The early American frontier imported all of its basic religious ideas, yet was not slow in taking very significant liberties with them. The carriers of these various concepts represented a number of rather distinct cultural groups with antecedents reaching back to the British Isles and to the continent of Europe. A common background of Christian tradition existed, most of it Protestant; and English was the prevailing tongue. As in the case of every great movement of population, there came about of necessity a continuous exposure to new environmental influences which, in turn, placed their mark upon the attitudes, ideas and institutions making up the religious and general cultural life of the migrating people. It is natural, therefore, that our interest should be attracted not only to such ideas and attitudes as may appear to have been more or less indigenous to the very soil of the frontier, but more perhaps to such traditional religious concepts as may have assumed new forms or taken on new emphasis in the process of becoming acceptable to the frontiersman who again and again found himself confronted by entirely unlooked-for problems.