Erdrichs Westward Expansion

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Erdrichs Westward Expansion

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Upon her marriage to Dorris in , she had become mother to his three adopted Native children with FAS, and Dorris was still deep in the project that eventually reached publication in as The Broken Cord and won a National Book Critics Circle Award. The sentiments expressed in this private component of the array contrast sharply with the public statements by Silko, who had a less sanguine view than Matthiessen of The Beet Queen. Using the tradition while contravening it is to do violence to it. Upon its release this fall, it will raise a storm I expect. In a long dialectic, tinted with genius and compelled by a just anger, Leslie Silko dramatizes the often desperate struggle of native peoples in the Americas to keep, at all costs, the core of their culture: their way of seeing, their way of believing, their way of being.

The more dramatic acts of resistance take center stage in American Indian literary studies. An event such as the occupation of Alcatraz from November 20, , to June 11, , serves as a political touchstone that for some scholars shapes this new cultural and literary era. Teuton traces the roots of Red Power activism to Pontiac and Tecumseh, Ottawa and Shawnee leaders, respectively, who led intertribal military alliances against colonials and settler colonials.

While he makes a persuasive argument, we could productively think of these novels also, or instead, as explorations and revelations of the roots of Red Power. All three authors set their novels before the Red Power era, and the novels do not, therefore, engage Red Power politics directly. The January issue of the progressive periodical the Reporter and the Summer issue of New Mexico Quarterly also published excerpts. This is frightening, you know. I was very skeptical about it, because I thought it was going to be terminated very quickly, and that the Indian would be left holding the bag, and simply the scapegoat in that whole venture. Costo et al. Those of us who had approved this involvement at Alcatraz were caught in a fix.

What could we say? This is a needless posture to take. Not everybody can picket. Many Indian people consider it a misnomer; some consider it as action; picketing; destroying property; capturing islands. Rader draws the same direct correlation between grassroots activism and a new era of Native literary and other artistic expression. Rader takes readers through the resistance at work in paintings, novels, films, poems, and public art before finishing with the National Museum of the American Indian. These literary critical and political acts also reinforce the perception of the Native American Renaissance as a rupture. This book looks to the Native writers and intellectuals of the early and middle decades of the twentieth century for the literary historical and political contexts that informed the development of different forms of resistance by activists and writers of the next generation.

It foregrounds continuities among the writers of the first two decades of the Renaissance and the writers of the generations to either side of the s and s. This decision explains the absence of any references to American Indian activism, even in the late s and early s, when Silko attended the University of New Mexico and taught at Navajo Community College. They generally respond to these contexts not with blunt political statements but with nuanced discussions of how Indigenous peoples might best navigate them.

The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History turns its attention to these textual and extratextual arrays to foreground the broad diversity of political voices in the most recent hundred years of American Indian literary history. However, many unacknowledged assumptions about American Indian politics guide how scholars in the field evaluate literary texts. These assumptions originate in the central role played by the civil rights activism of the late s and early s, the early Native American Renaissance period, in defining what constitutes desirable or ideal political positions for American Indian authors to adopt and scholars in the field to endorse.

One of the more common assumptions, for example, is that a literary work is not political, or not political enough, if it fails to convey explicitly prosovereignty and anticolonial messages. However, it does not necessarily produce clarity about either the literary or political significance of works by American Indian writers. The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History takes into account the contemporary historical and political contexts to which American Indian authors respond, the political positions that they take in their writing, and the political perspectives that implicitly or explicitly shape the scholarship on their work.

The book also insists on the historicizing of the political contexts in which authors write and will foreground the literary strategies authors use to represent and explore the political lives of American Indians. It challenges both the powerful assumptions about American Indian politics that structure scholarly discourse in the field and the literary criticism those assumptions produce. Despite what much of the criticism suggests, even the most revered American Indian writers of the civil rights era rarely incorporated Red Power politics into their work. The book has particular sympathy for writers and texts neglected by mainstream American Indian literary criticism and therefore follows the lead of scholars, such as Brooks, Konkle, Parker, Piatote, Round, and Matt Cohen, who study Native voices in overlooked sites of writing and prepare some of the ground for identifying provocative political alliances, and sometimes less satisfying political tensions, among Native writers.

Some of the literary and cultural productions under consideration in The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History will enter the contemporary scholarly conversation for the first time in this book. While scholars of American Indian literary studies have opened the field to a wide variety of texts, from notes written on birch bark to winter counts and earthworks, nonfiction published in periodicals remains unexamined as significant Native writing.

Periodicals produced and edited by American Indians contain a profusion of political arrays, with the implicit or explicit political views in editorials, columns, and advertisements, for example, often in tension with each other. The former periodical was conceived specifically to influence federal Indian policy on the national stage and had as editors both Arthur C. The American Indian, edited by Lee F. Robitaille Chippewa , and Muriel Wright Choctaw. While their childhood in the Cherokee Nation influenced their political views, they developed political identities later in life primarily in response to World War I and its aftermath. Rogers came to oppose both military and cultural intervention by the United States, and Oskison increasingly embraced ethnic nationalism.

When he writes about Mexico, for example, Rogers expresses nostalgia for a simpler, premodern life while also constantly needling the U. While Rogers used his commentary on Mexico to promote noninterventionism, Oskison produces a familiar depiction of a turbulent, uncivilized Mexico and ignorant, incompetent Mexicans of various ethnic groups and social classes. His portrait of the Cherokee Nation in the autobiography distinguishes Cherokees from other Indigenous Americans and asserts rural forms of labor, elite eastern education, law and order, and literacy as the key features of national Cherokee life.

Socially, culturally, and politically, Oskison aligns an exceptional Cherokee Nation with the United States rather than with other tribal nations. Part II of the script and film, however, decenters the colonial authority and primitivist orientation of Santa Fe in Part I by asserting a specifically Pueblo way of being in and knowing the land. In his next letter, Wright asks Silko to consider applying for a Guggenheim Fellowship and offers to write a letter of recommendation for her Delicacy, 5.

Though their letters, the subject of Chapter 4, do not produce public political arrays, they speak directly to the history and politics of literary studies in the academy. Frank Dobie provide a particularly intimate look into this network. When under the control of Native publishers, editors, and writers, they provide an especially diverse range of political views within and among American Indian communities. They circulated during an era with a political landscape that Native literary studies scholars tend to overgeneralize as produced primarily by a small group of boarding school graduates committed to assimilation.

However, debate always existed over what assimilation meant for Indigenous communities, present and future, and writers and intellectuals might give way in one arena e. They also changed their minds throughout their careers and adopted more or less progressive positions as they assessed new challenges. The polyvocality of these periodicals makes them ideal texts to demonstrate the concept of political arrays as a hermeneutic that illuminates the careful maneuvering of American Indian writers through always deeply vexed political contexts. American Indians already had a long history of printing newspapers and periodicals, as Daniel F. Littlefield Jr.

Parins have documented, by the time the Society of American Indians SAI published the first issue of its quarterly journal on April 15, A few, such as the Cherokee Phoenix, make irregular appearances in scholarship, and literary scholars have examined the work of a handful of writers, such as John Milton Oskison Cherokee , Alexander Posey Creek , and Will Rogers Cherokee , who published in newspapers and magazines. In addition to poetry and fiction, periodicals contain editorials and other opinion pieces, biographies, legends, letters, short histories, personal testimonies, and examples of humor by Native writers.

Bonnin approached editorial work as an extension of her community and political activism, in which she had been involved, most extensively with the Northern Utes on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah, for many years before joining the Society of American Indians. She differed from her friend and predecessor, Arthur C. Parker Seneca , in exercising a less imperious editorial practice that allowed for a greater diversity of Indigenous political views. Political emphases shift within and between issues, in some cases on the same page and in a rather jarring fashion.

The periodicals contain, in other words, arrays of Indigenous political views circulating through the urgent conversations orchestrated by the editors and authors about indigeneity in the s and s in the United States. In many camps and, simultaneously, in a camp all her own, Bonnin participated in an array of divergent political scenes and networks. Any attempt to characterize Bonnin as consistently defying or accommodating a single political position obscures the diverse strategic views she adopted throughout her career in her search for a viable future for American Indians in the United States.

Bonnin worked as an editor near the end of the first of four major periods, as categorized by Robert Warrior, for public Native intellectuals in the twentieth century. The reform organizations also influenced federal policy. As a Native intellectual and community activist throughout her life, Bonnin actively engaged in this tumultuous history that shaped her writing and editorial work.

Following her two years as a teacher at Carlisle, Bonnin intended to collect stories at Yankton in an effort of cultural affirmation that would have directly challenged her boarding school experiences. Bonnin Yankton Dakota , and her subsequent move to Utah. Though Bonnin and Hanson left places in the opera for the performance of Native songs and dances, the possibility of the exploitation of Native peoples and cultures might have troubled her future colleagues in the SAI, particularly Chauncey Yellow Robe Sicangu Lakota , who contributed an article censuring Wild West shows to the magazine. Parker as the editor.

Parker, the author of the surrender ending the Civil War and the first American Indian to serve as commissioner of the OIA, edited the magazine during its first five and a half years of publication. He also advocated for the creation of a court of claims specifically for American Indians, a codification of the laws and policies that applied to American Indians, and the gradual termination of the OIA. She did not as readily forgive attacks on Native Americans. As editor, Bonnin also foregrounded her interests in literature and community activism. In terms of policy, she used her position as editor to publicize her antipeyote stance, which developed in response to some appalling events at Uintah and Ouray.

An overall assessment of her editorial work suggests that she understood editing as a continuation of her role as an activist invested in the future of Native communities. Along with many of the writers published in the magazine, Parker saw education as the key to uplifting the race. Parker wanted access to more Western education. Parker develops a defensive, apologetic, and paternalistic argument for assimilation. Parker assures his audience that American Indians have little interest in remaining Indians. Following complete assimilation, he suggests, they will identify as Indigenous biologically or historically but not culturally or politically. He alone can not always compel all the rest of the community to see that he is right and that they are wrong.

This brings to the proposition, then, that to bring about the civilization we desire to the Indian people, where they are, we must make the social life of the reservation the same as that found in communities we are pleased to call civilized. The SAI advocated for the settlement of land claims, but not in order to strengthen reservation communities. Direct criticism of Anglo settlers, Indian agents, and other government officials occurs more frequently with each issue, both in his own editorials and in the articles. Parker delivers his strongest reproach to Europe while discussing World War I. The sewing class also began serving lunch to Utes who came to the agency for the Monday disbursal of government checks.

Prior to the intervention of the sewing class, the underpaid Native government employees at the agency faced an overwhelming number of requests for hospitality. She has, she notes, asked a state senator, a Mr. The inclusion of the obituary establishes the context for the antipeyote statement. First, Bonnin assures her readers that both Ouray and Chipeta befriended and even defended white settlers. Then she describes her visit to Chipeta to warn her of the destructive effects of peyote. Bonnin believes that neither Chipeta nor her brother, McCook, will stop using peyote because the government has not told them that, like liquor, peyote is unhealthy. As in her previous statements against peyote use, Bonnin uses the conventional social reform discourses of Native inferiority and helplessness.

Her use of this discourse advances her political interest in prohibiting the use of peyote but undermines other attempts to demonstrate the strength of Native women. She concludes her article by explaining that water rights, title to Ute land, or a letter from the government against peyote use would have been better gifts than two shawls. This conclusion contains what we might call a microarray: a demand for sovereignty water rights, land claims but also a request for colonial imposition prohibition of Native religious practices.

The title draws on one of the most familiar words in the discourse of racial progress. If an awakening has occurred in the poem, however, the poetic persona has emerged from sleep into a nightmare. The opening lines recall her first days at boarding school, when school employees cut her long hair into an Anglo style and took her traditional clothing. Despair I of good from deeds gone amiss. My people, may God have pity on you! The learning I hoped in you to imbue Turns bitterly vain to meet both our needs.

A wanderer now, with no where to stay. It brings no admittance. Where I have knocked Some evil imps, hearts, have bolted and locked. Alone with the night and fearful Abyss I stand isolated, life gone amiss. This tone might have made the poem more acceptable. In the poem, the persona has a spiritual awakening that requires a journey to visit her ancestors. A divine voice assures the persona that life has meaning and refreshes her before she climbs on a saddled horse and rides through the cosmos, the realm of what she calls the Great Spirit. In this cosmos, she encounters A village of Indians, camped as of old.

The persona then makes a joyous return to earth. Against the attacks of those who want to abolish the OIA immediately, Bonnin defends those working for the government so that they can stay on the reservation and help their people. Bonnin places enormous political value on committing to work inside Indigenous communities, which explains in part why she shifted her focus away from her literary efforts for so many years. As political disagreements and personal animosity exacerbated the conflicts at the Sixth Annual Conference over the abolition of the OIA and the prohibition of peyote use, Parker grew increasingly anxious about the organization. For as Parker took less interest and devoted less time to the affairs of the Society, Mrs.

Bonnin gave more. She was by no means willing to sit by and watch the Society expire or allow it to become merely an adjunct of the American Indian Magazine. While she agreed with Parker on many issues, being especially vehement against peyote, she was increasingly inclined to take a stronger line against the Indian Bureau than he did. Parker did not attend the conference, where he was ousted as president. The voice of the magazine, if not necessarily its politics, changed abruptly when Bonnin claimed the editorship of the Autumn issue, following the conference in Pierre. Bonnin was to become editor, as she informed him shortly after the conference. While he hesitated, Mrs. Bonnin provides a different version of events in her first editorial, which begins by explaining that military duty prevented Parker from attending the conference.

Bonnin locates her interest in tribal or local activism in a global context. In contrast to Parker, she focuses much less on cultivating the organization itself and more on using the organization and the magazine to make as direct interventions as possible in the daily lives of American Indians. In her editorial for the Winter issue, Bonnin reiterates her position on the recently ended war in Europe.

To appease this human cry the application of democratic principles must be flexible enough to be universal. Belgium is leading a historic procession of little peoples seeking freedom! The subtext, as articulated for years by the SAI and Bonnin and by Eastman in an article that follows her editorial, is that the OIA produces afflictions by defying the democratic principles to which Bonnin refers. Du Bois, an associate member of the SAI as petitioners for justice. She ends her editorial with a request for citizenship for American Indians and a query as to who will represent her people in Paris. The article foregrounds American Indian religious beliefs: the powerful Navajo deity Changing Woman, Bonnin explains, provided humans with both corn and potatoes, which, in turn, helped alleviate the hunger around the world that was one consequence of the war.

After shifting to global events, Bonnin defends American Indians as patriotic and loyal, even though they did not have citizenship, and offers gratitude that the military did not segregate American Indian soldiers. In addition, in this issue she published a letter she wrote to the third assistant secretary of war requesting that he not close Carlisle as a boarding school. The letter indicates the emergence of a strategic alliance with her former nemesis, Pratt, with whom she shared an opposition to peyote. You are an Indian! Rather than responding to the man, Bonnin has a vision of thousands of American Indian soldiers in France. Following the vision, Bonnin interrogates the traveler about what he has read recently, but, obviously intimidated, he withdraws, and she suggests that the world will pass by the traveler and leave him behind.

The white man, like so many literary Natives, fades off the page in the face of the politically and intellectually astute Native woman. Bonnin takes as her topic a European visit by President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. In this historically subversive narrative, Bonnin suggests that Europeans destroyed democracy in the Americas, just as they had done in Europe during World War I. We should reject European claims about bringing civilization to the Americas, Bonnin implies. Rather, a Native woman, Pocahontas, brought civilization to Europe, and Mrs.

Wilson, her descendant and the wife of the man trying to establish the League of Nations, occupies the same role contemporarily. Pocahontas and Mrs. Wilson, with help from their male relatives, offer the greatest resistance to European barbarism. The Pocahontas article explores all the issues of interest to Bonnin and the SAI, from education to treaty rights to citizenship.

The citizenship issue, for example, when read through the lens of this article, becomes a request for reentrance into a democratic world destroyed by Europeans. The next two paragraphs state that this same power awakens her from nightmares of friendless poverty in a dangerous land. A reader could interpret this dangerous land as an America invaded by colonial European powers, as the factionalized SAI, or as reservations, which Bonnin saw as unpleasant environments.

While optimism often follows statements of potential despair in her work in the magazine, Bonnin leaves many questions unanswered. Readers might take the prayer as a statement in support of traditional American Indian religious practices, though only the reference to a Great Spirit instead of God distinguishes it as a possibly more Native than Christian ritual expression. The prayer might also sound to some readers like a performance of humility for her acquaintances in Christian reform organizations. In apparent contradiction of her personal optimism about the organization, her career in it culminated at the conference. The following transcription of events shows Bonnin declining her nomination by Sloan to remain as secretary and treasurer.

Her protest of ill health also serves as her resignation as editor of the magazine: I feel that I must at this time make a public statement about my own health which, under ordinary circumstances, I would not mention. I have been very ill and he says that if I expect to recover or keep well I must rest. I shall not be able to serve you in any way I fear. I am honored to have my name mentioned again but my name will have to be withdrawn because of my health. As quickly as Bonnin claimed the editorship from Parker, she lost it and her power within the organization to Sloan.

Sloan even sold space in the magazine for advertisements, including one for Stetson, the company famous for its iconic hats associated with life in the western United States. While Collier went to New Mexico to fight the Bursum Bill, Bonnin traveled to Oklahoma in November and December to investigate the abuse of probate laws by legal authorities, especially county judges, and professional guardians to dispossess Indigenous people in eastern Oklahoma. Fabens and Matthew K. With her husband, she campaigned in the West for congressional candidates, and in their efforts led to the addition of a plank in the Republican platform. Roosevelt, who made Collier the commissioner of Indian affairs. She devoted much of her work to alleviating immediate suffering without explicitly committing to any particular political position, though she took a strong political stance against peyote.

Yet it is the array of political positions that Bonnin embraced, abandoned, and in some cases reaffirmed as the political circumstances around her constantly changed that most accurately conveys her full life not as a symbol for a single political perspective but as a dedicated political worker and activist. Indigenous Modernity at Lee F. The American Indian had a progressive agenda, as Harkins and many of his authors repeatedly assert, but it contains a diverse collection of political perspectives and an exciting number of nearly or entirely forgotten Native writers trying to maintain and assert modern indigeneity through stories, histories, and biographies, among other genres, in a world both between the Indian Citizenship Act of and the Indian Reorganization Act of and between World War I, in which thousands of American Indians served with distinction, and the Great Depression.

Harkins filled the magazine with a diversity of Native voices, but most of them came from the Native nations of Oklahoma. On occasion, he used the editorial page to publish the work of other writers in letters or reprinted articles. Kershaw Menominee , Ben D. Locke Choctaw , Alice C. While the magazine folded as the result of a defamation lawsuit, Harkins always struggled to keep the magazine in production, and it eventually folded as the result of a defamation lawsuit.

The title, with The in script and American Indian in block letters flowing like a small wave, runs above three tepees on the left and the skyline of Tulsa on the right with two American bison in a small circle in the middle and two U. Journalism scholar John M. Without taking into account his sketchy outline of Indigenous migration in North America, Harkins might have understood a movement by American Indians into Tulsa as a return to urban life.

In the epic history of his people, The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters , John Joseph Mathews refers to Bacon Rind as one of the last widely respected Osage leaders: He was much over six feet tall and very handsome, embodying all the physical attributes that calendar artists had conceived. Like most of the fullbloods, he wore his traditional buckskin leggings and moccasins and his otter bandeau with an eagle feather stuck between it and his Peyote long hair.

He wore beautiful blankets and colored silk shirts. He walked each day in the eyes of Grandfather, but also in the eyes of the impressionable journalists and magazine writers. Harkins had optimistic, ambitious plans for the magazine. We endorse any move that will be beneficial to the advancement of the Oklahoma Indian. Yet the content of the magazine belies the claim that the magazine does not take political positions. In fact, Harkins immediately caught the attention of Arthur Parker, who sent a letter to the magazine that Harkins published in the second issue.

It is what our people do constructively that is going to win for them a present day place in the sun. The photographer showed Brown in action during a performance at an event at Haskell Institute identified by Gloria A. Young and Erik D. Punishment for violating the ban included either the loss of rations or imprisonment. Hastings and Kaw senator and future vice president Charles D. Harkins and his professional experience at Tishomingo, Norman, and Tulsa.

There, millions of Redmen are. Men and women, and they are all as happy as the Creator can make them. Once their people began to die, they tried, unsuccessfully, to rediscover the tunnel. Bruner shifts from a cosmological to a historical perspective in the next section, in which he situates Creek emergence in South America. He distinguishes, therefore, between organized, institutional religious practice and folk beliefs involving hunting, for example, within Native communities.

God made him to live in the open air and eat and live on wild meat. I understand that it is their fast increasing population that necessitates building houses, larger and higher, to accommodate them. The White man is a wonderful builder of stone houses, which to me are better to look upon from the outside than to live in, as they shut out the sky and sunshine. Indeed, his contributions to the magazine read like cautionary tales that often celebrate Native political and military leaders such as Wild Cat Coacoochee.

After declaring his neutrality, Hopothe Yohala led a group of his people westward, along with Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Osages. Coacoochee and Hopothe Yohala represent models of strong Indigenous leaders who face similar fates despite making different political and military decisions to benefit their people. Whereas Bruner situates Native people, and especially Creeks, of the s in a sometimes comfortably mundane and sometimes glorious and even epic past, Emily Peake Robitaille White Earth Ojibwe , a contributor as well as an editorial board member, and Annetta Lohmann Osage , a contributor of eight articles, give readers the views of a younger, more eagerly progressive generation.

Robitaille, a student at Carlisle earlier in the same decade that Bonnin arrived as a teacher and, later, a teacher at Carlisle herself, wrote three articles in support of Pratt and his educational system. She concludes the article by arguing that all Indigenous people in North America will have the same experience as these Chippewas. Bonnin must have wondered about the efficacy of her own coherently and passionately argued positions in the face of such poorly constructed assertions about the recent history and contemporary social and political status of American Indians.

At the same time, Bonnin had reconciled and joined forces with Pratt before his death in over their shared antipeyote stance, and she objected to the closing of Carlisle in In subsequent issues, the American Indian listed in very small print the names of some of the six hundred contributors. The biography, a short puff piece, takes readers from his birth to the founding of Carlisle.

Based on what Bonnin wrote about her educational experiences, she might have seen Pratt taking money from students as outright theft. Annetta Lohmann adds a richly textured node to the political array generated by Bruner and Robitaille. Her decision to structure the articles in this way prompts readers to consider the earlier articles within the context of the revelation in the later ones of her pride in her Osage family. A Christian pilgrim and representative of the Osage Nation, Lohmann writes throughout the articles in the voice of Christian and American superiority.

She continues the series in the next issue, which features a photograph of her on the cover. Within a few lines, in the same column of print, Lohmann expresses her own religious intolerance and then condemns religious intolerance, while also missing an opportunity to reject the religious intolerance of the Office of Indian Affairs. The six additional installments continue in the same vein with expressions of myopic American exceptionalism and occasionally evocative observations of life in Palestine. In the September issue, Lohmann describes a context of intense paranoia between adherents of the different faiths who struggle for control of the region.

Men and women walk about mumbling something that may be charitably construed as prayer. In America such behavior would cause anyone to be termed insane. These more careful observations, however, do not change her view that she has walked into a Christian past as well as a Christian space. In November , she reiterates her claim that Bethlehem appears unchanged from two thousand years ago. Her group of pilgrims brings the means of this salvation with them. Yet in her final two contributions to the American Indian, Lohmann conveys as much pride in her Osage heritage as in her U. Lohmann and her family members made the trip in in order to attend the dedication of the basilica. Lohmann asserts: And at this solemn dedication, at this holy place on sacred ground, the real Americans were represented, for among the pilgrims were five Americans in whose veins flowed the blood of the Osage Indian.

These five Indians, who were none other than my relatives and I, had brought with them from America an American flag made of silk and gaily decorated with fringe;. My brother, dressed in the uniform of an American army officer, and I, dressed in the tribal costume of the Osage Indian, presented the American flag to the basilica. McGill, and I wore. Nor did she express pride in her Osage citizenship, as a writer such as John Joseph Mathews did, despite his own sense that the world of the older generations of Osages would soon pass.

This editorial marks a surprisingly abrupt shift in tone. Yet the shift in political perspective was almost comically brief. Johnson adopts a much more respectful tone in his article on Indian sign language. Harkins continues his more vigorous defense of American Indians in the February issue, which features Choctaw leader Pushmataha on the cover. Pushmataha, like Tecumseh, with whom he refused to join in the fight against the United States in the War of , stands for many Native writers of this era as one of the most important Indigenous leaders. This issue thus begins with emergence, though in the map accompanying his article, Meagher puts the emergence place on the Red River rather than at Nanih Waiya.

Native communities, Harkins suggests, provide working models for addressing social and economic problems. John Collier, at this moment a prominent reformer and activist, would have agreed. Walter Ferguson objecting to the whitewashing of American history. Lured from his stronghold in the Florida Everglades by an American flag of truce, he was heinously murdered. Court of Indian Claims, which did not move beyond the committee. Arthur C. Parker and Chauncey Yellow Robe also make appearances in the issue. While the next few issues make some compelling political gestures Sequoyah appears on the cover of the April issue, along with a passage in Cherokee type , Harkins does not sustain the momentum.

One can imagine Bonnin scoffing at the compliment. As a product of the civil rights era, the collected issues of the American Indian entered an afterlife in a political era ostensibly quite distinct from the one in which it emerged. Bruce served as commissioner from to during the occupation of Alcatraz and the Trail of Broken Treaties and the subsequent occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building, after which President Richard Nixon fired him. Wirt Franklin had come to Indian Territory as a member of the Dawes Commission and stayed to practice law and work in the oil business. While Harkins attempted to ingratiate himself and his magazine with the businesses of eastern Oklahoma, this concluding page of his publishing project conveys, in the single palatable image in red ink of a friendly, welcoming Native, the many political negotiations and compromises he felt he had to make.

A picture of the diverse Indigenous political terrain of the s and s emerges when we place the work of editors such as Parker, Bonnin, and Harkins and writers such as Lohmann and Mathews, Lohmann and Robitaille, or Lohmann and Harkins, for example, in conversation with each other. While surface and symptomatic readings of many Native writers will reveal moments that appear either anticolonial or proassimilation, for example, approaching their work as part of political arrays focuses our interpretations on how their views continuously developed and changed in specific, vibrant political contexts. By deferring general political judgments about eras and authors, readers will see more political nuance and texture in Indigenous literary history.

He worked first as a reporter for the New York Evening Post from to Parker, and published three articles in it. He left the board only when Bonnin completely overhauled it for the next issue. White Jr. Gritts situates the Cherokee homeland on an island off the coast of South America and relates a northern migration through Central America and Mexico into the U. Oskison born and Rogers born , as well as Ruth Muskrat Bronson born and Lynn Riggs born , whose writings provide opportunities to expand the Cherokee political arrays under consideration in this chapter, were born into the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood in These contrasting views remain in their writing on Mexico.

Riggs imagined Indigenous Mexicans as the main actors in an anticolonial revolution, and neither their experiences in nor nostalgia for the prestatehood Cherokee Nation made Oskison or Rogers political allies of other internally colonized Indigenous people. It also constitutes one of the most explicit links between Cherokees and other colonized peoples within the transnational Cherokee political imaginary of the middle decades of the twentieth century. Rogers makes this suggestion at the end of a year in which the Mexican military had finished a campaign, complete with aerial bombing, against the Yaquis in Sonora, and he does so in a familiar tone developed by U.

Without focusing on Yaquis or other Indigenous Mexicans, Rogers expresses nostalgia for an ostensibly simpler, premodern life in Mexico while also constantly needling the U. Riggs found Mexico full of exciting potential for the social transformation of Indigenous worlds during the s. World is a satire of U. Oskison does not make clear the specific freedmen claims against which Hastings fought. Are you crazy? This here country is Eenyan Indian Country, set aside for Eenyans. We want to keep it always for Eenyans. Initially, Jennie appears to encourage Daniel, only to lead him into a trap and expose him to her husband.

Daniel chooses the latter. These essays collectively affirm, with apparent satisfaction, the military, legal, political, and cultural dominance of the United States. Oskison makes even more explicitly alarming statements in subsequent essays. Another generation ought to see the end of the reservation system. So, the American Indian is entering upon the final stage of his history; and what a lurid, picturesque history it has been! The facts are there; there is no trouble about that. Oskison and Bonnin met years later as members of the SAI, but at this point in their careers, their political commitments, at least as expressed in their writings, diverge dramatically. The rest of the article undermines this initial observation, too, as Oskison mentions irrigation, sanitation, education, usury, fraud, the trade in and consumption of alcohol, and poor recordkeeping as significant issues in Indigenous communities.

They were farmers, stockmen, merchants; they ran gristmills and sawmills and saltworks. They had a complete system of government under a constitution modeled on that of the United States, district courts and a supreme court, and law enforcement officers. Among the tribal judges, senators, and councilmen were other graduates of eastern colleges, Dartmouth and Princeton. After Stanford, Oskison attended Harvard in the intellectual center of the New England world that so auspiciously shapes the Cherokee Nation. As a political progressive, Oskison often found himself in the company of social reformers, including those working for the social welfare of minority ethnic communities.

Our settlement workers, however, found the universal hunger for betterment that had caused their uprooting from Europe led them, here, to urge their children to seize avidly every opportunity to get ahead in this strange new world where no bars to their advancement existed. He sympathized with immigrants, but he neither particularly liked them nor understood the severe constraints of their poverty. He expected them, without prompting or coercion, to see the superiority of his way of life and assimilate to it. In the summer between Stanford and Harvard, Oskison made a trip to Gallina in northern New Mexico to visit a family friend intent on having the Oskisons join him.

Instead, he identified aggressively with the more geographically distant, and more ethnically Anglo, cities of Palo Alto, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Daniel F. Oskison carefully conveys the positions and convictions of both sides of the allotment debate. He would go to Mexico. Timothy B. On the journey, Sequoyah works on a written history of the Cherokees. His attempt to recover the old traditions apparently fails, and the narrator assumes he is dead. Mexico remains in the novel an unimagined, mysterious landscape. Early in the trip, Lake impresses Quist with his ability to capture lizards and rats. The hypermasculine posturing establishes a social equivalence between Lake and Quist.

Once Lake disembarks, he has trouble reading the coastal landscape. When foul weather forces the boat out to sea, stranding Lake on the shore, he nearly panics. He survives for two days and nights but refuses to drink the remaining fresh water in his canteen. Oskison then repeats this characterization of Maria. This representation aligns with the dominant convention of the era. There was an unexpected grimness about it. North of the river, Mexico has only a handful of population, and so few soldiers that they cannot even control the Comanche horse thieves.

Mexican tyranny and incompetence also justify military action. Mexico is a land of revolution for Oskison, though that revolution is Anglo and imperial rather than Indigenous and anticolonial. A Texas Titan becomes in its final third a patriotic, xenophobic narrative of U. A local squatter, who acknowledges that his community lives illegally on the land, also reports that Mexicans dressed like Indians attacked them.

Even the military leader of the conquered Mexicans, like so many American Indian leaders in U. The description of Boles reinforces the previous suggestion that Mexicans are an Indigenous or mestizo and therefore inferior race: Boles dresses in the tattered clothes of a Mexican soldier, just as earlier in the narrative Mexicans dressed like American Indians to attack Anglo settlements. Indeed, he fights with the American settlers against whom Boles lodges his grievances. Following the defeat of Santa Anna, Oskison depicts Houston making another effort to aid the Texas Cherokees despite his belief in their imminent doom.

As president of Texas, Houston sets his agenda: Texas must have a sufficient army, he insisted, to guard the Rio Grande border and control the freebooter factions that threatened her peace from within. Only in his Indian programme did he meet defeat. Sam was able to prevent aggressive action during the rest of his term. He has a moment of regret that he cannot remain in power and help them, but he retreats from that position.

Lamar and other early Texas leaders represent more successful versions of the fictional Jerry Boyd, his son Cale, and the bandit Jack Kitchin, the criminals in Black Jack Davy who try to murder Ned Warrior and take his land. Oskison also does not claim the Texas Cherokees as part of a sovereign Cherokee Nation. The attack on them is lamentable but less important than the rise of the Republic of Texas and its eventual annexation by the United States. Sport As Richard D. Following his travels around the world and meetings with world leaders, White explains, Rogers often upon his return immediately traveled to Washington, D.

He also attended and reported to the country on many of the national political conventions, beginning with the Republican Convention in Chicago. Rogers leaned progressive, as defined in that era, but he held political views along the entire political spectrum. He opposed U. He favored a strong military and criticized what he considered a soft criminal justice system but advocated for gun control. He supported unions, according to White, but usually not strikes Rogers was a walking array of political positions; indeed, as White demonstrates, he appears to have angered the Far Left and the Far Right equally. In , he successfully advocated for the construction by the federal government of a hospital in Claremore, Oklahoma, for Native people.

When he spoke to thousands of Eastern Cherokees in , he broke from his script to attack Andrew Jackson, whom Oskison spared from criticism in A Texas Titan. Though Mexico became one of his favorite foreign countries to visit and support in his writing, he mentions Mexican Americans much less frequently. He frequently identified himself as Cherokee, including in his first weekly article, and he made almost entirely celebratory and often nostalgic references to his homeland in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, and to towns such as Oologah and Claremore.

Several other references in the weekly articles to his Cherokee identity and the Cherokee Nation also include the addendum that he takes pride in both, and his discussion of political scandals in Oklahoma reinforces his view that the state was not an improvement on the Territory. On September 20, , Rogers expresses concern with the proliferation of firearms, particularly automatic pistols: I was born and raised in the Indian Territory, at Claremore to be exact. A town that has cured more people than Florida has swindled. Well, that country, along about the time I was a yearling was supposed to have some pretty tough men.

Of course, as I grew up and began to be able to uphold law and righteousness, why these men gradually began to thin out and drift on down to Politics, a big part of them becoming Governors. Mind you, that was men carrying guns that knew what they were; knew the danger of them, and knew how to use them. Weekly Articles, vol. Rogers longed for Indian Territory, a place governed better than Oklahoma and less dangerous than the United States. Racism in the Cherokee Nation and the United States also informs this nostalgia. Amy Ware explains this apparent unwillingness to identify with Indigenous Mexicans. The language that Rogers uses to discuss Mexico to his U.

Rogers set the tone for his observations about Mexico in his sixth weekly article, published on January 21, On the occasion of President Warren G. Pershing in pursuit of Pancho Villa. The oil industry had considerable power in Oklahoma, particularly in the Osage Nation to the west of the Cherokee Nation. The Marland Oil Company and E. Marland, the subject of a biography by Osage writer John Joseph Mathews, owned one of the major oil fields, the Burbank, in the Osage Nation. Rogers made frequent comments about Osage wealth derived from oil leases. Our Laws! He frequently references past and present political turmoil in Mexico and ties it to U. I have always heard that when the U. Now, we want Americans protected.

Remember, mexico is on trial before the eyes of the world. What business is it of ours how Mexico acts or lives? Rogers does not deviate from this specific indictment of U. His objections to aggressive U. Though the articles about Mexico and his commentary on the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory create a dialogue about invaded territories, Rogers rarely recognized the Indigenous population of Mexico specifically. For U. Rogers makes his observation about a large mass of impoverished Indigenous Mexicans without the ostensible concern for the Yaquis in his speech at the American embassy.

Yet in this article he mentions the Cristero War, the conflict in Mexico between the government and the Catholic Church that Choctaw author Todd Downing incorporates into his novel Vultures in the Sky, and he returns to it earnestly two weeks later in an article he wrote as a letter to Governor Al Smith of New York: Mexicans are fine people. But why should they? Maybe their way is best, who knows? And if I ever was serious in my life I am serious in all I am saying to you. And as for us and our relations with Mexico, it would mean everything. And most of all it would be giving those poor peons down there something, that through no fault of theirs they are now denied.

That and to be let alone is all they ask. Despite the absence of an explicit connection between the two geographies, this defense of and affection for Mexico has the distinct character of his commentary on Indian Territory. For they are no difference from us. They love peace just as much, they love Life, and they want to be let alone. I hope they get straightened out, for they are an awful nice people. Hospitality is their middle name. I would try to kid em out of fighting. Indeed, setting plays in Mexico appears to have empowered Riggs to imagine Indigenous people taking political control of their future.

Other local Mayans take a different step: they execute the landowners as punishment for their brutal dominance of the region. Soon after completing the two Mexico plays, Riggs wrote a theater manifesto and included it in a personal letter to his friend, Paul Green, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. We do not believe that those forces really achieve their ends. We believe that the way to destroy is not to destroy. The way to change the world is to offer such a living and singing force that all people in whom the germ of truth resides, however deeply, will be drawn and changed by an instinctive need to ally themselves with life instead of death.

This inspiration occurred, however, on the eve of World War II. The comparative representations of Indian Territory and Mexico invite reconsiderations of past U. However, only Riggs used these representations of Mexico to redirect our attention explicitly to American Indian life. Together, these authors used Cherokee and Indian Territory history as the foundation of their views of other Indigenous people and of international politics. In these layers of representations, we find overlapping and conflicting histories of race, resistance, diplomacy, and dominance that mutually reveal the strategies that American Indian writers employ to find in occupied Indian Territory landscapes the tools necessary to come to terms with a troubled history, regroup, and build for variously imagined futures.

While Oskison did not seriously challenge the trajectory of Indian Territory history, Rogers began the process of intervening in it. Riggs even contemplated what political action might disrupt it to the benefit of Indigenous people and communities. John Joseph Mathews spent a year on a Guggenheim Fellowship in Mexico and wrote about the country and Indigenous Mexican people in at least three short stories and in his diary and letters. Though Downing spoke Choctaw, English, Spanish, Italian, and French fluently, and though he spends the final chapter of the book talking in Spanish to Luis, a Zapotec from Oaxaca, he did not choose to learn to speak Yaqui. The Puritan definition of good writing was that which brought home a full awareness of the importance of worshipping God and of the spiritual dangers that the soul faced on Earth.

Puritan style varied enormously from complex metaphysical poetry to homely journals and crushingly pedantic religious history. Whatever the style or genre, certain themes remained constant. Life was seen as a test; failure led to eternal damnation and hellfire, and success to heavenly bliss. This world was an arena of constant battle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan, a formidable enemy with many disguises. Many Puritans excitedly awaited the millennium, when Jesus would return to Earth, end human misery, and inaugurate 1, years of peace and prosperity. Scholars have long pointed out the link between Puritanism and capitalism: Both rest on ambition, hard work, and an intense striving for success. Although individual Puritans could not know, in strict theological terms, whether they were saved and among the elect who would go to heaven, Puritans tended to feel that earthly 5 PAGE 7 celebrating a bountiful harvest.

Wealth and status were sought not only for themselves, but as welcome reassurances of spiritual health and promises of eternal life. Moreover, the concept of stewardship encouraged success. The Puritans interpreted all things and events as symbols with deeper spiritual meanings, and felt that in advancing their own profit and their communitys well-being, they were also furthering Gods plans.

They did not draw lines of distinction between the secular and religious spheres: All of life was an expression of the divine will a belief that later resurfaces in Transcendentalism. In recording ordinary events to reveal their spiritual meaning, Puritan authors commonly cited the Bible, chapter and verse. History was a symbolic religious panorama leading to the Puritan triumph over the New World and to Gods kingdom on Earth. The first Puritan colonists who settled New England exemplified the seriousness of Reformation Christianity. Known as the Pilgrims, they were a small group of believers who had migrated from England to Holland even then known for its religious tolerance in , during a time of persecutions.

Like most Puritans, they interpreted the Bible literally. They read and acted on the text of the Second Book of Corinthians Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord. Despairing of purifying the Church of England from within, Separatists formed underground covenanted churches that swore loyalty to the group instead of the king. Seen as traitors to the king as well as heretics damned to hell, they were often persecuted. Their separation took them ultimately to the New World. He was a deeply pious, self-educated man who had learned several languages, including Hebrew, in order to see with his own eyes the ancient oracles of God in their native beauty.

His participation in the migration to Holland and the Mayflower voyage to Plymouth, and his duties as governor, made him ideally suited to be the first historian of his colony. His history, Of Plymouth Plantation , is a clear and compelling account of the colonys beginning. And for the reason it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country, know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms The compact was a harbinger of the Declaration of Independence to come a century and a half later. Puritans disapproved of such secular amusements as dancing and card-playing, which were associated with ungodly aristocrats and immoral living.

Reading or writing light books also fell into this category. Puritan minds poured their tremendous energies into nonfiction and pious genres: poetry, sermons, theological tracts, and histories. Their intimate diaries and meditations record the rich inner lives of this introspective and intense people. Anne Bradstreet c. It is not surprising that the book was published in England, given the lack of printing presses in the early years of the first American colonies. Born and educated in England, Anne Bradstreet was the daughter of an earls estate manager. She emigrated with her family when she was Her husband eventually became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which later grew into the great city of Boston.

She preferred her long, religious poems on conventional subjects such as the seasons, but contemporary readers most enjoy the witty poems on subjects from daily life and her warm and loving poems to her husband and children. She often uses elaborate conceits or extended metaphors. To My Dear and Loving Husband uses the oriental imagery, love theme, and idea of comparison popular in Europe at the time, but gives these a pious meaning at the poems conclusion: If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold Or all the riches that the East doth hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench, Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense. Thy love is such I can no way repay, The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. Then while we live, in love lets so persevere That when we live no more, we may live ever. Edward Taylor c. The son of a yeoman farmer an independent farmer who owned his own land Taylor was a teacher who sailed to New England in rather than take an oath of loyalty to the Church of England. A selfless and pious man, Taylor acted as a missionary to the settlers when 7B PAGE 9 he accepted his lifelong job as a minister in the frontier town of Westfield, Massachusetts, kilometers into the thickly forested, wild interior.

Taylor was the best-educated man in the area, and he put his knowledge to use, working as the town minister, doctor, and civic leader. Modest, pious, and hard-working, Taylor never published his poetry, which was discovered only in the s. He would, no doubt, have seen his works discovery as divine providence; todays readers should be grateful to have his poems the finest examples of 17th-century poetry in North America. Taylor wrote a variety of verse: funeral elegies, lyrics, a medieval debate, and a page Metrical History of Christianity mainly a history of martyrs. His best works, according to modern critics, are the series of short preparatory meditations.

Michael Wigglesworth Michael Wigglesworth, like Taylor an Englishborn, Harvard-educated Puritan minister who practiced medicine, is the third New England colonial poet of note. He continues the Puritan themes in his best-known work, The Day of Doom A long narrative that often falls into doggerel, this terrifying popularization of Calvinistic doctrine was the most popular poem of the colonial period. This first American bestseller is an appalling portrait of damnation to hell in ballad meter.

It is terrible poetry but everybody loved it. It fused the fascination of a horror story with the authority of John Calvin. For more than two centuries, people memorized this long, dreadful monument to religious terror; children proudly recited it, and elders quoted it in everyday speech. It is not such a leap from the terrible punishments of this poem to the ghastly selfinflicted wound of Nathaniel Hawthornes guilty Puritan minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, in The Scarlet Letter or Herman Melvilles crippled Captain Ahab, a New England Faust whose quest for forbidden knowledge sinks the ship of American humanity in Moby-Dick MobyDick was the favorite novel of 20th-century American novelist William Faulkner, whose profound and disturbing works suggest that the dark, metaphysical vision of Protestant America has not yet been exhausted.

Isolated New World writers also lived before the advent of rapid transportation and electronic communications. As a result, colonial writers were imitating writing that was already out of date in England. Thus, Edward Taylor, the best American poet of his day, wrote metaphysical poetry after it had become unfashionable in England. At times, as in Taylors poetry, rich works of striking originality grew out of colonial isolation.

Colonial writers often seemed ignorant of such great English authors as Ben Jonson. Some colonial writers rejected English poets who belonged to a different sect as well, thereby cutting themselves off from the finest lyric and dramatic models the English language had produced. In addition, many colonials remained ignorant due to the lack of books. The great model of writing, belief, and conduct was the Bible, in an authorized English translation that was already outdated when it came out.

The age of the Bible, so much older than the Roman church, made it authoritative to Puritan eyes. New England Puritans clung to the tales of the Jews in the Old Testament, believing that they, like the Jews, were persecuted for their faith, that they knew the one true God, and that they were the chosen elect who would establish the New Jerusalem a heaven on Earth. Moses led the Israelites out of captivity from Egypt, parted the Red Sea through Gods miraculous assistance so that his people could escape, and received the divine law in the form of the Ten Commandments. Like Moses, Puritanl eaders felt they were rescuing their people from spiritual corruption in England, passing miraculously over a wild sea with Gods aid, and fashioning new laws and new forms of government after Gods wishes.

Colonial worlds tend to be archaic, and New England certainly was no exception. New England Puritans were archaic by choice, conviction, and circumstance. Samuel Sewall Easier to read than the highly religious poetry full of Biblical references are the historical and secular accounts that recount real events using lively details. Samuel Sewalls Diary, which records the years to , is lively and engaging. Sewall fits the pattern of early New England writers we have seen in Bradford and Taylor. Born in England, Sewall was brought to the colonies at an early age.

He made his home in the Boston area, where he graduated from Harvard, and made a career of legal, administrative, and religious work. Sewall was born late enough to see the change from the early, strict religious life of the Puritans to the later, more worldly Yankee period of mercantile wealth in the New England colonies; his Diary, which is often compared to Samuel Pepyss English diary of the same period, inadvertently records the transition. Like Pepyss diary, Sewalls is a minute record of his daily life, reflecting his interest in living piously and well.

He notes little purchases of sweets for a woman he was courting, and their disagreements over whether he should affect aristocratic and expensive ways such as wearing a wig and using a coach. Mary Rowlandson c. The book undoubtedly fanned the flame of anti-Indian sentiment, as did John Williamss The Redeemed Captive , describing his two years in captivity by French and Indians after a massacre. Such writings as women produced are usually domestic accounts requiring no special education. Cotton Mather No account of New England colonial literature would be complete without mentioning Cotton Mather, the master pedant.

The third in the fourgeneration Mather dynasty of Massachusetts Bay, he wrote at length of New England in over books and pamphlets. Mathers Magnalia Christi Americana Ecclesiastical History of New England , his most ambitious work, exhaustively chronicles the settlement of New England through a series of biographies. The huge book presents the holy Puritan errand into the wilderness to establish Gods kingdom; its structure is a narrative progression of representative American Saints Lives. His zeal somewhat redeems his pompousness: I write the wonders of the Christian religion, flying from the deprivations of Europe to the American strand.

Roger Williams c. The minister Roger Williams suffered for his own views on religion. An English-born son of a tailor, he was banished from Massachusetts in the middle of New Englands ferocious winter in Secretly warned by Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts, he survived only by living with Indians; in , he established a new colony at Rhode Island that would welcome persons of different religions. A graduate of Cambridge University England , he retained sympathy for working people and diverse views. His ideas were ahead of his time. He was an early critic of imperialism, insisting that European kings had no right to grant land charters because American land belonged to the Indians.

Williams also believe in the separation between church and state still a fundamental principle in America today. He held that the law courts should not have the power to punish people for religious reasons a stand that undermined the strict New England theocracies. A believer in equality and democracy, he was a lifelong friend of the Indians. Williamss numerous books include one of the first phrase books of Indian languages, A Key Into the Languages of America The book also is an embryonic ethnography, giving bold descriptions of Indian life based on the time he had lived among the tribes. Each chapter is devoted to one topic for example, eating and mealtime. Indian words and phrases pertaining to this topic are mixed with comments, anecdotes, and a concluding poem.

The end of the first chapter reads: If natures sons, both wild and tame, Humane and courteous be, How ill becomes it sons of God To want humanity. Williamss life is uniquely inspiring. On a visit to England during the bloody Civil War there, he drew upon his survival in frigid New England to organize firewood deliveries to the poor of London during the winter, after their supply of coal had been cut off. He wrote lively defenses of religious toleration not only for different Christian sects, but also for non-Christians. It is the will and command of God, that The intercultural experience 10 I PAGE 12 of living among gracious and humane Indians undoubtedly accounts for much of his wisdom.

Influence was two-way in the colonies. For example, John Eliot translated the Bible into Narragansett. Some Indians converted to Christianity. Even today, the Native American church is a mixture of Christianity and Indian traditional belief. The spirit of toleration and religious freedom that gradually grew in the American colonies was first established in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, home of the Quakers. The humane and tolerant Quakers, or Friends, as they were known, believed in the sacredness of the individual conscience as the fountainhead of social order and morality.

The fundamental Quaker belief in universal love and brotherhood made them deeply democratic and opposed to dogmatic religious authority. Driven out of strict Massachusetts, which feared their influence, they established a very successful colony, Pennsylvania, under William Penn in John Woolman The best-known Quaker work is the long Journal of John Woolman, documenting his inner life in a pure, heartfelt style of great sweetness that has drawn praise from many American and English writers. This remarkable man left his comfortable home in town to sojourn with the Indians in the wild interior because he thought he might learn from them and share their ideas. He writes simply of his desire to feel and understand their life, and the Spirit they live in. Woolmans justice-loving spirit naturally turns to social criticism: I perceived that many white People do often sell Rum to the Indians, which, I believe, is a great Evil.

An ardent humanitarian, he followed a path of passive obedience to authorities and laws he found unjust, prefiguring Henry David Thoreaus celebrated essay, Civil Disobedience , by generations. Woolman had little formal schooling; Edwards was highly educated. Woolman followed his inner light; Edwards was devoted to the law and authority. Both men were fine writers, but they revealed opposite poles of the colonial religious experience. Edwards was molded by his extreme sense of duty and by the rigid Puritan environment, which conspired to make him defend strict and gloomy Calvinism from the forces of liberalism springing up around him.

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked Edwardss sermons had enormous impact, sending whole congregations into hysterical fits of weeping. In the long run, though, their grotesque harshness alienated people from the Calvinism that Edwards valiantly defended. Edwardss dogmatic, medieval sermons no longer fit the experiences of relatively peaceful, prosperous 18th-century colonists.

After Edwards, fresh, liberal currents of tolerance gathered force. Early English immigrants were drawn to the southern colonies because of economic opportunity rather than religious freedom. Although many southerners were poor farmers or tradespeople living not much better than slaves, the southern literate upper class was shaped by the classical, Old World ideal of a noble landed gentry made possible by slavery. The institution released wealthy southern whites from manual labor, afforded them leisure, and made the dream of an aristocratic life in the American wilderness possible. The Puritan emphasis on hard work, education, and earnestness was rare instead we hear of such pleasures as horseback riding and hunting. The church was the focus of a genteel social life, not a forum for minute examinations of conscience.

William Byrd Southern culture naturally revolved around the ideal of the gentleman. A Renaissance man equally good at managing a farm and reading classical Greek, he had the power of a feudal lord. William Byrd describes the gracious way of life at his plantation, Westover, in his famous letter of to his English friend Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery: Besides the advantages of pure air, we abound in all kinds of provisions without expense I mean we who have plantations.

I have a large family of my own, and my doors are open to everybody, yet I have no bills to pay, and half-a-crown will rest undisturbed in my pockets for many moons altogether. Like one of the patriarchs, I have my flock and herds, my bondmen and bondwomen, and every sort of trade amongst my own servants, so that I live in a kind of independence on everyone but Providence. William Byrd epitomizes the spirit of the southern colonial gentry. The heir to 1, hectares, which he enlarged to 7, hectares, he was a merchant, trader, and planter.

His library of 3, books was the largest in the South. He was born with a lively intelligence that his father augmented by sending him to excellent schools in England and Holland. He visited the French Court, became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was friendly with some of the leading English writers of his day, particularly William Wycherley and William Congreve.

His London diaries are the opposite of those of the New England Puritans, full of fancy dinners, glittering parties, and womanizing, with little introspective soul-searching. The quick impressions that vast wilderness, Indians, half-savage whites, wild beasts, and every sort of difficulty made on this civilized gentleman form a uniquely American and very southern book. He ridicules the first Virginia colonists, about a hundred men, most of them reprobates of good families, and jokes that at Jamestown, like true Englishmen, they built a church that cost no more than fifty pounds, and a tavern that cost five hundred. Byrds writings are fine examples of the keen interest southerners took in the material world: the land, Indians, plants, animals, and settlers.

Robert Beverley c. Like Byrd, he admired the Indians and remarked on the strange European superstitions about Virginia for example, the belief that the country turns all people black who go there. He noted the great hospitality of southerners, a trait maintained today. Humorous satire a literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit appears frequently in the colonial South. They pretended to praise him for keeping them so poor and overworked that they had to develop the valuable virtue of humility and shun the anxieties of any further ambition.

The rowdy, satirical poem The Sotweed Factor satirizes the colony of Maryland, where the author, an Englishman named Ebenezer Cook, had unsuccessfully tried his hand as a tobacco merchant. Cook exposed the crude ways of the colony with high-spirited humor, and accused the colonists of cheating him. In general, the colonial South may fairly be linked with a light, worldly, informative, and realistic literary tradition. Imitative of English literary fashions, the southerners attained imaginative heights in witty, precise observations of distinctive New World conditions.

Olaudah Equiano Gustavus Vassa c. In the book an early example of the slave narrative genre Equiano gives an account of his native land and the horrors and cruelties of his captivity and enslavement in the West Indies. Equiano, who converted to Christianity, movingly laments his cruel unChristian treatment by Christians a sentiment many African-Americans would voice in centuries to come. Jupiter Hammon c. His poem An Evening Thought was the first poem published by a black male in America. The triumph of American independence seemed to many at the time a divine sign that America and her people were destined for greatness.

Military victory fanned nationalistic hopes for a great new literature. Yet with the exception of outstanding political writing, few works of note appeared during or soon after the Revolution. American books were harshly reviewed in England. Americans were painfully aware of their excessive dependence on English literary models. The search for a native literature became a national obsession. As one American magazine editor wrote, around , Dependence is a state of degradation fraught with disgrace, and to be dependent on a foreign mind for what we can ourselves produce is to add to the crime of indolence the weakness of stupidity. Cultural revolutions, unlike military revolutions, cannot be successfully imposed but must grow from the soil of shared experience.

Revolutions are expressions of the heart of the people; they grow gradually out of new sensibilities and wealth of experience. Americas literary independence was slowed by a lingering identification with England, an excessive imitation of English or classical literary models, and difficult economic and political conditions that hampered publishing. Revolutionary writers, despite their genuine patriotism, were of necessity self-conscious, and they could never find roots in their American sensibilities. Colonial writers of the revolutionary generation had been born English, had grown to maturity as English citizens, and had cultivated English modes of thought and English fashions in dress and behavior.

Their parents and grandparents were English or European , as were all their friends. Added to this, American awareness of literary fashion still lagged behind the English, and this time lag intensified American imitation. Moreover, the heady challenges of building a new nation attracted talented and educated people to politics, law, and diplomacy. These pursuits brought honor, glory, and financial security. Writing, on the other hand, did not pay. Early American writers, now separated from England, effectively had no modern publishers, no audience, and no adequate legal protection. Editorial assistance, distribution, and publicity were rudimentary.

Until , most American authors paid printers to publish their work. Obviously only the leisured and independently wealthy, like Washington Irving and the New York Knickerbocker group, or the group of Connecticut poets knows as the Hartford Wits, could afford to indulge their interest in writing. The exception, Benjamin Franklin, though from a poor family, was a printer by trade and could publish his own work. The author of several interesting Gothic romances, Brown was the first American author to attempt to live from his writing. But his short life ended in poverty. The lack of an audience was another problem. The small cultivated audience in America wanted well-known European authors, partly out of the exaggerated respect with which former colonies regarded their previous rulers.

This preference for English works was not entirely unreasonable, considering the inferiority of American output, but it worsened the situation by depriving American authors of an audience. Only journalism offered financial remuneration, but the mass audience wanted light, undemanding verse and short topical essays not long or experimental work. The absence of adequate copyright laws was perhaps the clearest cause of literary stagnation. American printers pirating English best-sellers understandably were unwilling to pay an American author for unknown material. The unauthorized reprinting of foreign books was originally seen as a service to the colonies as well as a source of profit for printers like Franklin, who reprinted works of the classics and great European books to educate the American public.

Printers everywhere in America followed his lead. There are notorious examples of pirating. Matthew Carey, an important American publisher, paid a London agent a sort of literary spy to send copies of unbound pages, or even proofs, to him in fast ships that could sail to America in a month. Careys men would sail out to meet the incoming ships in the harbor and speed the pirated books into print using typesetters who divided the book into sections and worked in shifts around the clock.

Such a pirated English book could be reprinted in a day and placed on the shelves for sale in American bookstores almost as fast as in England. Because imported authorized editions were more expensive and could not compete with pirated ones, the copyright situation damaged foreign authors such as Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens, along with American authors. But at least the foreign authors had already been paid by their original publishers and were already well known. Americans such as James Fenimore Cooper not only failed to receive adequate payment, but they had to suffer seeing their works pirated under their noses.

Coopers first successful book, The Spy , was pirated by four different printers within a month of its appearance. Ironically, the copyright law of , which allowed pirating, was nationalistic in intent. Bad as the law was, none of the early publishers were willing to have it changed because it proved profitable for them. Piracy starved the first generation of revolutionary American writers; not surprisingly, the generation after them produced even less work of merit. The high point of piracy, in , corresponds with the low point of American writing. Nevertheless, the cheap and plentiful supply of pirated foreign books and classics in the first 50 years of the new country did educate Americans, including the first great writers, who began to make their appearance around Enlightenment thinkers and writers were devoted to the ideals of justice, liberty, and equality as the natural rights of man.

Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin, whom the Scottish philosopher David Hume called Americas first great man of letters, embodied the Enlightenment ideal of humane rationality. Practical yet idealistic, hard-working and enormously successful, Franklin recorded his early life in his famous Autobiography Writer, printer, publisher, scientist, philanthropist, and diplomat, he was the most famous and respected private figure of his time. He was the first great self-made man in America, a poor democrat born in an aristocratic age that his fine example helped to liberalize. Franklin was a second-generation immigrant. His Puritan father, a chandler candle-maker , came to Boston, Massachusetts, from England in In many ways Franklins life illustrates the impact of the Enlightenment on a gifted individual.

Self-educated but well-read in John Locke, Lord Shaftesbury, Joseph Addison, and other Enlightenment writers, Franklin learned from them to apply reason to his own life and to break with tradition in particular the old-fashioned Puritan tradition when it threatened to smother his ideals. While a youth, Franklin taught himself languages, read widely, and practiced writing for the public. When he moved from Boston to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Franklin already had the kind of education associated with the upper classes. He also had the Puritan capacity for hard, careful work, constant self-scrutiny, and the desire to better himself.

These qualities steadily propelled him to wealth, respectability, and honor. Never selfish, Franklin tried to help other ordinary people become successful by sharing his insights and initiating a characteristically American genre the self-help book. Franklins Poor Richards Almanack, begun in and published for many years, made Franklin prosperous and well-known throughout the colonies.

In this annual book of useful encouragement, advice, and factual information, amusing characters such as old Father Abraham and Poor Richard exhort the reader in pithy, memorable sayings. A Word to the Wise is enough, he says. God helps them that help themselves. Early to Bed, and early to rise, makes a Man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Poor Richard is a psychologist Industry pays Debts, while Despair encreaseth them , and he always counsels hard work Diligence is the Mother of Good Luck. Do not be lazy, he advises, for One To-day is worth two tomorrow. Sometimes he creates anecdotes to illustrate his points: A little Neglect may breed great Mischief Franklin was a genius at compressing a moral point: What maintains one Vice, would bring up two Children.

A small leak will sink a great Ship. Fools make Feasts, and wise Men eat them. Franklins Autobiography is, in part, another self-help book. Written to advise his son, it covers only the early years. The most famous section describes his scientific scheme of selfimprovement. Franklin lists 13 virtues: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. He elaborates on each with a maxim; for example, the temperance maxim is Eat not to Dullness. Drink not to Elevation. A pragmatic scientist, Franklin put the idea of perfectibility to the test, using himself as the experimental subject. To establish good habits, Franklin invented a reusable calendrical record book in which he worked on one virtue each week, recording each lapse with a black spot.

His theory prefigures psychological behaviorism, while his systematic method of notation anticipates modern behavior modification. The project of self-improvement blends the Enlightenment belief in perfectibility with the Puritan habit of moral self-scrutiny. Write with the learned. Pronounce with the vulgar, he advised. A scientist, he followed the Royal scientific Societys advice to use a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions, clear senses, a native easiness, bringing all things as near the mathematical plainness as they can.

Despite his prosperity and fame, Franklin never lost his democratic sensibility, and he was an important figure at the convention at which the U. Constitution was drafted. In his later years, he was president of an antislavery association. One of his last efforts was to promote universal public education. Hector St. John de Crvecoeur, whose Letters from an American Farmer gave Europeans a glowing idea of opportunities for peace, wealth, and pride in America. Neither an American nor a farmer, but a French aristocrat who owned a plantation outside New York City before the Revolution, Crvecoeur enthusiastically praised the colonies for their industry, tolerance, and growing prosperity in 12 letters that depict America as an agrarian paradise a vision that would inspire Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and many other writers up to the present.

Crvecoeur was the earliest European to develop a considered view of America and the new American character. The first to exploit the melting pot image of America, in a famous passage he asks: What then is the American, this new man? He is either a European, or the descendant of a European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause changes in the world.

Over 2, pamphlets were published during the Revolution. The pamphlets thrilled patriots and threatened loyalists; they filled the role of drama, as they were often read aloud in public to excite audiences. American soldiers read them aloud in their camps; British Loyalists threw them into public bonfires. It is still rousing today. The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind, Paine wrote, voicing the idea of American exceptionalism still strong in the United States that in some fundamental sense, since America is a democratic experiment and a country theoretically open to all immigrants, the fate of America foreshadows the fate of humanity at large.

Political writings in a democracy had to be clear to appeal to the voters. And to have informed voters, universal education was promoted by many of the founding fathers. One indication of the vigorous, if simple, literary life was the proliferation of newspapers. More newspapers were read in America during the Revolution than anywhere else in the world. Immigration also mandated a simple style.

Clarity was vital to a newcomer, for whom English might be a second language. Thomas Jeffersons original draft of the Declaration of Independence is clear and logical, but his committees modifications made it even simpler. The Federalist Papers written in support of the Constitution, are also lucid, logical arguments, suitable for debate in a democratic nation. When trying to write poetry, most educated authors stumbled into the pitfall of elegant neoclassicism. The epic, in particular, exercised a fatal attraction. American literary patriots felt sure that the great American Revolution naturally would find expression in the epic a long, dramatic narrative poem in elevated language, celebrating the feats of a legendary hero.

Many writers tried but none succeeded. Timothy Dwight, , one of the group of writers known as the Hartford Wits, is an example. Dwight, who eventually became the president of Yale University, based his epic, The Conquest of Canaan , on the Biblical story of Joshuas struggle to enter the Promised Land. Dwights epic was as boring as it was ambitious. English critics demolished it; even Dwights friends, such as John Trumbull , remained unenthusiastic. So much thunder and lightning raged in the melodramatic battle scenes that Trumbull proposed that the epic be provided with lightning rods. The mock epic genre encouraged American poets to use their natural voices and did not lure them into a bog of pretentious and predictable patriotic sentiments and faceless conventional poetic epithets out of the Greek poet Homer and the Roman poet Virgil by way of the English poets.

In mock epics like John Trumbulls goodhumored MFingal , stylized emotions and conventional turns of phrase are ammunition for good satire, and the bombastic oratory of the Revolution is itself ridiculed. It is often pithy, as when noting of condemned criminals facing hanging: No man eer felt the halter draw. With good opinion of the law. MFingal went into over 30 editions, was reprinted for a half-century, and was appreciated in England as well as America. Satire appealed to Revolutionary audiences partly because it contained social comment and criticism, and political topics and social problems were the main subjects of the day. The first American comedy to be performed, The Contrast produced by Royall Tyler , humorously contrasts Colonel Manly, an American officer, with Dimple, who imitates English fashions.

Naturally, Dimple is made to look ridiculous. The play introduces the first Yankee character, Jonathan. Another satirical work, the novel Modern Chivalry, published by Hugh Henry Brackenridge in installments from to , memorably lampoons the excesses of the age. Brackenridge , a Scottish immigrant raised on the American frontier, based his huge, picaresque novel on Don Quixote; it describes the misadventures of Captain Farrago and his stupid, brutal, yet appealingly human, servant Teague ORegan.

The key to both his success and his failure was his passionately democratic spirit combined with an inflexible temper. The Hartford Wits, all of them undoubted patriots, reflected the general cultural conservatism of the educated classes. Freneau set himself against this holdover of old Tory attitudes, complaining of the writings of an aristocratic, speculating faction at Hartford, in favor of monarchy and titular distinctions. Although Freneau received a fine education and was as well acquainted with the classics as any Hartford Wit, he embraced liberal and democratic causes. In , he was captured and imprisoned in two British ships, where he almost died before his family managed to get him released.

His poem The British Prison Ship is a bitter condemnation of the cruelties of the British, who wished to stain the world with gore. Freneau edited a number of journals during his life, always mindful of the great cause of democracy. As a poet and editor, Freneau adhered to his democratic ideals. His popular poems, published in newspapers for the average reader, regularly celebrated American subjects.

The Virtue of Tobacco concerns the indigenous plant, a mainstay of the southern economy, while The Jug of Rum celebrates the alcoholic drink of the West Indies, a crucial commodity of early American trade and a major New World export. Common American characters lived in The Pilot of Hatteras, as well as in poems about quack doctors and bombastic evangelists. Freneau commanded a natural and colloquial style appropriate to a genuine democracy, but he could also rise to refined neoclassic lyricism in often-anthologized works such as The Wild Honey Suckle , which evokes a sweetsmelling native shrub.

Not until the American Renaissance that began in the s would American poetry surpass the heights that Freneau had scaled 40 years earlier. Additional groundwork for later literary achievement was laid during the early years. Nationalism inspired publications in many fields, leading to a new appreciation of things American. Noah Webster devised an American Dictionary as well as an important reader and speller for the schools. His Spelling Book sold more than million copies over the years.

Updated Websters dictionaries are still standard today. The American Geography, by Jedidiah Morse, another landmark reference work, promoted knowledge of the vast and expanding American land itself. Some of the most interesting, if nonliterary, writings of the period are the journals of frontiersmen and explorers such as Meriwether Lewis and Zebulon Pike , who wrote accounts of expeditions across the Louisiana Territory, the vast portion of the North American continent that Thomas Jefferson purchased from Napoleon in They wrote in many prose genres, initiated new forms, and found new ways to make a living through literature.

With them, American literature began to be read and appreciated in the United States and abroad. Radcliffe and English William Godwin. Radcliffe was known for her terrifying Gothic novels; a novelist and social reformer, Godwin was the father of Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein and married English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Driven by poverty, Brown hastily penned four haunting novels in two years: Wieland , Arthur Mervyn , Ormond , and Edgar Huntley In them, he developed the genre of American Gothic. The Gothic novel was a popular genre of the day featuring exotic and wild settings, disturbing psychological depth, and much suspense.

Trappings included ruined castles or abbeys, ghosts, mysterious secrets, threatening figures, and solitary maidens who survive by their wits and spiritual strength. At their best, such novels offer tremendous suspense and hints of magic, along with profound explorations of the human soul in extremity. Critics suggest that Browns Gothic sensibility expresses deep anxieties about the inadequate social institutions of the new nation. Brown used distinctively American settings.

A man of ideas, he dramatized scientific theories, developed a personal theory of fiction, and championed high literary standards despite personal poverty. Though flawed, his works are darkly powerful. He expresses subconscious fears that the outwardly optimistic Enlightenment period drove underground. Washington Irving The youngest of 11 children born to a well-todo New York merchant family, Washington Irving became a cultural and diplomatic ambassador to Europe, like Benjamin Franklin and Nathanie l Hawthorne. Despite his talent, he probably would not have become a full-time professional writer, given the lack of financial rewards, if a series of fortuitous incidents had not thrust writing as a profession upon him.

Through friends, he was able to publish his Sketch Book simultaneously in England and America, obtaining copyrights and payment in both countries. Sketch aptly describes Irvings delicate, elegant, yet seemingly casual style, and crayon suggests his ability as a colorist or creator of rich, nuanced tones and emotional effects. American readers gratefully accepted Irvings imagined history of the Catskills, despite the fact unknown to them that he had adapted his stories from a German source. Irving gave America something it badly needed in the brash, materialistic early years: an imaginative way of relating to the new land. No writer was as successful as Irving at humanizing the land, endowing it with a name and a face and a set of legends.

The story of Rip Van Winkle, who slept for 20 years, waking to find the colonies had become independent, eventually became folklore. It was adapted for the stage, went into the oral tradition, and was gradually accepted as authentic American legend by generations of Americans. Irving discovered and helped satisfy the raw new nations sense of history. His numerous works may be seen as his devoted attempts to build the new nations soul by recreating history and giving it living, breathing, imaginative life. For subjects, he chose the most dramatic aspects of American history: the discovery of the New World, the first president and national hero, and 22 PAGE 24 the westward exploration. His earliest work was a sparkling, satirical History of New York under the Dutch, ostensibly written by Diedrich Knickerbocker hence the name of Irvings friends and New York writers of the day, the Knickerbocker School.

James Fenimore Cooper James Fenimore Cooper, like Irving, evoked a sense of the past and gave it a local habitation and a name. In Cooper, though, one finds the powerful myth of a golden age and the poignance of its loss. While Irving and other American writers before and after him scoured Europe in search of its legends, castles, and great themes, Cooper grasped the essential myth of America: that it was timeless, like the wilderness. American history was a trespass on the eternal; European history in America was a reenactment of the fall in the Garden of Eden. The cyclical realm of nature was glimpsed only in the act of destroying it: The wilderness disappeared in front of American eyes, vanishing before the oncoming pioneers like a mirage.

This is Coopers basic tragic vision of the ironic destruction of the wilderness, the new Eden that had attracted the colonists in the first place. Personal experience enabled Cooper to write vividly of the transformation of the wilderness and of other subjects such as the sea and the clash of peoples from different cultures. Although this area was relatively peaceful during Coopers boyhood, it had once been the scene of an Indian massacre. Young Fenimore Cooper grew up in an almost feudal environment. His father, Judge Cooper, was a landowner and leader. Cooper saw frontiersmen and Indians at Otsego Lake as a boy; in later life, bold white settlers intruded on his land.

Natty Bumppo, Coopers renowned literary character, embodies his vision of the frontiersman as a gentleman, a Jeffersonian natural aristocrat. Early in , in The Pioneers, Cooper had begun to discover Bumppo. Natty is the first famous frontiersman in American literature and the literary forerunner of countless cowboy and backwoods heroes. He is the idealized, upright individualist who is better than the society he protects. Based in part on the real life of American pioneer Daniel Boone who was a Quaker like Cooper Natty Bumppo, an outstanding woodsman like Boone, was a peaceful man adopted by an Indian tribe.

Both Boone and the fictional Bumppo loved nature and freedom. Natty is also chaste, high-minded, and deeply spiritual: He is the Christian knight of medieval romances transposed to the virgin forest and rocky soil of America. The unifying thread of the five novels collectively known as the Leather-Stocking Tales is the life of Natty Bumppo. Coopers finest achievement, they constitute a vast prose epic with the North American continent as setting, Indian tribes as characters, and great wars and westward migration as social background.

The novels bring to life frontier America from to Coopers novels portray the successive waves of the frontier settlement: the original wilderness inhabited by Indians; the arrival of the first whites as scouts, soldiers, traders, and frontiersmen; the coming of the poor, rough settler families; and the final arrival of the middle class, bringing the first professionals the judge, the physician, and the banker. Each incoming wave displaced the earlier: Whites displaced the Indians, who retreated westward; the civilized middle classes who erected schools, churches, and jails displaced the lower-class individualistic frontier folk, who moved further west, in turn displacing the Indians who had preceded them.

Cooper evokes the endless, inevitable wave of settlers, seeing not only the gains but the losses. Coopers novels reveal a deep tension between the lone individual and society, nature and culture, spirituality and organized religion. In Cooper, the natural world and the Indian are fundamentally good as is the highly civilized realm associated with his most cultured characters. Intermediate characters are often suspect, especially greedy, poor white settlers who are too uneducated or unrefined to appreciate nature or culture. Like Rudyard Kipling, E. Forster, Herman Melville, and other sensitive observers of widely varied cultures interacting with each other, Cooper was a cultural relativist.

He understood that no culture had a monopoly on virtue or refinement. Cooper accepted the American condition while Irving did not. Irving addressed the American setting as a European might have by importing and adapting European legends, culture, and history. Cooper took the process a step farther. He created American settings and new, distinctively American characters and themes. He was the first to sound the recurring tragic note in American fiction. When every able-bodied person counted and conditions were fluid, innate talent could find expression. But as cultural institutions became formalized in the new republic, women and minorities gradually were excluded from them.

Phillis Wheatley c. The first African-American author of importance in the United States, Phillis Wheatley was born in Africa and brought to Boston, Massachusetts, when she was about seven, where she was purchased by the pious and wealthy tailor John Wheatley to be a companion for his wife. The Wheatleys recognized Philliss remarkable intelligence and, with the help of their daughter, Mary, Phillis learned to read and write. Wheatleys poetic themes are religious, and her style, like that of Philip Freneau, is neoclassical. Among her best-known poems are To S.

This poem unsettles some contemporary critics whites because they find it conventional, and blacks because the poem does not protest the immorality of slavery. Yet the work is a sincere expression; it confronts white racism and asserts spiritual equality. Indeed, Wheatley was the first to address such issues confidently in verse, as in On Being Brought from Africa to America: Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land Taught my benighted soul to understand That theres aGod, that theresa Savior too; Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.

Some view our sable race with scornful eye, Their colour is a diabolic dye. Remember, Christians, negroes, black as Cain, May be refind, and join th angelic train. Other Women WritersA number of accomplished Revolutionary-era women writers have been rediscovered by feminist scholars. Susanna Rowson c. Her seven novels included the best-selling seduction story Charlotte Temple She treats feminist and abolitionist themes and depicts American Indians with respect. Rejected by her sweetheart, a cold man of the church, she is seduced, abandoned, bears a child, and dies alone.

Judith Sargent Murray published under a mans name to secure serious attention for her works. Mercy Otis Warren was a poet, historian, dramatist, satirist, and patriot. She held pre-Revolutionary gatherings in her home, attacked the British in her racy plays, and wrote the only contemporary radical history of the American revolution. Letters between women such as Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams, and letters generally, are important documents of the period.

For example, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams later the second president of the United States , in urging that womens independence be guaranteed in the future U. In America as in Europe, fresh new vision electrified artistic and intellectual circles. Yet there was an important difference: Romanticism in America coincided with the period of national expansion and the discovery of a distinctive American voice. The solidification of a national identity and the surging idealism and passion of Romanticism nurtured the masterpieces of the American Renaissance. Romantic ideas centered around art as inspiration, the spiritual and aesthetic dimension of nature, and metaphors of organic growth.

Art, rather than science, Romantics argued, could best express universal truth. The Romantics underscored the importance of expressive art for the individual and society. In his essay The Poet , Ralph Waldo Emerson, perhaps the most influential writer of the Romantic era, asserts: For all men live by truth, and stand in need of expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression. The development of the self became a major theme; self-awareness, a primary method. If, according to Romantic theory, self and nature were one, self-awareness was not a selfish dead end but a mode of knowledge opening up the universe.

If ones self were one with all humanity, then the individual had a moral duty to reform social inequalities and relieve human suffering. The idea of self which suggested selfishness to earlier generations was redefined. New compound words with positive meanings emerged: self-realization, self-expression, self-reliance.

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