This volume recounts the clashes and intrigues that played out over the landscape of the Old Southwest and across six decades as the Spanish, French, British, and ultimately Americans vied for control. Rivalry began soon after initial discovery, mapping, and exploration as the world powers, particularly England and France, competed for control of the lucrative fur trade in the Mississippi valley. The French attempted to establish trade networks stretching from the Atlantic Ocean inland to the Mississippi River and northward from ports on the Gulf of Mexico to the Ohio River. But they found the British already entrenched there. Verner Crane guides us through this multinational struggle and navigates the border wars and diplomatic intrigues that played crucial roles in the settlement of the South by Euro-Americans. In his new introduction, Steven Hahn places the work in the context of its time, sketches its publication history, and provides biographical information on Crane.
Verner Crane (1889-1930) taught in the history department at the University of Michigan and authored several books, including Benjamin Franklin and a Rising People. Steven C. Hahn is a historian at St. Olaf College and author of The Invention of the Creek Nation: A Political History of the Creek Indians in the South's Imperial Era, 1540-1736.