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What is a frontiersmen ?


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We have received several questions asking “what is a frontiersmen and in what period of time did they exist?”


Let’s look at what Webster’s University Dictionary states - to be actuate and not misunderstood.


First we’ll look at the word “frontier” (we are only interested in the part that fills our need of answering the original question).



Word History: Frontier and front are both derived from Latin frons, “forehead, front, façade.”  Frontier was borrowed into English from the French in the 15th century with the meaning “borderland,” the region of a country that fronts on another country. The use of frontier to mean “a region at the edge of a settled area” is a special American development. During most of American history the edge of the settled country was the place where unlimited cheap land was available to anyone willing to live the hard but independent life of the pioneer farmer. It has long been recognized that the experience of frontier life had an important part in shaping American society and character. This sense of frontier has also been extended to other areas of achievement and conquest.


Frontiersmen (frdn-tlzé man) n. A man living in a frontier area, an independent individual with skills to survive on ones own ability.


This description says it all “A man living in a frontier area, an independent individual with skills to survive on ones own ability.” Remember the term “man” refers to either sex, male or female that lives on the frontier or borderlands (settlements near by that area). This is interesting when you go a step further, it’s not just the adventurer, explorer or trapper, but everyone, skilled or unskilled that where involved in the development of this land. That is why the “North American Frontiersmen” was formed to meet those missed by other associations and organizations. Now you have a home that covers all the various labors of the new world from the camp follower to the highly skilled trappers that roamed from 1750 to 1843.

We have also been asked for some good reference books that may help in developing a personal persona.

For the adventurous types I like: “The Frontier Rifleman” by Richard B. LaCrosse, Jr. ISBN: 0-913150-57-6 / Pioneer Press – P.O. Box 684 , Union City , Tennessee 38261

Here are a few more for excellent research and reference: Book References

Thank you for your time.

                                                                                                                Buck Conner

                                                                                                                          “One who trades” English

                                                                                                                              “Uno qui én negocia" Spanish

                                                                                                                          “Unqui commerce” French






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