Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement

Overview

Bound Away offers a new understanding of the westward movement. After the Turner thesis which celebrated the frontier as the source of American freedom and democracy, and the iconoclasm of the new western historians who dismissed the idea of the frontier as merely a mask for conquest and exploitation, David Hackett Fischer and James C. Kelly take a third approach to the subject. They share with Turner the idea of the westward movement as a creative process of high importance in ...

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Overview

Bound Away offers a new understanding of the westward movement. After the Turner thesis which celebrated the frontier as the source of American freedom and democracy, and the iconoclasm of the new western historians who dismissed the idea of the frontier as merely a mask for conquest and exploitation, David Hackett Fischer and James C. Kelly take a third approach to the subject. They share with Turner the idea of the westward movement as a creative process of high importance in American history, but they understand it in a different way.

Where Turner studied the westward movement in terms of its destination, Fischer and Kelly approach it in terms of its origins. Virginia's long history enables them to provide a rich portrait of migration and expansion as a dynamic process that preserved strong cultural continuities. They suggest that the oxymoron "bound away"—from the folksong Shenandoah—captures a vital truth about American history. As people moved west, they built new societies from old materials, in a double-acting process that made America what is today.

Based on an acclaimed exhibition at the Virginia Historical society, the book studies three stages of migration to, within, and from Virginia. Each stage has its own story to tell. All of them together offer an opportunity to study the westward movement through three centuries, as it has rarely been studied before.

Fischer and Kelly believe that the westward movement was a broad cultural process, which is best understood not only through the writings of intellectual elites, but also through the physical artifacts and folkways of ordinary people. The wealth of anecdotes and illustrations in this volume offer a new way of looking at John Smith and William Byrd, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Boone, Dred Scott, and scores of lesser known gentry, yeomen, servants, and slaves who were all "bound away" to an old new world.

University of Virginia Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A study of the migration patterns that characterized the colony and (later) state of Virginia over the three century history following its European founding. Dividing the topic into three patterns<-->migration to, within, and from Virginia<-->Fischer (history, Brandeis U) and Kelly (Virginia Historical Society) study the reasons behind the migrations of various populations, paying special attention to African Americans, and explore the cultural legacy of the migrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813917733
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David Hackett Fischer is Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. James C. Kelly is Assistant Director for Museums at the Virginia Historical Society.

University of Virginia Press

Biography

A professor at Brandeis University, David Hackett Fischer is the author of several noted books on history, including Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement, The Great Wave: Price Movements in Modern History, Paul Revere's Ride, and Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. He is co-editor, with James M. McPherson, of the Pivotal Moments in American History series published by Oxford University Press. A graduate of Princeton and Johns Hopkins Universities, he divides his time between homes in Massachusetts and Maine.

Author biography courtesy of Oxford University Press.

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    1. Hometown:
      Wayland, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 2, 1935
    2. Place of Birth:
      Baltimore, Maryland
    1. Education:
      A.B., Princeton University, 1958; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1962

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Foreword xi
Preface xv
Introduction I
1. Migration to Virginia 12
2. Migration in Virginia 74
3. Migration beyond Virginia 135
4. Problems of Cause and Consequence 202
5. African-American Migration 229
6. The Cultural Legacy 253
Conclusion 293
Notes 305
Acknowledgments 341
Illustration Credits 343
Index 347
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