Anthology of American Literature

Anthology of American Literature

by George L. McMichael, Frederick C. Crews


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For nearly three decades, students and instructors have complemented their introductory American Literature studies with George McMichael’s Anthology of American Literature 8e.  Carefully selected works introduce readers to America's literary heritage, from the colonial period of William Bradford and Anne Bradstreet to the contemporary era of Saul Bellow and Toni Morrison.

In this eighth edition, the table of contents will continue to include classic canonical works and new canonical works chosen for their literary value.  These texts represent the best available scholarly texts and include as many complete works as possible. 

In addition to varied and time-tested selections, an expanded chronological chart and interactive timeline help readers associate literary works with historical, political, technological, and cultural developments.  FREE updated Companion Website™ includes quizzes for text selections, author links, an interactive timeline, and additional American literature resources.

Pick a Penguin Program*

We offer select Penguin Putnam titles at a substantial discount to your students when you request a special package of one or more Penguin titles with this text.  Among the many American Literature titles available from Penguin Putnam are:

· Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage

· Frederick Douglass, Narrative of Frederick Douglass

· Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

· James Fennimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans

· Washington Irving,The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780023793301
Publisher: Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Division
Publication date: 01/01/1985

About the Author

James S. Leonard  is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at The Citadel. He is the editor of Making Mark Twain Work in the Classroom (Duke University Press, 1999), coeditor of Author'ity and Textuality: Current Views of Collaborative Writing (Locust Hill Press, 1994) and Satire or Evasion? Black Perspectives on Huckleberry Finn (Duke University Press, 1992), coauthor of The Fluent Mundo: Wallace Stevens and the Structure of Reality (University of Georgia Press, 1988), editor of the Mark Twain Circular (since 1987), managing editor of The Mark Twain Annual (since 2004), and a major contributor to The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Poets and Poetry (Greenwood Press, 2006) and American History Through Literature (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005).




Shelley Fisher Fishkin is Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Stanford University. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of forty books, including the award-winning Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African  American Voices (1993) and From Fact to Fiction: Journalism and Imaginative Writing  in America (1988), as well as  Lighting Out for the Territory (1997),  The Oxford Mark Twain (1996), the  Historical Guide to Mark Twain (2002),   Is He Dead? A Comedy in Three Acts by Mark Twain (2004),   People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identity (with Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky) (1996), Listening toSilences: New Essays in Feminist Criticism (1994) (with Elaine Hedges), and  Sport of the Gods  and Other Essential Writings by  Paul Laurence Dunbar (with David Bradley) (2005). She has also published over eighty articles essays or reviews in publications including American Quarterly, American Literature, Journal of American History,  American Literary History,  and  the New York Times Book Review, and has lectured on American literature in  Belgium, Canada, Chile, China,  France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico,  the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, the U.K. and throughout the U.S.

A member of the first class of women to graduate from Yale College, she stayed on at Yale to earn her MA in English and her PhD in American Studies.  Before her arrival at Stanford, she directed the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale and taught American Studies and English at the University of Texas at Austin, where she chaired the American Studies Department. She co-founded the Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society, and is a past-president of the Mark Twain Circle of America and the American Studies Association.





David Bradley earned a BA in Creative Writing at the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and a MA in United States Studies at the University of London in 1974. A Professor of English at Temple University from 1976 to 1997, Bradley has been a visiting professor at the San Diego State University, the University of California—San Diego, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Colgate University, the College of William & Mary, the City College of the City University of New York and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin. He is currently an Associate Professor of Fiction in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Oregon

Bradley has read and lectured extensively in the United States and also in Japan, Korea, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. He is the author of two novels, South Street  (1975) and The Chaneysville Incident (1981)which was awarded the 1982 PEN/Faulkner Award and an Academy Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.  His non-fiction has appeared in Esquire, Redbook, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts His most recent publication is semi-scholarly: The Essential Writings of Paul Laurence Dunbar, which he co-edited with Shelley Fisher Fishkin. His current works in-progress include a creative non-fiction book, The Bondage Hypothesis: Meditations on Race, History and America, a novel-in-stories, Raystown, and an essay collection: Lunch Bucket Pieces: New and Selected Creative Nonfiction



Dana D. Nelson (Ph.D.MichiganState) is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt University.  She is author of The Word in Black and White:  Reading ‘Race’ in American Literature, 1638-1867 (Oxford UP, 1992) and National Manhood:  Capitalist Citizenship and the Imagined Fraternity of White Men (Duke UP, 1998) as well as editor of several reprint editions of nineteenth-century American women writers (including Rebecca Rush, Lydia Maria Child, Fanny Kemble and Frances Butler Leigh).  Her teaching interests include comparative American colonial literatures,  developing democracy in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries, ethnic and minority literatures, women’s literature, and in frontier representations and literature.


She has served or is serving on numerous editorial boards, including American Literature, Early American Literature, American Literary History, Arizona Quarterly, and American Quarterly.  She is an active member of the Modern Language Association and the American Studies Association.  She is currently working on two books: the first argues that presidentialism is bad for US democracy, and the second studies developing practices and representations of democracy in the late British colonies and early United States.



Joseph Csicsila is Associate Professor of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University. He is author of Canons by Consensus: Critical Trends and American Literature Anthologies (2004), the first systematic study of American literature textbooks used by college instructors in the last century. A specialist in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature and culture, Csicsila’s essays on Mark Twain, Mary Wilkins Freeman, William Faulkner, and other American literary figures have appeared in numerous journals. Currently he serves as Executive Coordinator of the Mark Twain Circle of America.


Table of Contents





The Literature of Early America




Christopher Columbus (1451—1506)

Letter Describing His First Voyage

FROM    The Diario of Christopher Columbus’s First Voyage to America

Thursday 11 October 1492

Sunday 14 October 1492


Thomas Hariot (1560-1621)

FROM    A Brief and True Report of the Newfound Land of Virginia


Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá (1555-1620)

FROM    History of New Mexico


John Winthrop (1588-1649) and Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643)

FROM    The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newton November 1637


The Iroquois League

FROM    The Constitution of the Five Nations





FROM    The General History of Virginia

The Third Book

Powhatan’s Discourse of Peace and War

FROM    A Description of New England



FROM    Of Plymouth Plantation

FROM    Chapter I [The Separatist Interpretation of the

Reformation in England, 1550—1607]

FROM    Chapter III, Of Their Settling in Holland, and Their Manner of Living

FROM    Chapter IV, Showing the Reasons and Causes of Their Removal

FROM    Chapter VII, Of Their Departure from Leyden

FROM    Chapter IX, Of Their Voyage

FROM    Chapter X, Showing How They Sought Out a Place of Habitation

FROM    Chapter XI [The Mayflower Compact]

FROM    Chapter XII [Narragansett Challenge]

FROM    Chapter XIV [End of the “Common Course.. .”]

FROM    Chapter XIX [Thomas Morton of Merrymount]

FROM    Chapter XXIV [Mr. Roger Williams]

FROM    Chapter XXVIII [The Pequot War]

FROM    Chapter XXXVI [Winslow’s Final Departure]


THOMAS MORTON (c. 1579—1647)

FROM    The New English Canaan


JOHN WINTHROP (1588—1649)

FROM    A Model of Christian Charity [expanded to include complete work]

FROM    The Journal of John Winthrop


ROGER WILLIAMS (c. 1603—1683)

FROM    A Key into the Language of America

FROM    The Bloody Tenet of Persecution



FROM    The New England Primer



The Prologue


The Flesh and the Spirit

The Author to Her Book

Before the Birth of One of Her Children

To My Dear and Loving Husband

A Letter to Her Husband Absent Upon Public Employment

In Reference to Her Children, 23 June, 1659

In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet

On My Dear Grandchild Simon Bradstreet

[On Deliverance] from Another Sore Fit

Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666

As Weary Pilgrim

FROM    Meditations Divine and Moral



FROM The Day of Doom


EDWARD TAYLOR (c. 1642—1729)


FROM    Preparatory Meditations

The Reflexion

Meditation 6 (First Series)

Meditation 8 (First Series)

Meditation 38 (First Series)

Meditation 39 (First Series)

Meditation 150 (Second Series)

FROM    God’s Determinations

The Preface

The Joy of Church Fellowship Rightly Attended

Upon a Spider Catching a Fly


The Ebb and Flow

A Fig for Thee Oh! Death


COTTON MATHER (1663—1728)

FROM    The Wonders of the Invisible World

FROM    Magnalia Christi Americana


SAMUEL SEWALL (1652—1730)

FROM    The Diary of Samuel Sewall


MARY ROWLANDSON (c. 1637—1711)

A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration


WILLIAM BYRD II (1674—1744)

FROM    The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover, 1709—1712

FROM    The History of the Dividing Line.. .


JOHN WOOLMAN (1720—1772)

FROM    The Journal of John Woolman



Sarah Pierrepont

Personal Narrative

FROM    A Divine and Supernatural Light

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

FROM    Images or Shadows of Divine Things


The Literature of the Eighteenth Century





Thomas Jefferson to James Madison

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams

Abigail Adams to John Adams

John Adams to Abigail Adams


The Federalist/Anti-Federalist Controversy

The Federalist No. 1 (Alexander Hamilton)

The Federalist No. 2 (John Jay)

The Federalist No. 10 (James Madison)

The Federalist No. 51 (James Madison)

[Anti-Federalist Essay] (Brutus)





FROM    The Autobiography

Silence Dogood, No. 2

Silence Dogood, No. 7

Benjamin Franklin’s Epitaph

FROM  Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1733

FROM  Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746

Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc.

A Narrative of the Late Massacres, in Lancaster County


SAMSON OCCOM (1723-1792)

FROM    A Short Narrative of My Life

The Slow Traveller

A Morning Hymn

A Son’s Farewell

Conversion Song



FROM    Letters from an American Farmer

Letter III (What Is an American?)

Letter IX (Description of Charleston)

Letter XII (Distresses of a Frontier Man)



FROM    The Life of Olaudah Equiano


THOMAS PAINE (1737—1809)

FROM Common Sense

FROM The American Crisis

FROM The Age of Reason



FROM Notes on the State of Virginia

FROM Query V: Cascades

FROM Query VI: Productions Mineral, Vegetable and Animal

Query XIV: Laws

FROM Query XVII: Religion

FROM Query XVIII: Manners

FROM Query XIX: Manufactures

FROM    Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson



On Virtue

To the University of Cambridge, in New England

On Being Brought from Africa to America

On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770

On Imagination

To S. M. A Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works


To His Excellency General Washington


PHILIP FRENEAU (1752—1832)

The Power of Fancy

The Hurricane

To Sir Toby

The Wild Honey Suckle

The Indian Burying Ground

On Mr. Paine’s Rights of Man

On a Honey Bee

On the Universality and Other Attributes of the God of Nature

On the Religion of Nature



FROM    Travels through North and South Carolina



“On the Equality of the Sexes”



FROM    Charlotte Temple

Slaves in Algiers



FROM    The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton


RED JACKET (c. 1750-1830)

The Indians Must Worship the Great Spirit in Their Own Way


The Literature of the Early- to Mid-Nineteenth Century



William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879)

On the Constitution and the Union


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Plea for Captain John Brown


Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention (1848)

Declaration of Sentiments




Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Introduction [Eulogy to Thoreau]


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

FROM    “Twice-Told Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne” [A Review]

The Philosophy of Composition

FROM    The Poetic Principle


Herman Melville (1819-1891)

FROM Hawthorne and His Mosses





FROM    The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

The Author’s Account of Himself

Rip Van Winkle

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Traits of Indian Character


BLACK HAWK (1767-1838)

FROM    Black Hawk’s Autobiography


WILLIAM APESS (1798-1839)

Eulogy on King Philip


ELIAS BOUDINOT (c.1802-1839)

Address to the Whites

Selections from the Cherokee Phoenix


PENINA MOÏSE (1797-1880)

To Persecuted Foreigners

The Mirror and the Echo

To a Lottery Ticket



The Big Bear of Arkansas



FROM    The Spy

FROM    The Pilot

FROM    The Pioneers

FROM    The Deerslayer

Preface to The Pilot (1849)

Preface to the Leather-Stocking Tales (1850)




The Yellow Violet

To a Waterfowl

A Forest Hymn

To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe

To the Fringed Gentian

The Prairies

Abraham Lincoln


EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809—1849)

Sonnet–To Science

To Helen


The City in the Sea



The Raven

Ulalume–A Ballad

Annabel Lee


The Fall of the House of Usher

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Purloined Letter




The American Scholar

The Divinity School Address


The Poet

The Rhodora

Each and All

The Snow-Storm

Concord Hymn

The Problem







NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS (1806-1867) January 1, 1828 January 1, 1829

The Lady in the White Dress, I Helped into the Omnibus


MARIA STEWART (1803-1879)

An Address Delivered Before The Afric-American Female Intelligence Society of America



On Liberty and Slavery Death of an Old Carriage Horse Division of An Estate Lover’s Farewell On Hearing of the Intention of a Gentleman to Purchase the Poet’s Freedom The Creditor to His Proud Debtor

George Moses Horton, Myself



FROM    Woman in the Nineteenth Century

FROM    Summer on the Lakes

                Mackinaw (Chapter 6)



My Kinsman, Major Molineux

Young Goodman Brown

The Maypole of Merry Mount

The Minister’s Black Veil

The Birth-Mark

The Artist of the Beautiful

Ethan Brand

Rappaccini’s Daughter

The Custom-House: Introductory to The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter



FROM    Moby-Dick

Ishmael’s Departure (Chapters 1-10)

The Mast-Head (Chapter 35)

The Whiteness of the Whale (Chapter 42)

Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish (Chapter 89)

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Benito Cereno

The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids

The Portent


Malvern Hill

The College Colonel

A Utilitarian View of the Monitor's Fight

The House-Top

The Swamp Angel

The Æolian Harp

The Tuft of Kelp

The Maldive Shark

The Berg


Greek Architecture


LYDIA HOWARD HUNTLEY SIGOURNEY (1791-1865) Indian Names The Indian's Welcome to the Pilgrim Fathers Death of an Infant



Charity Bowery The Black Saxons Slavery's Pleasant Homes

The New England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving Day



FROM    The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta


JOSIAH HENSON (1789-1883)

FROM    The Life of Josiah Henson



Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Letter to His Old Master

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

West Indian Emancipation Day Speech


JOHN P. PARKER (1827-1900)

FROM    His Promised Land



Civil Disobedience


They Who Prepare my Evening Meal Below

On Fields O'er Which the Reaper's Hand Has Passed



My Life Has Been the Poem



Grayling; or “Murder Will Out”



A Psalm of Life

The Arsenal at Springfield

The Jewish Cemetery at Newport

My Lost Youth


The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls

FROM    Hiawatha

FROM    Tales of a Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn

The Landlord’s Tale (Paul Revere’s Ride)




The Hunters of Men

Massachusetts to Virginia

The Warning

Toussaint l'Ouverture

The Farewell

Song of Slaves in the Desert

Barbara Fritchie



To the Dandelion

FROM The Biglow Papers, First Series

FROM A Fable for Critics



FROM    Uncle Tom’s Cabin


Chapter I

Chapter VII

Chapter IX

Chapter XIV

Chapter XXV

Chapter XXVI

Chapter XXXV

Chapter XL

Chapter XLI


FANNY FERN (1811—1872)

Aunt Hetty on Matrimony

Hints to Young Wives

Owls Kill Hummingbirds

The Tear of a Wife

Mrs. Adolphus Smith Sporting the “Blue Stocking”

Fresh Fern Leaves: Leaves of Grass

Blackwell’s Island

Blackwell’s Island No. 3


The Working Girls of New York



The Escape



FROM Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Chapter I

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter X

Chapter XVI

Chapter XXI

Chapter XLI


JAMES M. WHITFIELD (1822-1871)





To Horace Greeley

Gettysburg Address

Second Inaugural Address


FRANCES E. W. HARPER (1825-1911)

“Bury Me in a Free Land”

“To the Union Savers of Cleveland”

“The Slave Mother”

“Learning to Read”

“Aunt Chloe’s Politics”



FROM    Little Women

FROM    Hospital Sketches

A Day (Chapter III)

A Night (Chapter IV)


EMMA LAZARUS (1849-1887)

“In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport,”

“The New Colossus”



WALT WHITMAN (1819—1892)

Preface to the 1855 Edition of Leaves of Grass

Song of Myself (from 1855 Edition of Leaves of Grass)

FROM    Inscriptions

To You

One’s-Self I Sing

When I read the book

I Hear America Singing

Poets to Come

FROM    Children of Adam

From pent-up aching rivers

Out of the rolling ocean the crowd

As Adam, Early in the Morning

Once I pass’d through a populous city

Facing west from California’s shores

FROM    Calamus

In paths untrodden

Scented herbage of my breast

What Think You I take My Pen In Hand?

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing

I hear it was charged against me

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 

FROM    Sea-Drift

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking

As I ebb’d with the ocean of life

FROM    By the Roadside

When I heard the learn’d astronomer

The Dalliance of the Eagles

FROM    Drum-Taps

Beat! Beat! Drums!

Cavalry Crossing a Ford

Bivouac on a Mountain Side

Vigil strange I kept on the field one night

A march in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown

A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim

The Wound-Dresser

FROM    Memories of President Lincoln

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d

FROM    Autumn Rivulets

There was a child went forth

Sparkles from the Wheel

Who Learns My Lesson Complete?

Passage to India

The Sleepers

From       Whispers of Heavenly Death

A noiseless patient spider

FROM    Noon to Starry Night

To a Locomotive in Winter 

FROM    Democratic Vistas



49            I never lost as much but twice

67             Success is counted sweetest

125          For each ecstatic instant

130          These are the days when Birds come back

165          A Wounded Deer – leaps highest

185          “Faith” is a fine invention

210          The thought beneath so slight a film

214          I taste a liquor never brewed

216          Safe in their Alabaster Chambers

241          I like a look of Agony

249          Wild Nights–Wild Nights!

258          There’s a certain Slant of light

280          I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

287          A Clock stopped

303          The Soul selects her own Society

324          Some keep the Sabbath going to Church

328          A Bird came down the Walk

338          I know that He exists

341          After great pain, a formal feeling comes

401          What Soft–Cherubic Creatures

414          ’Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch

435          Much Madness is divinest Sense

441          This is my letter to the World

448          This was a Poet–It is That

449          I died for Beauty–but was scarce

465          I heard a Fly buzz–when I died

510          It was not Death, for I stood up

520          I started Early–Took my Dog

585          I like to see it lap the Miles

613          They shut me up in Prose

632          The Brain–is wider than the sky

640          I cannot live with You

650          Pain–has an Element of Blank

657          I dwell in Possibility

670          One need not be a Chamber–to be Haunted

709          Publication–is the Auction

712          Because I could not stop for Death

732          She rose to His Requirement–dropt

745          Renunciation–is a piercing Virtue

754          My life had stood–a Loaded Gun

764          Presentiment–is that long Shadow–on the Lawn

976          Death is a Dialogue between

986          A narrow Fellow in the Grass

1052        I never saw a Moor

1078        The Bustle in a House

1129        Tell all the truth but tell it slant

1207        He preached upon “Breadth” till it argued him narrow

1463        A Route of Evanescence

1545        The Bible is an antique Volume

1624        Apparently with no surprise

1670        In Winter in my Room

1732        My life closed twice before its close

1755        To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee

1760        Elysium is as far as to

Letters to T. W. Higginson



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