Differential development on the Ohio River, 1850-1880 : A historical and genealogical study of two small towns in Ohio and a rural district of West Virginia, before and after the U.S. Civil War

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The central focus of this thesis is on two small towns in eastern Ohio and a rural area in neighboring West Virginia during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Located on a sinuous bend of the Ohio River, the towns were separated by only a few miles yet the disparate courses of their development proved them to be quite distinct. Across the river, within sight of both towns, rural West Virginia saw the development of no towns until nearly a half-century later. This was a quiet part of the country in the 18th century, and is so still today. No events of national significance happened here, no famous Americans claim it as birthplace, no institutions of great wealth or learning developed here. However, following significant transitions in American economic development, this area became one of the great centers of the pottery industry in North America and attracted immigrants with relevant skills. Who were the people who lived in this tiny portion of America? How did they interact with each other and with the local and national events of the mid to-late 18th century? How did their actions help shape the eventual development of their little corner of the country? What kinds of obstacles did they overcome in their bid to build a community for themselves? Drawing from the disciplines of history, genealogy and demography, this thesis looks at both population dynamics and individual action in an effort to understand why this small area of the midwestern United States developed as it did through the year 1880. Combined, these three types of research and data utilization complement each other to form a nuanced picture of this portion of the upper Ohio River valley which can perhaps be extrapolated and applied in studies of similar areas of the USA during this pivotal time in its history.
Date of Award10 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorMark Ellis (Supervisor) & Tahitia McCabe (Supervisor)

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