Family Frontier

The Spirit of America by H. David Wright – David Wright Art – Gallatin, Tennessee; Used with the permission of the artist

The Second Frontier – A Family Frontier

Throughout all known history migrations of people from one area to another has always been a family affair.

As Tennessee artist H. David Wright depicts in his painting entitled The Spirit of America, above, typically men, women, and children on a migration walked hundreds of miles to their new homeland.  Wagons and pack-horses were used to carry the items they would need to establish farmsteads once they arrived at their destinations. All family members had responsibilities along the way as they herded cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. They had no assurance they could find suppliers for their needs in a new unsettled land.

Mostly of Scots-Irish and English ancestry and coming primarily from North Carolina and Tennessee, with some detouring through Kentucky, they planted one of the earliest seedbeds of Arkansas’s agricultural heritage. They had carefully chosen some of the richest farmland in the region. They put down their roots and stayed. A few families brought a small number of enslaved men, women, and children with them to the valley.

Historian and living history re-enactor Gerry Barker of Frontier Resources tells about the Family Frontier and Family Migrations in the video below.