Writing the American Past: Working with Primary Documents to 1865 / Edition 1

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Writing the American Past reproduces dozens of untranscribed, handwritten documents, offering students the opportunity to transcribe, decipher, and interpret primary sources.

  • Documents include diary entries from Massachusetts in the 1690s, a woman detailing the Great Awakening, an eighteenth-century treaty with Native Americans, a journal describing antebellum train travel, and a letter by a slave
  • Skillfully teaches students to engage with the raw material of pre-1877 US history: the written document
  • An introduction and headnotes to each document contextualize the sources and provide a foundation from which the student can explore the material
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Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405163590
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/26/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark M. Smith is Carolina Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He is the author or editor of a dozen previous books including the award-winning Mastered by the Clock: Time, Slavery, and Freedom in the American South (1997) and he has served or currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Southern History, the Journal of Social History, the Journal of American History, and The Senses and Society.

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Table of Contents

Timeline vii

Acknowledgments xi

Editor’s Introduction: History, Handed Down 1

1 Old World Explores New: 7

Settling and Securing Newfoundland in the Early 1600s

2 The Chesapeake: 13

Indenturing Labor, 1694

3 Life in Seventeenth-century New England: 19

Massachusetts in the 1690s

4 The Middle Colonies: 25

A Philadelphia Furrier, 1738

5 The Lower South and Slave Society: 33

Slave Resistance and Imperial Contests, 1739

6 Social Order in the Eighteenth-century South: 39

Slavery and Virginia’s Gentry in the 1720s

7 The Great Awakening: 45

A Letter to George Whitefield, 1746

8 Empire and Native Americans: 51

The Treaty of Lancaster, 1744

9 Imperial Crises and the Coming of Revolution: 57

The Politicization of a Colonial Merchant, 1765

10 Fighting the Revolutionary War: 65

AWoman on the Homefront, 1776

11 Crisis, Constitution, Nation: 71

Probate Data and the Problem of Becoming American in the 1780s

12 The New Republic: 77

A Massachusetts Federalist in 1800

13 Jeffersonian America: 83

On the Road in 1818

14 Revolutions in Time and Space: 89

Tourism and Travel, 1850

15 The Age of Jackson: 95

The View from Abroad in 1828

16 The Southern Master Class: 103

An Elite Woman’s School Experience, 1838

17 Lives of the Enslaved: 111

Urban Slavery in 1862

18 The Modernizing North: 119

A Businessman’s Letter, 1836

19 The Age of Reform: 125

On the Need for Temperance, 1824

20 Westward Expansion: 133

Kansas and Free Labor in 1856

21 The Coming of the Civil War: 141

Bleeding in Kansas, 1856

22 Secession: 149

A South Carolinian Describes the Event, 1860

23 Americans in Civil War: 155

A Canadian Soldier’s Experience, 1864

24 Emancipation: 161

The Labor of Freedom, 1867

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