Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Ronald L. Lewis.
May Lou Lustig
A. Michal McMahon
Since the early nineteenth century, Americans have frequently associated the pioneers of the Appalachian Mountains with subsistence farming, economic independence, and a certain degree of hostility toward capitalism. This thesis disproves the myth of pioneer self-sufficiency by demonstrating how the men and women who settled in western Virginia during the final third of the eighteenth century used a variety of tactics in their struggle to achieve a competency. Although subsistence activities, such as hunting and farming, undoubtedly held an important place in the backcountry domestic economy, the settlers also interacted with the commercial market as both producers and consumers of a wide range of commodities. In the final analysis, this thesis adds to the growing body of scholarship which challenges the concept of Appalachian exceptionalism.
Boback, John M., "Commercialism, subsistence, and competency on the Western Virginia frontier, 1765--1800" (2000). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 681.