The first American frontier lay just beyond the Appalachian Mountains and along the Gulf Coast. Here, successive groups of pioneers built new societies and developed new institutions to cope with life in the wilderness. In this thorough revision of his classic account, Malcolm J. Rohrbough tells the dramatic story of these men and women from the first Kentucky settlements to the closing of the frontier. Rohrbough divides his narrative into major time periods designed to establish categories of description and analysis, presenting case studies that focus on the county, the town, the community, and the family, as well as politics and urbanization. He also addresses Spanish, French, and Native American traditions and the anomalous presence of African slaves in the making of this story.