HomeCultureThe Wild History Of The Deep South

The Wild History Of The Deep South

When you think of the frontier age and the Wild West, you think of those Western states that were pushed into following the 1865 conclusion of the Civil War. However, before that, the Deep South had its own frontier era and its own Wild West. Graphics produced by ArcGIS show just how the Eastern colonies slowly moved South and West, encompassing the modern Deep South. With that expansion came adventure, violence and the same lawlessness that came to personify the Western seaboard.

Train and payroll outlaws

Train robberies are associated with the slow-moving and poorly protected convoys of Arizona, but there were problems in the Deep South that were just as well pronounced. Trains were targeted for their money, often holding payroll that represented a small fortune in the day. In the Deep South region, the Jesse James gang was most notorious. Aside from holding up federal paymasters, including at Elgin, Alabama, a site memorialized with a historical place marker, Jesse James and his gang committed multiple train robberies across the Deep South and Midwest through the late 1880s, bringing a real sense of Wild West chaos to apparently settled areas.

Bringing order

The history of the Deep South is one of changing hands—from indigenous lands to the French, the Spanish, British and, finally, the U.S. According to the Library of Congress, upheaval and reform following the Civil War reignited this story, with countless people emigrating around the region. With that came further lawlessness and less stability, the results of which are still felt to this day.

Cultural roots

Booth Museum of Art in Georgia

More than anything, the Deep South provided the cultural roots of the Wild West that remain deeply embedded in the states to this day. As Explore Georgia notes, the culture and influences that impacted the Wild West, from horse riding to architecture to indigenous American settlements, can be seen and experienced within the Peach State in places like Villa Rica, Historic Westville and The Booth Museum.

The Deep South had a crucial role to play in the expansion of the U.S. across the rest of the continent. Without its impact, the culture and lifestyle of those states would not be the same.

History of Riverboat
New Works from South