thus the census of 1890 shows, in the Northwest, many counties in which there is an absolute or a relative decrease of population. These States have been sending farmers to advance the frontier on the plains, and have themselves begun to turn to intensive farming and to manufacture. A decade before this, Ohio had shown the same transition stage. Thus the demand for land and the love of wilderness freedom drew the frontier ever onward. Having now roughly outlined the various kinds of frontiers, and their modes of advance, chiefly from the point of view of the frontier itself, we may next inquire what were the influences on the East and on the Old World. A rapid enumeration of some of the more noteworthy effects is all that I have time for.

    First, we note that the frontier promoted the formation of a composite nationality for the American people. The coast was preponderantly English, but the later tides of continental immigration flowed across to the free lands. This was the case from the early colonial days. The Scotch-Irish and the Palatine Germans, or ” Pennsylvania Dutch,” furnished the dominant element in the stock of the colonial frontier. With these peoples were also the freed indented servants, or redemptioners, who at the expiration of their time of service passed to the frontier. Governor Spotswood of Virginia writes in 1717, “The inhabitants of our frontiers are composed generally of such as have been transported hither as servants, and, being out of their time, settle themselves where land is to be taken up and that will produce the necessarys of life with little labour.󈭹 Very generally these redemptioners were of non-English stock. In the crucible of the frontier the immigrants were Americanized, liberated, and fused into a mixed race, English in neither nationality nor characteristics. The process has gone on from the early days to our own. Burke and other writers in the middle of the eighteenth century believed that Pennsylvania38 was “threatened with the danger of being wholly foreign in language, manners, and perhaps even inclinations.” The German and Scotch-Irish elements in the frontier of the South were only less great. In the middle of the present century the German element in Wisconsin was already so considerable that leading publicists looked to the creation of a German state out of the commonwealth by concentrating their colonization.39 Such examples teach us to beware of misinterpreting the fact that there is a common English speech in America into a belief that the stock is also English.

    In another way the advance of the frontier decreased our dependence on England. The coast, particularly of the South, lacked diversified industries, and was dependent on England for the bulk of its supplies. In the South there was even a dependence on the Northern colonies for articles of food. Governor Glenn, of South Carolina, writes in the middle of the eighteenth century: “Our trade with New York and Philadelphia was of this sort, draining us of all the little money and bills we could gather from other places for their bread, flour, beer, hams, bacon, and other things of their produce, all which, except beer, our new townships begin to supply us with, which are settled with very industrious and thriving Germans. This no doubt diminishes the number of shipping and the appearance of our trade, but it is far from being a detriment to us.40 Before long the frontier created a demand for merchants. As it retreated from the coast it became less and less possible for England to bring her supplies directly to the consumer’s wharfs, and carry away staple crops, and staple crops began to give way to diversified agriculture for a time. The effect of this phase of the frontier action upon the northern section is perceived when we realize how the advance of the frontier aroused seaboard cities like Boston, New York, and Baltimore, to engage in rivalry for what Washington called “the extensive and valuable trade of a rising empire.”

    The legislation which most developed the powers of the national government, and played the largest part in its activity, was conditioned on the frontier. Writers have discussed the subjects of tariff, land, and internal improvement, as subsidiary to the slavery question. But when American history comes to be rightly viewed it will be seen that the slavery question is an incident. In the period from the end of the first half of the present century to the close of the Civil War slavery rose to primary, but far from exclusive, importance. But this does not justify Dr. von Holst (to take an example) in treating our constitutional history in its formative period down to 1828 in a single volume, giving six volumes chiefly to the history of slavery from 1828 to 1861, under the title “Constitutional History of the United States.” The growth of nationalism and the evolution of American political institutions were dependent on the advance of the frontier. Even so recent a writer as Rhodes, in his “History of the United States since the Compromise of 1850,” has treated the legislation called out by the western advance as incidental to the slavery struggle.

    This is a wrong perspective. The pioneer needed the goods of the coast, and so the grand series of internal improvement and railroad legislation began, with potent nationalizing effects. Over internal improvements occurred great debates, in which grave constitutional questions were discussed. Sectional groupings appear in the votes, profoundly significant for the historian. Loose construction increased as the nation marched westward.41 But the West was not content with bringing the farm to the factory. Under the lead of Clay–“Harry of the West”–protective tariffs were passed, with the cry of bringing the factory to the farm. The disposition of the public lands was a third important subject of national legislation influenced by the frontier.

    The public domain has been a force of profound importance in the nationalization and development of the government. The effects of the struggle of the landed and the landless States, and of the Ordinance of 1787, need no discussion.42 Administratively the frontier called out some of the highest and most vitalizing activities of the general government. The purchase of Louisiana was perhaps the constitutional turning point in the history of the Republic, inasmuch as it afforded both a new area for national legislation and the occasion of the downfall of the policy of strict construction. But the purchase of Louisiana was called out by frontier needs and demands. As frontier States accrued to the Union the national power grew In a speech on the dedication of the Calhoun monument Mr. Lamar explained: “In 1789 the States were the creators of the Federal Government in 1861 the Federal Government was the creator of a large majority of the States.”

    When we consider the public domain from the point of view of the sale and disposal of the public lands we are again brought face to face with the frontier. The policy of the United States in dealing with its lands is in sharp contrast with the European system of scientific administration. Efforts to make this domain a source of revenue, and to withhold it from emigrants in order that settlement might be compact, were in vain. The jealousy and the fears of the East were powerless in the face of the demands of the frontiersmen. John Quincy Adams was obliged to confess: “My own system of administration, which was to make the national domain the inexhaustible fund for progressive and unceasing internal improvement, has failed.” The reason is obvious a system of administration was not what the West demanded it wanted land. Adams states the situation as follows: “The slaveholders of the South have bought the cooperation of the western country by the bribe of the western lands, abandoning to the new Western States their own proportion of the public property and aiding them in the design of grasping all the lands into their own hands. Thomas H. Benton was the author of this system, which he brought forward as a substitute for the American system of Mr. Clay, and to supplant him as the leading statesman of the West. Mr. Clay, by his tariff compromise with Mr. Calhoun, abandoned his own American system. At the same time he brought forward a plan for distributing among all the States of the Union the proceeds of the sales of the public lands. His bill for that purpose passed both Houses of Congress, but was vetoed by President Jackson, who, in his annual message of December, 1832, formally recommended that all public lands should be gratuitously given away to individual adventurers and to the States in which the lands are situated.43

    “No subject,” said Henry Clay, “which has presented itself to the present, or perhaps any preceding, Congress, is of greater magnitude than that of the public lands.” When we consider the far-reaching effects of the government’s land policy upon political, economic, and social aspects of American life, we are disposed to agree with him. But this legislation was framed under frontier influences, and under the lead of Western statesmen like Benton and Jackson. Said Senator Scott of Indiana in 1841: “I consider the preemption law merely declaratory of the custom or common law of the settlers.” It is safe to say that the legislation with regard to land, tariff, and internal improvements–the American system of the nationalizing Whig party–was conditioned on frontier ideas and needs. But it was not merely in legislative action that the frontier worked against the sectionalism of the coast. The economic and social characteristics of the frontier worked against sectionalism. The men of the frontier had closer resemblances to the Middle region than to either of the other sections. Pennsylvania had been the seed plot of frontier emigration, and, although she passed on her settlers along the Great Valley into the west of Virginia and the Carolinas, yet the industrial society of these Southern frontiersmen was always more like that of the Middle region than like that of the tide water portion of the South, which later came to spread its industrial type throughout the South. The Middle region, entered by New York harbor, was an open door to all Europe. The tide-water part of the South represented typical Englishmen, modified by a warm climate and servile labor, and living in baronial fashion on great plantations New England stood for a special English movement– Puritanism. The Middle region was less English than the other sections. It had a wide mixture of nationalities, a varied society, the mixed town and county system of local government, a varied economic life, many religious sects. In short, it was a region mediating between New England and the South, and the East and the West. It represented that composite nationality which the contemporary United States exhibits, that juxtaposition of non-English groups, occupying a valley or a little settlement, and presenting reflections of the map of Europe in their variety. It was democratic and nonsectional, if not national “easy, tolerant, and contented” rooted strongly in material prosperity. It was typical of the modern United States. It was least sectional, not only because it lay between North and South, but also because with no barriers to shut out its frontiers from its settled region, and with a system of connecting waterways, the Middle region mediated between East and West as well as between North and South. Thus it became the typically American region. Even the New Englander, who was shut out from the frontier by the Middle region, tarrying in New York or Pennsylvania on his westward march, lost the acuteness of his sectionalism on the way.44

    The spread of cotton culture into the interior of the South finally broke down the contrast between the “tide-water ” region and the rest of the State, and based Southern interests on slavery. Before this process revealed its results the western portion of the South, which was akin to Pennsylvania in stock, society, and industry, showed tendencies to fall away from the faith of the fathers into internal improvement legislation and nationalism. In the Virginia convention of 1829-30, called to revise the constitution, Mr. Leigh, of Chesterfield, one of the tide-water counties, declared:

    One of the main causes of discontent which led to this convention, that which had the strongest influence in overcoming our veneration for the work of our fathers, which taught us to contemn the sentiments of Henry and Mason and Pendleton, which weaned us from our reverence for the constituted authorities of the State, was an overweening passion for internal improvement. I say this with perfect knowledge, for it has been avowed to me by gentlemen from the West over and over again. And let me tell the gentleman from Albemarle (Mr. Gordon) that it has been another principal object of those who set this ball of revolution in motion, to overturn the doctrine of State rights, of which Virginia has been the very pillar, and to remove the barrier she has interposed to the interference of the Federal Government in that same work of internal improvement, by so reorganizing the legislature that Virginia, too, may be hitched to the Federal car.

    It was this nationalizing tendency of the West that transformed the democracy of Jefferson into the national republicanism of Monroe and the democracy of Andrew Jackson. The West of the War of 1812, the West of Clay, and Benton and Harrison, and Andrew Jackson, shut off by the Middle States and the mountains from the coast sections, had a solidarity of its own with national tendencies45 On the tide of the Father of Waters, North and South met and mingled into a nation. Interstate migration went steadily on–a process of crossfertilization of ideas and institutions. The fierce struggle of the sections over slavery on the western frontier does not diminish the truth of this statement it proves the truth of it. Slavery was a sectional trait that would not down, but in the West it could not remain sectional. It was the greatest of frontiersmen who declared: “I believe this Government can not endure permanently half slave and half free. It will become all of one thing or all of the other.” Nothing works for nationalism like intercourse within the nation. Mobility of population is death to localism, and the western frontier worked irresistibly in unsettling population. The effect reached back from the frontier and affected profoundly the Atlantic coast and even the Old World.

    But the most important effect of the frontier has been in the promotion of democracy here and in Europe. As has been indicated, the frontier is productive of individualism. Complex society is precipitated by the wilderness into a kind of primitive organization based on the family. The tendency is anti-social. It produces antipathy to control, and particularly to any direct control. The tax-gatherer is viewed as a representative of oppression. Prof. Osgood, in an able article,46 has pointed out that the frontier conditions prevalent in the colonies are important factors in the explanation of the American Revolution, where individual liberty was sometimes confused with absence of all effective government. The same conditions aid in explaining the difficulty of instituting a strong government in the period of the confederacy. The frontier individualism has from the beginning promoted democracy. The frontier States that came into the Union in the first quarter of a century of its existence came in with democratic suffrage provisions, and had reactive effects of the highest importance upon the older States whose peoples were being attracted there. An extension of the franchise became essential. It was western New York that forced an extension of suffrage in the constitutional convention of that State in 1821 and it was western Virginia that compelled the tide-water region to put a more liberal suffrage provision in the constitution framed in 1830, and to give to the frontier region a more nearly proportionate representation with the tide-water aristocracy. The rise of democracy as an effective force in the nation came in with western preponderance under Jackson and William Henry Harrison, and it meant the triumph of the frontier– with all of its good and with all of its evil elements.47 An interesting illustration of the tone of frontier democracy in 1830 comes from the same debates in the Virginia convention already referred to. A representative from western Virginia declared:

    But, sir, it is not the increase of population in the West which this gentleman ought to fear. It is the energy which the mountain breeze and western habits impart to those emigrants. They are regenerated, politically I mean, sir. They soon become working politicians, and the difference, sir, between a talking and a working politician is immense. The Old Dominion has long been celebrated for producing great orators the ablest metaphysicians in policy men that can split hairs in all abstruse questions of political economy. But at home, or when they return from Congress, they have negroes to fan them asleep. But a Pennsylvania, a New York, an Ohio, or a western Virginia statesman, though far inferior in logic, metaphysics, and rhetoric to an old Virginia statesman, has this advantage, that when he returns home he takes off his coat and takes hold of the plow. This gives him bone and muscle, sir, and preserves his republican principles pure and uncontaminated.

    So long as free land exists, the opportunity for a competency exists, and economic power secures political power. But the democracy born of free land, strong in selfishness and individualism, intolerant of administrative experience and education, and pressing individual liberty beyond its proper bounds, has its dangers as well as its benefits. Individualism in America has allowed a laxity in regard to governmental affairs which has rendered possible the spoils system and all the manifest evils that follow from the lack of a highly developed civic spirit. In this connection may be noted also the influence of frontier conditions in permitting lax business honor, inflated paper currency and wild-cat banking. The colonial and revolutionary frontier was the region whence emanated many of the worst forms of an evil currency.48 The West in the War of 1812 repeated the phenomenon on the frontier of that day, while the speculation and wild-cat banking of the period of the crisis of 1837 occurred on the new frontier belt of the next tier of States. Thus each one of the periods of lax financial integrity coincides with periods when a new set of frontier communities had arisen, and coincides in area with these successive frontiers for the most part. The recent Populist agitation is a case in point. Many a State that now declines any connection with the tenets of the Populists, itself adhered to such ideas in an earlier stage of the development of the State. A primitive society can hardly be expected to show the intelligent appreciation of the complexity of business interests in a developed society. The continual recurrence of these areas of paper-money agitation is another evidence that the frontier can be isolated and studied as a factor in American history of the highest importance.49

    The East has always feared the result of an unregulated advance of the frontier, and has tried to check and guide it. The English authorities would have checked settlement at the headwaters of the Atlantic tributaries and allowed the “savages to enjoy their deserts in quiet lest the peltry trade should decrease.” This called out Burke’s splendid protest:

    If you stopped your grants, what would be the consequence? The people would occupy without grants. They have already so occupied in many places. You can not station garrisons in every part of these deserts. If you drive the people from one place, they will carry on their annual tillage and remove with their flocks and herds to another Many of the people in the back settlements are already little attached to particular situations. Already they have topped the Appalachian Mountains. From thence they behold before them an immense plain, one vast, rich, level meadow a square of five hundred miles. Over this they would wander without a possibility of restraint they would change ,their manners with their habits of life would soon forget a government by which they were disowned would become hordes of English Tartars and, pouring down upon your unfortified frontiers a fierce and irresistible cavalry, become masters of your governors and your counselers, your collectors and comptrollers, and of all the slaves that adhered to them. Such would, and in no long time must, be the effect of attempting to forbid as a crime and to suppress as an evil the command and blessing of Providence, “Increase and multiply.” Such would be the happy result of an endeavor to keep as a lair of wild beasts that earth which God, by an express charter, has given to the children of men.

    But the English Government was not alone in its desire to limit the advance of the frontier and guide its destinies. Tidewater Virginia5 and South Carolina51 gerrymandering those colonies to insure the dominance of the coast in their legislatures. Washington desired to settle a State at a time in the Northwest Jefferson would reserve form settlement the territory of his Louisiana Purchase north of the thirty-second parallel, in order to offer it to the Indians in exchange for their settlements east of the Mississippi. “When we shall be full on this side,” he writes, “we may lay off a range of States on the western bank from the head to the mouth, and so range after range, advancing compactly as we multiply.” Madison went so far as to argue to the French minister that the United States had no interest in seeing population extend itself on the right bank of the Mississippi, but should rather fear it. When the Oregon question was under debate, in 1824, Smyth, of Virginia, would draw an unchangeable line for the limits of the United States at the outer limit of two tiers of States beyond the Mississippi, complaining that the seaboard States were being drained of the flower of their population by the bringing of too much land into market. Even Thomas Benton, the man of widest views of the destiny of the West, at this stage of his career declared that along the ridge of the Rocky mountains “the western limits of the Republic should be drawn, and the statue of the fabled god Terminus should be raised upon its highest peak, never to be thrown down.󈮈 But the attempts to limit the boundaries, to restrict land sales and settlement, and to deprive the West of its share of political power were all in vain. Steadily the frontier of settlement advanced and carried with it individualism, democracy, and nationalism, and powerfully affected the East and the Old World.

    The most effective efforts of the East to regulate the frontier came through its educational and religious activity, exerted by interstate migration and by organized societies. Speaking in 1835, Dr. Lyman Beecher declared: “It is equally plain that the religious and political destiny of our nation is to be decided in the West,” and he pointed out that the population of the West “is assembled from all the States of the Union and from all the nations of Europe, and is rushing in like the waters of the flood, demanding for its moral preservation the immediate and universal action of those institutions which discipline the mind and arm the conscience and the heart. And so various are the opinions and habits, and so recent and imperfect is the acquaintance, and so sparse are the settlements of the West, that no homogeneous public sentiment can be formed to legislate immediately into being the requisite institutions. And yet they are all needed immediately in their utmost perfection and power. A nation is being ’born in a day. ’ . . . But what will become of the West if her prosperity rushes up to such a majesty of power, while those great institutions linger which are necessary to form the mind and the conscience and the heart of that vast world. It must not be permitted. . . . Let no man at the East quiet himself and dream of liberty, whatever may become of the West…. Her destiny is our destiny.󈮉

    With the appeal to the conscience of New England, he adds appeals to her fears lest other religious sects anticipate her own. The New England preacher and school-teacher left their mark on the West. The dread of Western emancipation from New England’s political and economic control was paralleled by her fears lest the West cut loose from her religion. Commenting in 1850 on reports that settlement was rapidly extending northward in Wisconsin, the editor of the Home Missionary writes: “We scarcely know whether to rejoice or mourn over this extension of our settlements. While we sympathize in whatever tends to increase the physical resources and prosperity of our country, we can not forget that with all these dispersions into remote and still remoter corners of the land the supply of the means of grace is becoming relatively less and less.” Acting in accordance with such ideas, home missions were established and Western colleges were erected. As seaboard cities like Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore strove for the mastery of Western trade, so the various denominations strove for the possession of the West. Thus an intellectual stream from New England sources fertilized the West. Other sections sent their missionaries but the real struggle was between sects. The contest for power and the expansive tendency furnished to the various sects by the existence of a moving frontier must have had important results on the character of religious organization in the United States. The multiplication of rival churches in the little frontier towns had deep and lasting social effects. The religious aspects of the frontier make a chapter in our history which needs study.

    From the conditions of frontier life came intellectual traits of profound importance. The works of travelers along each frontier from colonial days onward describe certain common traits, and these traits have, while softening down, still persisted as survivals in the place of their origin, even when a higher social organization succeeded. The result is that to the frontier the American intellect owes its striking characteristics. That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness that practical, inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients that masterful grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic but powerful to effect great ends that restless, nervous energy54 that dominant individualism, working for good and for evil, and withal that buoyancy and exuberance which comes with freedom-these are traits of the frontier, or traits called out elsewhere because of the existence of the frontier. Since the days when the fleet of Columbus sailed into the waters of the New World, America has been another name for opportunity, and the people of the United States have taken their tone from the incessant expansion which has not only been open but has even been forced upon them. He would be a rash prophet who should assert that the expansive character of American life has now entirely ceased. Movement has been its dominant fact, and, unless this training has no effect upon a people, the American energy will continually demand a wider field for its exercise. But never again will such gifts of free land offer themselves. For a moment, at the frontier, the bonds of custom are broken and unrestraint is triumphant. There is not tabula rasa. The stubborn American environment is there with its imperious summons to accept its conditions the inherited ways of doing things are also there and yet, in spite of environment, and in spite of custom, each frontier did indeed furnish a new field of opportunity, a gate of escape from the bondage of the past and freshness, and confidence, and scorn of older society, impatience of its restraints and its ideas, and indifference to its lessons, have accompanied the frontier. What the Mediterranean Sea was to the Greeks, breaking the bond of custom, offering new experiences, calling out new institutions and activities, that, and more, the ever retreating frontier has been to the United States directly, and to the nations of Europe more remotely. And now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone, and with its going has closed the first period of American history.

    1. A paper read at the meeting of the American Historical Association in Chicago, July 12, 1893. It first appeared in the Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, December 14, 1893, with the following note: ” The foundation of this paper is my article entitled ’Problems in American History, ’ which appeared in The AEGIS, a publication of the students of the University of Wisconsin, November 4, 1892… It is gratifying to find that Professor Woodrow Wilson– whose volume on ’Division and Reunion’ in the Epochs of American History Series, has an appreciative estimate of the importance of the West as a factor in American history–accepts some of the views set forth in the papers above mentioned, and enhances their value by his lucid and suggestive treatment of them in his article in The Forum December, 1893, reviewing Goldwin Smith’s ’History of the United States. ’” The present text is that of the Report of the American Historical Association for 1893, 199-227. It was printed with additions in the Fifth Year Book of the National Herbart Society, and in various other publications. Return to text

    2. “Abridgment of Debates of Congress,” v, p. 706. Return to text

    3. Bancroft (1860 ed.), iii, pp. 344, 345, citing Logan MSS. [Mitchell] “Contest in America,” etc. (1752), p. 237. Return to text

    4. Kercheval, “History of the Valley” Bernheim, “German Settlements in the Carolinas” Winsor, “Narrative and Critical History of America,” v, p. 304 Colonial Records of North Carolina, iv, p. xx Weston, “Documents Connected with the History of South Carolina,” p. 82 Ellis and Evans, “History of Lancaster County, Pa.,” chs. iii, xxvi. Return to text

    5. Parkman, “Pontiac,” ii Griffis, “Sir William Johnson,” p. 6 Simms’s “Frontiersmen of New York.” Return to text

    7. Wis. Hist. Cols., xi, p. 50 Hinsdale, ” Old Northwest,” p. 121 Burke, “Oration on Conciliation,” Works (1872 ed.), i, p. 473. Return to text

    8. Roosevelt, “Winning of the West,” and citations there given, Cutler’s “Life of Cutler.” Return to text

    9. Scribner’s s Statistical Atlas, xxxviii, pl. 13 McMaster, “Hist. of People of U. S.,” i, pp. 4, 60, 61 Imlay and Filson, “Western Territory of America” (London, 1793) Rochefoucault-Liancourt, “Travels Through the United States of North America” (London, 1799) Michaux’s s “Journal,” in Proceedings American Philosophical Society, xxvi, No. 129 Forman, “Narrative of a Journey Down the Ohio and Mississippi in 1780-󈨞” (Cincinnati, 1888) Bartram, “Travels Through North Carolina,” etc. (London, 1792) Pope, “Tour Through the Southern and Western Territories,” etc. (Richmond, 1792) Weld “Travels Through the States of North America ” (London, 1799) Baily, “Journal of a Tour in the Unsettled States of North America, 1796-󈨥 ” (London, 1856) Pennsylvania Magazine of History, July, 1886 Winsor, “Narrative and Critical History of America,” vii, pp. 491, 492, citations. Return to text

    10. Scribner’s s Statistical Atlas, xxxix. Return to text

    11. Turner, “Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin” (Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series ix), pp. 61ff. Return to text

    12. Monette, “History of the Mississippi Valley,” ii Flint, “Travels and Residence in Mississippi,” Flint, “Geography and History of the Western States,” “Abridgment of Debates of Congress,” vii, pp. 397 398, 404 Holmes, “Account of the U. S.” Kingdom, “America and the British Colonies” (London, 1820) Grund, “Americans,” ii, chs. i, iii, vi (although writing in 1836, he treats of conditions that grew out of western advance from the era of 1820 to that time) Peck, “Guide for Emigrants” (Boston, 1831) Darby, “Emigrants’ Guide to Western and Southwestern States and Territories” Dana, “Geographical Sketches in the Western Country” Kinzie, “Waubun” Keating, “Narrative of Long’s Expedition” Schoolcraft, “Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi River,” “Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley.” and “Lead Mines of the Missouri” Andreas, “History of Illinois,” i, 86-99 Hurlbut, “Chicago Antiquities” McKenney, “Tour to the Lakes” Thomas “Travels Through the Western Country,” etc. (Auburn, N. Y., 1819). Return to text

    13. Darby, “Emigrants’ Guide,” pp. 272 ff Benton, “Abridgment of Debates,” vii, p. 397. Return to text

    14. De Bow’s Review, iv, p. 254 xvii, p. 428. Return to text

    16. Peck, “New Guide to the West” (Cincinnati, 1848), ch. iv Parkman, “Oregon Trail” Hall, “The West” (Cincinnati, 1848) Pierce, “Incidents of Western Travel” Murray, “Travels in Norrh America” Lloyd, “Steamboat Directory” (Cincinnati, 1856) “Forty Days in a Western Hotel”, (Chicago), in Putnam’s Magazine, December, 1894 Mackay, “The Western World,” ii, ch. ii, iii Meeker, “Life in the West” Bogen, “German in America” (Boston, 1851) Olmstead, “Texas Journey”, Greeley, “Recollections of a Busy Life” Schouler, “History of the United States” v, 261-267 Peyton, “Over the Alleghanies and Across the Prairies” (London, 1870) Loughborough, “The Pacific Telegraph and Railway” (St. Louis, 1849) Whitney, “Project for a Railroad to the Pacific” (New York, 1849) Peyton, “Suggestions on Railroad Communication with the Pacific, and the Trade of China and the Indian Islands” Benton, “Highway to the Pacific,” (a speech delivered in the U. S. Senate, December 36, 1850). Return to text

    17. A writer in The Home Missionary (1850), p. 239, reporting Wisconsin conditions, exclaims: “Think of this, people of the enlightened East. What an example, to come from the very frontier of civilization!” But one of the missionaries writes: “In a few years Wisconsin will no longer be considered as the West, or as an outpost of civilization, any more than Western New York, or the Western Reserve.” Return to text

    18. Bancroft (H. H.), “History of California, History of Oregon, and Popular Tribunals” Shinn, “Mining Camps.” Return to text

    19. See the suggestive paper by Prof. Jesse Macy, “The Institutional Beginnings of a Western State.” Return to text

    21. Compare Thorpe, in Annals American Academy of Political and Social Science, September, 1891 Bryce, “American Commonwealth,” (1888), ii, p. 689. Return to text

    22. Loria, Analisi della Proprieta Capitalista, ii, p. 15. Return to text

    23. Compare “Observations on the North American Land Company,” London, 1796, pp. xv, 144 Logan, “History of Upper South Carolina,” i, pp. 149-151 Turner, “Character and Influence of Indian Trade in Wisconsin,” p. 18 Peck, “New Guide for Emigrants” (Boston, 1837), ch. iv “Compendium Eleventh Census,” i, p. xl. Return to text

    24. See post, for illustrations of the political accompaniments of changed industrial conditions. Return to text

    25. But Lewis and Clark were the first to explore the route from the Missouri to the Columbia. Return to text

    26. “Narrative and Critical History of America,” viii, p. 10 Sparks’ “Washington Works,” ix, pp. 303, 327 Logan, ” History of Upper South Carolina,” i McDonald, “Life of Kenton,” p. 72 Cong. Record, xxiii, p. 57. Return to text

    27. On the effect of the fur trade in opening the routes of migration see the author’s “Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin.” Return to text

    28. Lodge, “English Colonies,” p. 152 and citations Logan, “Hist. of Upper South Carolina,” i, p. 151. Return to text

    30. See Monette, “Mississippi Valley,” i, p. 344. Return to text

    31. Coues’, “Lewis and Clark’s Expedition,” i, pp. 2, 253-259, Benton in Cong. Record, xxiii, p. 57. Return to text

    34. Findley, “History of the Insurrection in the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania in the Year 1794” (Philadelphia, 1796), p. 35. Return to text

    36. Compare Baily, “Tour in the Unsettled Parts of North America” (London, 1856), pp. 217-219, where a similar analysis is made for 1796 See also Collot, “Journey in North America” (Paris, 1826), p. 109 “Observations on the North American Land Company ” (London, 1796), pp. xv, 144 Logan, “History of Upper South Carolina.” Return to text

    37. “Spotswood Papers,” in Collections of Virginia Historical Society, i, ii. Return to text

    38. [Burke], “European Settlements” (1765 ed.), ii p. 200. Return to text

    39. Everest, in “Wisconsin Historical Collections,” xii, pp. 7 ff. Return to text

    40. Weston, “Documents connected with History of South Carolina, p. 61. Return to text

    41. See for example, the speech of Clay, in the House of Representatives, January 30, 1824. Return to text

    42. See the admirable monograph by Prof. H. B. Adams, “Maryland’s influence on the Land Cessions” and also President Welling, in Papers American Historical Association, iii, p. 411. Return to text

    43. Adams’ Memoirs, ix, pp. 247, 248. Return to text

    44. Author’s article in The AEGIS (Madison, Wis.), November 4, 1892. Return to text

    45. Compare Roosevelt, ” Thomas Benton,” ch. i. Return to text

    46. Political Science Quarterly, ii, p. 457. Compare Sumner, “Alexander Hamilton,” chs. ii-vii. Return to text

    47. Compare Wilson, “Division and Reunion,” pp. 15, 24. Return to text

    48. On the relation of frontier conditions to Revolutionary taxation, see Sumner, Alexander Hamilton, ch. iii. Return to text

    49. I have refrained from dwelling on the lawless characteristics of the frontier, because they are sufficiently well known. The gambler and desperado, the regulators of the Carolinas and the vigilantes of California are types of that line of scum that the waves of advancing civilization bore before them, and of the growth of spontaneous organs of authority where legal authority was absent. Compare Barrows, “United States of Yesterday and To-morrow” Shinn, “Mining Camps” and Bancroft, “Popular Tribunals.” The humor, bravery, and rude strength, as well as the vices of the frontier in its worst aspect, have left traces on American character, language, and literature, not soon to be effaced. Return to text

    50. Debates in the Constitutional Convention, 1829-1830. Return to text

    51. [McCrady] Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas, i, p. 43 Calhoun’s Works, i, pp. 401-406. Return to text

    52. Speech in the Senate, March 1, 1825 Register of Debates. i, 721. Return to text

    53. Plea for the West (Cincinnati, 1835), pp. 11 ff. Return to text

    54. Colonial travelers agree in remarking on the phlegmatic characteristics of the colonists. It has frequently been asked how such a people could have developed that strained nervous energy now characteristic of them. Compare Sumner, “Alexander Hamilton,” p. 98, and Adams “History of the United States,” i, p 60 ix, pp 240, 241. The transition appears to become marked at the close of the War of 1812, a period when interest centered upon the development of the West, and the West was noted for restless energy. Grund, “Americans,” ii, ch. i. Return to text


    Air safety incidents for Frontier Airlines

    AeroInside has currently 51 articles available for reading involving an aircraft from Frontier Airlines. The articles cover air safety incidents for Frontier Airlines, Frontier Airlines airplane accidents and other occurrences.

    If you want to know how many Frontier Airlines planes have crashed or if there has been a Frontier Airlines plane crash at all, you'll find out below. Have a look at the recent safety record of Frontier Airlines.

    Frontier A320 at Washington on Jun 4th 2021, runway excursion on landing

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N213FR performing flight F9-538 from Denver,CO to Washington National,DC (USA) with 151 passengers&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Denver on Apr 8th 2021, electrical smell on board

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N711FR performing flight F9-536 from Denver,CO to Washington National,DC (USA), was climbing out of&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Denver on Mar 11th 2021, electrical odour on flight deck

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N712FR performing flight F9-751 from Denver,CO to Phoenix,AZ (USA) with 211 people on board, was&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Nashville on Feb 15th 2021, flight attendant prevents takeoff with contaminated wings

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N710FR performing flight F9-7011 from Nashville,TN to Las Vegas,NV (USA), was taxiing for departure&hellip

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    Frontier A20N at Denver on Aug 27th 2019, turbulence injures flight attendant

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N328FR performing flight F9-461 from Minneapolis,MN to Denver,CO (USA), was descending towards&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Denver on Oct 12th 2018, turbulence injures flight attendant

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N926FR performing flight F9-190 from Denver,CO to Austin,TX (USA), was climbing out of Denver when&hellip

    Frontier A20N enroute on Feb 23rd 2020, passenger oxygen masks dropped in flight

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200N, registration N323FR performing flight F9-418 from Denver,CO to Atlanta,GA (USA), was enroute at FL370 less than&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Orlando on Aug 8th 2019, windshear causes hard landing and tail strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N717FR performing flight F9-1187 from Portland,ME to Orlando,FL (USA), was on final approach to&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Seattle on Dec 8th 2019, bird strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N716FR performing flight F9-2167 from Las Vegas,NV to Seattle,WA (USA), was on approach to&hellip

    Frontier A320 at Green Bay on Nov 14th 2019, bird strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N201FR performing flight F9-1230 from Orlando,FL to Green Bay,WI (USA), landed on Green Bay's&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Philadelphia on Oct 30th 2019, sealed return

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N709FR performing flight F9-108 from Philadelphia,PA (USA) to San Juan (Puerto Rico), was climbing&hellip

    Frontier A20N at Colorado Springs on Oct 28th 2019, overran runway on landing

    A Frontier Airbus A320-200N, registration N304FR performing flight F9-2822 from Phoenix,AZ to Colorado Springs,CO (USA), landed on Colorado Springs'&hellip

    Frontier A20N at Windsor Locks on Jul 28th 2019, gear refuses to come down

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200N, registration N329FR performing flight F9-1610 from Raleigh/Durham,NC to Windsor Locks,CT (USA), was on final&hellip

    Frontier A20N at Cincinnati on Jul 22nd 2019, bird strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200N, registration N304FR performing flight F9-646 from Denver,CO to Cincinnati,KY (USA), was on approach to&hellip

    Frontier A321 near Atlanta on Apr 21st 2019, crew oxygen leak

    A Frontier Airbus A321-200, registration N716FR performing flight F9-1182 from Orlando,FL to Providence,RI (USA), was enroute at FL320 about 120nm&hellip

    Frontier A320 at Dallas on Dec 25th 2018, cabin did not pressurize

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N232FR performing flight F9-129 from Dallas Ft. Worth,TX to Denver,CO (USA), was climbing out of&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Cleveland and Tampa on Jan 1st 2019, six passengers become sick

    A Frontier Airbus A321-200, registration N715FR performing flight F9-1397 from Cleveland,OH to Tampa,FL (USA), was enroute when six passengers became&hellip

    Frontier A320 at Las Vegas on Nov 30th 2018, engine doors separated

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N227FR performing flight F9-260 from Las Vegas,NV to Tampa,FL (USA) with 166 people on board, was&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Islip on Nov 1st 2018, fumes on board injure 10 people

    A Frontier Airbus A321-200, registration N702FR performing flight F9-1851 from Islip,NY to Myrtle Beach,SC (USA) with 218 people on board, was&hellip

    Frontier A320 at Denver on Sep 10th 2018, bird strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N203FR performing flight F9-452 from Denver,CO to Washington Dulles,DC (USA), was in the initial&hellip

    Frontier A321 near Raleigh/Durham on Aug 15th 2018, odour in cabin

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N715FR performing flight F9-1674 from Orlando,FL to Philadelphia,PA (USA) with 230 passengers and 7&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Albuquerque on Jun 24th 2018, oil contaminant odour in cabin

    A Frontier Airbus A319-100, registration N938FR performing flight F9-195 from Austin,TX to Denver,CO (USA) with 149 people on board, was enroute at&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Phoenix on May 27th 2018, odour on board

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N238FR performing flight F9-1764 from San Diego,CA to Tulsa,OK (USA), was enroute at FL370 about&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Albuquerque on May 20th 2018, burning odour in cabin

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N223FR performing flight F9-1839 from Tulsa,OK to San Diego,CA (USA) with 129 passengers and 6&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Denver on May 14th 2018, unidentified odour on board

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N927FR performing flight F9-1286 from Denver,CO to Chicago O'Hare,IL (USA), was climbing through&hellip

    Frontier A20N at Kansas City on Apr 24th 2018, unsafe gear

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200N, registration N326FR performing flight F9-821 from Philadelphia,PA to Kansas City,MO (USA), was on final&hellip

    Frontier A319 at Austin on Apr 5th 2018, engine stall

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N923FR performing flight F9-195 from Raleigh/Durham,NC to Austin,TX (USA) with 129 passengers and 5&hellip

    Frontier A20N near Las Vegas on Mar 20th 2018, navigation computer issue

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200N, registration N318FR performing flight F9-429 from Denver,CO to Reno,NV (USA), was enroute at FL360 about 280nm&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Tampa on Feb 3rd 2018, LiOn fire on board

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N221FR performing flight F9-1883 from Orlando,FL to Phoenix,AZ (USA), was climbing through FL300&hellip

    Frontier A20N near Miami on Dec 27th 2017, flight attendant injured in flight

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200N, registration N309FR performing flight F9-1795 (dep Dec 26th) from Islip,NY to Miami,FL (USA), was on approach&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Albuquerque on Nov 22nd 2017, smoke in cockpit

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N218FR performing flight F9-1686 from Las Vegas,NV to Nashville,TN (USA) with 178 passengers and 6&hellip

    Frontier A320 at Indianapolis on Aug 6th 2017, bird strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N207FR performing flight F9-1977 from Indianapolis,IN to Las Vegas,NV (USA), was climbing out of&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Kansas City on Jul 2nd 2017, cracked windshield

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N203FR performing flight F9-722 from Denver,CO to Washington National,DC (USA), was enroute at&hellip

    Frontier A321 near Indianapolis on Dec 4th 2016, fuel system problems

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N710FR performing flight F9-1334 from Chicago O'Hare,IL to West Palm Beach,FL (USA) with 205&hellip

    Frontier A321 at Orlando on Nov 25th 2016, door issue

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N705FR performing flight F9-1643 from Orlando,FL to Minneapolis,MN (USA), was climbing out of&hellip

    Frontier A321 near New Orleans on May 27th 2016, engine shut down in flight

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N701FR performing flight F9-688 (dep May 26th) from Denver,CO to Orlando,FL (USA), was enroute at&hellip

    Frontier A319 near New Orleans on May 4th 2015, &ampquotlost windshield&ampquot, emergency descent

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N941FR performing flight F9-1225 from Orlando,FL to Las Vegas,NV (USA) with 131 passengers and 5&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Las Vegas on Jan 6th 2016, engine problem

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N943FR performing flight F9-555 from Denver,CO to San Diego,CA (USA) with 133 passengers and 5&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Jacksonville on Dec 9th 2015, engine and/or hydraulic problem

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N938FR performing flight F9-917 from Trenton,NJ to Orlando,FL (USA) with 140 passengers and 5 crew,&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Las Vegas on May 18th 2015, laser beam injures pilot

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N935FR performing flight F9-1119 from Cincinnati,OH to Las Vegas,NV (USA), was on final approach to&hellip

    Frontier A320 at Washington on Mar 8th 2015, bird strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N201FR performing flight F9-1127 from West Palm Beach,FL to Washington Dulles,DC (USA), was on&hellip

    Frontier A319 at Houston on Feb 13th 2015, gear indication on departure

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N938FR performing flight F9-251 from Houston,TX to Denver,CO (USA) with 136 passengers and 5 crew,&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Denver on Jul 11th 2014, lightning strike

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N203FR performing flight F9-141 from Denver,CO to Seattle,WA (USA) with 168 people on board, was&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Dallas on Dec 7th 2013, loss of cabin pressure

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N921FR performing flight F9-245 from Houston,TX to Denver,CO (USA) with 132 passengers and 5 crew,&hellip

    Frontier A319 at Denver on Oct 25th 2013, rejected takeoff

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N954FR performing flight F9-212 from Denver,CO to Austin,TX (USA), rejected takeff from runway 34L&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Indianapolis on Oct 9th 2013, hydraulic problems and foul odour on board

    A Frontier Airbus A320-200, registration N213FR performing flight F9-419 from Washington National,DC to Denver,CO (USA) with 171 people on board, was&hellip

    Frontier A320 at Wilmington on Sep 8th 2013, engine fire indication

    A Frontier Airbus A320-200, registration N204FR performing flight FR-395 from Wilmington,DE to Denver,CO (USA), was in the initial climb out of&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Denver on Aug 12th 2013, severe turbulence injures 4

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N208FR performing flight F9-283 from Saint Louis,MO to Denver,CO (USA), was descending through&hellip

    Frontier A319 near Ft. Lauderdale on May 10th 2012, turbulence injures 3 flight attendants

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N951FR performing flight F9-384 from Denver,CO to Ft. Lauderdale,FL (USA) with 138 passengers and 5&hellip

    Frontier A320 near Nassau on Jul 30th 2012, cargo smoke indication

    A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N263AV performing flight F9-8541 from Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) to Chicago O'Hare,IL (USA)&hellip

    Frontier A318 near Shannon on Jun 26th 2012, engine shut down in flight

    A Frontier Airbus A318-100, registration N805FR performing positioning flight F9-805FR from Goose Bay,NL (Canada) to Shannon (Ireland), had been&hellip

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    Report on Frontier - History

    Frontier Airlines has quickly become the third largest low-cost carrier in the nation, finding a unique niche as it has slowly moved into the ultra-low-cost carrier model. The airline shocked many travelers as it unveiled a whopping 58 new routes last week and solidified itself as the brand of choice for leisure travelers. However, Frontier did not start this way, and has transformed its business model, cities served, and aircraft type since its inception in 1994.

    A Quick History

    Unlike other carriers in the early 1990s, Frontier had the luxury of being founded from the ashes of its previous self. The airline shares the same name as its predecessor, which was founded in 1950. While the original Frontier was purchased by PeopleExpress and eventually crumbled in bankruptcy, several executives from Frontier felt as though their was an opportunity for a new airline. At the time, Continental had removed its hub at Denver Stapleton Airport, leaving a major gap and unique opportunity for the airline.

    Frontier was quick to expand in Denver, utilizing Boeing 737 aircraft as well as leasing both Airbus A318 and A319 aircraft. It made the decision in 2001 to include DirectTV service in-flight, as well as quickly becoming an all-Airbus airline after retiring its Boeing 737s. In a bid to expand even quicker, Frontier signed an 11-year deal in 2007 with Republic Airlines to offer regional service on-board the Embraer 170 aircraft.

    However, due to some issues with its credit processing company, First Data, Frontier unexpectedly declared bankruptcy in April of 2008. This was due to First Data demanding more cash collateral during a difficult time in the market. Frontier was able to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy to provide protection against this surge in required collateral, but not without an interesting twist. Frontier’s partner, Republic Airways, put out a bid to buy out the airline for a cool $108 million. To add to the drama, Southwest Airlines jumped in, saying that it wanted to purchase the carrier as well and eventually fold it into the growing Dallas-based airline. Finally in August of 2009 it was announced that Republic Airways had won the bidding war, and Frontier was purchased and quickly merged along with Republic’s other purchase, Midwest Airlines.

    The airline began going through a difficult period as Republic realized that Frontier’s mainline routes were not its “bread and butter” system, as it preferred its regional operations. Republic slowly began transforming the carrier from a low-cost carrier into an ultra low-cost carrier. This meant that the airline would charge rock-bottom fares coupled with fees for all additional bags and snacks. After several years of Frontier being controlled by Republic Airways, it was announced in October of 2013 that private equity firm Indigo Partners would be purchasing the airline, and began further accelerating the move to becoming an ultra low-cost carrier.

    Trial and Error at Hub Cities

    Staying true to its roots, Frontier has found great success in its hub at Denver International Airport. However, the airline has experimented with several other small hubs across the nation. In 2012, Frontier announced that it would begin operating flights to Trenton-Mercer Airport, an airport that at time had no commercial air service. The plan was for the airport to compete with carriers at the nearby Philadelphia International and Newark International.

    In 2013, Frontier took its plan one step further and announced service to New Castle Airport in Wilmington, Delaware, again to compete with service to Philadelphia. Unfortunately only a few years later, Frontier determined that flights to New Castle were not profitable and ended all service, as well as reduced service to Trenton in favor of more flights to Philadelphia.

    Frontier has also begun experimenting with building more service to fill unique voids, such as Cleveland, OH and Orlando, FL. Cleveland was once a hub for Continental and later United Airlines before being de-hubbed in 2014. Orlando has become a great city for Frontier as tourists have flocked to find low-cost travel to entertainment venues such as Disney World and Universal Studios. Most recently Frontier has also begun offering service from Atlanta, going head-to-head with Delta Air Lines.

    Aircraft, Crew, and Low-Cost Service

    Frontier operates an all-Airbus fleet, and plans to keep it this way with purchases of both the A319neo and A320neo models in the near future. Similar to Southwest Airlines, it has found significant efficiencies in offering very few models of aircraft.

    In order to save on costs and maintain its ultra low-cost model, Frontier has made several decisions that effect its workforce. In early 2015, the airline announced that 1300 of its employees, or 1/3 of its workforce, would be outsourced to other companies. This included much of its ground workforce based in Denver, and came as a shock to those who still considered Frontier to be Denver’s hometown airline.

    Finally, similar to most ultra low-cost carriers, Frontier is able to make significant margins as it charges low costs for tickets, but more than makes up for the price with bag fees, drink fees, snack fees, and more. In 2015 Frontier posted the 5th highest net profit in the US and the 7th highest in the world, further showing that its unique model provides benefits to those who invest in the airline. It is still currently managed and owned by private equity firm Indigo Partners, but rumors have continued for either an initial public offering, or a potential merger with Spirit Airlines.

    The Bottom Line

    Whether or not Frontier decides to merge with Spirit, it has carved a unique niche into the airline industry history books. It is able to serve customers at a lower cost than many of its competitors, and continues to grow with new routes and new destinations each year. While many will debate whether it is sustainable growth, at the time it appears that Frontier will continue on its quest to bring ultra low-cost travel to all.


    Science, The Endless Frontier

    SCIENCE, THE ENDLESS FRONTIER

    "New frontiers of the mind are before us, and if they are pioneered with the same vision, boldness, and drive with which we have waged this war we can create a fuller and more fruitful employment and a fuller and more fruitful life."
    FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, November 17, 1944

    SUMMARY OF THE REPORT

    Scientific Progress Is Essential

    Progress in the war against disease depends upon a flow of new scientific knowledge. New products, new industries, and more jobs require continuous additions to knowledge of the laws of nature, and the application of that knowledge to practical purposes. Similarly, our defense against aggression demands new knowledge so that we can develop new and improved weapons. This essential, new knowledge can be obtained only through basic scientific research.

    Science can be effective in the national welfare only as a member of a team, whether the conditions be peace or war. But without scientific progress no amount of achievement in other directions can insure our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world.

    For the War Against Disease

    We have taken great strides in the war against disease. The death rate for all diseases in the Army, including overseas forces, has been reduced from 14.1 per thousand in the last war to 0.6 per thousand in this war. In the last 40 years life expectancy has increased from 49 to 65 years, largely as a consequence of the reduction in the death rates of infants and children. But we are far from the goal. The annual deaths from one or two diseases far exceed the total number of American lives lost in battle during this war. A large fraction of these deaths in our civilian population cut short the useful lives of our citizens. Approximately 7,000,000 persons in the United States are mentally ill and their care costs the public over $175,000,000 a year. Clearly much illness remains for which adequate means of prevention and cure are not yet known.

    The responsibility for basic research in medicine and the underlying sciences, so essential to progress in the war against disease, falls primarily upon the medical schools and universities. Yet we find that the traditional sources of support for medical research in the medical schools and universities, largely endowment income, foundation grants, and private donations, are diminishing and there is no immediate prospect of a change in this trend. Meanwhile, the cost of medical research has been rising. If we are to maintain the progress in medicine which has marked the last 25 years, the Government should extend financial support to basic medical research in the medical schools and in universities.

    For Our National Security

    The bitter and dangerous battle against the U-boat was a battle of scientific techniques - and our margin of success was dangerously small. The new eyes which radar has supplied can sometimes be blinded by new scientific developments. V-2 was countered only by capture of the launching sites.

    We cannot again rely on our allies to hold off the enemy while we struggle to catch up. There must be more - and more adequate - military research in peacetime. It is essential that the civilian scientists continue in peacetime some portion of those contributions to national security which they have made so effectively during the war. This can best be done through a civilian-controlled organization with close liaison with the Army and Navy, but with funds direct from Congress, and the clear power to initiate military research which will supplement and strengthen that carried on directly under the control of the Army and Navy.

    And for the Public Welfare

    One of our hopes is that after the war there will be full employment. To reach that goal the full creative and productive energies of the American people must be released. To create more jobs we must make new and better and cheaper products. We want plenty of new, vigorous enterprises. But new products and processes are not born full-grown. They are founded on new principles and new conceptions which in turn result from basic scientific research. Basic scientific research is scientific capital. Moreover, we cannot any longer depend upon Europe as a major source of this scientific capital. Clearly, more and better scientific research is one essential to the achievement of our goal of full employment.

    How do we increase this scientific capital? First, we must have plenty of men and women trained in science, for upon them depends both the creation of new knowledge and its application to practical purposes. Second, we must strengthen the centers of basic research which are principally the colleges, universities, and research institutes. These institutions provide the environment which is most conducive to the creation of new scientific knowledge and least under pressure for immediate, tangible results. With some notable exceptions, most research in industry and Government involves application of existing scientific knowledge to practical problems. It is only the colleges, universities, and a few research institutes that devote most of their research efforts to expanding the frontiers of knowledge.

    Expenditures for scientific research by industry and Government increased from $140,000,000 in 1930 to $309,000,000 in 1940. Those for the colleges and universities increased from $20,000,000 to $31,000,000, while those for the research institutes declined from $5,200,000 to $4,500,000 during the same period. If the colleges, universities, and research institutes are to meet the rapidly increasing demands of industry and Government for new scientific knowledge, their basic research should be strengthened by use of public funds.

    For science to serve as a powerful factor in our national welfare, applied research both in Government and in industry must be vigorous. To improve the quality of scientific research within the Government, steps should be taken to modify the procedures for recruiting, classifying, and compensating scientific personnel in order to reduce the present handicap of governmental scientific bureaus in competing with industry and the universities for top-grade scientific talent. To provide coordination of the common scientific activities of these governmental agencies as to policies and budgets, a permanent Science Advisory Board should be created to advise the executive and legislative branches of Government on these matters.

    The most important ways in which the Government can promote industrial research are to increase the flow of new scientific knowledge through support of basic research, and to aid in the development of scientific talent. In addition, the Government should provide suitable incentives to industry to conduct research, (a) by clarification of present uncertainties in the Internal Revenue Code in regard to the deductibility of research and development expenditures as current charges against net income, and (b) by strengthening the patent system so as to eliminate uncertainties which now bear heavily on small industries and so as to prevent abuses which reflect discredit upon a basically sound system. In addition, ways should be found to cause the benefits of basic research to reach industries which do not now utilize new scientific knowledge.

    We Must Renew Our Scientific Talent

    The responsibility for the creation of new scientific knowledge - and for most of its application - rests on that small body of men and women who understand the fundamental laws of nature and are skilled in the techniques of scientific research. We shall have rapid or slow advance on any scientific frontier depending on the number of highly qualified and trained scientists exploring it.

    The deficit of science and technology students who, but for the war, would have received bachelor's degrees is about 150,000. It is estimated that the deficit of those obtaining advanced degrees in these fields will amount in 1955 to about 17,000 - for it takes at least 6 years from college entry to achieve a doctor's degree or its equivalent in science or engineering. The real ceiling on our productivity of new scientific knowledge and its application in the war against disease, and the development of new products and new industries, is the number of trained scientists available.

    The training of a scientist is a long and expensive process. Studies clearly show that there are talented individuals in every part of the population, but with few exceptions, those without the means of buying higher education go without it. If ability, and not the circumstance of family fortune, determines who shall receive higher education in science, then we shall be assured of constantly improving quality at every level of scientific activity. The Government should provide a reasonable number of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships in order to develop scientific talent in American youth. The plans should be designed to attract into science only that proportion of youthful talent appropriate to the needs of science in relation to the other needs of the nation for high abilities.

    Including Those in Uniform

    The most immediate prospect of making up the deficit in scientific personnel is to develop the scientific talent in the generation now in uniform. Even if we should start now to train the current crop of high-school graduates none would complete graduate studies before 1951. The Armed Services should comb their records for men who, prior to or during the war, have given evidence of talent for science, and make prompt arrangements, consistent with current discharge plans, for ordering those who remain in uniform, as soon as militarily possible, to duty at institutions here and overseas where they can continue their scientific education. Moreover, the Services should see that those who study overseas have the benefit of the latest scientific information resulting from research during the war.

    The Lid Must Be Lifted

    While most of the war research has involved the application of existing scientific knowledge to the problems of war, rather than basic research, there has been accumulated a vast amount of information relating to the application of science to particular problems. Much of this can be used by industry. It is also needed for teaching in the colleges and universities here and in the Armed Forces Institutes overseas. Some of this information must remain secret, but most of it should be made public as soon as there is ground for belief that the enemy will not be able to turn it against us in this war. To select that portion which should be made public, to coordinate its release, and definitely to encourage its publication, a Board composed of Army, Navy, and civilian scientific members should be promptly established.

    A Program for Action

    The Government should accept new responsibilities for promoting the flow of new scientific knowledge and the development of scientific talent in our youth. These responsibilities are the proper concern of the Government, for they vitally affect our health, our jobs, and our national security. It is in keeping also with basic United States policy that the Government should foster the opening of new frontiers and this is the modern way to do it. For many years the Government has wisely supported research in the agricultural colleges and the benefits have been great. The time has come when such support should be extended to other fields.

    The effective discharge of these new responsibilities will require the full attention of some over-all agency devoted to that purpose. There is not now in the permanent Governmental structure receiving its funds from Congress an agency adapted to supplementing the support of basic research in the colleges, universities, and research institutes, both in medicine and the natural sciences, adapted to supporting research on new weapons for both Services, or adapted to administering a program of science scholarships and fellowships.

    Therefore I recommend that a new agency for these purposes be established. Such an agency should be composed of persons of broad interest and experience, having an understanding of the peculiarities of scientific research and scientific education. It should have stability of funds so that long-range programs may be undertaken. It should recognize that freedom of inquiry must be preserved and should leave internal control of policy, personnel, and the method and scope of research to the institutions in which it is carried on. It should be fully responsible to the President and through him to the Congress for its program.

    Early action on these recommendations is imperative if this nation is to meet the challenge of science in the crucial years ahead. On the wisdom with which we bring science to bear in the war against disease, in the creation of new industries, and in the strengthening of our Armed Forces depends in large measure our future as a nation.


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    Contents

    Vannevar Bush was born in Everett, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1890, the third child and only son of Perry Bush, the local Universalist pastor, and his wife Emma Linwood (née Paine). He had two older sisters, Edith and Reba. He was named after John Vannevar, an old friend of the family who had attended Tufts College with Perry. The family moved to Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1892, [4] and Bush graduated from Chelsea High School in 1909. [5]

    He then attended Tufts College, like his father before him. A popular student, he was vice president of his sophomore class, and president of his junior class. During his senior year, he managed the football team. He became a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and dated Phoebe Clara Davis, who also came from Chelsea. Tufts allowed students to gain a master's degree in four years simultaneously with a bachelor's degree. For his master's thesis, Bush invented and patented a "profile tracer". This was a mapping device for assisting surveyors that looked like a lawn mower. It had two bicycle wheels, and a pen that plotted the terrain over which it traveled. It was the first of a string of inventions. [6] [7] On graduation in 1913 he received both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. [8]

    After graduation, Bush worked at General Electric (GE) in Schenectady, New York, for $14 a week. As a "test man", his job was to assess equipment to ensure that it was safe. He transferred to GE's plant in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to work on high voltage transformers, but after a fire broke out at the plant, Bush and the other test men were suspended. He returned to Tufts in October 1914 to teach mathematics, and spent the 1915 summer break working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as an electrical inspector. Bush was awarded a $1,500 scholarship to study at Clark University as a doctoral student of Arthur Gordon Webster, but Webster wanted Bush to study acoustics, a popular field at the time that led many to computer science. Bush preferred to quit rather than study a subject that did not interest him. [9]

    Bush subsequently enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) electrical engineering program. Spurred by the need for enough financial security to marry, [9] he submitted his thesis, entitled Oscillating-Current Circuits: An Extension of the Theory of Generalized Angular Velocities, with Applications to the Coupled Circuit and the Artificial Transmission Line, [10] in April 1916. His adviser, Arthur Edwin Kennelly, demanded more work from him, but Bush refused, and Kennelly was overruled by the department chairman. Bush received his doctorate in engineering jointly from MIT and Harvard University. [9] He married Phoebe in August 1916. [9] They had two sons: Richard Davis Bush and John Hathaway Bush. [11]

    Bush accepted a job with Tufts, where he became involved with the American Radio and Research Corporation (AMRAD), which began broadcasting music from the campus on March 8, 1916. The station owner, Harold Power, hired him to run the company's laboratory, at a salary greater than that which Bush drew from Tufts. In 1917, following the United States' entry into World War I, he went to work with the National Research Council. He attempted to develop a means of detecting submarines by measuring the disturbance in the Earth's magnetic field. His device worked as designed, but only from a wooden ship attempts to get it to work on a metal ship such as a destroyer failed. [12]

    Bush left Tufts in 1919, although he remained employed by AMRAD, and joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked under Dugald C. Jackson. In 1922, he collaborated with fellow MIT professor William H. Timbie on Principles of Electrical Engineering, an introductory textbook. AMRAD's lucrative contracts from World War I had been cancelled, and Bush attempted to reverse the company's fortunes by developing a thermostatic switch invented by Al Spencer, an AMRAD technician, on his own time. AMRAD's management was not interested in the device, but had no objection to its sale. Bush found backing from Laurence K. Marshall and Richard S. Aldrich to create the Spencer Thermostat Company, which hired Bush as a consultant. The new company soon had revenues in excess of a million dollars. [14] It merged with General Plate Company to form Metals & Controls Corporation in 1931, and with Texas Instruments in 1959. Texas Instruments sold it to Bain Capital in 2006, and it became a separate company again as Sensata Technologies in 2010. [15]

    In 1924, Bush and Marshall teamed up with physicist Charles G. Smith, who had invented a rectifier called the S-tube. The device enabled radios, which had previously required two different types of batteries, to operate from mains power. Marshall had raised $25,000 to set up the American Appliance Company on July 7, 1922, to build silent refrigerators, with Bush and Smith among its five directors, but changed course and renamed it the Raytheon Company, to make and market the S-tube. The venture made Bush wealthy, and Raytheon ultimately became a large electronics company and defense contractor. [16] [14]

    Starting in 1927, Bush constructed a differential analyzer, an analog computer that could solve differential equations with as many as 18 independent variables. This invention arose from previous work performed by Herbert R. Stewart, one of Bush's masters students, who at Bush's suggestion created the integraph, a device for solving first-order differential equations, in 1925. Another student, Harold Hazen, proposed extending the device to handle second-order differential equations. Bush immediately realized the potential of such an invention, for these were much more difficult to solve, but also quite common in physics. Under Bush's supervision, Hazen was able to construct the differential analyzer, a table-like array of shafts and pens that mechanically simulated and plotted the desired equation. Unlike earlier designs that were purely mechanical, the differential analyzer had both electrical and mechanical components. [17] Among the engineers who made use of the differential analyzer was General Electric's Edith Clarke, who used it to solve problems relating to electric power transmission. [18] For developing the differential analyzer, Bush was awarded the Franklin Institute's Louis E. Levy Medal in 1928. [19]

    Bush taught boolean algebra, circuit theory, and operational calculus according to the methods of Oliver Heaviside while Samuel Wesley Stratton was President of MIT. When Harold Jeffreys in Cambridge, England, offered his mathematical treatment in Operational Methods in Mathematical Physics (1927), Bush responded with his seminal textbook Operational Circuit Analysis (1929) for instructing electrical engineering students. In the preface he wrote:

    I write as an engineer and do not pretend to be a mathematician. I lean for support, and expect always to lean, upon the mathematician, just as I must lean upon the chemist, the physician, or the lawyer. Norbert Wiener has patiently guided me around many a mathematical pitfall . he has written an appendix to this text on certain mathematical points. I did not know an engineer and a mathematician could have such good times together. I only wish that I could get the real vital grasp of mathematics that he has of the basic principles of physics.

    Parry Moon and Stratton were acknowledged, as was M.S. Vallarta who "wrote the first set of class notes which I used." [20]

    An offshoot of the work at MIT was the beginning of digital circuit design theory by one of Bush's graduate students, Claude Shannon. [21] Working on the analytical engine, Shannon described the application of Boolean algebra to electronic circuits in his landmark master's thesis, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits. [22] In 1935, Bush was approached by OP-20-G, which was searching for an electronic device to aid in codebreaking. Bush was paid a $10,000 fee to design the Rapid Analytical Machine (RAM). The project went over budget and was not delivered until 1938, when it was found to be unreliable in service. Nonetheless, it was an important step toward creating such a device. [23]

    The reform of MIT's administration began in 1930, with the appointment of Karl T. Compton as president. Bush and Compton soon clashed over the issue of limiting the amount of outside consultancy by professors, a battle Bush quickly lost, but the two men soon built a solid professional relationship. Compton appointed Bush to the newly created post of vice president in 1932. That year Bush also became the dean of the MIT School of Engineering. The two positions came with a salary of $12,000 plus $6,000 for expenses per annum. [24]

    The companies Bush helped to found and the technologies he brought to the market made him financially secure, so he was able to pursue academic and scientific studies that he felt made the world better in the years before and after World War II.

    Carnegie Institution for Science Edit

    In May 1938, Bush accepted a prestigious appointment as president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW), which had been founded in Washington, D.C. Also known as the Carnegie Institution for Science, it had an endowment of $33 million, and annually spent $1.5 million in research, most of which was carried out at its eight major laboratories. Bush became its president on January 1, 1939, with a salary of $25,000. He was now able to influence research policy in the United States at the highest level, and could informally advise the government on scientific matters. [25] Bush soon discovered that the CIW had serious financial problems, and he had to ask the Carnegie Corporation for additional funding. [26]

    Bush clashed over leadership of the institute with Cameron Forbes, CIW's chairman of the board, and with his predecessor, John Merriam, who continued to offer unwanted advice. A major embarrassment to them all was Harry H. Laughlin, the head of the Eugenics Record Office, whose activities Merriam had attempted to curtail without success. Bush made it a priority to remove him, regarding him as a scientific fraud, and one of his first acts was to ask for a review of Laughlin's work. In June 1938, Bush asked Laughlin to retire, offering him an annuity, which Laughlin reluctantly accepted. The Eugenics Record Office was renamed the Genetics Record Office, its funding was drastically cut, and it was closed completely in 1944. [26] Senator Robert Reynolds attempted to get Laughlin reinstated, but Bush informed the trustees that an inquiry into Laughlin would "show him to be physically incapable of directing an office, and an investigation of his scientific standing would be equally conclusive." [27]

    Bush wanted the institute to concentrate on hard science. He gutted Carnegie's archeology program, setting the field back many years in the United States. He saw little value in the humanities and social sciences, and slashed funding for Isis, a journal dedicated to the history of science and technology and its cultural influence. [26] Bush later explained that "I have a great reservation about these studies where somebody goes out and interviews a bunch of people and reads a lot of stuff and writes a book and puts it on a shelf and nobody ever reads it." [28]

    National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Edit

    On August 23, 1938, Bush was appointed to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of NASA. [25] Its chairman Joseph Sweetman Ames became ill, and Bush, as vice chairman, soon had to act in his place. In December 1938, NACA asked for $11 million to establish a new aeronautical research laboratory in Sunnyvale, California, to supplement the existing Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. The California location was chosen for its proximity to some of the largest aviation corporations. This decision was supported by the chief of the United States Army Air Corps, Major General Henry H. Arnold, and by the head of the navy's Bureau of Aeronautics, Rear Admiral Arthur B. Cook, who between them were planning to spend $225 million on new aircraft in the year ahead. However, Congress was not convinced of its value, and Bush had to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 5, 1939. It was a frustrating experience for Bush, since he had never appeared before Congress before, and the senators were not swayed by his arguments. Further lobbying was required before funding for the new center, now known as the Ames Research Center, was finally approved. By this time, war had broken out in Europe, and the inferiority of American aircraft engines was apparent, [29] in particular the Allison V-1710 which performed poorly at high altitudes and had to be removed from the P-51 Mustang in favor of the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. [30] The NACA asked for funding to build a third center in Ohio, which became the Glenn Research Center. Following Ames's retirement in October 1939, Bush became chairman of the NACA, with George J. Mead as his deputy. [29] Bush remained a member of the NACA until November 1948. [31]

    National Defense Research Committee Edit

    During World War I, Bush had become aware of poor cooperation between civilian scientists and the military. Concerned about the lack of coordination in scientific research and the requirements of defense mobilization, Bush proposed the creation of a general directive agency in the federal government, which he discussed with his colleagues. He had the secretary of NACA prepare a draft of the proposed National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) to be presented to Congress, but after the Germans invaded France in May 1940, Bush decided speed was important and approached President Franklin D. Roosevelt directly. Through the President's uncle, Frederic Delano, Bush managed to set up a meeting with Roosevelt on June 12, 1940, to which he brought a single sheet of paper describing the agency. Roosevelt approved the proposal in 15 minutes, writing "OK – FDR" on the sheet. [32]

    With Bush as chairman, the NDRC was functioning even before the agency was officially established by order of the Council of National Defense on June 27, 1940. The organization operated financially on a hand-to-mouth basis with monetary support from the president's emergency fund. [33] Bush appointed four leading scientists to the NDRC: Karl Taylor Compton (president of MIT), James B. Conant (president of Harvard University), Frank B. Jewett (president of the National Academy of Sciences and chairman of the Board of Directors of Bell Laboratories), and Richard C. Tolman (dean of the graduate school at Caltech) Rear Admiral Harold G. Bowen, Sr. and Brigadier General George V. Strong represented the military. The civilians already knew each other well, which allowed the organization to begin functioning immediately. [34] The NDRC established itself in the administration building at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. [35] Each member of the committee was assigned an area of responsibility, while Bush handled coordination. A small number of projects reported to him directly, such as the S-1 Section. [36] Compton's deputy, Alfred Loomis, said that "of the men whose death in the Summer of 1940 would have been the greatest calamity for America, the President is first, and Dr. Bush would be second or third." [37]

    Bush was fond of saying that "if he made any important contribution to the war effort at all, it would be to get the Army and Navy to tell each other what they were doing." [38] He established a cordial relationship with Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and Stimson's assistant, Harvey H. Bundy, who found Bush "impatient" and "vain", but said he was "one of the most important, able men I ever knew". [33] Bush's relationship with the navy was more turbulent. Bowen, the director of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), saw the NDRC as a bureaucratic rival, and recommended abolishing it. A series of bureaucratic battles ended with the NRL placed under the Bureau of Ships, and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox placing an unsatisfactory fitness report in Bowen's personnel file. After the war, Bowen would again try to create a rival to the NDRC inside the navy. [39]

    On August 31, 1940, Bush met with Henry Tizard, and arranged a series of meetings between the NDRC and the Tizard Mission, a British scientific delegation. At a meeting On September 19, 1940, the Americans described Loomis and Compton's microwave research. They had an experimental 10 cm wavelength short wave radar, but admitted that it did not have enough power and that they were at a dead end. Taffy Bowen and John Cockcroft of the Tizard Mission then produced a cavity magnetron, a device more advanced than anything the Americans had seen, with a power output of around 10 KW at 10 cm, [40] enough to spot the periscope of a surfaced submarine at night from an aircraft. To exploit the invention, Bush decided to create a special laboratory. The NDRC allocated the new laboratory a budget of $455,000 for its first year. Loomis suggested that the lab should be run by the Carnegie Institution, but Bush convinced him that it would best be run by MIT. The Radiation Laboratory, as it came to be known, tested its airborne radar from an Army B-18 on March 27, 1941. By mid-1941, it had developed SCR-584 radar, a mobile radar fire control system for antiaircraft guns. [41]

    In September 1940, Norbert Wiener approached Bush with a proposal to build a digital computer. Bush declined to provide NDRC funding for it on the grounds that he did not believe that it could be completed before the end of the war. The supporters of digital computers were disappointed at the decision, which they attributed to a preference for outmoded analog technology. In June 1943, the Army provided $500,000 to build the computer, which became ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer. Having delayed its funding, Bush's prediction proved correct as ENIAC was not completed until December 1945, after the war had ended. [42] His critics saw his attitude as a failure of vision. [43]

    Office of Scientific Research and Development Edit

    On June 28, 1941, Roosevelt established the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) with the signing of Executive Order 8807. [44] Bush became director of the OSRD while Conant succeeded him as chairman of the NDRC, which was subsumed into the OSRD. The OSRD was on a firmer financial footing than the NDRC since it received funding from Congress, and had the resources and the authority to develop weapons and technologies with or without the military. Furthermore, the OSRD had a broader mandate than the NDRC, moving into additional areas such as medical research [45] and the mass production of penicillin and sulfa drugs. The organization grew to 850 full-time employees, [46] and produced between 30,000 and 35,000 reports. [47] The OSRD was involved in some 2,500 contracts, [48] worth in excess of $536 million. [49]

    Bush's method of management at the OSRD was to direct overall policy, while delegating supervision of divisions to qualified colleagues and letting them do their jobs without interference. He attempted to interpret the mandate of the OSRD as narrowly as possible to avoid overtaxing his office and to prevent duplicating the efforts of other agencies. Bush would often ask: "Will it help to win a war this war?" [50] Other challenges involved obtaining adequate funds from the president and Congress and determining apportionment of research among government, academic, and industrial facilities. [50] His most difficult problems, and also greatest successes, were keeping the confidence of the military, which distrusted the ability of civilians to observe security regulations and devise practical solutions, [51] and opposing conscription of young scientists into the armed forces. This became especially difficult as the army's manpower crisis really began to bite in 1944. [52] In all, the OSRD requested deferments for some 9,725 employees of OSRD contractors, of which all but 63 were granted. [52] In his obituary, The New York Times described Bush as "a master craftsman at steering around obstacles, whether they were technical or political or bull-headed generals and admirals." [53]

    Proximity fuze Edit

    In August 1940, the NDRC began work on a proximity fuze, a fuze inside an artillery shell that would explode when it came close to its target. A radar set, along with the batteries to power it, was miniaturized to fit inside a shell, and its glass vacuum tubes designed to withstand the 20,000 g-force of being fired from a gun and 500 rotations per second in flight. [54] Unlike normal radar, the proximity fuze sent out a continuous signal rather than short pulses. [55] The NDRC created a special Section T chaired by Merle Tuve of the CIW, with Commander William S. Parsons as special assistant to Bush and liaison between the NDRC and the Navy's Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd). [54] One of CIW staff members that Tuve recruited to Section T in 1940 was James Van Allen. In April 1942, Bush placed Section T directly under the OSRD, and Parsons in charge. The research effort remained under Tuve but moved to the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), where Parsons was BuOrd's representative. [56] In August 1942, a live firing test was conducted with the newly commissioned cruiser USS Cleveland three pilotless drones were shot down in succession. [57]

    To preserve the secret of the proximity fuze, its use was initially permitted only over water, where a dud round could not fall into enemy hands. In late 1943, the Army obtained permission to use the weapon over land. The proximity fuze proved particularly effective against the V-1 flying bomb over England, and later Antwerp, in 1944. A version was also developed for use with howitzers against ground targets. [58] Bush met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 1944 to press for its use, arguing that the Germans would be unable to copy and produce it before the war was over. Eventually, the Joint Chiefs agreed to allow its employment from December 25. In response to the German Ardennes Offensive on December 16, 1944, the immediate use of the proximity fuze was authorized, and it went into action with deadly effect. [59] By the end of 1944, proximity fuzes were coming off the production lines at the rate of 40,000 per day. [58] "If one looks at the proximity fuze program as a whole," historian James Phinney Baxter III wrote, "the magnitude and complexity of the effort rank it among the three or four most extraordinary scientific achievements of the war." [60]

    The German V-1 flying bomb demonstrated a serious omission in OSRD's portfolio: guided missiles. While the OSRD had some success developing unguided rockets, it had nothing comparable to the V-1, the V-2 or the Henschel Hs 293 air-to-ship gliding guided bomb. Although the United States trailed the Germans and Japanese in several areas, this represented an entire field that had been left to the enemy. Bush did not seek the advice of Dr. Robert H. Goddard. Goddard would come to be regarded as America's pioneer of rocketry, but many contemporaries regarded him as a crank. Before the war, Bush had gone on the record as saying, "I don't understand how a serious scientist or engineer can play around with rockets", [61] but in May 1944, he was forced to travel to London to warn General Dwight Eisenhower of the danger posed by the V-1 and V-2. [62] Bush could only recommend that the launch sites be bombed, which was done. [63]

    Manhattan Project Edit

    Bush played a critical role in persuading the United States government to undertake a crash program to create an atomic bomb. [64] When the NDRC was formed, the Committee on Uranium was placed under it, reporting directly to Bush as the Uranium Committee. Bush reorganized the committee, strengthening its scientific component by adding Tuve, George B. Pegram, Jesse W. Beams, Ross Gunn and Harold Urey. [65] When the OSRD was formed in June 1941, the Uranium Committee was again placed directly under Bush. For security reasons, its name was changed to the Section S-1. [66]

    Bush met with Roosevelt and Vice President Henry A. Wallace on October 9, 1941, to discuss the project. He briefed Roosevelt on Tube Alloys, the British atomic bomb project and its Maud Committee, which had concluded that an atomic bomb was feasible, and on the German nuclear energy project, about which little was known. Roosevelt approved and expedited the atomic program. To control it, he created a Top Policy Group consisting of himself—although he never attended a meeting—Wallace, Bush, Conant, Stimson and the Chief of Staff of the Army, General George Marshall. [67] On Bush's advice, Roosevelt chose the army to run the project rather than the navy, although the navy had shown far more interest in the field, and was already conducting research into atomic energy for powering ships. Bush's negative experiences with the Navy had convinced him that it would not listen to his advice, and could not handle large-scale construction projects. [68] [69]

    In March 1942, Bush sent a report to Roosevelt outlining work by Robert Oppenheimer on the nuclear cross section of uranium-235. Oppenheimer's calculations, which Bush had George Kistiakowsky check, estimated that the critical mass of a sphere of Uranium-235 was in the range of 2.5 to 5 kilograms, with a destructive power of around 2,000 tons of TNT. Moreover, it appeared that plutonium might be even more fissile. [70] After conferring with Brigadier General Lucius D. Clay about the construction requirements, Bush drew up a submission for $85 million in fiscal year 1943 for four pilot plants, which he forwarded to Roosevelt on June 17, 1942. With the Army on board, Bush moved to streamline oversight of the project by the OSRD, replacing the Section S-1 with a new S-1 Executive Committee. [71]

    Bush soon became dissatisfied with the dilatory way the project was run, with its indecisiveness over the selection of sites for the pilot plants. He was particularly disturbed at the allocation of an AA-3 priority, which would delay completion of the pilot plants by three months. Bush complained about these problems to Bundy and Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson. Major General Brehon B. Somervell, the commander of the army's Services of Supply, appointed Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves as project director in September. Within days of taking over, Groves approved the proposed site at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and obtained a AAA priority. At a meeting in Stimson's office on September 23 attended by Bundy, Bush, Conant, Groves, Marshall Somervell and Stimson, Bush put forward his proposal for steering the project by a small committee answerable to the Top Policy Group. The meeting agreed with Bush, and created a Military Policy Committee chaired by him, with Somervell's chief of staff, Brigadier General Wilhelm D. Styer, representing the army, and Rear Admiral William R. Purnell representing the navy. [72]

    At the meeting with Roosevelt on October 9, 1941, Bush advocated cooperating with the United Kingdom, and he began corresponding with his British counterpart, Sir John Anderson. [73] But by October 1942, Conant and Bush agreed that a joint project would pose security risks and be more complicated to manage. Roosevelt approved a Military Policy Committee recommendation stating that information given to the British should be limited to technologies that they were actively working on and should not extend to post-war developments. [74] In July 1943, on a visit to London to learn about British progress on antisubmarine technology, [75] Bush, Stimson, and Bundy met with Anderson, Lord Cherwell, and Winston Churchill at 10 Downing Street. At the meeting, Churchill forcefully pressed for a renewal of interchange, while Bush defended current policy. Only when he returned to Washington did he discover that Roosevelt had agreed with the British. The Quebec Agreement merged the two atomic bomb projects, creating the Combined Policy Committee with Stimson, Bush and Conant as United States representatives. [76]

    Bush appeared on the cover of Time magazine on April 3, 1944. [77] He toured the Western Front in October 1944, and spoke to ordnance officers, but no senior commander would meet with him. He was able to meet with Samuel Goudsmit and other members of the Alsos Mission, who assured him that there was no danger from the German project he conveyed this assessment to Lieutenant General Bedell Smith. [78] In May 1945, Bush became part of the Interim Committee formed to advise the new president, Harry S. Truman, on nuclear weapons. [79] It advised that the atomic bomb should be used against an industrial target in Japan as soon as possible and without warning. [80] Bush was present at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range on July 16, 1945, for the Trinity nuclear test, the first detonation of an atomic bomb. [81] Afterwards, he took his hat off to Oppenheimer in tribute. [82]

    Before the end of the Second World War, Bush and Conant had foreseen and sought to avoid a possible nuclear arms race. Bush proposed international scientific openness and information sharing as a method of self-regulation for the scientific community, to prevent any one political group gaining a scientific advantage. Before nuclear research became public knowledge, Bush used the development of biological weapons as a model for the discussion of similar issues, an "opening wedge". He was less successful in promoting his ideas in peacetime with President Harry Truman, than he had been under wartime conditions with Roosevelt. [2] [83]

    In "As We May Think", an essay published by the Atlantic Monthly in July 1945, Bush wrote: "This has not been a scientist's war it has been a war in which all have had a part. The scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand of a common cause, have shared greatly and learned much. It has been exhilarating to work in effective partnership." [84]

    Memex concept Edit

    Bush introduced the concept of the memex during the 1930s, which he imagined as a form of memory augmentation involving a microfilm-based "device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory." [84] He wanted the memex to emulate the way the brain links data by association rather than by indexes and traditional, hierarchical storage paradigms, and be easily accessed as "a future device for individual use . a sort of mechanized private file and library" in the shape of a desk. [84] The memex was also intended as a tool to study the brain itself. [84]

    After thinking about the potential of augmented memory for several years, Bush set out his thoughts at length in "As We May Think", predicting that "wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified". [84] "As We May Think" was published in the July 1945 issue of The Atlantic. A few months later, Life magazine published a condensed version of "As We May Think", accompanied by several illustrations showing the possible appearance of a memex machine and its companion devices. [85]

    Shortly after "As We May Think" was originally published, Douglas Engelbart read it, and with Bush's visions in mind, commenced work that would later lead to the invention of the mouse. [86] Ted Nelson, who coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia", was also greatly influenced by Bush's essay. [87] [88]

    "As We May Think" has turned out to be a visionary and influential essay. [89] In their introduction to a paper discussing information literacy as a discipline, Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber wrote in 2005 that:

    Bush's paper might be regarded as describing a microcosm of the information society, with the boundaries tightly drawn by the interests and experiences of a major scientist of the time, rather than the more open knowledge spaces of the 21st century. Bush provides a core vision of the importance of information to industrial / scientific society, using the image of an "information explosion" arising from the unprecedented demands on scientific production and technological application of World War II. He outlines a version of information science as a key discipline within the practice of scientific and technical knowledge domains. His view encompasses the problems of information overload and the need to devise efficient mechanisms to control and channel information for use. [90]

    Bush was concerned that information overload might inhibit the research efforts of scientists. Looking to the future, he predicted a time when "there is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers." [84]

    National Science Foundation Edit

    The OSRD continued to function actively until some time after the end of hostilities, but by 1946–1947 it had been reduced to a minimal staff charged with finishing work remaining from the war period Bush was calling for its closure even before the war had ended. During the war, the OSRD had issued contracts as it had seen fit, with just eight organizations accounting for half of its spending. MIT was the largest to receive funds, with its obvious ties to Bush and his close associates. Efforts to obtain legislation exempting the OSRD from the usual government conflict of interest regulations failed, leaving Bush and other OSRD principals open to prosecution. Bush therefore pressed for OSRD to be wound up as soon as possible. [91]

    With its dissolution, Bush and others had hoped that an equivalent peacetime government research and development agency would replace the OSRD. Bush felt that basic research was important to national survival for both military and commercial reasons, requiring continued government support for science and technology technical superiority could be a deterrent to future enemy aggression. In Science, The Endless Frontier, a July 1945 report to the president, Bush maintained that basic research was "the pacemaker of technological progress". "New products and new processes do not appear full-grown," Bush wrote in the report. "They are founded on new principles and new conceptions, which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in the purest realms of science!" [92] In Bush's view, the "purest realms" were the physical and medical sciences he did not propose funding the social sciences. [93] In Science, The Endless Frontier, science historian Daniel Kevles later wrote, Bush "insisted upon the principle of Federal patronage for the advancement of knowledge in the United States, a departure that came to govern Federal science policy after World War II." [94]

    In July 1945, the Kilgore bill was introduced in Congress, proposing the appointment and removal of a single science administrator by the president, with emphasis on applied research, and a patent clause favoring a government monopoly. In contrast, the competing Magnuson bill was similar to Bush's proposal to vest control in a panel of top scientists and civilian administrators with the executive director appointed by them. The Magnuson bill emphasized basic research and protected private patent rights. [95] A compromise Kilgore–Magnuson bill of February 1946 passed the Senate but expired in the House because Bush favored a competing bill that was a virtual duplicate of Magnuson's original bill. [96] A Senate bill was introduced in February 1947 to create the National Science Foundation (NSF) to replace the OSRD. This bill favored most of the features advocated by Bush, including the controversial administration by an autonomous scientific board. The bill passed the Senate and the House, but was pocket vetoed by Truman on August 6, on the grounds that the administrative officers were not properly responsible to either the president or Congress. [97] The OSRD was abolished without a successor organization on December 31, 1947. [98]

    Without a National Science Foundation, the military stepped in, with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) filling the gap. The war had accustomed many scientists to working without the budgetary constraints imposed by pre-war universities. [99] Bush helped create the Joint Research and Development Board (JRDB) of the Army and Navy, of which he was chairman. With passage of the National Security Act on July 26, 1947, the JRDB became the Research and Development Board (RDB). Its role was to promote research through the military until a bill creating the National Science Foundation finally became law. [100] By 1953, the Department of Defense was spending $1.6 billion a year on research physicists were spending 70 percent of their time on defense related research, and 98 percent of the money spent on physics came from either the Department of Defense or the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), which took over from the Manhattan Project on January 1, 1947. [101] Legislation to create the National Science Foundation finally passed through Congress and was signed into law by Truman in 1950. [102]

    The authority that Bush had as chairman of the RDB was much different from the power and influence he enjoyed as director of OSRD and would have enjoyed in the agency he had hoped would be independent of the Executive branch and Congress. He was never happy with the position and resigned as chairman of the RDB after a year, but remained on the oversight committee. [103] He continued to be skeptical about rockets and missiles, writing in his 1949 book, Modern Arms and Free Men, that intercontinental ballistic missiles would not be technically feasible "for a long time to come . if ever". [104]

    Panels and boards Edit

    With Truman as president, men like John R. Steelman, who was appointed chairman of the President's Scientific Research Board in October 1946, came to prominence. [105] Bush's authority, both among scientists and politicians, suffered a rapid decline, though he remained a revered figure. [106] In September 1949, he was appointed to head a scientific panel that included Oppenheimer to review the evidence that the Soviet Union had tested its first atomic bomb. The panel concluded that it had, and this finding was relayed to Truman, who made the public announcement. [107] During 1952 Bush was one of five members of the State Department Panel of Consultants on Disarmament, and led the panel in urging that the United States postpone its planned first test of the hydrogen bomb and seek a test ban with the Soviet Union, on the grounds that avoiding a test might forestall development of a catastrophic new weapon and open the way for new arms agreements between the two nations. [108] The panel lacked political allies in Washington, however, and the Ivy Mike shot went ahead as scheduled. [108] Bush was outraged when a security hearing stripped Oppenheimer of his security clearance in 1954 he issued a strident attack on Oppenheimer's accusers in The New York Times. Alfred Friendly summed up the feeling of many scientists in declaring that Bush had become "the Grand Old Man of American science". [109]

    Bush continued to serve on the NACA through 1948 and expressed annoyance with aircraft companies for delaying development of a turbojet engine because of the huge expense of research and development as well as retooling from older piston engines. [110] He was similarly disappointed with the automobile industry, which showed no interest in his proposals for more fuel-efficient engines. General Motors told him that "even if it were a better engine, [General Motors] would not be interested in it." [111] Bush likewise deplored trends in advertising. "Madison Avenue believes", he said, "that if you tell the public something absurd, but do it enough times, the public will ultimately register it in its stock of accepted verities." [112]

    From 1947–1962, Bush was on the board of directors for American Telephone and Telegraph. He retired as president of the Carnegie Institution and returned to Massachusetts in 1955, [109] but remained a director of Metals and Controls Corporation from 1952–1959, and of Merck & Co. 1949–1962. [113] Bush became chairman of the board at Merck following the death of George W. Merck, serving until 1962. He worked closely with the company's president, Max Tishler, although Bush was concerned about Tishler's reluctance to delegate responsibility. Bush distrusted the company's sales organization, but supported Tishler's research and development efforts. [114] He was a trustee of Tufts College 1943–1962, of Johns Hopkins University 1943–1955, of the Carnegie Corporation of New York 1939–1950, the Carnegie Institution of Washington 1958–1974, and the George Putnam Fund of Boston 1956–1972, and was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution 1943–1955. [115]

    After suffering a stroke, Bush died in Belmont, Massachusetts, at the age of 84 from pneumonia on June 28, 1974. He was survived by his sons Richard (a surgeon) and John (president of Millipore Corporation) and by six grandchildren and his sister Edith. Bush's wife had died in 1969. [116] He was buried at South Dennis Cemetery in South Dennis, Massachusetts, [117] after a private funeral service. At a public memorial subsequently held by MIT, [118] Jerome Wiesner declared "No American has had greater influence in the growth of science and technology than Vannevar Bush". [113]

    • Bush received the AIEE's Edison Medal in 1943, "for his contribution to the advancement of electrical engineering, particularly through the development of new applications of mathematics to engineering problems, and for his eminent service to the nation in guiding the war research program." [119]
    • In 1945, Bush was awarded the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. [120]
    • In 1949, he received the IRI Medal from the Industrial Research Institute in recognition of his contributions as a leader of research and development. [115]
    • President Truman awarded Bush the Medal of Merit with bronze oak leaf cluster in 1948.
    • President Lyndon Johnson awarded him the National Medal of Science in 1963. [121]
    • President Richard Nixon presented him, as well as James B. Conant and General Leslie R. Groves with the unique Atomic Pioneers Award from the Atomic Energy Commission in February 1970. [122]
    • Bush was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1948, and an Officer of the French Legion of Honor in 1955. [115]

    In 1980, the National Science Foundation created the Vannevar Bush Award to honor his contributions to public service. [123] The Vannevar Bush papers are located in several places, with the majority of the collection held at the Library of Congress. Additional papers are held by the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, the Carnegie Institution, and the National Archives and Records Administration. [124] [125] [126]


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