Reading the American Past, Volume I: To 1877: Selected Historical Documents / Edition 4

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This two-volume primary-source collection provides a diverse selection of voices from the nation’s past while emphasizing the important social, political, and economic themes of a U.S. history survey course. Edited by one of the authors of The American Promise and designed to complement the textbook, Reading the American Past features over 150 documents, each accompanied by a headnote and questions for discussion to encourage students’ understanding of the sources.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312459673
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 1/4/2008
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL P. JOHNSON (Ph.D., Stanford University) is a professor of history at the Johns Hopkins University. He has written or edited six books, including No Chariot Let Down: Charleston’s Free People of Color on the Eve of the Civil War (1984) and The American Promise.

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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 Seneca Origin Narrative 
     The Woman Who Fell from the Sky
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 Sir Thomas More Describes New World Utopia 
     Utopia, 1515

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 Francisco Pareja Instructs Spanish Missionaries about the Sins of Florida's Timucuan Indians 
     Confessionario, 1613
3-4 Sex and Race Relations 
     Testimony from Virginia Court Records, 1681
3-5 Bacon's Rebellion 
     Nathaniel Bacon, Declaration, 1676

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 Keeping Order in a Puritan Community 
     Suffolk County Court Records, 1671- 1673
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 Confessions of a Thief and Rapist
     A Boston Broadside, 1768
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 An Oration on the Second Anniversary of the Boston Massacre
     Joseph Warren, Boston Massacre Oration, March 5, 1772
6-2 A Boston Shoemaker Recalls British Arrogance and the Boston Tea Party 
     George R. T. Hewes, Memoir, 1834
6-3 Daniel Leonard Argues for Loyalty to the British Empire 
     To the Inhabitants of the Province of Massachusetts- Bay, 1774- 1775
6-4 George Washington Concludes That the Crisis Has Arrived 
     Letters, 1774
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 George Washington Seeks Congressional Support for the Continental Army 
     Letter to John Hancock, President, Continental Congress, September 24, 1776
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 Making the Case for the Constitution 
     James Madison, Federalist Number 10, 1787
8-4 Mercy Otis Warren Opposes the Constitution 
     Observations on the New Constitution, 1788
8-5 The Rights of Man in the Age of Revolution 
     Declaration of the Rights of Man, 1789 Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789

9-1 Why Free Government Has Always Failed
     William Manning, The Key of Libberty, 1798
9-2 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
9-3 Mary Dewees Moves West to Kentucky 
     Journal, 1788- 1789
9-4 Alexander Hamilton on the Economy 
     Report on the Subject of Manufactures, 1791
9-5 President George Washington's Parting Advice to the Nation 
     Farewell Address to the People of the United States, 1796

10. REPUBLICANS IN POWER, 1800- 1824
10-1 A Jeffersonian Sailmaker's Fourth of July Address
     Peter Wendover, Oration, July 4, 1806
10-2 James Hamilton's Path to Enlistment during the War of 1812 
     Confession, 1818
10-3 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
10-4 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
10-5 Meriwether Lewis Describes the Shoshone 
     The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1805

11-1 David Crockett Hunts Bear in Western Tennessee
     A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee, 1834
11-2 President Andrew Jackson's Parting Words to the Nation 
     Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
11-3 Cherokees Debate Removal 
     John Ross, Answer to Inquiries from a Friend, 1836
     Elias Boudinot, A Reply to John Ross, 1837
11-4 Sarah Grimké on the Status of Women 
     Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, 1838
11-5 David Walker Demands Emancipation 
     Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, 1829

12. THE NEW WEST AND FREE NORTH, 1840- 1860 
12-1 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
12-2 That Woman Is Man's Equal: The Seneca Falls Declaration 
     Declaration of Sentiments, 1848
12-3 A Farmer's View of His Wife 
      Eliza Farnham, Conversation with a Newly Wed Westerner, 1846
12-4 A Texan Enlists to Fight in the Mexican War 
     James K. Holland, Diary, 1846
12-5 Gold Fever 
     Walter Colton, California Gold Rush Diary, 1849- 1850

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 Nat Turner Explains Why He Became an Insurrectionist 
     The Confessions of Nat Turner, 1831
13-4 The Proslavery Argument 
      James Henry Hammond, Letter to an English Abolitionist, 1845
13-5 Hinton Helper Demands Abolition for the Good of White Southerners 
     The Impending Crisis of the South, 1857

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 A Free African American Concludes Emigration Is Necessary 
     Granville B. Blanks, Letter to the Editor, 1852
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 A Virginia Woman Confronts Union Foragers 
     Nancy Emerson, Diary, 1864
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 A Black Convention in Alabama 
     Address of the Colored Convention to the People of Alabama, 1867
16-5 Klan Violence against Blacks
      Elias Hill, Testimony before Congressional Committee Investigating the Ku Klux Klan, 1871

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