Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Loyal Durand

Committee Members

Lillian Worley Stimson, Robert G. Long, J. Fred Holly, Paris B. Stockdale


The Problem and Purpose of the Study: Possibly no other area in Anglo-America shows better the relation between man and a restrictive environment than the Cumberland Plateau. Certainly no other presents a more interesting social and geographic picture: here dwells [sic] some of the best racial stock in the United States (much of it pre-Revolutionary) and at the same time the largest number of illiterate and poverty-stricken people in the nation. What they are, no doubt, is more a matter of natural environment than of anything else. . . .

The above statement is the introduction by White and Foscue to their discussion of the Cumberland Plateau. The basis for this dissertation is embodied within the ideas expressed in this statement, for herein lies the heart of a problem: the prosperity of a people has been limited by a restrictive environment.

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