The American Record: Images of the Nation's Past

The American Record: Images of the Nation's Past


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Using primary and secondary source material and numerous photographs and illustrations, The American Record presents history through a broad perspective. Blending the traditional approach to American history (centered on politics, economics, diplomacy, and war) with the modern approach (including histories of women and children, people of color, and the poor and economically marginal), it offers a version of our national past that is inclusive, complex, and dynamic. Volume 1 covers the span from the European conquest of America through Reconstruction; Volume 2 covers Reconstruction to the present.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394356204
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/1988

About the Author

William Graebner is Professor of History and Chair of the department at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He received the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians for Coal-Mining Safety in the Progressive Period: The Political Economy of Reform (1976). He is also the author of The Engineering of Consent: Democracy and Authority in Twentieth-Century America (1987); Coming of Age in Buffalo: Youth and Authority in the Postwar Era (1990); The Age of Doubt: American Thought and Culture in the 1940’s (1991); and an edited collection, True Stories from the American Past (1993). In 1993, he was Fulbright Professor of American Studies at the University of Rome. He currently serves on the editorial board of The Historian and as Associate Editor of American Studies.

Leonard Richards is a Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was awarded the 1970 Beveridge Prize by the American Historical Association for his book Gentlemen of Property and Standing: Anti-Abolition Mobs in Jacksonian America. Professor Richards is also the author of The Advent of American Democracy and The Life and Times of Congressman John Quincy Adams.

Table of Contents

Volume One:
1: The European Conquest of America


The Indians’ New World, James H. Merrell


The Indians as Seen by European Artists
Illustrations: John White’s Engraving of Indians Making a Canoe near Roanoke, 1588; A Settlement of Virginia Indians; Florida Battle Scene, 1564

Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico

ON THE WEB: John White’s Engravings of Virginia Indians

More about The Aztecs

Race War: The New England Experience

King Philip’s War: A Contemporary Account

Defeat of King Philip: Increase Mather’s Account

Cultural, Gender, And Historical Implications of King Philip’s War


2: Jamestown


The Labor Problem at Jamestown, 1607–1618, Edmund S. Morgan

ON THE WEB: Jamestown and The Efforts To “Rediscover” It


Jamestown: The Physical Setting

Illustrations of Jamestown

Voices: Life and Death in Virginia: Richard Frethorne’s Account, 1623


ON THE WEB: A Virtual Tour of Jamestown

3: Puritan Order


Anne Marbury Hutchinson: The Great and Sore Affliction, Willard Sterne Randall and Nancy Nahra

ON THE WEB: A Transcript of Anne Hutchinson’s Trial


The New England Primer, 1690
Illustrations: The New England Primer

Harvard, 1636–1642From “New England’s First Fruits,” 1643

Three Early New England Portraits Illustrations: Henry Gibbs; Thomas Smith’s Self-Portrait; Ann Pollard

The Spiritual Journey of Anne Bradstreet Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning by Anne Bradstreet


ON THE WEB: Discussion of the Legacy of the Puritans

4: The Have-Nots in Colonial Society


The Origin and Consolidation of Unfree Labor, Peter Kolchin

ON THE WEB:17th Century Laws Enacted to Secure Shift from Indentured Servitude to Slavery


Portraits of Poverty
Illustrations: Hogarth Engraving; an Elizabethan Beggar

Voices: The Experience of Bondage: Gottlieb Mittelberger’s Account, 1754

ON THE WEB: Virginia Colony Laws Enacted To Control Indentured Servants

Wanted: Runaway Servants
Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Advertisements for Runaway Servants

Portraits of Slavery
Illustrations: Slaves on the Bark Wildfire; Slaves on the West Coast of Africa; Engraving by Alexander Anderson; Shock of Enslavement; Diagram of the Slave Ship La Vigilante de Nantes; Standard Equipment for the Middle Passage; Advertisement in a Charleston, South Carolina, Newspaper, 1766

Wanted: Runaway Slaves
Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Newspaper Advertisements for Runaway Slaves

ON THE WEB: Experience Of The “Middle Passage”


5: The American Revolution


The Shoemaker and the Revolution, Alfred F. Young


George III
Illustrations: Woodcut of George III; Pulling Down the Statue of George III

Common Sense, 1776 Thomas Paine

Silencing the Tories
Illustration: A London Cartoon

Voices: Letter from Ann Hulton to Mrs. Lightbody, 1774


ON THE WEB: Virtual Marching Tour of the Philadelphia Campaign (1777)

6: Creating the Constitution


The Framers and the People , Alfred F. Young

ON THE WEB: The Constitution and the First Ten Amendments


Ratification Table:
Order of Ratification; Map: Voting for Ratification

Debates: The Virginia Debates
The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Edited by Jonathan Elliott

ON THE WEB: Debates Surrounding the Adoption of the Constitution

The Meaning of the Slave Trade Provision
Arguments of Charles Coatesworth Pinckney and James Wilson

ON THE WEB: The United States Constitution and the International Slave Trade

Designing the Nation’s Capitol
Illustrations: Capitol Building Designs Submitted by Samuel Dobie, Charles Wintersmith, Etienne Hallet, James Diamond, and William Thornton; Portrait of William Thornton


7: Federalists and Republicans


The Hamiltonian Miracle, John Steele Gordon

Illustration: Alexander Hamilton Engraving


The Fight Begins

Truth Versus Treason
Illustrations: Federalist Depiction of Washington Putting Down the Whiskey Rebellion; Republican Handbills, 1804 and 1807

Roughhouse Politics
Illustration: Cartoon Lampooning Lyon-Griswold Brawl

Affairs of Honor
Illustrations: DeWitt Clinton and John Swartout Duel; Dueling Pistols Used in Burr-Hamilton Duel

ON THE WEB: More about the Federalist Era


8: The Transformation of Northern Society


Civilizing the Machine, John F. Kasson


Lowell, as It Was and as It Is, 1845, Henry A. Miles

ON THE WEB: More about the “Birthplace” of Industry

Portraits of Industrialism
Illustrations: View of Lowell, Massachusetts; Title Page of the Lowell Offering; Engraving by Winslow Homer Depicting Textile
Workers of Lawrence, Massachusetts; Striking Women and Local Militia

ON THE WEB : Additional Portraits of Industrialism at the Lowell Mills


9: Jacksonian Democracy


The Hunger for Indian Land in Andrew Jackson’s America, Anthony F. C. Wallace

ON THE WEB: Removal of the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears


The Election of Jackson
Map: Results of the 1828 Presidential Election

ON THE WEB: The Life and Presidency of Andrew Jackson

Removal of Eastern Tribes
Illustration: Expulsion of Eastern Tribes

The Anti-Jacksonians
Illustrations: Anti-Jackson Cartoon and Broadside

“King Andrew”
Illustrations: Anti-Jackson Cartoons

The Art of Democratic Politics, Davy Crockett

The Election of 1840
Illustration: Painting Depicting Harrison Campaign

ON THE WEB: Map of the Results of the Election of 1840

Rally for William Henry Harrison in St. Louis, Missouri, as Reported by the St. Louis New Era

The Artist’s View of Politics, George Caleb Bingham
Illustrations: Canvassing for a Vote; County Election; Verdict of the People; Stump Speaking


10: Antislavery


The Commitment to Immediate Emancipation, James Brewer Stewart

ON THE WEB: Abolition and the Movement for Colonization In Liberia


Commission to Theodore Dwight Weld, 1834

From Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Grimké Weld, and Sarah Grimké, 1822–1844, Edited by Gilbert H. Barnes and Dwight L. Dumond

The Anti-Slavery Record, 1835–1836
Illustrations: Images from the Front Page of the Anti-Slavery Record

ON THE WEB: The American Anti-Slavery Society and its Efforts to End Slavery

“Fathers and Rulers” Petition
From Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Gimké Weld, and Sarah Grimké, 1822–1844, Edited by Gilbert H. Barnes and Dwight L. Dumond

Slavery as It Is, 1839, Theodore Dwight Weld

ON THE WEB: Slavery as It Is in its entirety


11: Westward Expansion

Map: Overland Routes to California


The World Rushed In, J. S. Holliday


Two Views of the West
Illustrations: Manifest Destiny, John Gast; 1849 Cartoon Spoofing the Wild Rush to Get to California; 1849; Cartoon of a Greenhorn Setting Off for the Gold Fields; Another Greenhorn Going West; The True Value of California Gold; California Justice Poker Flat and Points West

Map: The California Gold Fields Showing Some of the More Important Mining Camps, c. 1850

Voices: The Other Side of the Story
Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins

Illustration: Sarah Winnemucca, Nevada Historical Society.

ON THE WEB: “Experience” the Gold Rush for Yourself


12: Sectional Conflict


The Quest for Room, William L. Barney

Map: Westward Expansion

ON THE WEB: What Notable Historians Have Had To Say about Westward Expansion And Slavery


The Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854

Map: The United States, 1854

ON THE WEB: Congressional Debates on The Compromise of 1850 and Other Issues

Two Portraits of the West
Illustrations: Cartoon from Punch Magazine; Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Free-Soiler

ON THE WEB: Newspaper Editorials Addressing the Kansas-Nebraska Act And Other Issues

Debates: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858

From Political Debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858 in Illinois
Illustrations: Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas; Abraham Lincoln in 1858

ON THE WEB: Full Text of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates


13: The Civil War

Map: The Union Disintegrates; Table: Deaths in the Civil War and Other Wars


A Band of Brothers James M. McPherson

ON THE WEB: Collections of American Civil War Soldiers’ Diaries and Letters


The Photographers’ War
Illustrations: Abraham Lincoln, 1860 and 1865; Civil War Dead; Private Edwin Francis Jennison; The 107th U.S. Colored Infantry; Powder Monkey, USS New Hampshire; Ruins of Charleston, South Carolina, 1865; Union Dead; Union Wounded; The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Depot, 1865; Richmond, Virginia, at War’s End; Freedmen in Richmond, Virginia; John Wilkes Booth’s Accomplices

ON THE WEB: Additional Photographs from the Civil War

Sherman’s March Through Georgia, David P. Conyngham

ON THE WEB: The Civil War’s Impact on the Southern Homefront


14: Reconstruction


Promised Land, Elizabeth Rauh Bethel

ON THE WEB: The Experience of Reconstruction after the Civil War


Voices: The Meaning of Freedom

Letter from Jourdon Anderson to his former master, from The Freedmen’s Book, Edited by Lydia Maria Child, 1865

The Cartoonist’s View of Reconstruction
Illustrations: Ten Political Cartoons by Thomas Nast, 1865–1876

ON THE WEB: Thomas Nast and His Political Cartoons Relative to Reconstruction

The South Redeemed
Map: The Barrow Plantation, 1860 and 1880

ON THE WEB: Frederick Douglass’s Perception of Reconstruction


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