Sam Patch, the Famous Jumper

ISBN-10: 0809083884
ISBN-13: 9780809083886
Edition: N/A
Authors: Paul E. Johnson
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Description: The true history of a legendary American folk hero In the 1820s, a fellow named Sam Patch grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, working there (when he wasn’t drinking) as a mill hand for one of America’s new textile companies. Sam made a name for  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 6/16/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 3.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

The true history of a legendary American folk hero In the 1820s, a fellow named Sam Patch grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, working there (when he wasn’t drinking) as a mill hand for one of America’s new textile companies. Sam made a name for himself one day by jumping seventy feet into the tumultuous waters below Pawtucket Falls. When in 1827 he repeated the stunt in Paterson, New Jersey, another mill town, an even larger audience gathered to cheer on the daredevil they would call the “Jersey Jumper.” Inevitably, he went to Niagara Falls, where in 1829 he jumped not once but twice in front of thousands who had paid for a good view. The distinguished social historian Paul E. Johnson gives this deceptively simple story all its deserved richness, revealing in its characters and social settings a virtual microcosm of Jacksonian America. He also relates the real jumper to the mythic Sam Patch who turned up as a daring moral hero in the works of Hawthorne and Melville, in London plays and pantomimes, and in the spotlight with Davy Crockett—a Sam Patch who became the namesake of Andrew Jackson’s favorite horse. In his shrewd and powerful analysis, Johnson casts new light on aspects of American society that we may have overlooked or underestimated. This is innovative American history at its best.

A specialist in early national social history, Paul E. Johnson is the author of THE EARLY AMERICAN REPUBLIC, 1789-1829 (2006); SAM PATCH, THE FAMOUS JUMPER (2003); and A SHOPKEEPER'S MILLENNIUM: SOCIETY AND REVIVALS IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, 1815-1837, 25th Anniversary Edition (2004). In addition, he is coauthor (with Sean Wilentz) of THE KINGDOM OF MATTHIAS: SEX AND SALVATION IN 19TH-CENTURY AMERICA (1994) and is editor of AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY: ESSAYS IN HISTORY (1994). He was awarded the Merle Curti Prize of the Organization of American Historians (1980), the Richard P. McCormack Prize of the New Jersey Historical Association (1989), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1985-1986), the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1995), the Gilder Lehrman Institute (2001), and the National Endowment for the Humanities We the People Fellowship (2006-2007).

Preface
Pawtucket
Paterson
Niagara
Rochester
Celebrity
Notes
Index

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