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Firsthand Accounts of the American Frontier

Discover Firsthand Accounts of the American Frontier

Probably the most exciting thing about studying history is the chance to read old documents.  These sources can be problematic, stating one thing whilst implying another, but they nevertheless provide us with our best insight into the past and, as such, they are easily the most important part of the historian’s arsenal.  On this page I have gathered together resources that I have produced which will allow you to engage with firsthand accounts of the early American frontier.  In addition to actual historic documents, the materials on this page have been designed to help you successfully navigate these sources – commentaries, analysis, hints, and tips, all designed to help you experience (and understand) firsthand accounts of the early American frontier.


Daniel Boone and Other Settlers Describe the Settlement of Kentucky and Ohio – Now for Amazon Kindle

I am happy to inform you that my book containing firsthand accounts of frontier life is now available as an ebook for Amazon Kindle and other ebook devices.  Daniel Boone and Others on the Kentucky Frontier: Autobiographies and Narratives, 1769-1795 is a collection of sources which describe life on the early American frontier.  In addition to firsthand accounts from early pioneers such as Daniel Boone, this collection contains a series of accompanying essays which will help readers understand the broader historic context surrounding these sources.  Ideal for students and researchers looking for primary sources related to the settlement of Kentucky and southern Ohio, as well as those looking for an insight into Native American society in the last quarter of the eighteenth century.


“A godsend for those looking for primary materials about Daniel Boone and other early Kentucky frontier people”–Appalachian Heritage

Firsthand Accounts of the Frontier - Buy ebook now

For the paperback edition of this book, please Click Here


How to Read Primary Sources

To accompany the release of my book I have created a series of free podcast lectures which will help non-experts to understand the firsthand accounts contained in that volume.  The lecture series is designed to help non-historians use and appreciate primary sources – you don’t need to be a trained historian to gain an insight into the past from firsthand accounts.  The first of the banners below will allow you to listen to me reading Daniel Boone’s autobiography in its entirety – start with this.  Once you have listened to the source you will be able to move on to Boone Lecture #1 which contains all the information you need to begin to understand some of the depth and subtly contained in Boone’s narrative.  Once you have listened to that episode you can move onto Boone Lecture #2 which will explore Boone’s recollections in greater.  This lecture looks specifically at how Boone used the publication of his narrative to clear his name of past charges of treason.  There will be further episodes released in this series in the future so check back soon.

Download Boone's Narrative from iTunes

Not got iTunes? Download the Mp3 directly, RIGHT click this text and save the file

Download Boone Lecture #1

Not got iTunes? Download the Mp3 directly, RIGHT click this text and save the file

Download Boone Lecture #2

Not got iTunes? Download the Mp3 directly, RIGHT click this text and save the file

Some Questions to Consider

Who wrote the source you are reading? Was it ghost written, like Daniel Boone’s autobiography? If so, how might the writer have altered or embellished the stories told to them? Might the publisher of this source have edited or altered the material in order to make it more exciting, or perhaps to push a personal or political agenda on the public?


Who is this source aimed at it? Was it created for publication? If so, how might the writer have modified the things they describe to appeal to a mass audience? If the source was written for personal reasons (and was never intended for publication), would that make it more reliable? How might a source’s audience impact how it was written and, thus, the information we can draw from it about the past?


Why was this source written? Is there some agenda which influenced why it was created? If so, what is that agenda, how might it have impacted the information recorded in the document?


Buy Daniel Boone and Others by Darren R. Reid

“A godsend for those looking for primary materials about Daniel Boone and other early Kentucky frontier people”–Appalachian Heritage


9 responses to “Firsthand Accounts of the American Frontier”

  1. HiYour recipe looks great , I dont have caster or icing sugar , just the ordinary white one ! What can I do or how can I use it instead , thank you

  2. Thanks.A few things still missing. A bit of work and the blog should be the way I wanted it to be. I am thinking of ways to avoid writing large pieces of code.Things to do:-Put a blog home link that just takes me to a listing of all blog entries on the main page.-On clicking the title the blog entry should comeup with comments expanded-By default all entries should be collapsed. Guess there is a bug. My third entry is expanded with others collapsed-Archives – Rosh will work on this-Gotta get the notify on comment working. Will ask Pandu about this.Readers, any ideas?

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  4. Thank you for making this very informative video. I was pulling my hair out reading the WP forums and was about to throw the towel in. Thanks for explaining in a simple, straightforward manner. And it WORKS!!!Again, awesome, and thanks a lot!!!

  5. Hi!. Me ha alucinado repasar su editorial. Me ha afinado una lección muy atractiva,
    sin embargo, en ciertos puntos difiero un poco de su sentir.
    He contemplado que tiene más manifestaciones, consagro tomarme un ciclo para leerlas.
    Ten por seguro que acecharé todas tus revelaciones. Te alabo por tu portal web.
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