Finalist for the Pulitzer PrizeA compelling, fresh account of the first great transit of people from Britain, Europe, and Africa to British North America, their involvements with each other, and their struggles with the indigenous peoples of the eastern seaboard.
The immigrants were a mixed multitude. They came from England, the Netherlands, the German and Italian states, France, Africa, Sweden, and Finland, and they moved to the western hemisphere for different reasons, from different social backgrounds and cultures. They represented a spectrum of religious attachments. In the early years, their stories are not mainly of triumph but of confusion, failure, violence, and the loss of civility as they sought to normalize situations and recapture lost worlds. It was a thoroughly brutal encounter--not only between the Europeans and native peoples and between Europeans and Africans, but among Europeans themselves, as they sought to control and prosper in the new configurations of life that were emerging around them.
Inspired by an exhibit of artifacts from the fur trade of the 1700s, this fascinating and attractive catalog includes a history of the fur trade and essays on various aspects of the early cross-cultural contacts between Indians and whites. Photos of tools, clothing, and trade items shown in the exhibit are accompanied by beautiful reproductions of eighteenth-century paintings and drawings, some in color.
An epic history of the Spanish empire in North America from 1493 to 1898 by Robert Goodwin, author of Spain: The Centre of the World.
At the conclusion of the American Revolution, half the modern United States was part of the vast Spanish Empire. The year after Columbus's great voyage of discovery, in 1492, he claimed Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for Spain. For the next three hundred years, thousands of proud Spanish conquistadors and their largely forgotten Mexican allies went in search of glory and riches from Florida to California. Many died, few triumphed. Some were cruel, some were curious, some were kind. Missionaries and priests yearned to harvest Indian souls for God through baptism and Christian teaching.
Theirs was a frontier world which Spain struggled to control in the face of Indian resistance and competition from France, Britain, and finally the United States. In the 1800s, Spain lost it all.
Goodwin tells this history through the lives of the people who made it happen and the literature and art with which they celebrated their successes and mourned their failures. He weaves an epic tapestry from these intimate biographies of explorers and conquerors, like Columbus and Coronado, but also lesser known characters, like the powerful G lvez family who gave invaluable and largely forgotten support to the American Patriots during the Revolutionary War; the great Pueblo leader Popay; and Esteban, the first documented African American. Like characters in a great play or a novel, Goodwin's protagonists walk the stage of history with heroism and brio and much tragedy.
Because of our shared English language, as well as the celebrated origin tales of the Mayflower and the rebellion of the British colonies, the United States has prized its Anglo heritage above all others. However, as Carrie Gibson explains with great depth and clarity in El Norte, the nation has much older Spanish roots--ones that have long been unacknowledged or marginalized. The Hispanic past of the United States predates the arrival of the Pilgrims by a century, and has been every bit as important in shaping the nation as it exists today.
El Norte chronicles the sweeping and dramatic history of Hispanic North America from the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century to the present--from Ponce de Leon's initial landing in Florida in 1513 to Spanish control of the vast Louisiana territory in 1762 to the Mexican-American War in 1846 and up to the more recent tragedy of post-hurricane Puerto Rico and the ongoing border acrimony with Mexico. Interwoven in this stirring narrative of events and people are cultural issues that have been there from the start but which are unresolved to this day: language, belonging, community, race, and nationality. Seeing them play out over centuries provides vital perspective at a time when it is urgently needed.
In 1883, Walt Whitman meditated on his country's Spanish past: "We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them," predicting that "to that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts." That future is here, and El Norte, a stirring and eventful history in its own right, will make a powerful impact on our national understanding.
A Voyage Long and Strange is a rich mixture of scholarship and modern-day adventure that brings the forgotten first chapter of America's history vividly to life.
What happened in North America between Columbus's sail in 1492 and the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620?
On a visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz realizes he doesn't have a clue, nor do most Americans. So he sets off across the continent to rediscover the wild era when Europeans first roamed the New World in quest of gold, glory, converts, and eternal youth. Horwitz tells the story of these brave and often crazed explorers while retracing their steps on his own epic trek--an odyssey that takes him inside an Indian sweat lodge in subarctic Canada, down the Mississippi in a canoe, on a road trip fueled by buffalo meat, and into sixty pounds of armor as a conquistador reenactor in Florida.
Joanna Brooks's ancestors were among the earliest waves of emigrants to leave England for North America. They lived hardscrabble lives for generations, eking out subsistence in one place after another as they moved forever westward in search of a new life. Why, Brooks wondered, did her people and countless other poor English subjects abandon their homeland to settle for such unremitting hardship? The question leads her on a journey into a largely obscured dimension of American history.
With her family's background as a point of departure, Brooks brings to light the harsh realities behind seventeenth- and eighteenth-century working-class English emigration--and dismantles the long-cherished idea that these immigrants were drawn to America as a land of opportunity. American folk ballads provide a wealth of clues to the catastrophic contexts that propelled early English emigration to the Americas. Brooks follows these songs back across the Atlantic to find histories of economic displacement, environmental destruction, and social betrayal at the heart of the early Anglo-American migrant experience. The folk ballad "Edward," for instance, reveals the role of deforestation in the dislocation and emigration of early Anglo-American peasant immigrants. "Two Sisters" discloses the profound social destabilization unleashed by the advent of luxury goods in England. "The Golden Vanity" shows how common men and women viewed their own disposable position in England's imperial project. And "The House Carpenter's Wife" offers insights into the impact of economic instability and the colonial enterprise on women.
From these ballads, tragic and heartrending, Brooks uncovers an archaeology of the worldviews of America's earliest immigrants, presenting a new and haunting historical perspective on the ancestors we thought we knew.
This Library of America volume, along with its companion, presents, for the first time in compact form, all seven titles of Francis Parkman's monumental account of France and England's imperial struggle for dominance on the North American continent. Deservedly compared as a literary achievement to Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Parkman's accomplishment is hardly less awesome than the explorations and adventures he so vividly describes.Pioneers of France in the New World (1865) begins with the early and tragic settlement of the French Huguenots in Florida, then shifts to the northern reaches of the continent and follows the expeditions of Samuel de Champlain up the St. Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes as he mapped the wilderness, organized the fur trade, promoted Christianity among the natives, and waged a savage forest campaign against the Iroquois. The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (1867) traces the zealous efforts of the Jesuits and other Roman Catholic orders to convert the Native American tribes of North America. La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1869) records that explorer's voyages on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and his treks, often alone, across the vast western prairies and through the labyrinthine swamps of Louisiana. The Old R gime in Canada (1874) recounts the political struggles among the religious sects, colonial officials, feudal chiefs, royal ministers, and military commanders of Canada. Their bitter fights over the monopoly of the fur trade, the sale of brandy to the natives, the importation of wives from the orphanages and poorhouses of France, and the bizarre fanaticism of religious extremists and their "incessant supernaturalism" animate this pioneering social history of early Canada.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
This is the second of two Library of America volumes (the companion volume here) presenting, in compact form, all seven parts of Francis Parkman's monumental narrative history of the struggle for control of the American continent. Thirty years in the writing, Parkman's "history of the American forest" is an accomplishment hardly less awesome than the explorations and adventures he so vividly describes. The story reaches its climax with the fatal confrontation of two great commanders at Quebec's Plains of Abraham--and a daring stratagem that would determine the future of a continent.Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV (1877) details how France might have won her imperial struggle with England. Frontenac, a courtier who was made governor of New France by that most sagacious of monarchs, oversaw the colony's brightest era of growth and influence. Had Canada's later governors possessed his administrative skill and personal force, his sense of diplomacy and political talent, or his grasp of the uses of power in a modern world, the English colonies to the south might have become part of what Frontenac saw as a continental scheme of French dominion. England's American colonies flourished, while France, in both the Old World and the New, declined from its greatness of the late seventeenth century. Conflict over the developing western regions of North America erupted in a series of colonial wars. As narrated by Parkman in A Half-Century of Conflict (1892), these American campaigns, while only part of a larger, global struggle, prepared the colonies for the American Revolution. In Montcalm and Wolfe (1884) Parkman describes the fatal confrontation of the two great French and English commanders whose climactic battle marked the end of French power in America. As the English colonies cooperated for their own defense, they began to realize their common interests, their relative strength, and their unique position. In this imperial war of European powers we also begin to see the American figures--Benjamin Franklin, George Washington--soon to occupy a historical stage of their own. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
In 1711, the newly formed Great Britain launched its first attempt to conquer French North America. The largest military force ever assembled to fight on the continent was dispatched and combined with colonial American units in Boston before proceeding up the St Lawrence River for Quebec. An additional colonial force set out from Albany to march on Montreal - but neither Briton nor colonist reached their respective targets.
Adam Lyons looks at the expedition as a product of the turbulent political environment at the end of Queen Anne's reign and as a symbol of a shift in politics and strategy. Its failure proved to be detrimental to the reputation of the expedition's naval commander, Rear-Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker, but Lyons shows how true blame should lie with his political master, Secretary of State Henry St John, who ensured the expedition's failure by maintaining absolute control and secrecy. The 1711 Expedition to Quebec demonstrates how the expedition helped to alter British policy by renewing an interest in 'blue water', or maritime, operations that would gain dominance for Britain in commerce and at sea. This strategy would later see huge success, ultimately resulting in the fall of Quebec to Wolfe and the eventual conquest of French North America in the Seven Years War.
The Northwest Passage was repeatedly sought for over four centuries. From the first attempt in the late 15th century to Roald Amundsen's famous voyage of 1903-1906 where the feat was first accomplished to expeditions in the late 1940s by the Mounties to discover an even more northern route, author Alan Day covers all aspects of the ongoing quest that excited the imagination of the world. This compendium of explorers, navigators, and expeditions tackles this broad topic with a convenient, but extensive cross-referenced dictionary. A chronology traces the long succession of treks to find the passage, the introduction helps explain what motivated them, and the bibliography provides a means for those wishing to discover more information on this exciting subject.