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Academics

Spring /
Summer 2017

Spring /
Summer 2017

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Vol. 8, No. 2 - The Confluence - A regional studies journal published by Lindenwood University Press.

 

From the Editor

With this issue, The Confluence is publishing the winner of the Jacqueline Tatom Award for the best student paper on a St. Louis topic. The St. Louis Metropolitan Research Exchange grants the award biennially. The Exchange is a group researchers and writers studying regional topics (as the name infers), drawing from a wide range of disciplines—public policy, political science, economics, history, geography, sociology, demographic studies—both in and beyond the academy. Meetings are pretty interesting. And because of its ecumenical nature, the papers submitted are a pretty interesting mix as well, running a wide swath of historical and contemporary, quantitative and literary. Deciding which papers to read is always a difficult decision.

We’re proud to publish the Tatom Award. It speaks to the breadth of the regional experience. More importantly, students—both graduate and undergraduate—are investigating and interpreting new topics with new research and fresh interpretations. Because they are often mining untapped intellectual veins, they often find rich seams of material to analyze and articulate. In the past, these articles have examined the views of African American educators about the Brown v. Board of Education decision, used GIS technology to understand neighborhood demographic changes over time, delved into domestic violence and divorce in the Civil War era, and investigated the relationship between religion and civil rights reform. It’s quite a list. In this issue we are publishing an article by Jesse Nasta, who is interrogating Missouri laws that regulated the institution of slavery. He suggests that the introduction of steamboats onto the Mississippi River changed both the nature of escape for slaves and the ways slave owners had to respond. Common carriers—steamboat operators—became part of a complicated web connecting fugitives, owners, transportation technologies, and geography. We hope you like it, and like all the Tatom Award papers we publish.

Jeffrey Smith, PhD
Editor

 

Articles

From Prairie to Destination: The Story of South Grand

The business district on South Grand between Arsenal and Utah streets evolved from a prairie setting into a thriving business district when streetcars arrived. In this essay, Andrew Weil and Josh Burbridge chart the evolution of the business district through its architecture.

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Strengthening Slavery’s Border, Undermining Slavery: Fugitive Slaves and the Legal Regulation of Black Mississippi River Crossing, 1804-1860

In the decades before the Civil War, St. Louis sat on a border between slave and free states. Jesse Nasta documents the role of common carriers—steamboats—on the Mississippi River for escaping slaves and the efforts of government to hold steamboat operators accountable for those escapes—efforts that reached all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court. This article is the recipient of the 2017 Tatom Award for the best student paper on a regional topic.

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Big Spring and Recharge Area and the Possibility of Lead Mining

In this second installment of her series of environmental studies, Quinta Scott examines the impact of lead mining on the region.

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“The City is filled with Exhibitions & Places of Amusement”: George and Clara Catlin in London

George Catlin traveled to London and, later, Paris to exhibit and sell paintings of western Native Americans in the 1840s. His wife, Clara, joined him and sent these letters home about the experience.

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Beyond the Classroom