This impressive new volume is the work of Carla Barringer Rabinowitz.
ROYALSTON, Mass. — Borderers: Becoming Americans on the Southern Frontier is the title and subtitle of an impressive new book written by Carla Barringer Rabinowitz, a friend and neighbor here in rural Massachusetts.
When I first saw this 493-page tome, I wondered if borderers is a real word, or a word she invented. Of course, I looked it up, and here’s what the dictionary says: “a person who lives in a border area, especially the border between England and Scotland.”
Fair enough; it’s a real word. For now, however, forget about England and Scotland. Carla defines borderers as the “the first permanent settlers in an area newly opened to Europeans,” and she goes on to muse about the variety of social and cultural borders that they also occupied between the north and south of the United States.
We read in this book about people and events in parts of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas. These are the places where Carla dug up facts about some of her ancestors, including her great-great-grandfather, Thomas Drew, who became governor of Arkansas and later served as a regional Superintendent of Indian Affairs.