Reading the American Past: Volume I: To 1877: Selected Historical Documents / Edition 5

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With five carefully selected documents per chapter, this two-volume primary source reader presents a wide range of documents representing political, social, and cultural history in a manageable, accessible way. Thirty-two new documents infuse the collection with the voices of an even wider range of historical actors. Expertly edited by Michael P. Johnson, one of the authors of The American Promise, the readings can be used to spark discussion in any classroom and fit into any syllabus. Headnotes and discussion questions help students approach the documents, and comparative questions encourage students to make connections across documents.
Reading the American Past is FREE when packaged with The American Promise, The American Promise: A Compact History, and Understanding the American Promise. For more information on the reader or on package ISBNs, please contact your local sales representative or click here

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312564131
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 1/5/2012
  • Edition description: Fifth Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 54,417
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Born and raised in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Michael P. Johnson studied at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he received a B.A., and at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, where he earned  his Ph.D.  He is currently professor of history at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, including Reading the American Past, the documents reader designed to accompany The American Promise.  His research has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanties, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavoral Sciences, and the Huntington Library, and with prizes from the Organization of American Historians and the Omohundro Insttute of Early American History and Culture.  He is also the recipient of university prizes for outstanding undergraduate teaching.

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Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors 
Introduction for Students

  1-1 A Taino Origin Story
    Ramón Pané, On Taino Religious Practices
  1-2 A Penobscot Origin Narrative 
     Joseph Nicolar, The Life and Traditions of the Red Men, 1893
  1-3 Genesis: The Christian Origin Narrative 
    “In the Beginning”
  1-4 Aristotle on Masters and Slaves 
     The Politics, ca. 300 B.C.

  2-1 The King of the Congo Writes to the King of Portugal 
    King Afonso and King João III, Correspondence, 1526
  2-2 Columbus Describes His First Encounter with “Indians” 
    The Diario of Christopher Columbus's First Voyage to America, 1492-1493
  2-3 A Conquistador Arrives in Mexico, 1519-1520 
    Bernal Díaz del Castillo, The Conquest of New Spain, 1632
  2-4 A Mexican Description of the Conquest of Mexico 
     Mexican Accounts of Conquest from the Florentine Codex
  2-5 Cabeza de Vaca Describes His Captivity Among Native Americans in Texas and the Southwest, 1528-1536
     Narrative, 1542

  3-1 Richard Frethorne Describes Indentured Servitude in Virginia 
    Letter to Father and Mother, March 20, April 2, 3, 1623
  3-2 Opechancanough's 1622 Uprising in Virginia 
     Edward Waterhouse, Declaration, 1622
  3-3 Sex and Race Relations 
    Testimony from Virginia Court Records, 1681
  3-4 Bacon's Rebellion 
    Nathaniel Bacon, Declaration, 1676
  3-5 Pedro Naranjo Describes Pueblo Revolt
    Declaration of Pedro Naranjo of the Queres Nation, December 19, 1681

  4-1 The Arbella Sermon 
    John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity, 1630
  4-2 Observations of New England Indians 
    Roger Williams, A Key into the Language of America, 1643
  4-3 Wampanoag Grievances at the Outset of King Philip's War 
     John Easton, A Relation of the Indian War, 1675
  4-4 A Provincial Government Enacts Legislation 
     The Laws of Pennsylvania, 1682
  4-5 Words of the Bewitched 
    Testimony against Accused Witch Bridget Bishop, 1692

  5-1 Elizabeth Ashbridge Becomes an Indentured Servant in New York 
    Elizabeth Ashbridge, Some Account of the Early Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge, Who Died in…1755 (1807)
  5-2 Poor Richard's Advice 
     Benjamin Franklin, Father Abraham's Speech from Poor Richard's Almanac, 1757
  5-3 An Anglican Criticizes New Light Baptists and Presbyterians in the South Carolina Backcountry 
     Charles Woodmason, Sermon on the Baptists and the Presbyterians, ca. 1768
  5-4 Advertisements for Runaway Slaves 
     South Carolina Gazette and Virginia Gazette, 1737-1745
  5-5 A Moravian Missionary Interviews Slaves in the West Indies, 1767-1768 
    Christian George Andreas Oldendorp, History of the Evangelical Brethren's Mission on the Caribbean Islands, 1777
  6-1 Mary Jemison Is Captured by Seneca Indians during the Seven Years' War
     James E. Seaver, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, 1824
  6-2 An Oration on the Second Anniversary of the Boston Massacre 
    Joseph Warren, Boston Massacre Oration, March 5, 1772
  6-3 A Boston Shoemaker Recalls British Arrogance and the Boston Tea Party 
    George R. T. Hewes, Memoir, 1834
  6-4 Daniel Leonard Argues for Loyalty to the British Empire 
    To the Inhabitants of the Province of Massachusetts- Bay, 1774-1775
  6-5 Edmund Burke Urges Reconciliation with the Colonies 
     Speech to Parliament, March 22, 1775
7. THE WAR FOR AMERICA, 1775- 1783 
  7-1 Thomas Paine Makes the Case for Independence
     Common Sense, January 1776
  7-2 Letters of John and Abigail Adams 
     Correspondence, 1776
  7-3 J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur Describes the Distresses of a Frontier Farmer during the Revolution
     J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, “Distresses of a Frontier Man,” 1782
  7-4 Boston King Seeks Freedom by Running Away to the British Army 
     Memoir, 1798
  7-5 Joseph Brant Appeals to British Allies to Keep Promises 
    Address to British Secretary of State Lord Germain, 1776
     Message to Governor of Quebec, Frederick Haldimand, 1783

8. BUILDING A REPUBLIC, 1775-1789 
  8-1 Richard Allen Founds the First African Methodist Church
    Life, Experience, and Gospel Labours, 1833
  8-2 Thomas Jefferson on Slavery and Race 
     Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782
  8-3 Benjamin Rush Proposes a Proper Education for a Republic
    Benjamin Rush, “Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic,” 1786
  8-4 Making the Case for the Constitution 
     James Madison, Federalist Number 10, 1787
  8-5 Mercy Otis Warren Opposes the Constitution 
    Observations on the New Constitution, 1788

  9-1 Alexander Hamilton on the Economy
     Report on the Subject of Manufactures, 1791
  9-2 Mary Dewees Moves West to Kentucky 
     Journal, 1788-1789
  9-3 Judith Sargent Murray Insists on the Equality of the Sexes
    Judith Sargent Murray, “On the Equality of the Sexes,” 1790
  9-4 A French Sugar Planter Describes the French and Saint Domingue Revolutions 
    A Sugar Planter of Saint Domingue Experiences Revolution in France and Saint Domingue, 1791
  9-5 President George Washington's Parting Advice to the Nation 
     Farewell Address to the People of the United States, 1796
  10-1 President Thomas Jefferson's Private and Public Indian Policy
    Letter to Governor William H. Harrison, February 27, 1803
    Address to the Wolf and People of the Mandan Nation, December 30, 1806
  10-2 Meriwether Lewis Describes the Shoshone 
    The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1805
  10-3 A Slave Demands That Thomas Jefferson Abolish Slavery
     A  Slave to Thomas Jefferson, November 30, 1808
  10-4 James Forten Protests Pennsylvania Law Threatening Enslavement of Free African Americans 
     Letters from a Man of Colour, on a Late Bill before the Senate of Pennsylvania, 1813
  10-5 James Hamilton's Path to Enlistment during the War of 1812 
    Confession, 1818

  11-1 President Andrew Jackson's Parting Words to the Nation 
    Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
  11-2 Cherokees Debate Removal 
     John Ross, Answer to Inquiries from a Friend, 1836
     Elias Boudinot, A Reply to John Ross, 1837
  11-3 Alexis de Toqueville Describes the Three Races in the United States
    Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835
  11-4 David Walker Demands Emancipation 
    Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, 1829
  11-5 Sarah Grimké on the Status of Women 
    Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, 1838

  12-1 Abraham Lincoln Explains the Free Labor System
    Abraham Lincoln, “Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society,” Milwaukee, Wisconsin , September 30, 1859
  12-2 The Anxiety of Gain: Henry W. Bellows on Commerce and Morality 
    The Influence of the Trading Spirit upon the Social and Moral Life of America, 1845
  12-3 Gold Fever 
    Walter Colton, California Gold Rush Diary, 1849-1850
  12-4 That Woman Is Man's Equal: The Seneca Falls Declaration 
     Declaration of Sentiments, 1848
  12-5 A Farmer's View of His Wife 
     Eliza Farnham, Conversation with a Newly Wed Westerner, 1846
13. THE SLAVE SOUTH, 1820-1860 
  13-1 Madison Hemings Recalls Life as Thomas Jefferson's Enslaved Son 
     Interview, 1873
  13-2 Plantation Rules 
     Bennet Barrow, Highland Plantation Journal, May 1, 1838
  13-3 Fanny Kemble Learns about Abuses of Slave Women
     Frances Anne Kemble, Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839
  13-4 Nat Turner Explains Why He Became an Insurrectionist 
     The Confessions of Nat Turner, 1831
  13-5 The Proslavery Argument 
     James Henry Hammond, Letter to an English Abolitionist, 1845

14. THE HOUSE DIVIDED, 1846-1861 
  14-1 The Kansas- Nebraska Act
     Abraham Lincoln, Speech in Peoria, Illinois, October 16, 1854
  14-2 The Antislavery Constitution 
    Frederick Douglass, The Constitution of the United States: Is It Proslavery or Antislavery? 1860
  14-3 The Proslavery Constitution 
     Jefferson Davis, Speech before the U.S. Senate, May 1860
  14-4 Levi Coffin Describes Margaret Garner's Attempt to Escape Slavery
     Levi Coffin, Reminiscences, 1880
  14-5 Abolitionist Lydia Maria Child Defends John Brown and Attacks the Slave Power 
    Correspondence between Lydia Maria Child and Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise, 1859
15. THE CRUCIBLE OF WAR, 1861-1865 
  15-1 President Lincoln's War Aims 
     Letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862
    The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
     The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
  15-2 A Former Slave's War Aims 
    Statement from an Anonymous Former Slave, New Orleans, 1863
  15-3 The New York Draft Riots
    Report of the Committee of Merchants for the Relief of Colored People Suffering from the Late Riots in the City of New York, 1863
  15-4 Susie King Taylor Describes Her Wartime Experiences 
    Susie King Taylor, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp, 1902
  15-5 General William T. Sherman Explains the Hard Hand of War 
     Correspondence, 1864

16. RECONSTRUCTION, 1863-1877 
  16-1 Carl Schurz Reports on the Condition of the Defeated South
     Report on the Condition of the South, 1865
  16-2 Black Codes Enacted in the South 
     Mississippi Black Code, November 1865
  16-3 Former Slaves Seek to Reunite Their Families 
    Advertisements from the Christian Recorder, 1865- 1870
  16-4 Planter Louis Manigault Visits His Plantations and Former Slaves, 1867 
     Louis Manigault, “A Narrative of a Post-Civil War Visit to Gowrie and East Hermitage Plantations,” March 22, 1867
  16-5 Klan Violence against Blacks
     Elias Hill, Testimony before Congressional Committee Investigating the Ku Klux Klan, 1871

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