America Firsthand, Volume 1 Readings from Settlement to Reconstruction

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  • Edition: 10th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/28/2015
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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This distinctive, class-tested primary source reader tells America’s story through the words and other creative expressions of the ordinary and extraordinary Americans who shaped it. "Points of View" sections provide varied vantage points on important topics, and select images draw students into interpreting the visual record. This carefully crafted, ready-to-go collection saves instructors time and effort in finding consistently engaging and informative sources.

Author Biography

Anthony Marcus is an Associate Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. He has published widely on urban public policy, American legal history, African American history and culture, and economic and social development in America and abroad. His book, Where Have All the Homeless Gone: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis looks at political discourses on poverty and public policy from the Great Depression to the Clinton era.

John M. Giggie is an Associate Professor of history at the University of Alabama. His published works include articles on nineteenth-century America, southern U.S. history, and U.S. religion, as well as his recently published books After Redemption: Jim Crow and the Transformation of African American Religion in the Delta, 1875–1915  and Faith in the Market: Religion and the Rise of Urban Commercial Culture. His current research projects include African American religion and the Civil War; early blues music; and religion and the civil rights movement.
David Burner, late professor of history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, wrote two books on John F. Kennedy, as well as books on Herbert Hoover, the 1960s, the Democratic Party in the 1920s, and a number of textbooks.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Using Sources to Study the Past

Indians and Europeans: New World Encounters
Points of View: Contact and Conquest (1502–1521)
1. Hernando Cortés, Dispatches of the Conquest from the New World 
2. A Nahua Account of the Conquest of Mexico 
3. Bartolomé de Las Casas, Destruction of the Indies 
4. John Smith, Description of Virginia 
5. William Strachey, Travel to the New World
6. Father Paul Le Jeune, Encounter with the Indians 
7. Pedro Naranjo and Josephe, Testimony of Pueblo Indians 

The Colonial Experience: A Rapidly Changing Society
Points of View: Captured by Indians in Colonial America
8.  Mary Rowlandson, Prisoner of War
9. Mary Jemison, Captivity in a Different Light
10. Olaudah Equiano, The African Slave Trade 
11. Gottlieb Mittelberger, On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants 
12. Eliza Lucas Pinckney, Daughter, Wife, Mother, and Planter   
13. Benjamin Franklin, Defending Colonial Activities before Parliament 

Resistance and Revolution: Struggling for Liberty
Points of View: The Boston Massacre (1770)
14. Thomas Preston, A British Officer’s Description
15. George Robert Twelves Hewes, John Tudor, and the Boston Gazette and Country Journal, Colonial Accounts
16. Joseph Plumb Martin, A Soldier’s View of the Revolutionary War
17. Boston King, Choosing Sides
18. Catherine Van Cortlandt, Secret Correspondence of a Loyalist Wife
19. Abigail Adams, Republican Motherhood
20. George Richards Minot, Shays’s Rebellion: Prelude to the Constitution

Defining America: The Expanding Nation
Points of View: Religion in the New Nation (1770–1830)
21. James McGready, The Great Revival of 1800
22. Richard Allen, Early Steps toward Freedom
23. John Norton, A Native American Commander in the War of 1812
24. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Crossing the Continent
25. Thomas Swann Woodcock, The Erie Canal: Providing Passage for a Growing Nation
26. John Ross, The Trail of Tears
27. Priscilla Merriman Evans, Pulling a Handcart to the Mormon Zion
28. Guadalupe Vallejo et al., Life in California before the Gold Discovery
29. Daguerreotype by Joseph B. Starkweather, Miners during the California Gold Rush

Reimagining Family, Community, and Society: An Age of Reform
of View: The Prison Reform Movement in the Early Republic
30. Charles Dickens, Philadelphia and Its Solitary Prison
31. Frederick Marryat, A Different View of Solitary Confinement
32. Harriet Hanson Robinson, The Lowell Textile Workers
33. Harriet Jacobs, The Life of a Female Slave
34. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Pioneering Women’s Rights
35. Rebecca Cox Jackson, Religion and the Power to Challenge Society
36. Mary Lois Walker, Marriage and Mormonism

The Growing Sectional Controversy: Slavery and Its Discontent
Points of View: Nat Turner’s Rebellion (1831)
37. Nat Turner, A Slave Insurrection
38. William Lloyd Garrison, Who Is to Blame?
39. James Henry Hammond, Defending Slavery
40. Frederick Law Olmsted, A Northerner Travels the Slave States
41. Henry "Box" Brown, A Family Torn Apart by Slavery 
42. Osborne P. Anderson, An African American at Harpers Ferry
43. Carl Schurz, Free Labor, Free Men
44. David Walker, An Appeal for Revolution

Civil War and Reconstruction: The Price of War
Points of View: The Gathering Storm (1860)
45. Robert Toombs, Immediate Secession
46. Alexander H. Stephens, A Course of Moderation
47. Ellen Leonard, Three Days of Terror: The New York City Draft Riots  
48. Samuel and Rachel Cormany, The Battle of Gettysburg: On the Field and at Home
49. Black Union Soldiers, Fighting for the Union
50. Henry William Ravenel, A Slave Owner’s Journal at the End of the War
51. George Templeton Strong, A Northerner’s view of the Confederacy’s Defeat
52. Photograph by George N. Barnard, Ruins in Charleston, South Carolina, 1865 or 1866

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