Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Carlton Jackson, J. Crawford Crowe, Lowell Harrison

Degree Program

Department of History

Degree Type

Master of Arts


In recent years, historians have displayed a growing interest in the cultural development of certain well-defined regions. Often a river valley inspired such a study, for example, R.E. Banta’s The Ohio, Thomas Clark’s The Kentucky and Harriette Arnow’s Seedtime on the Cumberland. These and many other river histories dealt less with the river itself than with its tendency to define and alter an area’s culture

This thesis, dealing with the culture of Green River’s steamboat era, is less about the steamboat or Green River than it is about their effect on river people. It searches the area’s homes, schools, business establishments, churches, military and recreational activities from 1828 to 1931. This century is viewed through the records of four generations who know the steamboat intimately. It examines birth and death in Green River country and the sung that were sung in between.


Cultural History | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social History | United States History