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We use a genealogical data base to question the idea that the frontier was a "safety valve" for Americans in the years of the founding of the republic. Our findings about the relative wealth of members of nine families show how the frontier affected their migration patterns. We find that it was the middle class, not the poor, who seemed to make best use of the opportunity of the frontier.

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Adams, J., & Kasakoff, A. (1985). Wealth and Migration in Massachusetts and Maine: 1771-1798. Journal of Economic History, 45, 363–368.

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