Frederick Jackson Turner Additional Biography

Biography

ph_0111206466-Turner_FJ.jpg Frederick Jackson Turner Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Frederick Jackson Turner was born, and received his earliest education, in Portage, Wisconsin. Located along the Wisconsin River at the edge of the 1861 frontier, and named for the portage route for many years used by local American Indians, Portage was an ideal place for the training of a future frontier historian. His father was a journalist, a political figure, and something of a local historian. As a young man, Turner attended the University of Wisconsin, where Professor William Francis Allen had an influence on him. He received his A.B. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1884. After a few years of interest in journalism and elocution, Turner returned to historical studies, taking an M.A. at Wisconsin in 1888. He began working on manuscripts at the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and from that work came his doctoral dissertation, “The Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin,” accepted at The Johns Hopkins University for his Ph.D. in 1890. Among the history professors at Johns Hopkins who influenced Turner were Herbert Baxter Adams, whose scholarship Turner admired but whose frontier theories Turner rejected, and a future U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson, whose ideas influenced the development of Turner’s frontier thesis.

Turner was a member of the history staff at his alma mater, Wisconsin, from 1889 to 1910, although he had opportunities during that time to move to posts at other universities. He became a...

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Bibliography

Billington, Ray Allen. Frederick Jackson Turner: Historian, Scholar, Teacher. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. A complete biography of Turner. Includes bibliography.

Bogue, Allan G. Frederick Jackson Turner: Strange Roads Going Down. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. Biography includes index and bibliographical references.

Faragher, John Mack. Commentary in Rereading Frederick Jackson Turner. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1998. Commentary on the published essays of Turner.

Faragher, John Mack. “The Frontier Trail: Rethinking Turner and Reimagining the American West.” American Historical Review 98 (February, 1993). Centennial evaluation of Turner’s frontier thesis, which declares it no longer relevant and says that it should be replaced by a more regional view.

Jacobs, Wilbur R. The Historical World of Frederick Jackson Turner. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1968. Insight into Turner’s life, based largely on his correspondence.

Limerick, Patricia Nelson. “Turnerians All: The Dream of a Helpful History in an Intelligible World.” American Historical Review 100 (June, 1995). Centennial evaluation of Turner’s frontier thesis, which comments on Turner’s desire to reshape frontier scholarship.

McClay, Wilfred M. “A Tent on the Porch.” American Heritage 44 (July/August, 1993). Evaluation of Turner’s frontier thesis declares that Turner is still relevant.

Mattson, Vernon, and William Marion. Frederick Jackson Turner: A Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985. Essential guide to Turner research.