The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942

Book Reviews

too lively at times for historical precision. All in all, the book
is a fine piece of craftsmanship and historical writing.
CLAUDE ELLIOTT.
Southwest Texas State Teachers College.
Three Virginia Frontiers. By Thomas P. Abernethy.
University, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1940. Pp. xiii,
96. $1.50.
In 1937 the Graduate School and the Department of History
of Louisiana State University sponsored the first of the Walter
Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History. Dr. Thomas
Perkins Abernethy, Richmond Alumni Professor of History of
the University of Virginia, gave the annual lectures, three in
number, under this series in 1940 under the title noted above.
Specifically, the three frontiers of Virginia as chosen in the
lectures were the tidewater region, the piedmont and the valley,
and Kentucky. Professor Abernethy points out that "the tide-
water, the piedmont, and the transmontane regions of the Old
Dominion appear to be fairly representative of the first three
stages of the American frontier," and has treated them "as
iilustrative examples of the general theme." He asserts that
"the democratizing influence of the frontier" had various off-
sets, and "that much that has commonly been lauded as western
democracy was merely western self-interest and was not a par-
ticularly significant factor in the building of a 'government of
the people, by the people, for the people'."
In his first lecture Professor Abernethy considered the impact
of the frontier "upon those who were first to face it." He
warned his audience that certain areas of the frontier would
have to be subjected to detailed study before any generalizations
about the significance of the frontier could be made. "Only a
start has been made in that direction," he asserted. The sev-
enteenth century passed before the Virginians developed in-
stitutions congenial to their circumstances and environment.
During that part of the eighteenth century in which the
frontier of Virginia pushed westward through the piedmont
and the valley, some beginning was made by the political and
social institutions "to take on the color of the American scene."
At the conclusion of the second lecture, after having considered

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/. Accessed December 29, 2014.