Frontier Swashbuckler: The Life and Legend of John Smith T (MISSOURI BIOGRAPHY SERIES)

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9780826212481: Frontier Swashbuckler: The Life and Legend of John Smith T (MISSOURI BIOGRAPHY SERIES)

Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T—pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T's life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T's remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.

Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the "T" to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.

In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin's virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T's fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.

Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.

Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history.

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About the Author:

Dick Steward is Professor of History at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. He is the author of Duels and the Legacy of Violence in Missouri, Trade and Hemisphere: The Good Neighbor Policy and Reciprocal Trade, and Money, Marines, and Mission: Recent U.S.-Latin American Policy.

The Missouri Biography Series, edited by William E. Foley

From Publishers Weekly:

Lincoln University professor Steward has written a biography of one of his state's more colorful figures; though largely forgotten today, John Smith T was notorious in his own time, a key player in the rowdy land grab that went on as the American frontier moved west. Smith T was born in Georgia around 1770 and began staking his claim, when he was just 19, to large tracts of land in Tennessee (he later added the "T" to his name to distinguish himself from the scads of other John Smiths in the early republic), and then moved on into Missouri. Smith T consolidated his land claims by getting himself appointed a lieutenant colonel in the local militia and also as local judge, meting out his own form of justice. Myths and legends sprouted about the unscrupulous land grabber, like the one that claimed he had $750,000 in a 20-gallon brass kettle buried near his home. Steward tries to clear away the myth and uncover the truth about Smith T, but he limits the value of his work by writing in a historiographical vacuum. He takes little notice of the New Western history, as can be seen in observations like: "The frontier was a savage place, peopled by rough and savage men, with savage ways." Furthermore, the vast literature on slavery has no impact here--Steward writes of "the emergence of capitalism" in the West, for example, without acknowledging that there has been for decades a major debate about whether American slave society was capitalist. This biography is serviceable, then, but already outdated in its approach.

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. 236 x 159 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T s life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T s remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the T to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin s virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T s fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780826212481

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. 236 x 159 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T s life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T s remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the T to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin s virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T s fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780826212481

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Book Description University of Missouri Press. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Frontier Swashbuckler: The Life and Legend of John Smith T., Dick Steward, Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T's life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T's remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the "T" to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin's virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T's fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. "Frontier Swashbuckler" seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history.". Bookseller Inventory # B9780826212481

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