Welcome to The Spirit of the Southern Frontier, an archive of public-domain electronic texts for scholars, teachers, and students of American literature and history.The project is funded by grants from the Associated Colleges of the South and the University of Richmond. Our sources range from 1830-1860 and focus on the development of the states on either side of the Mississippi River known as "The Old Southwest."

At that time, a number of writers now known as the Southwestern Humorists described life in the recently settled region.

Our transcriptions and facsimiles of original materials come from William T. Porter's The New York Spirit of the Times, other newspapers and periodicals, and first editions of antebellum books. We have included a few items from outside the era or geographical region to provide contrast or enrich readers' understanding of the conventions of Southwestern humor and of the decades when it flourished.

Featured item : "An Accident at a Wedding" An 1845 piece by "Cotton Wood," just in time for all of you about to "tie the knot."

How to use the site:

A common menu appears on every informational and content page. Our "topics" page lists the subject listings for all the digitized articles using a get of categories first developed by Hennig Cohen and William B. Dillingham in their anthology Humor of the Old Southwest. Searches can be performed by key word, or users may browse alphabetical lists of authors, titles, facsimiles and images. We welcome suggestions for the site.

Joe Essid, University of Richmond Department Of Rhetoric & Communication Studies, Site Manager