Date of Award:

1992

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

English

Advisor/Chair:

Jay Anderson

Abstract

For much of America's history, a certain fascination has existed in American culture with the lifestyle of the woodsman who made the hardwood wilderness his home. over time this fascination has given birth to a collection of romantic traits firmly identified with such a frontiersman.

The requirements for survival in a deep wilderness forced the pre-American Revolution era woodsman turned long hunter, to be "Indian," to demonstrate a high level of marksmanship, and ultimately to draw most of his needs from the bounty of the forest. Such requirements tended to promote the popular conceptions surrounding the eastern frontiersman. Looking beyond those legendary traits, though, such a lifestyle was often an uphill path made only steeper by a rather monotonous diet, days spent in endless and mundane labor, and the threat of perpetual warfare born of political forces beyond his control.

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