The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 131
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ing of either one. Just what Turner meant by much of what he
wrote has been the subject of debate since the day Turner read
his famous paper. Turner himself did not agree with it as is evi-
denced by the many deletions, additions, and revisions which he
later made. Indeed, there is some evidence that after Turner had
delivered his paper and saw it in print he was more astonished
by it than most other historians. Thus he proceeded to revise it
after more deliberate study and in the light of the bitter criticisms
which were offered. Once these thirteen historians had agreed on
what the Turner thesis was, they would still have been confronted
with the problem of what is meant by the frontier, as the editors
suggest it could be a place, or a process, or a situation. A frontier
may be static or mobile. It might mean a group of people living
in an area beyond the pale of civilization with no one moving
into or out of it. Furthermore, there are many kinds of frontiers.
Since there was no agreement among the essayists about what
their subject was, the Turner Thesis, there could be no unity of
thought, and there was none. They wrote of the static frontier
and of the one of movement. By inference if not directly, they
did just as the historians did sixty-five years ago, some rejected
it, some modified it, a few accepted it.
Each essay in isolation is an extremely provocative and inter-
esting treatise by distinguished men. Each is a separate entity
and the thirteen essays are not bound together in any sense by
Turner's theory, as the editors requested. There is no application
of their own theories to the yardstick of the Turner thesis. If this
reviewer should be allowed to make this application, it seems only
modest to say that the result, as far as the Turner viewpoint is
concerned, is totally disastrous. Their theories seem almost to an-
nihilate the doctrine. They did worse things to the Turner thesis
than some persons have done to the Ten Commandments. It is
clearly stated or implied by most of the writers that as time goes,
the frontier is but a fleeting moment, and not enough to effect vast
changes in cultural values, and that the tendency is to recreate
exactly the same type of civilization as that from which the fron-
tiersman came. The reference here is to the mobile frontier, and
holds true, except as one essayist points out, unless the people of
the frontier are composed of diverse elements.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/153/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.