Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, and Heroes by David G. Fitz-Enz
Call Number: E355 .F58 2012
Publication Date: 2012-09-16
While President James Madison was a brilliant scholar, author of much of this country's early documents, organizer of the executive branch of government, and an astute politician, he was no commander-in-chief. He relied totally upon appointed commodores and generals to conduct a war for the conquest of Canada on one hand and survival on the other. Often confused by advisors of little military talent, in the end he put his trust, and that of the people, in the grasp of hacks, sycophants, adventurers, and a few good men. This is the story of the good, the bad, and the outrageous that held the future of the young nation in their hands and prevailed in spite of a twenty-one-ship navy and an amateur army, pitched at the greatest military machine of its time.
Hamilton's Curse by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Call Number: E302.H2 D55 2008
Publication Date: 2008-10-21
Two of the most influential figures in American history. Two opposing political philosophies. Two radically different visions for America.
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were without question two of the most important Founding Fathers. They were also the fiercest of rivals. Of these two political titans, it is Jefferson—–the revered author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president—–who is better remembered today. But in fact it is Hamilton’s political legacy that has triumphed—–a legacy that has subverted the Constitution and transformed the federal government into the very leviathan state that our forefathers fought against in the American Revolution.
How did we go from the Jeffersonian ideal of limited government to the bloated imperialist system of Hamilton’s design? Acclaimed economic historian Thomas J. DiLorenzo provides the troubling answer in Hamilton’s Curse.
The Hammer and the Anvil by Dwight Jon Zimmerman; James M. McPherson (Foreword by); Wayne Vansant (Illustrator)
Call Number: E449.D75 Z56 2012
Publication Date: 2012-07-17
The period leading up to the Civil War was one of great change. Congress divided itself between Northerners and Southerners, citizens on the frontier took up arms against one another, and movements for secession and abolition were more urgent than ever. InThe Hammer and the Anvil, the award-winning author Dwight Jon Zimmerman and the renowned artist Wayne Vansant vividly depict the tumultuous time through the lives of two men who defined it: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. With a foreword by the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian James M. McPherson,TheHammer and the Anvilreveals that its protagonists each wrestled with the question of slavery from a young age. Douglass, a slave who was spared no brutality, once fought an especially cruel master and eventually escaped north to freedom. Lincoln, who was hired out by his father to do manual labor on neighbors' farms, found this harsh life intolerable. As a senator, Lincoln sought ways to end the westward spread of slavery, believing that adding free states to the Union would diminish the power of the Southern states and lead to the gradual disappearance of the "peculiar institution." Douglass was less patient. He had become a skilled orator and an influential editor of Northern abolitionist journals, and called on white Americans to honor their nation's founding commitment to liberty. When the Civil War erupted in April 1861, Douglass hoped that the conflict would mean the end of slavery. But Lincoln delayed emancipation, and Douglass despaired—until he met the president face-to-face and recognized that their causes were one and the same. Featuring evocative and dramatic scenes of this seminal time,The Hammer and the Anvilwill engage both Civil War buffs and young people new to the study of American history.
Hard Road West by Keith Heyer Meldahl
Call Number: F593 .M479 2007
Publication Date: 2007-11-01
In 1848 news of the discovery of gold in California triggered an enormous wave of emigration toward the Pacific. Lured by the promise of riches, thousands of settlers left behind the forests, rain, and fertile soil of the eastern United States in favor of the rough-hewn lands of the American West. The dramatic terrain they struggled to cross is so familiar to us now that it is hard to imagine how frightening—even godforsaken—its sheer rock faces and barren deserts seemed to our forebears.
Hard Road Westbrings their perspective vividly to life, weaving together the epic overland journey of the covered wagon trains and the compelling story of the landscape they encountered. Taking readers along the 2,000-mile California Trail, Keith Meldahl uses the diaries and letters of the settlers themselves—as well as the countless hours he has spent following the trail—to reveal how the geology and geography of the West directly affected our nation’s westward expansion. He guides us through a corrugated landscape of sawtooth mountains, following the meager streams that served as lifelines through an arid land, all the way to California itself, where colliding tectonic plates created breathtaking scenery and planted the gold that lured travelers west in the first place.
“Alternates seamlessly between vivid accounts of the 19th-century journey and lucid explanations of the geological events that shaped the landscape traveled. . . . The reader comes away with both an appreciation for the arduous cross-continental wagon journey and an understanding of the events that created such a vast and difficult landscape.”—Library Journal
“[Meldahl] draws on his professional knowledge to explain the geology of the West, showing how centuries of geological activity had a direct effect on the routes taken by the travelers. . . . Meldahl provides a novel account of the largest overland migration since the Crusades.”—Science News
The Having of Negroes Is Become a Burden by Michael J. Crawford
Call Number: E445.N8 H38 2010
Publication Date: 2010-06-20
"Adds an important sharpness to a cloudily understood aspect of American history. Crawford helps bring Quaker history into the mainstream of a larger context, providing a compelling narrative of a region, a community, and a fascinating individual."--Emma J. Lapansky-Werner, Haverford College "A thorough and often extraordinarily eloquent collection of documents from the struggle over emancipation and African-American freedom in the age of revolution."--Jon F. Sensbach, author of Rebecca's Revival Michael Crawford presents the compelling story of colonial manumission movements among North Carolina Quakers in this illuminating volume. Embedding complete primary documents within the context of his own interpretive analysis, Crawford effectively shows how the consequences of this group's antislavery activism radiated out from a few individuals to the region, the state, and, eventually, the nation. Students and scholars will be able to draw their own insights from the important documents presented in The Having of Negroes Is Become a Burden, many of them obscure or recently discovered. Through diaries, petitions, legislative debates, and letters, well-known as well as unknown players in the struggle for manumission are allowed to tell their own stories in their own words. This approach has the effect of highlighting the personal motivation of figures both prominent and obscure in the movement.
The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr by H. W. Brands
Call Number: E302.6.B9 B73 2012
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
Though he was a hero of the Revolutionary War, a prominent New York politician, and vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr is today best remembered as the villain who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. But as H. W. Brands demonstrates in this fascinating portrait of one of the most compelling politicians in American history, Burr was also a man before his time--a proponent of equality between the sexes well over a century before women were able to vote in the US. Through Burr's extensive, witty correspondence with his daughter Theodosia, Brands traces the arc of a scandalous political career and the early years of American politics. The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr not only dramatizes through their words his eventful life, it also tells a touching story of a father's love for his exceptional daughter, which endured through public shame, bankruptcy, and exile, and outlasted even Theodosia's tragic disappearance at sea. A Paperback Original
The Heathen School by John Demos
Call Number: E97.65.C66 D45 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-18
Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award The astonishing story of a unique missionary project--and the America it embodied--from award-winning historian John Demos. Near the start of the nineteenth century, as the newly established United States looked outward toward the wider world, a group of eminent Protestant ministers formed a grand scheme for gathering the rest of mankind into the redemptive fold of Christianity and "civilization." Its core element was a special school for "heathen youth" drawn from all parts of the earth, including the Pacific Islands, China, India, and, increasingly, the native nations of North America. If all went well, graduates would return to join similar projects in their respective homelands. For some years, the school prospered, indeed became quite famous. However, when two Cherokee students courted and married local women, public resolve--and fundamental ideals--were put to a severe test. The Heathen School follows the progress, and the demise, of this first true melting pot through the lives of individual students: among them, Henry Obookiah, a young Hawaiian who ran away from home and worked as a seaman in the China Trade before ending up in New England; John Ridge, son of a powerful Cherokee chief and subsequently a leader in the process of Indian "removal"; and Elias Boudinot, editor of the first newspaper published by and for Native Americans. From its birth as a beacon of hope for universal "salvation," the heathen school descends into bitter controversy, as American racial attitudes harden and intensify. Instead of encouraging reconciliation, the school exposes the limits of tolerance and sets off a chain of events that will culminate tragically in the Trail of Tears. In The Heathen School, John Demos marshals his deep empathy and feel for the textures of history to tell a moving story of families and communities--and to probe the very roots of American identity.
Hellfire Nation by James A. Morone
Call Number: E183 .M873 2003
Publication Date: 2003-02-08
"The American Constitution firmly separates church and state. Yet religion lies at the heart of American polities. How did America become a nation with the soul of a church? In Hellfire Nation, James Morone recasts American history as a moral epic. From the colonial era to the present day, Americans embraced a Providential mission, tangled with devils, and aspired to save the world." "Moral fervor ignited our fiercest social conflicts - but it also moved dreamers to remake the nation in the name of social justice. Moral crusades inspired abolition, woman suffrage, and civil rights, even as they led Americans to hand witches, enslave Africans, and ban liquor. Today moral arguments influence everything from abortion to impeachment, from education to foreign policy."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Hot Protestants by Michael P. Winship
Call Number: BX9323 .W56 2018
Publication Date: 2019-02-26
On fire for God--a sweeping history of puritanism in England and America Begun in the mid-sixteenth century by Protestant nonconformists keen to reform England's church and society while saving their own souls, the puritan movement was a major catalyst in the great cultural changes that transformed the early modern world. Providing a uniquely broad transatlantic perspective, this groundbreaking volume traces puritanism's tumultuous history from its initial attempts to reshape the Church of England to its establishment of godly republics in both England and America and its demise at the end of the seventeenth century. Shedding new light on puritans whose impact was far-reaching as well as on those who left only limited traces behind them, Michael Winship delineates puritanism's triumphs and tribulations and shows how the puritan project of creating reformed churches working closely with intolerant godly governments evolved and broke down over time in response to changing geographical, political, and religious exigencies.
The Howling of the Coyotes by Ernest Wallace
Call Number: F391 .W33
Publication Date: 1980-01-01
Ernest Wallace chronicles the little-known attempts by radical reconstructionists to divide the state, a move their critics derisively referred to as the "howling of the coyotes." He traces the interplay of the division issue with partisan politics and with other controversies in the reconstruction convention. His analysis gives not only new information about the almost successful division movement, but also a dramatic new explanation of the convention's delays in completing a constitution and thus of Texas' tardy readmission to the Union.
How the Scots Made America by Michael Fry
Call Number: E184.S3 F79 2005
Publication Date: 2005-01-05
Ever since they first set foot in the new world alongside the Viking explorers the Scots have left their mark. In this entertaining and informative book, historian Michael Fry shows how Americans of Scottish heritage helped shape this country, from its founding days to the present. They were courageous pioneers, history-changing revolutionaries, great Presidents, doughty fighters, inspiring writers, learned teachers, intrepid explorers, daring frontiersmen, and of course buccaneering businessmen, media moguls, and
Hubs of Empire by Matthew Mulcahy
Call Number: F212 .M85 2014
Publication Date: 2014-11-03
In Hubs of Empire, Matthew Mulcahy argues that it is useful to view Barbados, Jamaica, and the British Leeward Islands, along with the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, as a single region. Separated by thousands of miles of ocean but united by shared history and economic interest, these territories formed the Greater Caribbean. Although the Greater Caribbean does not loom large in the historical imaginations of many Americans, it was the wealthy center of Britain's Atlantic economy. Large-scale plantation slavery first emerged in Barbados, then spread throughout the sugar islands and the southeastern mainland colonies, allowing planters to acquire fortunes and influence unmatched elsewhere--including the tobacco colonies of Maryland and Virginia. Hubs of Empire begins in the sixteenth century by providing readers with a broad overview of Native American life in the region and early pirate and privateer incursions. Mulcahy examines the development of settler colonies during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, explores diverse groups of European colonists, and surveys political, economic, and military issues in the decades before the Seven Years War. The plantation system achieved its fullest and harshest manifestation in the Greater Caribbean. The number of slaves and the scale of the slave trade meant that enslaved Africans outnumbered Europeans in all of the affiliated colonies, often by enormous ratios. This enabled Africans to maintain more of their traditions, practices, and languages than in other parts of British America, resulting in distinct, creole cultures. This volume is an ideal introduction to the complex and fascinating history of colonies too often neglected in standard textbook accounts.
Reading List Titles Beginning with the Letter "I"
If by Sea by George C. Daughan
Call Number: VA56 .D38 2008
Publication Date: 2008-05-13
The American Revolution-and thus the history of the United States-began not on land but on the sea. Paul Revere began his famous midnight ride not by jumping on a horse, but by scrambling into a skiff with two other brave patriots to cross Boston Harbor to Charlestown. Revere and his companions rowed with muffled oars to avoid capture by the British warships closely guarding the harbor. As they paddled silently, Revere’s neighbor was flashing two lanterns from the belfry of Old North Church, signaling patriots in Charlestown that the redcoats were crossing the Charles River in longboats. In every major Revolutionary battle thereafter the sea would play a vital, if historically neglected, role. When the American colonies took up arms against Great Britain, they were confronting the greatest sea-power of the age. And it was during the War of Independence that the American Navy was born. But following the British naval model proved crushingly expensive, and the Founding Fathers fought viciously for decades over whether or not the fledgling republic truly needed a deep-water fleet. The debate ended only when the Federal Navy proved indispensable during the War of 1812. Drawing on decades of prodigious research, historian George C. Daughan chronicles the embattled origins of the U.S. Navy. From the bloody and gunpowder-drenched battles fought by American sailors on lakes and high seas to the fierce rhetorical combat waged by the Founders in Congress,If By Seacharts the course by which the Navy became a vital and celebrated American institution.
In Bitterness and in Tears by Sean Michael O'Brien
Call Number: E381 .O27 2003
Publication Date: 2003-06-30
O'Brien explores the conflicts that paved the way for the removal of southeastern Native American tribes, which set the stage for the Cotton Kingdom and slavery-based economy to come.
Independence Lost by Kathleen DuVal
Call Number: E209 .D88 2015
Publication Date: 2015-07-07
In an entirely new, global perspective on the Revolutionary period, Kathleen DuVal reveals personal stories such as that of Irish trader Oliver Pollock, Scottish plantation owners James and Isabella Bruce, and Creek leader Alexander McGillivray for whom the American Revolution was more complicated than the issue of colonial independence. These individuals, their communities, and nations weighed their options, deciding based on personal interests whether independent states or loyal British colonies would best serve them as neighbors, let alone future rulers. DuVal explores how so-called American independence affected the lives of those living on the edges of British colonial America, such as slaves, Indians, women, and the colonists of other European nations and finds that the war left some much more free than others. For most of its duration, the outcome of the Revolutionary War was far from certain. DuVal brings us to a region on the edge of the war where it seems that everyone was hedging their bets-the Gulf Coast. As the British tried to hold onto the thirteen rebelling colonies that would eventually be the nascent United States, their loyal colony of West Florida was left vulnerable to Spanish invasion from the west. With the British stretched thin fighting two wars, the clashing empires found enemies and allies for whom loyalty was a calculation more than a feeling. Story Locale-18th-century Gulf Coast region
Indian Slavery in Colonial America by Alan Gallay (Editor)
Call Number: E98.S6 I53 2009
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
European enslavement of American Indians began with Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World. The slave trade expanded with European colonies, and though African slave labor filled many needs, huge numbers of America's indigenous peoples continued to be captured and forced to work as slaves. Although central to the process of colony building in what became the United States, this phenomena has received scant attention from historians. Indian Slavery in Colonial America, edited by Alan Gallay, examines the complicated dynamics of Indian enslavement. How and why Indians became both slaves of the Europeans and suppliers of slavery's victims is the subject of this book. The essays in this collection use Indian slavery as a lens through which to explore both Indian and European societies and their interactions, as well as relations between and among Native groups.
Industrializing Antebellum America by Barbara M. Tucker; Kenneth H. Tucker
Call Number: HC102.5.A2 T834 2008
Publication Date: 2008-08-15
This book explores the rise of manufacturing through the beliefs and practices of Samuel Colt, John Fox Slater, Horatio Nelson Slater, Amos Adams Lawrence, and their families. These entrepreneurs dominated the firearms and textile industries, but their influence extended beyond their respective enterprises. From the antislavery activities and business innovations of the Slaters and Lawrence to Colt's advocacy of Empire, they represented diverse possibilities for the organization of a new industrial society. Colt envisioned a free-wheeling casino and crony capitalism, the Slaters fused small town values and a new industrial discipline, and Lawrence promoted a Protestant vision of America guided by educated urban elites.
Inhuman Bondage by David Brion Davis
Call Number: E441 .D2495 2006
Publication Date: 2006-04-01
David Brion Davis has long been recognized as the leading authority on slavery in the Western World. His books have won every major history award--including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award--and he has been universally praised for his prodigious research, his brilliant analytical skill, and his rich and powerful prose. Now, inInhuman Bondage, Davis sums up a lifetime of insight in what Stanley L. Engerman calls "a monumental and magisterial book, the essential work on New World slavery for several decades to come."
Davis begins with the dramaticAmistadcase, which vividly highlights the international character of the Atlantic slave trade and the roles of the American judiciary, the presidency, the media, and of both black and white abolitionists. The heart of the book looks at slavery in the American South, describing black slaveholding planters, the rise of the Cotton Kingdom, the daily life of ordinary slaves, the highly destructive internal, long-distance slave trade, the sexual exploitation of slaves, the emergence of an African-American culture, and much more. But though centered on the United States, the book offers a global perspective spanning four continents. It is the only study of American slavery that reaches back to ancient foundations (discussing the classical and biblical justifications for chattel bondage) and also traces the long evolution of anti-black racism (as in the writings of David Hume and Immanuel Kant, among many others). Equally important, it combines the subjects of slavery and abolitionism as very few books do, and it illuminates the meaning of nineteenth-century slave conspiracies and revolts, with a detailed comparison with 3 major revolts in the British Caribbean. It connects the actual life of slaves with the crucial place of slavery in American politics and stresses that slavery was integral to America's success as a nation--not a marginal enterprise.
A definitive history by a writer deeply immersed in the subject,Inhuman Bondageoffers a compelling narrative that links together the profits of slavery, the pain of the enslaved, and the legacy of racism. It is the ultimate portrait of the dark side of the American dream. Yet it offers an inspiring example as well--the story of how abolitionists, barely a fringe group in the 1770s, successfully fought, in the space of a hundred years, to defeat one of human history's greatest evils.
In the Name of the Father by Francois Furstenberg
Call Number: E310 .F97 2006
Publication Date: 2006-06-22
How didpeople in our country-North and South, East and West-come to share a remarkably durable and consistent common vision of what it meant to be an American in the first fifty years after the Revolution? How did the nation respond to the problem of slavery in a republic? In the Name of the Fatherimmerses us in the rich, riotous world of what Fran ois Furstenberg calls civic texts, the patriotic words and images circulating through every corner of the country in newspapers and almanacs, books and primers, paintings and even the most homely of domestic ornaments. We see how the leaders of the founding generation became "the founding fathers," how their words, especially George Washington's, became America's sacred scripture. And we see how the civic education they promoted is impossible to understand outside the context of America's increasing religiosity.
In the Name of the Fatheris filled with vivid stories of American print culture, including a wonderful consideration of the first great American hack biographer cum bookseller, Parson Weems, author of the first blockbuster Washington biography. But Fran ois Furstenberg's achievement is not limited to showing what all these civic texts were and how they infused Americans with a national spirit: how they created what Abraham Lincoln so famously called "the mystic chords of memory." He goes further to show how the process of defining the good citizen in America was complicated and compromised by the problem of slavery. Ultimately, we see how reconciling slavery and republican nationalism would have fateful consequences that haunt us still, in attitudes toward the socially powerless that persist in America to this day
In the Shadow of Liberty by Kenneth C. Davis
Call Number: E444 .D36 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
Did you know that many of America's Founding Fathers--who fought for liberty and justice for all--were slave owners? Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were "owned" by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country's great tragedy--that a nation "conceived in liberty" was also born in shackles. These stories help us know the real people who were essential to the birth of this nation but traditionally have been left out of the history books. Their stories are true--and they should be heard. This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
In the Wake of Lewis and Clark by Larry E. Morris
Call Number: on order
Publication Date: 2018-12-28
In this book, Larry E. Morris complements the compelling story he began with The Fate of Corps, named a History Book Club selection and a Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title. Illustrating how Thomas Jefferson's vision of a sea-to-sea empire gave rise to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Morris in turn shows how the expedition impacted a host of fascinating individuals: John Colter, the first European to see Yellowstone, who helped William Clark create his master map of the West; John Jacob Astor, the prominent fur-trade entrepreneur who launched the second American trek to the Pacific; Ramsay Crooks, an "Astorian" adventurer present for the discovery of the Tetons, Hells Canyon, and South Pass who later became one of the most important merchants in the history of the fur trade; Thomas Hart Benton, a North Carolina native who went west after nearly killing Andrew Jackson in a gunfight and became the US Senate's most powerful voice for Western expansion--and the father-in-law of "the Pathfinder," John C. Fremont; and General Stephen Watts Kearny, whose conquest of California during the Mexican War fulfilled Jefferson's vision of a nation that spanned the continent.
In the Wake of Slavery by Joseph A. Ranney
Call Number: KF4541 .R37 2006
Publication Date: 2006-10-01
The Civil War devastated the South, and the end of slavery turned Southern society upside down. How did the South regain social, economic, and political stability in the wake of emancipation and wartime destruction, and how did the South come together with its former enemies in the North? Why did the South not slip back into chaos? This book holds the keys to the answers to these tantalizing questions.
Invading Mexico by Joseph Wheelan
Call Number: E404 .W44 2007
Publication Date: 2007-03-07
Popular historian Joseph Wheelan recounts James Polk's strategy of last resort for prying California away from Mexico. He had tried to buy it; he had instructed his agents to encourage a settlers' revolt. When these measures failed, the impatient president, while cynically condemning Mexico's anger over America's annexation of Texas, sent General Zachary Taylor's army to the Rio Grande River, into territory that Mexico claimed as hers. By provocatively sending Taylor there, the president got his war -- and, as bitter corollaries, the scathing criticism of congressional leaders on moral grounds, and Mexico's lasting distrust of its powerful northern neighbor. The Mexican War was America's first truly modern war. Steamships ferried troops, daguerreotypes captured the spectacle of infantry and cavalry marching off to battle, newspapermen reported from the front lines for the first time, and telegraphs helped speed news of victories to eager readers back home. For the first time, large numbers of the regular Army's field-grade officers were West Point-trained. Weapons technology advances such as the mobile field artillery, the Colt six-shooter and the Sharp's Rifle gave the U.S. Army daunting firepower. These advantages ensured victory even when Mexican troops outnumbered Americans by as much as 4-to-1.
The Irish Americans by Jay P. Dolan
Call Number: E184.I6 D59 2008
Publication Date: 2008-10-28
A history of the Irish in America from the eighteenth century to the present, by one of the nation's most eminent scholars of the immigrant experience.
Jay Dolan of the University of Notre Dame is one of America's most acclaimed scholars of immigration and ethnic history. InThe Irish Americans, he caps his decades of writing and teaching with a magisterial history of the Irish experience in the United States—the first general-reader’s account to be published since the 1960s.
Dolan draws on his own original research and much other recent other scholarship to weave a fresh and vivid narrative. He follows the Irish from their first arrival in the American colonies through the bleak days of the potato famine that brought millions of poor immigrants; the years of ethnic prejudice and "No Irish Need Apply;" the rise of Irish political power and the heyday of Tammany politics; to the historic moment when John F. Kennedy was elected to the highest office in the land.
Dolan evokes the ghastly ships crowded with men and women fleeing the potato blight; the vibrant life of Catholic parishes in cities like New York and Chicago; and the world of machine politics, where ward bosses often held court in the local saloon. Rich in colorful detail, balanced in judgment, and the most comprehensive work of its kind yet published,The Irish Americanswill become a must-have volume for any reader with an interest in the Irish-American heritage.
The Iron Way by William G. Thomas
Call Number: E491 .T53 2011
Publication Date: 2011-10-25
Beginning with Frederick Douglass's escape from slavery in 1838 on the railroad, and ending with the driving of the golden spike to link the transcontinental railroad in 1869, this book charts a critical period of American expansion and national formation, one largely dominated by the dynamic growth of railroads and telegraphs. William G. Thomas brings new evidence to bear on railroads, the Confederate South, slavery, and the Civil War era, based on groundbreaking research in digitized sources never available before. The Iron Way revises our ideas about the emergence of modern America and the role of the railroads in shaping the sectional conflict. Both the North and the South invested in railroads to serve their larger purposes, Thomas contends. Though railroads are often cited as a major factor in the Union's victory, he shows that they were also essential to the formation of "the South" as a unified region. He discusses the many—and sometimes unexpected—effects of railroad expansion and proposes that America's great railroads became an important symbolic touchstone for the nation's vision of itself. Please visit the Railroads and the Making of Modern America website at http://railroads.unl.edu.
Issues of Westward Expansion by Mitchel Roth
Call Number: E179.5 .R68 2002
Publication Date: 2002-11-30
This book explores 13 key issues of Western expansion from the early 1800s through the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
Reading List Titles Beginning with the Letter "J"
Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep
Call Number: E382 .I57 2015
Publication Date: 2015-05-19
Jacksonland is the thrilling narrative history of two men-President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross-who led their respective nations at a crossroads of American history.Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center stood two former military comrades locked in a struggle that tested the boundaries of our fledgling democracy. Jacksonlandis their story. One man we recognize- Andrew Jackson-war hero, populist, and exemplar of the expanding South-whose first major initiative as president instigated the massive expulsion of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. The other is a half-forgotten figure- John Ross-a mixed-race Cherokee politician and diplomat-who used the United States' own legal system and democratic ideals to oppose Jackson.Representing one of the Five Civilized Tribes who had adopted the ways of white settlers-cultivating farms, publishing a newspaper in their own language, and sending children to school-Ross championed the tribes' cause all the way to the Supreme Court. He gained allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. In a fight that seems at once distant and familiar, Ross and his allies made their case in the media, committedcivil disobedience, and benefited from the first mass political action by American women. Their struggle contained ominous overtures of later events like the Civil War and set the pattern for modern-day politics. At stake in this struggle was the land of the Five Civilized Tribes. In shocking detail, Jacksonlandreveals how Jackson, as a general, extracted immense wealth from his own armies' conquest of native lands. Later, as president, Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres-"Jacksonland"-in today's Deep South. Jacksonlandis the work of renowned journalist Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR's Morning Edition, who offers here a heart-stopping narrative masterpiece, a tragedy of American history that feels ripped from the headlines in its immediacy, drama, and relevance to our lives. Harrowing, inspiring, and deeply moving, Inskeep's Jacksonlandis the story of America at a moment of transition, when the fate of states and nations was decided by the actions of two heroic yet tragically opposed men. CANDICE MILLARD, author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt "Inskeep tells this, one of the most tragicand transformative stories in Americanhistory, in swift, confident, colorful strokes.So well, and so intimately, does he know hissubject that the reader comes away feeling asif Jackson and Ross's epic struggle for the future of their nations took place yesterday rather than nearly two hundred years ago."
James Madison by Jeff Broadwater
Call Number: E342 .B76 2012
Publication Date: 2012-03-16
James Madison is remembered primarily as a systematic political theorist, but this bookish and unassuming man was also a practical politician who strove for balance in an age of revolution. In this biography, Jeff Broadwater focuses on Madison's role in the battle for religious freedom in Virginia, his contributions to the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, his place in the evolution of the party system, his relationship with Dolley Madison, his performance as a wartime commander in chief, and his views on slavery. From Broadwater's perspective, no single figure can tell us more about the origins of the American republic than our fourth president. In these pages, Madison emerges as a remarkably resilient politician, an unlikely wartime leader who survived repeated setbacks in the War of 1812 with his popularity intact. Yet Broadwater shows that despite his keen intelligence, the more Madison thought about one issue, race, the more muddled his thinking became, and his conviction that white prejudices were intractable prevented him from fully grappling with the dilemma of American slavery.
James Madison, the South, and the Trans-Appalachian West, 1783-1803 by Jeffrey Allen Zemler
Call Number: F213 .Z46 2014
Publication Date: 2013-12-05
The strong relationship that historians have described between the South and the trans-Appalachian West in the early nineteenth century had its origins in the twenty-year period after the American Revolution when a group of far-sighted southerners, with James Madison in the forefront, worked to form a political bond between the two regions. While many historians have taken this close relationship for granted or have dismissed it as a natural product of cultural similarities, strong family bonds and slavery being just two, it was built deliberately by a handful of forward-looking southerners with hard work and dedication. Jeffrey A. Zemler carefully analyzes the development of this bond and the history of these two regions during this twenty-year period, which is far more complicated than historians have imagined or described.
James Madison and the Making of America by Kevin R. C. Gutzman
Call Number: E342 .G88 2012
Publication Date: 2012-02-14
InJames Madison and the Making of America, historian Kevin Gutzman looks beyond the way James Madison is traditionally seen -- as "The Father of the Constitution" -- to find a more complex and sometimes contradictory portrait of this influential Founding Father and the ways in which he influenced the spirit of today's United States. Instead of an idealized portrait of Madison, Gutzman treats readers to the flesh-and-blood story of a man who often performed his founding deeds in spite of himself: Madison's fame rests on his participation in the writing ofThe Federalist Papers and his role in drafting the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Today, his contribution to those documents is largely misunderstood. He thought that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary and insisted that it not be included in the Constitution, a document he found entirely inadequate and predicted would soon fail. Madison helped to create the first American political party, the first party to call itself "Republican", but only after he had argued that political parties, in general, were harmful. Madison served as Secretary of State and then as President during the early years of the United States and the War of 1812; however, the American foreign policy he implemented in 1801-1817 ultimately resulted in the British burning down the Capitol and the White House. In so many ways, the contradictions both in Madison's thinking and in the way he governed foreshadowed the conflicted state of our Union now. His greatest legacy--the disestablishment of Virginia's state church and adoptionof the libertarian Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom--is often omitted from discussion of his career. Yet, understanding the way in which Madison saw the relationship between the church and state is key to understanding the real man. Kevin Gutzman'sJames Madison and the Making of Americapromises to become the standard biography of our fourth President.
Jamestown, the Truth Revealed by William M. Kelso
Call Number: F234.J3 K47 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-15
What was life really like for the band of adventurers who first set foot on the banks of the James River in 1607? Important as the accomplishments of these men and women were, the written records pertaining to them are scarce, ambiguous, and often conflicting. In Jamestown, the Truth Revealed, William Kelso takes us literally to the soil where the Jamestown colony began, unearthing footprints of a series of structures, beginning with the James Fort, to reveal fascinating evidence of the lives and deaths of the first settlers, of their endeavors and struggles, and new insight into their relationships with the Virginia Indians. He offers up a lively but fact-based account, framed around a narrative of the archaeological team's exciting discoveries. Unpersuaded by the common assumption that James Fort had long ago been washed away by the James River, William Kelso and his collaborators estimated the likely site for the fort and began to unearth its extensive remains, including palisade walls, bulwarks, interior buildings, a well, a warehouse, and several pits. By Jamestown's quadricentennial over 2 million objects were cataloged, more than half dating to the time of Queen Elizabeth and King James. Kelso's work has continued with recent excavations of numerous additional buildings, including the settlement's first church, which served as the burial place of four Jamestown leaders, the governor's rowhouse during the term of Samuel Argall, and substantial dump sites, which are troves for archaeologists. He also recounts how researchers confirmed the practice of survival cannibalism in the colony following the recovery from an abandoned cellar bakery of the cleaver-scarred remains of a young English girl. CT scanning and computer graphics have even allowed researchers to put a face on this victim of the brutal winter of 1609-10, a period that has come to be known as the "starving time." Refuting the now decades-old stereotype that attributed the high mortality rate of the Jamestown settlers to their laziness and ineptitude, Jamestown, the Truth Revealed produces a vivid picture of the settlement that is far more complex, incorporating the most recent archaeology and using twenty-first-century technology to give Jamestown its rightful place in history, thereby contributing to a broader understanding of the transatlantic world.
Jamestown Colony by Frank E. Grizzard; Daniel Boyd Smith
Call Number: F234.J3 G75 2007
Publication Date: 2007-03-21
Jamestown Colony is an authoritative and thorough treatment of all aspects of life in Jamestown, the first successful British colony in the New World.
John Marshall by Richard Brookhiser
Call Number: KF8745.M3 B76 2018
Publication Date: 2018-11-13
In 1801, a 45-year-old Revolutionary War veteran and politician, slovenly, genial, brilliant, and persuasive, became the fourth chief justice of the United States, a post he would hold for a record thirty-four years. Before John Marshall joined the Court, the judicial branch was viewed as the poor sister of the federal government, lacking in dignity and clout. After his passing, the Supreme Court of the United States would never be ignored again. John Marshall is award-winning and bestselling author Richard Brookhiser's definitive biography of America's longest-serving Chief Justice. Marshall (1755-1835) was born in Northern Virginia and served as a captain during the Revolutionary War and then as a delegate to the Virginia state convention. He was a friend and admirer of George Washington, and a cousin and enemy of Thomas Jefferson. His appointment to the Supreme Court came almost by chance-Adams saw him as the last viable option, after previous appointees declined the nomination. Yet he took to the court immediately, turning his sharp mind toward strengthening America's fragile legal order. Americans had inherited from their colonial past a deep distrust of judges as creatures of arbitrary royal power; in reaction, newly independent states made them pawns of legislative whim. The result was legal caprice, sometimes amounting to chaos. Marshall wanted a strong federal judiciary, led by the Supreme Court, to define laws, protect rights, and balance the power of the legislative and executive branches. However, America's legal system, he believed, was threatened by specific individuals-namely Thomas Jefferson and the early Republican Party-who were intent on undermining the Constitution and respect for law in order to empower themselves. As a Federalist and a follower of Washington and Hamilton, he also wanted a strong national government, favorable to business. In his three decades on the court, Marshall accomplished just that. As Brookhiser vividly relates, in a string of often-colorful cases involving businessmen, educators, inventors, scoundrels, Native Americans, and slaves, Marshall clipped the power of the states vis-à-vis the federal government, established the Supreme Court's power to correct or rebuke Congress or the president, and bolstered commerce and contracts. John Marshall's modus operandi was charm and wit, frequently uniting his fellow justices around unanimous decisions in even the most controversial cases. For better and for worse, he made the Supreme Court a central part of American life. John Marshall is the definitive biography of America's greatest judge and most important early Chief Justice.
A Journey into the Transcendentalists' New England by R. Todd Felton
Call Number: B905 .F45 2006
Publication Date: 2006-06-01
From picturesque towns across the city of Boston, Thoreau, Emerson, Dickinson and the other Transcendentalists revolutionised ideas about the artistic, spriritual and natural worlds. This volume explores how their lives were intertwined with their stunning New England surroundings.
A Just and Generous Nation by Harold Holzer; Norton Garfinkle
Call Number: E457.2 .H753 2015
Publication Date: 2015-11-03
In A Just and Generous Nation, the eminent historian Harold Holzer and the noted economist Norton Garfinkle present a groundbreaking new account of the beliefs that inspired our sixteenth president to go to war when the Southern states seceded from the Union. Rather than a commitment to eradicating slavery or a defense of the Union, they argue, Lincoln's guiding principle was the defense of equal economic opportunity. Lincoln firmly believed that the government's primary role was to ensure that all Americans had the opportunity to better their station in life. As president, he worked tirelessly to enshrine this ideal within the federal government. He funded railroads and canals, supported education, and, most importantly, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which opened the door for former slaves to join white Americans in striving for self-improvement. In our own age of unprecedented inequality, A Just and Generous Nation reestablishes Lincoln's legacy as the protector not just of personal freedom but of the American dream itself.
Reading List Titles Beginning with the Letter "K"
Kearny's March by Winston Groom
Call Number: E405.2 .G76 2011
Publication Date: 2011-11-08
In June 1846, General Stephen Watts Kearny rode out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with two thousand soldiers, bound for California. At the time, the nation was hell-bent on expansion: James K. Polk had lately won the presidency by threatening England over the borders in Oregon, while Congress had just voted, in defiance of the Mexican government, to annex Texas. After Mexico declared war on the United States, Kearny's Army of the West was sent out, carrying orders to occupy Mexican territory. When his expedition ended a year later, the country had doubled in size and now stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific, fulfilling what many saw as the nation's unique destiny--and at the same time setting the stage for the American Civil War. nbsp; Winston Groom recounts the amazing adventure and danger that Kearny and his troops encountered on the trail. Their story intertwines with those of the famous mountain man Kit Carson; Brigham Young and his Mormon followers fleeing persecution and Illinois; and the ill-fated Donner party, trapped in the snow of the Sierra Nevada. Together, they encounter wild Indians, Mexican armies, political intrigue, dangerous wildlife, gold rushes, and land-grabs. Some returned in glory, others in shackles, and some not at all. But these were the people who helped America fulfill her promise. nbsp; Distilling a wealth of letters, journals, and military records, Groom gives us a powerful account that enlivens our understanding of the exciting, if unforgiving, business of country-making.
A Kingdom Strange by James Horn
Call Number: F229 .H79 2010
Publication Date: 2010-03-30
In 1587, John White and 117 men, women, and children landed off the coast of North Carolina on Roanoke Island, hoping to carve a colony from fearsome wilderness. A mere month later, facing quickly diminishing supplies and a fierce native population, White sailed back to England in desperation. He persuaded the wealthy Sir Walter Raleigh, the expedition’s sponsor, to rescue the imperiled colonists, but by the time White returned with aid the colonists of Roanoke were nowhere to be found. He never saw his friends or family again. In this gripping account based on new archival material, colonial historian James Horn tells for the first time the complete story of what happened to the Roanoke colonists and their descendants. A compellingly original examination of one of the great unsolved mysteries of American history, A Kingdom Strange will be essential reading for anyone interested in our national origins.
Knights of the Sea by David Hanna
Call Number: E360 .H36 2012
Publication Date: 2012-01-03
On a September day in 1813, as the Age of Fighting Sail was coming to an end, two maritime warriors faced each other in the waters off Pemaquid Point, Maine... Samuel Blyth was the youthful commander of His Britannic Majesty's brig Boxer, and William Burrows, younger still, commanded the USS Enterprise. Both men valued honor over life and death, and on this day their commitment would be put to the ultimate test. The battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise would be the only major sea engagement of the War of 1812 witnessed by people on land, and, though it lasted less than an hour, was a brutal contest whose outcome was uncertain. When the cannon smoke cleared, good men had been lost, and the U.S. Navy's position in the war had changed. In Knights of the Sea, David Hanna brings to vivid life a lost era-a time when sailing vessels exchanged broadsides and naval officers considered it the highest honor to harness the wind to meet their foes. This history pays tribute to the young commanders on either side, a vanishing breed who would come to be standard bearers of courage and fortitude, and would be immortalized in words by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Includes Illustrations Throughout The battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise came to represent for those who witnessed it, lived through it, and remembered it something more than a military turning point-it became emblematic of a maritime era that would soon be gone forever.