The Sangamo Frontier: History and Archaeology in the Shadow of Lincoln

The Sangamo Frontier: History and Archaeology in the Shadow of Lincoln

by Robert Mazrim
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226514250

ISBN-13: 9780226514253

Pub. Date: 11/15/2006

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

When Abraham Lincoln moved to Illinois’ Sangamo Country in 1831, he found a pioneer community transforming from a cluster of log houses along an ancient trail to a community of new towns and state roads. But two of the towns vanished in a matter of years, and many of the activities and lifestyles that shaped them were almost entirely forgotten. In The

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Overview

When Abraham Lincoln moved to Illinois’ Sangamo Country in 1831, he found a pioneer community transforming from a cluster of log houses along an ancient trail to a community of new towns and state roads. But two of the towns vanished in a matter of years, and many of the activities and lifestyles that shaped them were almost entirely forgotten. In The Sangamo Frontier, archaeologist Robert Mazrim unearths the buried history of this early American community, breathing new life into a region that still rests in Lincoln’s shadow. 

Named after a shallow river that cuts through the prairies of central Illinois, the Sangamo Country—an area that now encompasses the capital city of Springfield and present-day Sangamon County—was first colonized after the War of 1812. For the past fifteen years, Mazrim has conducted dozens of excavations there, digging up pieces of pioneer life, from hand-forged iron and locally made crockery to pewter spoons and Staffordshire teacups. And here, in beautifully illustrated stories of each dig, he shows how each of these small artifacts can teach us something about the lifestyles of people who lived on the frontier nearly two hundred years ago. Allowing us to see past the changed modern landscape and the clichés of pioneer history, Mazrim deftly uses his findings to portray the homes, farms, taverns, and pottery shops where Lincoln’s neighbors once lived and worked. 

Drawing readers into the thrill of discovery, The Sangamo Frontier inaugurates a new kind of archaeological history that both enhances and challenges our written history. It imbues today’s landscape with an authentic ghostliness that will reawaken the curiosity of anyone interested in the forgotten people and places that helped shape our nation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226514253
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/15/2006
Edition description:
1
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
1,379,945
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments....................ix
Introduction: Journey to Sangamo....................1
PART ONE Americans, Frontiers, and Archaeology 1. The Making of an American Frontier....................13
2. The Arrival of Archaeology and the Shadow of Lincoln....................29
PART TWO Illinois in History 3. Before the Americans....................47
4. The Americans....................62
PART THREE Archaeology of the Frontier 5. At Home, 1800-1840....................75
6. Under the House, Behind the House....................87
7. Goods in the Forests....................95
PART FOUR The Origins of Sangamo 8. The Hole in the Map....................123
9. A New Frontier....................137
PART FIVE The Archaeology of Sangamo 10. Overlooking Wilderness: Excavations at Elkhart Hill....................153
11. Earthenware at Cotton Hill: The Ebey-Brunk Kiln Site....................183
12. The Origins of a State Capital: The Iles Store Site....................206
13. Moses's Sangamo: Relocating a Lost Town....................227
14. Exploring Moses's Sangamo: Excavations at Sangamo Town....................247
15. Lincoln's New Salem: History and Archaeology....................275
16. Behind Lincoln's New Salem: Archaeology and Revisionism....................301
17. The End of the Trail....................320
Notes....................331
Index....................347

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