America Firsthand Readings from Settlement to Reconstruction

ISBN-10: 0312446454

ISBN-13: 9780312446451

Edition: 7th 2007

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Widely praised for its engaging first-person accounts, America Firsthand gives center stage to ordinary Americans who speak directly of their own lives, capturing through their voices the diverse experiences that constitute the American past and present. This best-selling text invites students to think critically about the past through the voices of the people who made it - from aging Spanish settlers' recollections of pre-Gold Rush life in California to soldiers' accounts of the battle of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. Book jacket.
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Book details

Edition: 7th
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Bedford/Saint Martin's
Publication date: 2/6/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.254
Language: English

Studying and Writing History
Indians and Europeans: New World Encounters
Points of View: Contact and Conquest (1502-1521)
Dispatches of the Conquest from the New World
In a letter to King Charles V of Spain, Hernando Cort�s recounts his recent conquest of Mexico
A Nahua Account of the Conquest of Mexico
An anonymous Nahua account of the conquest of Mexico describes the Spanish conquest and suggests possible reasons for their defeat
For Critical Thinking
Destruction of the Indies
The Dominican friar Bartolom� de Las Casas's powerful report of the horrors of the Spanish conquest is often described as the "Black Legend."
Description of Virginia
Captain John Smith describes Virginia and the Powhatan Indians he encountered at Jamestown in 1607
Encounter with the Indians
The French Jesuit missionary Father Paul Le Jeune reports from Quebec in 1634, where he lived among North American Indians
Captured by Indians
Mary Jemison, a white woman, describes her captivity and assimilation into mid-eighteenth-century Seneca culture
Visual Portfolio: New World Contact
The Colonial Experience: A Rapidly Changing Society
Points of View: The Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692)
The Case Against George Burroughs
Many neighbors accuse George Burroughs of leading witches in Salem, Massachusetts
Reconsidering the Verdict
Puritan leader and ordinary villagers look back at the conviction and execution of Reverend Burroughs, whom they had formerly accused of witchcraft
For Critical Thinking
The African Slave Trade
An eyewitness account of the African slave trade by Olaudah Equiano, an Ibo prince supposedly kidnapped in the early 1760s
On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants
Gottlieb Mittelberger, a young German, relates his arrival in Pennsylvania in 1750 and his sale as an indentured servant
A Man of the American Enlightenment
Benjamin Franklin writes of religion, science, and public service in his autobiography, published after his death in 1790
Leaving an Abusive Husband
Abigail Abbot Bailey finds few legal protections following her marriage in 1767
Visual Portfolio: The Colonial Home and Family
Resistance and Revolution: Struggling for Liberty
Points of View: The Boston Massacre (1770)
A British Officer's Description
Thomas Preston, a British officer stationed in Boston before the American Revolution, recalls why his soldiers fired on Americans
Colonial Accounts
the Boston Gazette and Country Journal
George Robert Twelves, a patriot shoemaker, the Boston merchant John Tudor, and the Boston Gazette and Country Journal relate this bloody event from the colonists' perspective
For Critical Thinking
"The Bloody Massacre" Engraving
Paul Revere's famous engraving offers a visual representation of the Boston Massacre
A Soldier's View of the Revolutionary War
Joseph Plumb Martin, who joined the Revolutionary Army before his sixteenth birthday, writes about his life as a common soldier
Choosing Sides
A South Carolina slave escapes to enlist in the British Army and is rewarded with freedom in Canada in 1783
Secret Correspondence of a Loyalist Wife
Catherine Van Cortlandt sends letters to her Tory husband behind British lines in 1776 and 1777
Republican Motherhood
Letters of Eliza Pinckney and Abigail Adams during the Revolutionary War years
Shays's Rebellion: Prelude to the Constitution
George Richards Minot describes Shays's Rebellion of 1786-1787
Defining America: The Expanding Nation
Points of View: Religion in the New Nation (1800-1830)
The Great Revival of 1800
Finley preaches during the Great Revival in Kentucky
Religion in America
British writer and journalist, Harriet Martineau, observes religious practices in America, including camp-revivals and the role of women in the church
For Critical Thinking
How the West was Won
An Officer of the "Army of the West"
Dispatches from the U.S. Army describe a mix of power and persuasion in taking New Mexico
Crossing the Great Divide
In 1805, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed the Rockies, one of the most difficult parts of the famous expedition in American history - from St. Louis, Missouri, to the mouth of the Columbia River
A Ride on the Erie Canal
Frances Trollope describes the travel conditions and social customs of ordinary Americans in this humorous account of her trip by boat down the Erie Canal
The Trail of Tears
John Ross, of mixed Cherokee and white ancestry, protests efforts by President Jackson and Congress to remove his tribe from Georgia to Oklahoma Territory in the 1830s
Pulling a Handcart to the Mormon Zion
Pioneer Priscilla Merriman Evans arrives in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1856, after walking one thousand miles from Iowa City, Iowa
Life in California before the Gold Discovery
Aging Californios remember their lives in California before the 1846 "Bear Flag Revolt" and the 1849 gold rush brought thousands of Anglo settlers to the region
Miners During the California Gold Rush Daguerreotype
This photograph provides a glimpse of the lives of Chinese and Anglo miners in the California gold fields
An Age of Reform: Rearranging Social Patterns
Points of View: Nat Turner's Rebellion (1831)
A Slave Insurrection
Nat Turner confesses to leading a slave uprising in Southampton County, Virginia, where at least fifty whites were killed
Who is to Blame?
The abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, editor of The Liberator, John Hampden Pleasants, editor of the Richmond Constitutional Whig, and Virginia governor John Floyd, in a letter to a friend, offer widely different reasons for and responses to Nat Turner's slave insurrection
For Critical Thinking
The Lowell Textile Workers
Harriet Hanson Robinson, a young factory worker, describes working conditions in the mill and her desire for labor reform in the 1830s
Life Under the Lash
Narratives of Charles Ball and other former slaves provide personal responses to life as slaves on mid-nineteenth-century Southern plantations
Life of a Female Slave
Writing under a pseudonym, Harriet Jacobs tells the story of her sexual exploitation under slavery beginning at the age of fifteen
A Pioneer for Women's Rights
Elizabeth Cady Stanton remembers the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention and its famous "Declaration of Sentiments"
"The Early Life of this Boy"
John Brown, abolitionist and leader of the raid at Harpers Ferry, recounts his early life in a letter and his last address to the Virginia Court on November 2, 1859, before being hanged for his crimes one month later
Visual Portfolio: Slavery and Freedom
Civil War and Reconstruction: The Price of War
Points of View: Pickett's Charge: High Tide of the Confederacy (July 3, 1863)
"The Last and Bloodiest Fight": A Union Account
Franklin Haskell, Union soldier and staff officer in the 6th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, describes his decisive action to rally reinforcements during the battle of Pickett's Charge in a letter to his brother shortly after the battle
"Field of Carnage": A Confederate Account
Major Walter Harrison, Confederate soldier and Inspector General of Pickett's division, describes the battle and the role of the men he served with in this gripping account of the famous charge at Gettysburg
For Critical Thinking
Three Days of Terror
Visiting her brother in New York City, Ellen Leonard is caught in the violence of the draft riot of 1863
Healing Wounds
Cornelia Hancock becomes a nurse during the Civil War
A Slaveowner's Journal at the End of the Civil War
Henry William Ravenel describes the effects of emancipation in South Carolina after Lee's surrender at Appomattox in 1865
African Americans During Reconstruction
In interviews conducted in the 1930s, Felix Haywood and other former slaves tell about their lives immediately following the Civil War
White Southerners' Reactions to Reconstruction
Testimony by Caleb G. Forshey and the Reverend James Sinclair before a joint congressional committee in 1866 shows the reaction of Southern whites to Reconstruction policies
Ruins in Charleston, South Carolina, 1865 or 1866 Photograph
A photograph of the ruins in Charleston, South Carolina, from a portfolio of images of Sherman's march by George N. Barnard, one of the best field photographers of the Civil War
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