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William Bartram And The American Revolution On The Southern Frontier

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Overview

In Travels, the celebrated 1791 account of the "Old Southwest," William Bartram recorded the natural world he saw around him but, rather incredibly, omitted any reference to the epochal events of the American Revolution. Edward J. Cashin places Bartram in the context of his times and explains his conspicuous avoidance of people, places, and events embroiled in revolutionary fervor.

Cashin suggests that while Bartram documented the natural world for plant collector John Fothergill, he wrote Travels for an entirely different audience. Convinced that Providence directed events for the betterment of mankind and that the Constitutional Convention would produce a political model for the rest of the world, Bartram offered Travels as a means of shaping the new country. Cashin illuminates the convictions that motivated Bartram-that if Americans lived in communion with nature, heeded the moral law, and treated the people of the interior with respect, then America would be blessed with greatness.

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
Edward Cashin's research and analysis of Bartram is extensive and complete, giving his book the weight of a major authority on the man and his travels. . . . By pairing Bartram with the political and military events which the naturalist chose to disregard, Cashin offers us a valuable lesson in the art of historiography.
Choice
Brilliant in conception, exhaustive in research from archives and fieldwork, this book introduces a new genre of historical writing. It is thus far the most definitive work on the southern Indian frontier during the Revolutionary era.
Booknews
Widely read and regularly reprinted since it was first published in 1791, William Bartram's records his passage into the region of the United States known as the "Old Southwest"<-->Georgia, East and West Florida, along with the area that became Mississippi and Alabama<-->as well as the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Historian Cashin (affiliated with the Center for the Study of Georgia History at August State University) explores in detail the context of Bartram's life and work, and in so doing, presents a portrait of the southern frontier on the eve of the Revolutionary War. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570036859
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Maps
Preface
Abbreviations
Prologue 1
1 The Georgia Coast 5
2 The Ceded Lands 38
3 East Florida 76
4 The Cherokee Country 125
5 The Creek Country 160
6 The Military Engagement 208
7 Philadelphia 235
Epilogue 254
Notes 261
Bibliography 303
Index 315
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