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Frontiers and Founding Moments: Deadwood and Emerson’s Piano

In his essay collection Society and Solitude (1870), Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrated the powers of those Western pioneers who brought the rudiments of Eastern civilization with them to the frontier. In this myth of development, the piano was the great augury, appearing almost ex nihilo:Tis wonderful, how soon a piano gets into a log hut on the frontier. You would think they found it under a pine-stump. With it comes a Latin grammar, and one of those tow-head boys has written a hymn on Sunday. Now let colleges, now let senates take heed! For here is one, who, opening these Read more