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Literature did not flourish in the west, although the newspaper press [Footnote: W. H. Perrin, Pioneer Press of Ky. (Filson Club Publications).] followed closely after the retreating savage; many short-lived periodicals were founded, [Footnote: Venable, Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley, chap, iii.; W. B. Cairns, Development of American Literature from 1815 to 1833, in University of Wis., Bulletin (Phil, and Lit. Series), I., 60-63.] and writers like Timothy Flint and James Hall were not devoid of literary ability. Lexington, in Kentucky, and Cincinnati made rival claims to be the "Athens of the West." In religion, the west was partial to those denominations which prevailed in the democratic portions of the older sections. Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians took the lead. [Footnote: Am. Quarterly Register, III., 135 (November, 1830); Schermerhorn and Mills, View of U. S. West of the Alleghany Mountains (Hartford, 1814); Home Missionary, 1829, pp. 78, 79; 1830, p. 172; McMaster, United States, IV., 550-555.]

The religious life of the west frequently expressed itself in the form of emotional gatherings, in the camp-meetings and the revivals, where the rude, unlettered, but deeply religious backwoods preachers moved their large audiences with warnings of the wrath of God. Muscular Christianity was personified in the circuit-rider, who, with his saddle-bags and Bible, threaded the dreary trails through the forest from settlement to settlement. From the responsiveness of the west to religious excitement, it was easy to perceive that here was a region capable of being swayed in large masses by enthusiasm. These traits of the camp-meeting were manifested later in political campaigns.

Thus this society beyond the mountains, recruited from all the older states and bound together by the Mississippi, constituted a region swayed for the most part by common impulses. By the march of the westerners away from their native states to the public domain of the nation, and by their organization as territories of the United States, they lost that state particularism which distinguished many of the old commonwealths of the coast. The section was nationalistic and democratic to the core. The west admired the self-made man and was ready to follow its hero with the enthusiasm of a section more responsive to personality than to the programmes of trained statesmen. It was a self-confident section, believing in its right to share in government, and troubled by no doubts of its capacity to rule.