Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dale J. Schmitt

Committee Members

Marie Tedesco, Norma Myers


Following the Proclamation Act of 1763 growing numbers of colonists arrived in upper East Tennessee to settle and build wherever they could make arrangements with local groups of Cherokee. While these first families were occupied with survival, the British colonies continued to thrive. Concurrent with growing prosperity was the increasing determination of colonists to exercise control over their property and economic interests. Frontier exigencies affected family strategies for dividing labor and creating economic endeavors. A commonly held view asserts that where women were scarce and needed, rigid sex-role distinctions could not prevail. This thesis will present research of the earliest Washington County Court records and other primary evidence from the late eighteenth-century through the early Republic period to examine the place of women in the upper East Tennessee frontier and argue that despite frontier conditions the underlying attitudes about women did not change.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.