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This new book consists of mini-biographies of 15 Americans who lived during the Antebellum period in American history. Part of The Human Tradition in America series, the anthology paints vivid portraits of the lives of lesser-known Americans. Raising new questions from fresh perspectives, this volume contributes to a broader understanding of the dynamic forces that shaped the political, economic, social, and institutional changes that characterized the antebellum period. Moving beyond the older, outdated historical narratives of political institutions and the great men who shaped them, these biographies offer revealing insights on gender roles and relations, working-class experiences, race, and local economic change and its effect on society and politics. The voices of these ordinary individuals-African Americans, women, ethnic groups, and workers-have until recently often been silent in history texts. At the same time, these biographies also reveal the major themes that were part of the history of the early republic and antebellum era, including the politics of the Jacksonian era, the democratization of politics and society, party formation, market revolution, territorial expansion, the removal of Indians from their territory, religious freedom, and slavery. Accessible and fascinating, these biographies present a vivid picture of the richly varied character of American life in the first half of the nineteenth century. This book is ideal for courses on the Early National period, U.S. history survey, and American social and cultural history.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Shuttles of a New Nation: The Private Lives and Public Actions of Ordinary Americans Chapter 2 Abraham Bishop: Teacher, Lawyer, Orator, and Politician Chapter 3 John Wesley Young: Identity and Community among 'the People Called Methodist' Chapter 4 Trotter & Sons: Merchants in the Early West Chapter 5 Hiram Hill: House Carpenter, Lumber Dealer, Self-Made Man Chapter 6 Senator John Smith: The Rise and Fall of a Frontier Entrepreneur Chapter 7 Arsène Lacarrière Latour: Immigrant, Patriot-Historian, and Foreign Agent Chapter 8 Thomas Sidney Jesup: Soldier, Bureaucrat, Gentleman Democrat Chapter 9 John Ross: Cherokee Chief and Defender of the Nation Chapter 10 Peter P. Pitchlynn: Race and Identity in Nineteenth-Century America Chapter 11 Hosea Easton: Forgotten Abolitionist 'Giant' Chapter 12 Laura Wirt Randall: A Woman's Life, 1803-1833 Chapter 13 Rebecca Reed: Anti-Catholic Agitator Chapter 14 Margaret Eaton: The Politics of Gender in Jacksonian America Chapter 15 Benjamin Tappan: Democrat, Scientist, Iconoclast Chapter 16 George Washington Harris: The Fool from the Hills