About Site

Borderlands: The Goshen Settlement of William B. Whiteside is the undergraduate senior project for Ben Ostermeier, a history major at SIUE. It is the first digital senior project for the SIUE history department. Ostermeier’s research into William B. Whiteside began in 2014, and his work on this project continues into 2017. However, the bulk of the writing was completed in the spring of 2016.

Website Structure

The content of this website consists of both a main argument and multiple pages with supplementary information, the latter of which are informative rather than thesis-driven. The following pages are for background information:

My main argument consists of two theses, an ideological and a materialist thesis, which you can read in the introduction. These theses are then divided into four eras:

As you can see, each era has a page for each thesis. The idea was to allow readers to read the argument in multiple orders. For example, they could read just the ideology arguments chronologically and then go back and read the materialist argument. Or they could read both theses in an era before moving onto the next era. This multilinear approach was born out of a conversation between myself, Dr. Stacy, and Dr. Paulett, where we decided that my argument should be suited particularly for the web. For more on the intellectual implications on this approach, see the introduction.

Finally, both theses have a joint conclusion, titled Land After Whiteside.

In addition, I have a few supplementary pages that I am currently working on. They include the about pages, the acknowledgments, Project Future, the Bibliography, and Lesson Plans.


Most of the pages have sidebar navigation for visiting a specific section of the page. Subsections will only appear on the sidebar when you are reading the section they are in.

For aesthetic reasons, I decided to justify the text. The side-effect is that justified text without hyphens, the web default, results in occasionally large spaces between words, known as gutters. Thus I have added hyphens using Hyphenator.js. Admittedly though, some may prefer reading with the gutters and without hyphens, which is why I included the option to remove hyphens by clicking the link on the sidebar.

As is necessary with any scholarly argument, I cite my sources using hyperlinked footnotes. As an added feature, if you hover over a footnote link before clicking it, your browser will display the text of the footnote. This allows you to see the source without having to go to the bottom of the page.

For those who prefer reading without those features or to read on paper, I also include PDF versions of each page, accessible by clicking a link on the sidebar. The top navigation also includes a print link, which will give you a zip archive of all the website’s PDFs.

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Borderlands: The Goshen Settlement of William Bolin Whiteside by Ben Ostermeier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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