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In 1811, while escorting members of John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company up the Columbia River, their Chinookan guide refused to advance beyond a particular point that marked a boundary between his people and another indigenous group. Long before European contact, Native Americans created and maintained recognized borders, ranging from family hunting and fishing properties to larger tribal territories to vast river valley regions. Within the confines of these respective borders, the native population often established permanent settlements that acted as the venues for the major political, economic, and social activities that took place in virtually every part of precolonial North America. It was the location of these native settlements that played a major role in the establishment of the first European, and later, American frontier towns.

In Settling the Frontier: Urban Development in America’s Borderlands, 1600-1830, historian Joseph P. Alessi examines how the Pecos, Mohawk, Ohioan, and Chinook tribal communities aided Europeans and Americans in the founding of five of America’s earliest border towns - Santa Fe (New Mexico), Fort Amsterdam (New York City), Fort Orange (Albany, New York), Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and Fort Astoria (Portland, Oregon). Filling a void in scholarship about the role of Native American communities in the settlement of North America, Alessi reveals that, although often resistant to European and American progress or abused by it, Indians played an integral role in motivating and assisting Europeans with the establishment of frontier towns.

The book is published by Westholme Publishing. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2020 Joseph P. Alessi (P)2021 Redwood Audiobooks

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  • Robin
  • 31-10-21

A special history of the US, with a perfect reader

I listen to nonfiction books on my commute. It is important for the performance of the title to not distract from the text. It is also important to me that the reader not put me to sleep. I just want to compement Ellery Truesdell's reading of this work. His voice honored the effort of the author. I enjoyed this book not only for its content, but because the audio performance of it was excellent.