James Earl (1761—96)

by James Earl (1761—96)

Oil on canvas; 35 1/2 x 29 13/16 in. (90.2 x 75.7 cm). Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.

by James Earl (1761—96)

Oil on canvas; 44-1/2 x 35-3/8 in. Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC.

One of the most stubborn myths of American history is the idea that the frontier promoted equality of material condition. This national folk legend is, unhappily, ver much mistaken. With some exceptions, landed wealth was always highly concentrated throughout the southern highlands, as it would be in the lower Mississippi Valley, Texas and the far southwest. Inequality was greater in the backcountry and the southern highlands than in any other rural region of the United States.

David Hackett Fischer
Albion′s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989)