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The way this "frontier" or area of open land has been viewed over some two centuries has been shaped by certain facts or concepts based on the acquisition of several different frontiers.The way these frontiers have been acquired has differed.As the result of a national debate in the 1780s a national policy emerged that this first frontier would be equal to the older regions.
For purposes of national policy this second frontier would remain untouched and exotic until plans for a national railroad emerged in the 1850s. Americans, and some Europeans, would come to see its exotic Indians. The Indians in the first frontier weren't assimilating as Jefferson had planned.
So Indians in the first frontier could be removed to the Louisiana Purchase-called by Jefferson the Permanent Indian Frontier.
This second frontier-which doubled the size of the nation-was acquired by purchase from Napoleon in 1803.
The vast extent of land was not initially seen as farming land.
It contained Indian inhabitants engaged in fur trading with Caucasians.
At first people wondered if it would it be treated as a colonial region-a place to send "undesirable" or "troublesome" settlers from the East Coast or a place where "undesirables" would naturally congregate and become a threat to the East coast.Jefferson hoped that a river passage could be found that would connect the eastern United States with the Pacific Ocean.Jefferson also hoped that trade relations could be established with the Indians, many of whom still continued to trade directly with the British in Canada.We are very sorry, but you have reached a page that has moved or no longer exists.Please visit our home page to experience our new look and updated navigation.In our new interface, materials are organized by era, so users will easily be able to view many different types of resources for a particular era such as the textbook, images, primary sources, multimedia and teacher materials.Although the links to our textbook, primary sources, and other educational materials changed in the new interface, we believe the benefits significantly outweigh any inconvenience.Prepared by Professor Catherine Lavender for Honors 502 (American Frontiers and Borderlands), Department of History, The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York.Send email to [email protected] modified: Tuesday 5 September 2000.The Indians, though helpful to Lewis and Clark, might not become trade partners.The most important discovery of the explorers was the knowledge that there was no river passage to the Pacific Coast.