Frontier Cities: Encounters at the Crossroads of Empire

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From the book jacket:
Macau, New Orleans, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. All of these metropolitan centers were once frontier cities, urban areas irrevocably shaped by cross-cultural borderland beginnings. Spanning a wide range of periods and locations, and including stories of eighteenth-century Detroit, nineteenth-century Seattle, and twentieth-century Los Angeles, Frontier Cities recovers the history of these urban places and shows how, from the start, natives and newcomers alike shared streets, buildings, and interwoven lives. Not only do frontier cities embody the earliest matrix of the American urban experience; they also testify to the intersections of colonial, urban, western, and global history.

The twelve essays in this collection paint compelling portraits of frontier cities and their inhabitants: the French traders who bypassed imperial regulations by throwing casks of brandy over the wall to Indian customers in eighteenth-century Montreal; Isaac Friedlander, San Francisco’s “Grain King”; and Adrien de Pauger, who designed the Vieux Carré in New Orleans. Exploring the economic and political networks, imperial ambitions, and personal intimacies of frontier city development, this collection demonstrates that these cities followed no mythic line of settlement, nor did they move lockstep through a certain pace or pattern of evolution. An introduction puts the collection in historical context, and the epilogue ponders the future of frontier cities in the midst of contemporary globalization. With innovative concepts and a rich selection of maps and images, Frontier Cities imparts a crucial untold chapter in the construction of urban history and place.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Local Crossroads, Global Networks, and Frontier Cities
Jay Gitlin, Barbara Berglund, and Adam Arenson (read it free online)

I. PRECEDENTS: IMPERIAL PLANS AND COMMERCIAL VENTURES

1. The European Frontier City in Early Modern Asia: Goa, Macau, and Manila
Alan Gallay

2. Colonial Projects and Frontier Practices: The First Century of New Orleans History
Daniel H. Usner, Jr.

II. URBAN SPACE AND FRONTIER REALITIES IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

3. Insinuating Empire: Indians, Smugglers, and the Imperial Geography of Eighteenth-Century Montreal
Brett Rushforth

4. On the Edge of the West: The Roots and Routes of Detroit’s Urban Eighteenth Century
Karen Marrero

5. People of the Pen, People of the Sword: Pittsburgh in 1774
Carolyn Gilman

III. NETWORKS AND FLOWS: THE FRONTIER CITY IN THE NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURIES

6. Grain Kings, Rubber Dreams, and Stock Exchanges: How Transportation and Communication Changed Frontier Cities
Elliott West

7. Frontier Ghosts Along the Urban Pacific Slope
Matthew Klingle

IV. RENDERINGS: VISUALIZING AND READING THE FRONTIER CITY

8. Locating the Frontier City in Time and Space: Documenting a Passing Phenomenon
Timothy R. Mahoney

9. Mapping the Urban Frontier and Losing Frontier Cities
Peter J. Kastor

10. Private Libraries and Global Worlds: Books and Print Culture in Colonial St. Louis
John Hoover

Epilogue. Frontier Cities and the Return of Globalization
Jay Gitlin, Barbara Berglund, and Adam Arenson

Notes
List of Contributors
Index
Acknowledgments

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