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Ancient Ocean Crossings
Reconsidering the Case for Contacts with the Pre-Columbian Americas
Stephen C. Jett
University of Alabama Press, 2017
Paints a compelling picture of impressive pre-Columbian cultures and Old World civilizations that, contrary to many prevailing notions, were not isolated from one another
 
In Ancient Ocean Crossings: Reconsidering the Case for Contacts with the Pre-Columbian Americas, Stephen Jett encourages readers to reevaluate the common belief that there was no significant interchange between the chiefdoms and civilizations of Eurasia and Africa and peoples who occupied the alleged terra incognita beyond the great oceans.
 
More than a hundred centuries separate the time that Ice Age hunters are conventionally thought to have crossed a land bridge from Asia into North America and the arrival of Columbus in the Bahamas in 1492. Traditional belief has long held that earth’s two hemispheres were essentially cut off from one another as a result of the post-Pleistocene meltwater-fed rising oceans that covered that bridge. The oceans, along with arctic climates and daunting terrestrial distances, formed impermeable barriers to interhemispheric communication. This viewpoint implies that the cultures of the Old World and those of the Americas developed independently.
 
Drawing on abundant and concrete evidence to support his theory for significant pre-Columbian contacts, Jett suggests that many ancient peoples had both the seafaring capabilities and the motives to cross the oceans and, in fact, did so repeatedly and with great impact. His deep and broad work synthesizes information and ideas from archaeology, geography, linguistics, climatology, oceanography, ethnobotany, genetics, medicine, and the history of navigation and seafaring, making an innovative and persuasive multidisciplinary case for a new understanding of human societies and their diffuse but interconnected development.
 
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The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century
Yota Batsaki
Harvard University Press

This book brings together an international body of scholars working on eighteenth-century botany within the context of imperial expansion. The eighteenth century saw widespread exploration, a tremendous increase in the traffic in botanical specimens, taxonomic breakthroughs, and horticultural experimentation. The contributors to this volume compare the impact of new developments and discoveries across several regions, broadening the geographical scope of their inquiries to encompass imperial powers that did not have overseas colonial possessions—such as the Russian, Ottoman, and Qing empires and the Tokugawa shogunate—as well as politically borderline regions such as South Africa, Yemen, and New Zealand.

The essays in this volume examine the botanical ambitions of eighteenth-century empires; the figure of the botanical explorer; the links between imperial ambition and the impulse to survey, map, and collect botanical specimens in “new” territories; and the relationships among botanical knowledge, self-representation, and material culture.

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Cities of Gold
Legendary Kingdoms, Quixotic Quests, and Fantastic New World Wealth
Bill Yenne
Westholme Publishing, 2011

A History of Exploration for Real and Mythical Treasures in the Americas

For half a millennium, stories of vast treasures—El Dorado, Manoa, the Seven Cities of Cibola, the Lost Dutchman Mine—have been part of the lore of the Americas. Long before the Europeans set foot in the New World, myths and rumors of fabulous wealth in distant lands, such as the kingdom of Prester John, were told and retold so often that they were assumed to be true. When Spanish explorers first made contact with the Aztec and Inca civilizations, they found cultures that were literally dripping with gold. This evidence made it easy to believe the native stories of even greater wealth just beyond the horizon. In these uncharted lands, dreamers sought their fortunes: Francisco de Coronado ranged over the North American plains in search of the elusive Quivira; Gonzalo Pizarro, brother of the Incan conqueror, and Lope Aguirre, the “Wrath of God,” were both part of ill-fated expeditions in search of El Dorado; and Leonard Clark walked out of the Amazon after World War II with gold and claimed he had found that fabled kingdom.

In Cities of Gold: Legendary Kingdoms, Quixotic Quests, and Fantastic New World Wealth, Bill Yenne takes the reader from the rainforests and mountains of Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, and Guiana to the deserts and peaks of Mexico and the United States to tell the extraordinary, and often brutal story of how the search for mysterious New World riches fueled the exploration of an unknown hemisphere for hundreds of years. Even without finding the places they sought, during Spain’s “Siglo de Oro” in the sixteenth century, the Spanish plundered and mined thousands of tons of New World gold and silver and shipped it home where the reserves alone reached a staggering estimate of two trillion dollars. And it was not just the Spanish who were obsessed with gold: Sir Walter Raleigh made two government-backed voyages in search of Manoa, a golden city he was convinced was deep in Guiana. Discussing the many expeditions to find New World wealth and lost cities over a 500-year timeline, the author includes stories of lesser-known explorers and soldiers of fortune and their successes and failures. As he demonstrates, the desire for adventure and the insatiable lust for treasure motivated men and women in the past and continues to captivate fortune hunters today.
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Dangerous Work
Diary of an Arctic Adventure
Arthur Conan Doyle
University of Chicago Press, 2012

In 1880 a young medical student named Arthur Conan Doyle embarked upon the “first real outstanding adventure” of his life, taking a berth as ship’s surgeon on an Arctic whaler, the Hope. The voyage took him to unknown regions, showered him with dramatic and unexpected experiences, and plunged him into dangerous work on the ice floes of the Arctic seas. He tested himself, overcame the hardships, and, as he wrote later, “came of age at 80 degrees north latitude.”

Conan Doyle’s time in the Arctic provided powerful fuel for his growing ambitions as a writer. With a ghost story set in the Arctic wastes that he wrote shortly after his return, he established himself as a promising young writer. A subsequent magazine article laying out possible routes to the North Pole won him the respect of Arctic explorers. And he would call upon his shipboard experiences many times in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, who was introduced in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet.
 
Out of sight for more than a century was a diary that Conan Doyle kept while aboard the whaler. Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure makes this account available for the first time in a beautiful facsimile edition that reproduces Conan Doyle’s notebook pages in his own elegant hand, accompanied by his copious illustrations. With humor and grace, Conan Doyle provides a vivid account of a long-vanished way of life at sea. His careful detailing of the experience of arctic whaling is equal parts fascinating and alarming, revealing the dark workings of the later days of the British whaling industry. In addition to the facsimile and annotated transcript of the diary, the volume contains photographs of the Hope, its captain, and a young Conan Doyle on deck with its officers; two nonfiction pieces by Doyle about his experiences; and two of his tales inspired by the journey.
 
To the end of his life, Conan Doyle would look back on this experience with awe: “You stand on the very brink of the unknown,” he declared, “and every duck that you shoot bears pebbles in its gizzard which come from a land which the maps know not. It was a strange and fascinating chapter of my life.” Only now can the legion of Conan Doyle fans read and enjoy that chapter.

A special limited, numbered edition of the clothbound book is also available. In addition, a text-only e-book edition is published as Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure, Text-only Edition.

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Dangerous Work
Diary of an Arctic Adventure, Text-only Edition
Arthur Conan Doyle
University of Chicago Press, 2012

This e-book features the complete text found in the print edition of Dangerous Work, without the illustrations or the facsimile reproductions of Conan Doyle's notebook pages.

In 1880 a young medical student named Arthur Conan Doyle embarked upon the “first real outstanding adventure” of his life, taking a berth as ship’s surgeon on an Arctic whaler, the Hope. The voyage took him to unknown regions, showered him with dramatic and unexpected experiences, and plunged him into dangerous work on the ice floes of the Arctic seas. He tested himself, overcame the hardships, and, as he wrote later, “came of age at 80 degrees north latitude.”
 
Conan Doyle’s time in the Arctic provided powerful fuel for his growing ambitions as a writer. With a ghost story set in the Arctic wastes that he wrote shortly after his return, he established himself as a promising young writer. A subsequent magazine article laying out possible routes to the North Pole won him the respect of Arctic explorers. And he would call upon his shipboard experiences many times in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, who was introduced in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet.
 
Out of sight for more than a century was a diary that Conan Doyle kept while aboard the whaler. Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure makes this account available for the first time. With humor and grace, Conan Doyle provides a vivid account of a long-vanished way of life at sea. His careful detailing of the experience of arctic whaling is equal parts fascinating and alarming, revealing the dark workings of the later days of the British whaling industry. In addition to the transcript of the diary, the e-book contains two nonfiction pieces by Doyle about his experiences; and two of his tales inspired by the journey.
 
To the end of his life, Conan Doyle would look back on this experience with awe: “You stand on the very brink of the unknown,” he declared, “and every duck that you shoot bears pebbles in its gizzard which come from a land which the maps know not. It was a strange and fascinating chapter of my life.” Only now can the legion of Conan Doyle fans read and enjoy that chapter.
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The Death of Captain Cook
A Hero Made and Unmade
Glyn Williams
Harvard University Press, 2008

Since first reported to the world in 1780, the death of Captain Cook on a Hawaiian beach the previous year has been revered, celebrated, and shrouded in mystery. Simultaneously called a hero and an antihero, a ruthless invader, and a torchbearer of the Enlightenment, Cook’s reputation grew as much out of the moving story of his death as out of his adventures while he lived.

In a style that is more detective story than conventional biography, Glyn Williams explores the multiple narratives of Cook’s death. He reveals how the British Admiralty first attempted to censor accounts of Cook’s erratic behavior and how the “authorized” version of his death—a lengthy narrative serialized in the leading publications of the day—reduced the story to the final hours of a noble leader who gave his life to save others. Williams argues that the contrary evidence of a chaotic bloody fracas on the beach at Kealakekua Bay was ignored, and that the unexplained disappearance of Cook’s own journal helped the process of concealment. He believes that Cook was not entirely the man sanctified by the British public. More than two hundred years later, an explosive interplay between academic controversy and nationalist feelings has once more drawn attention to a life that has attracted praise and controversy, abhorrence and admiration. In short, Williams examines the story of Cook’s progress from obscurity to fame and, eventually, to infamy—a story that, until now, has never been fully told.

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Discovering Mars
A History of Observation and Exploration of the Red Planet
William Sheehan and Jim Bell
University of Arizona Press, 2021
For millenia humans have considered Mars the most fascinating planet in our solar system. We’ve watched this Earth-like world first with the naked eye, then using telescopes, and, most recently, through robotic orbiters and landers and rovers on the surface.

Historian William Sheehan and astronomer and planetary scientist Jim Bell combine their talents to tell a unique story of what we’ve learned by studying Mars through evolving technologies. What the eye sees as a mysterious red dot wandering through the sky becomes a blurry mirage of apparent seas, continents, and canals as viewed through Earth-based telescopes. Beginning with the Mariner and Viking missions of the 1960s and 1970s, space-based instruments and monitoring systems have flooded scientists with data on Mars’s meteorology and geology, and have even sought evidence of possible existence of life-forms on or beneath the surface. This knowledge has transformed our perception of the Red Planet and has provided clues for better understanding our own blue world.

Discovering Mars vividly conveys the way our understanding of this other planet has grown from earliest times to the present. The story is epic in scope—an Iliad or Odyssey for our time, at least so far largely without the folly, greed, lust, and tragedy of those ancient stories. Instead, the narrative of our quest for the Red Planet has showcased some of our species’ most hopeful attributes: curiosity, cooperation, exploration, and the restless drive to understand our place in the larger universe. Sheehan and Bell have written an ambitious first draft of that narrative even as the latest chapters continue to be added both by researchers on Earth and our robotic emissaries on and around Mars, including the latest: the Perseverance rover and its Ingenuity helicopter drone, which set down in Mars’s Jezero Crater in February 2021.
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The Discovery and Conquest of Peru
Pedro de Cieza de León
Duke University Press, 1998
Dazzled by the sight of the vast treasure of gold and silver being unloaded at Seville’s docks in 1537, a teenaged Pedro de Cieza de León vowed to join the Spanish effort in the New World, become an explorer, and write what would become the earliest historical account of the conquest of Peru. Available for the first time in English, this history of Peru is based largely on interviews with Cieza’s conquistador compatriates, as well as with Indian informants knowledgeable of the Incan past.
Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook present this recently discovered third book of a four-part chronicle that provides the most thorough and definitive record of the birth of modern Andean America. It describes with unparalleled detail the exploration of the Pacific coast of South America led by Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, the imprisonment and death of the Inca Atahualpa, the Indian resistance, and the ultimate Spanish domination.
Students and scholars of Latin American history and conquest narratives will welcome the publication of this volume.


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Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?
Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers, and Empire
Clare Pettitt
Harvard University Press, 2007

When the American reporter Henry Morton Stanley stepped out of the jungle in 1871 and doffed his pith helmet to the Scottish missionary-explorer Dr. David Livingstone, his greeting was to take on mythological proportions. But do any of us really know what his words meant at the time--and what they have come to mean since?

Far from meeting in a remote thicket in "Darkest Africa," Stanley met Livingstone in the middle of a thriving Muslim community. The news of their encounter was transmitted around the globe, and Livingstone instantly became one of the world's first international celebrities.

This book shows how urgently a handshake between a Briton and an American was needed to heal the rift between the two countries after the American Civil War. It uncovers for the first time the journeys that Livingstone's African servants made around Britain after his death, and it makes a case for Stanley's immense influence on the idea of the modern at the dawn of the twentieth century. Drawing on films, children's books, games, songs, cartoons, and TV shows, this book reveals the many ways our culture has remembered Stanley's phrase, while tracking the birth of an Anglo-American Christian imperialism that still sets the world agenda today.

Dr. Livingstone, I Presume? is a story of conflict and paradox that also takes us into the extraordinary history of British engagement with Africa. Clare Pettitt shows both the bleakest side of imperialism and the strange afterlife of a historical event in popular mythmaking and music hall jokes.

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Early Encounters
Native Americans and Europeans in New England. From the Papers of W. Sears Nickerson
Delores Bird Carpenter
Michigan State University Press, 1994

Early Encounters contains a selection of nineteen essays from the papers of prominent New England historian, antiquarian, and genealogist Warren Sears Nickerson (1880-1966). This extensive study of his own family ties to the Mayflower, and his exhaustive investigation of the first contacts between Europeans and Native Americans, in what is today New England, made him an unquestioned authority in both fields. 
     The research upon which the text of Early Encounters is based occurred between the 1920s and the 1950s. Each of Nickerson’s works included in this carefully edited volume is placed in its context by Delores Bird Carpenter; she provides the reader with a wealth of useful background information about each essay’s origin, as well as Nickerson’s reasons for undertaking the research. Material is arranged thematically: the arrival of the Mayflower; conflicts between Europeans and Native Americans; and other topics related to the history and legends of early European settlement on Cape Cod. Early Encounters is a thoughtfully researched, readable book that presents a rich and varied account of life in colonial New England.

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Encounters in the New World
Jesuit Cartography of the Americas
Mirela Altic
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Analyzing more than 150 historical maps, this book traces the Jesuits’ significant contributions to mapping and mapmaking from their arrival in the New World.

In 1540, in the wake of the tumult brought on by the Protestant Reformation, Saint Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. The Society’s goal was to revitalize the faith of Catholics and to evangelize to non-Catholics through charity, education, and missionary work. By the end of the century, Jesuit missionaries were sent all over the world, including to South America. In addition to performing missionary and humanitarian work, Jesuits also served as cartographers and explorers under the auspices of the Spanish, Portuguese, and French crowns as they ventured into remote areas to find and evangelize to native populations.

In Encounters in the New World, Mirela Altic analyzes more than 150 of their maps, most of which have never previously been published. She traces the Jesuit contribution to mapping and mapmaking from their arrival in the New World into the post-suppression period, placing it in the context of their worldwide undertakings in the fields of science and art. Altic’s analysis also shows the incorporation of indigenous knowledge into the Jesuit maps, effectively making them an expression of cross-cultural communication—even as they were tools of colonial expansion. This ambiguity, she reveals, reflects the complex relationship between missions, knowledge, and empire. Far more than just a physical survey of unknown space, Jesuit mapping of the New World was in fact the most important link to enable an exchange of ideas and cultural concepts between the Old World and the New.
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Europeans Engaging the Atlantic
Knowledge and Trade, 1500-1800
Edited by Susanne Lachenicht
Campus Verlag, 2014
Europeans Engaging the Atlantic offers innovative perspectives on historical European knowledge concerning the “New World” and on trade and commerce therewith. In so doing, it enhances our understanding of how, when, and why early modern Europeans made sense of the Atlantic world, and how they tried to connect with Atlantic trade and commerce. Featuring case studies that discuss these issues from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, this volume explores both the degree to which the Atlantic was (or was not) part of the European worldview—or just one part of a worldview with many centers of interest—and how European engagement with the Atlantic world evolved.
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Europe’s India
Words, People, Empires, 1500–1800
Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Harvard University Press, 2017

When Portuguese explorers first rounded the Cape of Good Hope and arrived in the subcontinent in the late fifteenth century, Europeans had little direct knowledge of India. The maritime passage opened new opportunities for exchange of goods as well as ideas. Traders were joined by ambassadors, missionaries, soldiers, and scholars from Portugal, England, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany, all hoping to learn about India for reasons as varied as their particular nationalities and professions. In the following centuries they produced a body of knowledge about India that significantly shaped European thought.

Europe’s India tracks Europeans’ changing ideas of India over the entire early modern period. Sanjay Subrahmanyam brings his expertise and erudition to bear in exploring the connection between European representations of India and the fascination with collecting Indian texts and objects that took root in the sixteenth century. European notions of India’s history, geography, politics, and religion were strongly shaped by the manuscripts, paintings, and artifacts—both precious and prosaic—that found their way into Western hands.

Subrahmanyam rejects the opposition between “true” knowledge of India and the self-serving fantasies of European Orientalists. Instead, he shows how knowledge must always be understood in relation to the concrete circumstances of its production. Europe’s India is as much about how the East came to be understood by the West as it is about how India shaped Europe’s ideas concerning art, language, religion, and commerce.

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Explorers Of The Mississippi
Timothy Severin
University of Minnesota Press, 2002

Spirited stories of the heroes and scoundrels who explored the Big Muddy—now back in print!

The Mississippi River has intrigued the footloose for centuries. Here, for the first time in paperback, are briskly told biographies of the chief protagonists in the drama, with Old Man River as the constant and invincible antagonist. From conquistadors to nineteenth-century gentlemen explorers, Timothy Severin depicts the disasters and adventures of familiar, but often misunderstood, figures in American history, as well as the chicanery of others, less well known, who used the river for their own purposes.

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Exploring Desert Stone
John N. Macomb's 1859 Expedition to the Canyonlands of the Colorado
Steven K. Madsen
Utah State University Press, 2022
The confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, now in Canyonlands National Park, near popular tourist destination Moab, still cannot be reached or viewed easily. Much of the surrounding region remained remote and rarely visited for decades after settlement of other parts of the West. The first U.S. government expedition to explore the canyon country and the Four Corners area was led by John Macomb of the army's topographical engineers.

The soldiers and scientists followed in part the Old Spanish Trail, whose location they documented and verified. Seeking to find the confluence of the Colorado and the Green and looking for alternative routes into Utah, which was of particular interest in the wake of the Utah War, they produced a substantial documentary record, most of which is published for the first time in this volume. Theirs is also the first detailed map of the region, and it is published in Exploring Desert Stone, as well.
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Finding Dr. Livingstone
A History in Documents from the Henry Morton Stanley Archives
Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi; James L. Newman
Ohio University Press, 2020

This eye-opening perspective on Stanley’s expedition reveals new details about the Victorian explorer and his African crew on the brink of the colonial Scramble for Africa.

In 1871, Welsh American journalist Henry M. Stanley traveled to Zanzibar in search of the “missing” Scottish explorer and missionary David Livingstone. A year later, Stanley emerged to announce that he had “found” and met with Livingstone on Lake Tanganyika. His alleged utterance there, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” was one of the most famous phrases of the nineteenth century, and Stanley’s book, How I Found Livingstone, became an international bestseller.

In this fascinating volume Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi and James L. Newman transcribe and annotate the entirety of Stanley’s documentation, making available for the first time in print a broader narrative of Stanley’s journey that includes never-before-seen primary source documents—worker contracts, vernacular plant names, maps, ruminations on life, lines of poetry, bills of lading—all scribbled in his field notebooks.

Finding Dr. Livingstone is a crucial resource for those interested in exploration and colonization in the Victorian era, the scientific knowledge of the time, and the peoples and conditions of Tanzania prior to its colonization by Germany.

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Fleur de Lys and Calumet
Being the Penicaut Narrative of French Adventure in Louisiana
Edited by Richebourg McWilliams
University of Alabama Press, 1988

Andre Penicaut, a carpenter, sailed with Iberville to the French province of Louisiana in 1699 and did not return to France until 1721. The book he began in the province and finished upon his return to France is an eyewitness account of the first years of the French colony, which stretched along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas and in the Mississippi Valley from the Balize to the Illinois country. As a ship carpenter, Penicaut was chosen as a member of several important expeditions: he accompanied Le Sueur up the Mississippi River in 1700 to present-day Minnesota, and he went with Juchereau de St. Denis on the first journey from Mobile to the Red River and overland to the Rio Grande, to open trade with the Spaniards in Mexico. Penicaut helped to build the first post in Louisiana, at Old Biloxi, and the second post on the Mobile River.

Penicaut was at his best when describing the lives and social customs of the Indians of the region. He saw them in realistic terms, showing no prejudice toward their native habits. Neither were his French colleagues cast in heroic or villainous molds—though their accomplishments must strike modern readers as truly epic.

When first published, Fleur de Lys and Calumet was a major stimulus to scholarship in the field. This new edition will be welcomed by a new generation of scholars and readers interested in the colonial history of the Deep South and the Mississippi Valley.

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Flowers, Guns, and Money
Joel Roberts Poinsett and the Paradoxes of American Patriotism
Lindsay Schakenbach Regele
University of Chicago Press, 2023
A fascinating historical account of a largely forgotten statesman, who pioneered a form of patriotism that left an indelible mark on the early United States.

Joel Roberts Poinsett’s (17791851) brand of self-interested patriotism illuminates the paradoxes of the antebellum United States.  He was a South Carolina investor and enslaver, a confidant of Andrew Jackson, and a secret agent in South America who fought surreptitiously in Chile’s War for Independence. He was an ambitious Congressman and Secretary of War who oversaw the ignominy of the Trail of Tears and orchestrated America’s longest and costliest war against Native Americans, yet also helped found the Smithsonian. In addition, he was a naturalist, after whom the poinsettia—which he appropriated while he was serving as the first US ambassador to Mexico—is now named.
 
As Lindsay Schakenbach Regele shows in Flowers, Guns, and Money, Poinsett personified a type of patriotism that emerged following the American Revolution, one in which statesmen served the nation by serving themselves, securing economic prosperity and military security while often prioritizing their own ambitions and financial interests. Whether waging war, opposing states’ rights yet supporting slavery, or pushing for agricultural and infrastructural improvements in his native South Carolina, Poinsett consistently acted in his own self-interest. By examining the man and his actions, Schakenbach Regele reveals an America defined by opportunity and violence, freedom and slavery, and nationalism and self-interest.
 
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Flowers, Guns, and Money
Joel Roberts Poinsett and the Paradoxes of American Patriotism
Lindsay Schakenbach Regele
University of Chicago Press, 2023
This is an auto-narrated audiobook version of this book.

A fascinating historical account of a largely forgotten statesman, who pioneered a form of patriotism that left an indelible mark on the early United States.


Joel Roberts Poinsett’s (17791851) brand of self-interested patriotism illuminates the paradoxes of the antebellum United States.  He was a South Carolina investor and enslaver, a confidant of Andrew Jackson, and a secret agent in South America who fought surreptitiously in Chile’s War for Independence. He was an ambitious Congressman and Secretary of War who oversaw the ignominy of the Trail of Tears and orchestrated America’s longest and costliest war against Native Americans, yet also helped found the Smithsonian. In addition, he was a naturalist, after whom the poinsettia—which he appropriated while he was serving as the first US ambassador to Mexico—is now named.
 
As Lindsay Schakenbach Regele shows in Flowers, Guns, and Money, Poinsett personified a type of patriotism that emerged following the American Revolution, one in which statesmen served the nation by serving themselves, securing economic prosperity and military security while often prioritizing their own ambitions and financial interests. Whether waging war, opposing states’ rights yet supporting slavery, or pushing for agricultural and infrastructural improvements in his native South Carolina, Poinsett consistently acted in his own self-interest. By examining the man and his actions, Schakenbach Regele reveals an America defined by opportunity and violence, freedom and slavery, and nationalism and self-interest.
 
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Forgotten Conquests
Rereading New World History from the Margins
Gustavo Verdesio
Temple University Press, 2001
Borrowing from the old adage, we might say that to the victor belongs the history. One of the privileges gained in colonizing the New World was the power to tell the definitive stories of the struggle. The heroic texts depicting the discovery of territories, early encounters with indigenous peoples, and the ultimate subjection of land and  cultures to European nation-states all but erase the vanquished. In Forgotten Conquests, Gustavo Verdesio argues that these master narratives represent only one of many possible histories and suggests a way of reading them in order to discover the colonial subjects who did not produce documents.

Verdesio read the key texts relating to the struggles for possession of River Plate's northern shore -- present-day Uruguay. He probes them for traces of conflicts in meaning and the agency of Amerindians, gauchos, Africans, and women -- the subjected peoples that the texts try to silence. The narrators, speaking for their culture, assume the role of knowing subject, repressing all other voices, epistemologies, and acts of resistance. Verdesio's tasks are to listen for those that the Europeans represented as an unintelligible Other, to draw them into the foreground, and to decolonize their histories.

By unpacking these texts, Verdesio shows that from the European point of view, the colonial encounter draws the New World into historical time and ushers in a new concept of knowledge. For the first time, the historian's role is to discover, to interpret eyewitness testimonies and first-hand experience, to write 'a new history of admirable things.' Even in this reconstruction of historical truth, Old World ideology drives the narratives, whose chief purpose is to justify conquest. Forgotten Conquests lays bare the discursive strategies that generated the founding texts of Latin American history and engulfed its subjected peoples in silence for 500 years.
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Fremont
Explorer For A Restless Nation
Ferol Egan
University of Nevada Press, 1985
Foreword by Richard Dillon. Between 1842 and 1853, John C. Fremont led five expeditions across the trans-Mississippi West. While the success of his early journeys gained him acclaim as a national hero, his later missions ended in tragedy and ultimately a court-martial. Historian Ferol Egan focuses on Fremont’s explorations, providing a vivid portrait of a courageous man in an emerging young nation. 
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The Golden Dream
Seekers Of El Dorado
Robert Silverberg
Ohio University Press, 1996

One of the most persistent legends in the annals of New World exploration is that of the Land of Gold. This mythical site was located over vast areas of South America (and later, North America); the search for it drove some men mad with greed and, as often as not, to their untimely deaths.

In this history of quest and adventure, Robert Silverberg traces the fate of Old World explorers lured westward by the myth of El Dorado. From the German conquistadores licensed by the Spanish king to operate out of Venezuela, to the journeys of Gonzalo Pizarro in the Amazon basin, and to the nearly miraculous voyage of Francisco Orellana to the mouth of the Amazon River, encountering the warlike women who gave the river its name, violence and bloodshed accompanied the determined adventurers. Sir Walter Raleigh and a host of other explorers spent small fortunes and many lives trying to locate Manoa, a city that was rumored to be El Dorado—City of Gold. Celebrated science fiction author Robert Silverberg recreates these legendary quests in The Golden Dream: Seekers of El Dorado.

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Golden Treasures of the San Juan
Temple H. Cornelius
Ohio University Press, 1961

Golden Treasures of the San Juan contains fabulous stories of lost mines, bullion, and valuable prospects of one of the most beautiful mountain areas of the United States. Many of the stories are based on the personal adventures of author Cornelius.

When the Indian Mountain Lands (the San Juan) were ceded in 1874, the wild region was thrown open to prospectors seeking its gold and silver riches. Many prospects were valuable discoveries, yet were lost and became legendary mines. Further, the Spanish explorers had been through this area much earlier with their bullion, and their caches added to the legends of gold discovered or to be discovered. The authors of this book trace complete stories about these long-lost hoards.

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A Governor and His Image in Baroque Brazil
The Funereal Eulogy of Afonso Furtado de Castro do Rio de Mendonca
Juan Sierra
University of Minnesota Press, 1979
A Governor and His Image in Baroque Brazil was first published in 1979. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.This seventeenth-century manuscript describes the life and death of Afonso Furtado, governor of Brazil from 1671 to 1675. The obscure author, Juan Lopes Sierra, was an eyewitness to many of the governor’s activities and was clearly a great admirer of Furtado, whom he calls in his text “Our Hero.” The manuscript is a useful cultural and historical document focusing on the governor’s administration and, especially, on his direction of military campaigns into the heart of Brazil to subdue hostile Indians and search for mineral wealth. The author’s descriptions of religious life in the capital city of Salvador and of the elaborate funeral arrangements for the governor reveal the attitudes and aspirations of the Brazilian colonial elite. Most important, perhaps, the document covers on of the least studied periods in Brazilian history, the years between the great century of sugar and the half-century of gold. Lopes Sierra wrote in Spanish, though his subject was Portuguese Brazil, and his manuscript is peppered with Portuguese/Spanish coinages and classical allusions. Ruth Jones has mastered the difficult task of translation and Stuart Schwartz provides a historical context and notes to the translation. The book is a publication from the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota.
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The Great Ages of Discovery
How Western Civilization Learned About a Wider World
Stephen J. Pyne
University of Arizona Press, 2021
For more than 600 years, Western civilization has relied on exploration to learn about a wider world and universe. The Great Ages of Discovery details the different eras of Western exploration in terms of its locations, its intellectual contexts, the characteristic moral conflicts that underwrote encounters, and the grand gestures that distill an age into its essence.

Historian and MacArthur Fellow Stephen J. Pyne identifies three great ages of discovery in his fascinating new book. The first age of discovery ranged from the early 15th to the early 18th century, sketched out the contours of the globe, aligned with the Renaissance, and had for its grandest expression the circumnavigation of the world ocean. The second age launched in the latter half of the 18th century, spanning into the early 20th century, carrying the Enlightenment along with it, pairing especially with settler societies, and had as its prize achievement the crossing of a continent. The third age began after World War II, and, pivoting from Antarctica, pushed into the deep oceans and interplanetary space. Its grand gesture is Voyager’s passage across the solar system. Each age had in common a galvanic rivalry: Spain and Portugal in the first age, Britain and France—followed by others—in the second, and the USSR and USA in the third.

With a deep and passionate knowledge of the history of Western exploration, Pyne takes us on a journey across hundreds of years of geographic trekking. The Great Ages of Discovery is an interpretive companion to what became Western civilization’s quest narrative, with the triumphs and tragedies that grand journey brought, the legacies of which are still very much with us.
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Hell Or High Water
James White's Disputed Passage through Grand Canyon, 1867
Eilean Adams
Utah State University Press, 2001

Although John Wesley Powell and party are usually given credit for the first river descent through the Grand Canyon, the ghost of James White has haunted those claims. White was a Colorado prospector, who, almost two years before Powell's journey, washed up on a makeshift raft at Callville, Nevada. His claim to have entered the Colorado above the San Juan River with another man (soon drowned) as they fled from Indians was widely disseminated and believed for a time, but Powell and his successors on the river publically discounted it. Colorado River runners and historians have since debated whether White's passage through Grand Canyon even could have happened.

Hell or High Water is the first full account of White's story and how it became distorted and he disparaged over time. It is also a fascinating detective story, recounting how White's granddaughter, Eilean Adams, over decades and with the assistance of a couple of notable Colorado River historians who believed he could have done what he claimed, gradually uncovered the record of James White's adventure and put together a plausible narrative of how and why he ended up floating helplessly down a turbulent river, entrenched in massive cliffs, with nothing but a driftwood raft to carry him through.

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The Idealist
Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World
Samuel Zipp
Harvard University Press, 2020

Winner of the Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize

The Idealist is a powerful book, gorgeously written and consistently insightful. Samuel Zipp uses the 1942 world tour of Wendell Willkie to examine American attitudes toward internationalism, decolonization, and race in the febrile atmosphere of the world’s first truly global conflict.”
—Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith


A dramatic account of the plane journey undertaken by businessman-turned-maverick-internationalist Wendell Willkie to rally US allies to the war effort. Willkie’s tour of a planet shrunk by aviation and war inspired him to challenge Americans to fight a rising tide of nationalism at home.

In August 1942, as the threat of fascism swept the world, a charismatic Republican presidential contender boarded the Gulliver at Mitchel Airfield for a seven-week journey around the world. Wendell Willkie covered 31,000 miles as President Roosevelt’s unofficial envoy. He visited the battlefront in North Africa with General Montgomery, debated a frosty de Gaulle in Beirut, almost failed to deliver a letter to Stalin in Moscow, and allowed himself to be seduced by Chiang Kai-shek in China. Through it all, he was struck by the insistent demands for freedom across the world.

In One World, the runaway bestseller he published on his return, Willkie challenged Americans to resist the “America first” doctrine espoused by the war’s domestic opponents and warned of the dangers of “narrow nationalism.” He urged his fellow citizens to end colonialism and embrace “equality of opportunity for every race and every nation.” With his radio broadcasts regularly drawing over 30 million listeners, he was able to reach Americans directly in their homes. His call for a more equitable and interconnected world electrified the nation, until he was silenced abruptly by a series of heart attacks in 1944. With his death, America lost its most effective globalist, the man FDR referred to as “Private Citizen Number One.”

At a time when “America first” is again a rallying cry, Willkie’s message is at once chastening and inspiring, a reminder that “one world” is more than a matter of supply chains and economics, and that racism and nationalism have long been intertwined.

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Indian Life on the Northwest Coast of North America as seen by the Early Explorers and Fur Traders during the Last Decades of the Eighteenth Century
Erna Gunther
University of Chicago Press, 1972
A reconstruction of the Haida and Tlingit cultures of the Pacific Northwest during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Drawing on a wide range of evidence, this volume is a carefully researched investigation into the ethnohistory of the Pacific Northwest during the period of European exploration of the region. The book supplements the archeological evidence from the area with a detailed investigation of the journals, diaries, and sketchbooks of Russian, Spanish, and English explorers and traders who reached the region, as well as artifacts that those explorers and traders obtained on their expeditions and that are now held in museums worldwide. In doing so, Gunther's research extends anthropological study of the region a century earlier, and sheds light on the understudied tribal cultures of the Haida and the Tlingit. The volume contains splendid reproductions of contemporary drawings, and appendices mapping the museum locations of artifacts and describing the processes of native technology.
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The James Ford Bell Collection
A List of Additions, 1951-1954
John Parker
University of Minnesota Press, 1955
The James Ford Bell Collection: A list of Additions,1951-1954 was first published in 1955. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.The James Ford Bell Collection of the University of Minnesota Library is devoted to rare books, maps, and manuscripts pertaining to the history of European exploration and commerce. This bibliography lists recent additions to the collection and serves as a supplement to the previously published catalogue. The entries are annotated except where the title is self-explanatory, and the annotations point to the major interest which the items have for the Bell Collection. The items listed are original materials dating from the fifteenth to the end of the eighteenth century.
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The James Ford Bell Collection
A List of Additions, 1955-1959
John Parker
University of Minnesota Press, 1961
The James Ford Bell Collection: A List of Additions, 1955-1959 was first published in 1961. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.The James Ford Bell Collection of the University of Minnesota library is devoted to rare books, maps, and manuscripts pertaining to the history of European exploration and commerce. This bibliography lists more than 2,000 recent additions to the collection and serves as a supplement to the previously published catalogue. The entries are annotated except where the title is self-explanatory, and the annotations point to the major interest which the items have for the bell collection. The items listed are original materials dating from the fifteenth to the end of the eighteenth century. They portray the development of European knowledge of the earth as Europe’s commerce expanded to all of the other continents and show the manner in which this commerce was begun, organized and regulated.
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The James Ford Bell Collection
A List of Additions, 1960-1964
John Parker
University of Minnesota Press, 1967
The James Ford Bell Collection: A List of Additions, 1960-1964 was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.The James Ford Bell Collection of the University of Minnesota library is devoted to rare books, maps, and manuscripts which reflect the history of European exploration and trade from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. In this List of Additions the 1,841 items which have been added to the collection during the period 1960-1964 are listed and briefly annotated. This collection supplements two previous Lists of Additions and the catalogue, Jesuit Relations and Other Americana in the Library of James F. Bell, all of which have been published by the university of Minnesota Press.
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The James Ford Bell Library
A List of Additions, 1965-1969
John Parker
University of Minnesota Press, 1970
The James Ford Bell Library: A List of Additions, 1965-1969 was first published in 1970. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.This is a listing of the 891 books, manuscripts and other materials which were added to the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota from 1965 through 1969. The Bell Library is an endowed collection of rare items related to the history of European trade and expansion. Three earlier volumes similar to this one record the acquisitions from 1951 through 1964. The Lists of Additions are useful to librarians, research scholars, booksellers, and book and manuscript collectors.
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The Jamestown Project
Karen Ordahl Kupperman
Harvard University Press, 2007

Listen to a short interview with Karen Ordahl KuppermanHost: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane

Captain John Smith's 1607 voyage to Jamestown was not his first trip abroad. He had traveled throughout Europe, been sold as a war captive in Turkey, escaped, and returned to England in time to join the Virginia Company's colonizing project. In Jamestown migrants, merchants, and soldiers who had also sailed to the distant shores of the Ottoman Empire, Africa, and Ireland in search of new beginnings encountered Indians who already possessed broad understanding of Europeans. Experience of foreign environments and cultures had sharpened survival instincts on all sides and aroused challenging questions about human nature and its potential for transformation.

It is against this enlarged temporal and geographic background that Jamestown dramatically emerges in Karen Kupperman's breathtaking study. Reconfiguring the national myth of Jamestown's failure, she shows how the settlement's distinctly messy first decade actually represents a period of ferment in which individuals were learning how to make a colony work. Despite the settlers' dependence on the Chesapeake Algonquians and strained relations with their London backers, they forged a tenacious colony that survived where others had failed. Indeed, the structures and practices that evolved through trial and error in Virginia would become the model for all successful English colonies, including Plymouth.

Capturing England's intoxication with a wider world through ballads, plays, and paintings, and the stark reality of Jamestown--for Indians and Europeans alike--through the words of its inhabitants as well as archeological and environmental evidence, Kupperman re-creates these formative years with astonishing detail.

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Jesuit Relations and Other Americana in the Library of James F. Bell
Frank Walter
University of Minnesota Press, 1950
Jesuit Relations and Other Americana in the Library of James F. Bell was first published in 1950. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.Librarians, scholars, and collectors of rare books will delight in this meticulously prepared catalogue of the James F. Bell collection of Americana. This collection of approximately 325 items was built around the early accounts of basic discoveries of America and particularly the French explorations into Canada and the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley regions, the search for a Northwest Passage, the activities of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the ill-fated Selkirk colony, and Minnesota history.Part I of the Catalogue is devoted to the Jesuit Relations collections, which includes 77 variants. This section was prepared by the late Mr. Walter, librarian emeritus of the University of Minnesota. Part II of the Catalogue, completed by Miss Doneghy, former cataloguer at the University of Minnesota library, after Mr. Walter’s death, describes the remainder of the collection. Extensive bibliographical and historical notes are given in both sections.The book is beautifully illustrated with plates showing title pages and other examples of typography and illustrations from the books described. There is a foreword by Mr. Walter and a brief preface in which Mr. Bell expresses his philosophy on the collecting of rare editions.The arrangement of items in both sections of the catalogue is chronological by date of publication.
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John and Sebastian Cabot
The Discovery of North America
Charles Raymond Beazley
Westholme Publishing, 2015
A Classic in the History of Exploration, a Judicious Account of the Role of the Cabots in the Discovery of the New World
John Cabot, Giovanni Caboto in his native Italian, led an expedition to the New World in 1497 on behalf of King Henry VII of England. He is considered the first European to explore North America since the Viking voyages five hundred years earlier. Although Cabot’s exact landfall on his first voyage is not known—it could have been Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, or even Maine—his claim for England to this territory countered the Spanish and Portuguese explorations to the south, and changed world history. Cabot made three roundtrips between Bristol, England, and North America, and later, his son Sebastian, made two similar voyages. John and Sebastian Cabot: The Discovery of North America by historian Sir Charles Raymond Beazley was first published in 1898. Its enduring value in addition to its lucid, well-balanced and researched narrative is the author’s detailed history of prior voyages to the North American continent, including those from China and the Pacific Islands as well as those from the realms of mythology. The author also includes all extant references to the Cabots in historical documents.
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Journal and Letter Book of Nicholas Buckeridge, 1651-1654
John Jenson
University of Minnesota Press, 1973
Journal and Letter Book of Nicholas Buckeridge, 1651-1654 was first published in 1973. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.Nicholas Buckeridge was an employee of the East India Company from the 1640’s into the 1660’s, and his journal and letter book provide an account of English trade with India, Persia and East Africa in the mid-seventeenth century, a period for which few records of this kind have survived. Many logbooks and journals of the early years of the company have been preserved at the India office but materials for the general period of 1645 to 1660 are very scant. Buckeridge describes the places he visited, the problems of trading, the goods traded, and some of the prices obtained in the trading. The journal complements the early records of the Assada plantation venture of the East India Company and also provides a picture of the perilous life of a merchantman in his endeavors for the company. The editor, a former rare-book librarian at the University of Minnesota, provides a general introduction as well as brief introductions to each of the eighteen pieces from the letter book and journal. There are a facsimile reproduction of a page from the Buckeridge account and two maps. This is a publication from the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota.
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The Juan Pardo Expeditions
Exploration of the Carolinas and Tennessee, 1566-1568
Charles Hudson. Afterword by David G. Moore, Robin A. Beck Jr., and Christopher B. Rodning
University of Alabama Press, 2005
An early Spanish explorer’s account of American Indians.
 
This volume mines the Pardo documents to reveal a wealth of information pertaining to Pardo’s routes, his encounters and interactions with native peoples, the social, hierarchical, and political structures of the Indians, and clues to the ethnic identities of Indians known previously only through archaeology. The new afterword reveals recent archaeological evidence of Pardo’s Fort San Juan--the earliest site of sustained interaction between Europeans and Indians--demonstrating the accuracy of Hudson’s route reconstructions.
 
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La Harpe's Post
Tales of French-Wichita Contact on the Eastern Plains
George H. Odell
University of Alabama Press, 2002

This major contribution to contact period studies points to the Lasley Vore site in modern Oklahoma as the most likely first meeting place of Plains Indians and Europeans more than 300 years ago.

In 1718, Jean-Baptiste Bénard, Sieur de la Harpe, departed St. Malo in Brittany for the New World. La Harpe, a member of the French bourgeoisie, arrived at Dauphin Island on the Gulf coast to take up the entrepreneurial concession provided by the director of the French colony, Jean Baptiste LeMoyne de Bienville. La Harpe's charge was to open a trading post on the Red River just above a Caddoan village not far from present-day Texarkana. Following the establishment of this post, La Harpe ventured farther north to extend his trade market into the region occupied by the Wichita Indians. Here he encountered a Tawakoni village with an estimated 6,000 inhabitants, a number that swelled to 7,000 during the ten-day visit.

Despite years of ethnohistoric and archaeological research, no scholar had successfully established where this important meeting took place. Then in 1988, George Odell and his crew surveyed and excavated an area 13 miles south of Tulsa, along the Arkansas River, that revealed undeniable association of Native American habitation refuse with 18th-century European trade goods.

Odell here presents a full account of the presumed location of the Tawakoni village as revealed through the analysis of excavated materials from nine specialist collaborators. In a strikingly well-written narrative report, employing careful study and innovative analysis supported by appendixes containing the excavation data, Odell combines documentary history and archaeological evidence to pinpoint the probable site of the first European contact with North American Plains Indians.

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The Land Lies Open
Theodore Blegen
University of Minnesota Press, 1949
The Land Lies Open was first published in 1949. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.In The Land Lies Open some of the thousands of characters and incidents that made up the panorama of exploration and settlement in the Upper Mississippi Valley are recreated. Although the author is an outstanding professional historian, he writes with the narrative skill of a novelist; his history is never dry and remote, but always vividly alive.Here are the stories of a few of the many thousands who, when the land at last lay open, moved in to people it. From the rich mosaic of their lives Mr. Blegen has set down tales that stir the imagination. Some of the men Mr. Blegen writes about have famous names – Father Louis Hennepin, La Vérendrye, Hernando de Soto, Louis Jolliet – but most of them were jjust plain people unknown to present-day Americans. There are stories of adventurous sons of New France, England, and America who slowly, over a period of more than two centuries, opened to knowledge and usefulness the river channels leading into the great Midwest.The tales set down in The Land Lies Open vary from an exciting buffalo hunt to the story of immigrant farmers who came to the Midwest and patiently coaxed new kinds of fruit and grain to maturity. There are stories of bitter townsite rivalries, of a covered wagon heroine, of the Yankees who moved westward to leave the stamp of New England on the midwestern frontier, and of “pioneers of the second line” who developed new forms of social organization and action as these were needed.Once more, as in Grass Roots History, Mr. Blegen gives eloquent proof that history is not made by spectacular events or the experiences of a few exceptional people, but by all the small, everyday people whose names are unfamiliar.
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The Last Blank Spaces
Exploring Africa and Australia
Dane Kennedy
Harvard University Press, 2013

For a British Empire that stretched across much of the globe at the start of the nineteenth century, the interiors of Africa and Australia remained intriguing mysteries. The challenge of opening these continents to imperial influence fell to a proto-professional coterie of determined explorers. They sought knowledge, adventure, and fame, but often experienced confusion, fear, and failure. The Last Blank Spaces follows the arc of these explorations, from idea to practice, from intention to outcome, from myth to reality.

Those who conducted the hundreds of expeditions that probed Africa and Australia in the nineteenth century adopted a mode of scientific investigation that had been developed by previous generations of seaborne explorers. They likened the two continents to oceans, empty spaces that could be made truly knowable only by mapping, measuring, observing, and preserving. They found, however, that their survival and success depended less on this system of universal knowledge than it did on the local knowledge possessed by native peoples.

While explorers sought to advance the interests of Britain and its emigrant communities, Dane Kennedy discovers a more complex outcome: expeditions that failed ignominiously, explorers whose loyalties proved ambivalent or divided, and, above all, local states and peoples who diverted expeditions to serve their own purposes. The collisions, and occasional convergences, between British and indigenous values, interests, and modes of knowing the world are brought to the fore in this fresh and engaging study.

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The Longest Voyage
Circumnavigators in the Age of Discovery
Robert Silverberg
Ohio University Press, 1997

From the intense and brooding Magellan and the glamorous and dashing Sir Francis Drake; to Thomas Cavendish, who set off to plunder Spain’s American gold and the Dutch circumnavigators, whose numbers included pirates as well as explorers and merchants,  Robert Silverberg  captures the adventures and seafaring exploits of a bygone era.

Over the course of a century, European circumnavigators in small ships charted the coast of the New World and explored the Pacific Ocean. Characterized by fierce nationalism, competitiveness, and bloodshed, The Longest Voyage: Circumnavigators in the Age of Discovery  captures the drama, danger, and personalities in the colorful story of the first voyages around the world. These accounts begin with Magellan’s unprecedented 1519–22 circumnavigation, providing an immediate, exciting, and intimate glimpse into that historic venture. The story includes frequent threats of mutiny; the nearly unendurable extremes of heat, cold, hunger, thirst, and fatigue; the fear, tedium, and moments of despair; the discoveries of exotic new peoples and strange new lands; and, finally, Magellan’s own dramatic death during a fanatical attempt to convert native Philippine islanders to Christianity.

Capturing the total context of political climate and historical change that made the Age of Discovery one of excitement and drama, Silverberg brings a motley crew of early ocean explorers vividly to life.

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Lost Shores, Forgotten Peoples
Spanish Explorations of the South East Maya Lowlands
Lawrence H. Feldman, ed. and translator
Duke University Press, 2000
Long after the Aztecs and the Incas had become a fading memory, a Maya civilization still thrived in the interior of Central America. Lost Shores, Forgotten Peoples is the first collection and translation of important seventeenth-century narratives about Europeans travelling across the great “Ocean Sea” and encountering a people who had maintained an independent existence in the lowlands of Guatemala and Belize.
In these narratives—primary documents written by missionaries and conquistadors—vivid details of these little known Mayan cultures are revealed, answering how and why lowlanders were able to evade Spanish conquest while similar civilizations could not. Fascinating tales of the journey from Europe are included, involving unknown islands, lost pilots, life aboard a galleon fleet, political intrigue, cannibals, and breathtaking natural beauty. In short, these forgotten manuscripts—translations of the papers of the past—provide an unforgettable look at an understudied chapter in the age of exploration.
Lost Shores, Forgotten Peoples will appeal to archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians interested in Central America, the Maya, and the Spanish Conquest.

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Merchants and Scholars
Essays in the History of Exploration and Trade
John Parker
University of Minnesota Press, 1965
Merchants and Scholars was first published in 1965. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.This volume of essays, collected in memory of James Ford Bell, reflects in some measure the broad scope and rich diversity of the James Ford Bell Collection of the University of Minnesota Library. All ten of the essays are based on or related to materials in the Bell collection.Founded by the late Mr. Bell, who was a prominent figure in the modern economic history of Minnesota, the collection had its origins in his interest in the commercial penetration of North America. As the collection developed, it became apparent that it would not be possible to study the merchants and explorers who came to North America apart from their contemporaries who probed South America, Africa, and Asia. The scope of the collection thus was expanded until it became worldwide, including the works of philosophers, geographers, navigators, merchants, and others who provided European readers with the knowledge they needed to enlarge their sphere of commerce.In an introduction, John Parker, former curator of the collection, explains the significance of the concept of the Bell collection to an understanding of history. He makes it clear that we cannot understand the reality of a world laced together by the bonds of commerce until we have learned how these bonds developed.The essays, which cover a wide range of subjects, show the interdependence of men of adventure and their scholarly contemporaries. Essays by Thomas Goldstein and Elisabeth Hirsch show that the scientists and humanists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were deeply concerned with geographic thought and new discoveries. David Quinn and Ward Barrett discuss economic undertakings by merchants of the Old World in the New, while Burton Stein and Paul Bamford deal with historic problems of economy in Asia and the Mediterranean, respectively. John Webb, Frank Gillis, and Ernst Abbe relate economic enterprise and exploration to the development of the cartography of Russia and Hudson Bay. Helen Wallis and O.H.K. Spate concern themselves with English and French interests in the southern oceans. In its publication of these studies the Bell collection continues the tradition of cooperation between the merchant and the scholar.
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Mission in the Marianas
An Account of Father Diego Luis de Sanvitores and His Companions, 1669-1670
Ward Barrett
University of Minnesota Press, 1975
Mission in the Marianas was first published in 1975. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.The source of this translation is a pamphlet published in Madrid in about 1671 about the culture of the people of the Marianas Islands and a report of the second year of the Jesuit mission there. It was compiled by Jesuit Andrés de Ledesma from letters written by Father Diego Luis de Sanvítores and his companions at the mission. As Professor Barrett writes in his commentary: “Its pages ring and echo with the rhetoric of the missionaries who with single-minded devotion both followed and preceded the sword in the Spanish Empire. It was the fervid zeal of Diego Luis de Sanvítores that altered so greatly the lives of the people of the Marianas and led to his celebrated martyrdom there in 1672.” This is a publication from the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota.
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The Misunderstood Mission of Jean Nicolet
Uncovering the Story of the 1634 Journey
Patrick J. Jung
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2018
For years, schoolchildren heard the story of Jean Nicolet’s arrival in Wisconsin. But the popularized image of the hapless explorer landing with billowing robe and guns blazing, supposedly believing himself to have found a passage to China, is based on scant evidence—a false narrative perpetuated by fanciful artists’ renditions and repetition. 

In more recent decades, historians have pieced together a story that is not only more likely but more complicated and interesting. Patrick Jung synthesizes the research about Nicolet and his superior Samuel de Champlain, whose diplomatic goals in the region are crucial to understanding this much misunderstood journey across the Great Lakes. Additionally, historical details about Franco-Indian relations and the search for the Northwest Passage provide a framework for understanding Nicolet’s famed mission.
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The Mortal Sea
Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail
W. Jeffrey Bolster
Harvard University Press, 2012

Since the Viking ascendancy in the Middle Ages, the Atlantic has shaped the lives of people who depend upon it for survival. And just as surely, people have shaped the Atlantic. In his innovative account of this interdependency, W. Jeffrey Bolster, a historian and professional seafarer, takes us through a millennium-long environmental history of our impact on one of the largest ecosystems in the world.

While overfishing is often thought of as a contemporary problem, Bolster reveals that humans were transforming the sea long before factory trawlers turned fishing from a handliner's art into an industrial enterprise. The western Atlantic's legendary fishing banks, stretching from Cape Cod to Newfoundland, have attracted fishermen for more than five hundred years. Bolster follows the effects of this siren's song from its medieval European origins to the advent of industrialized fishing in American waters at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Blending marine biology, ecological insight, and a remarkable cast of characters, from notable explorers to scientists to an army of unknown fishermen, Bolster tells a story that is both ecological and human: the prelude to an environmental disaster. Over generations, harvesters created a quiet catastrophe as the sea could no longer renew itself. Bolster writes in the hope that the intimate relationship humans have long had with the ocean, and the species that live within it, can be restored for future generations.

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The Natural History of Lewis and Clark Expedition
Raymond Darwin Burroughs
Michigan State University Press, 1995

First published in 1961, The Natural History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was the first work to discuss in detail the contributions to America's natural history made by the Corps of Discovery (1804-1806), or the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as it is popularly known. Raymond Darwin Burroughs tallied the quantity of game killed and consumed during the course of the expedition.
     This paperback edition of Burroughs' work contains the entire original text, as well as a new introduction by Lewis and Clark scholar Robert Carriker. The major contribution of The Natural History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was to organize and catalog the disparate discussions of animal and plant life that are scattered throughout the original journals by expedition members. These observations are presented in the explorers' words along with Burroughs's expert commentary.

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The Natural World of Lewis and Clark
David A. Dalton
University of Missouri Press, 2007

On their journey westward, Lewis and Clark demonstrated an amazing ability to identify the new plants and animals they encountered, and their observations enriched science’s understanding of the trans-Mississippi West. Others have written about their discoveries and have faithfully cataloged their findings; now a twenty-first-century biologist reexamines some of those discoveries in the light of modern science to show for the first time their lasting biological significance.

            The Natural World of Lewis and Clark interprets the expedition’s findings from a modern perspective to show how advances such as DNA research, modern understanding of proteins, and the latest laboratory methods shed new light on them. David Dalton recounts the expedition’s observations and, in clear, readily accessible terms, relates them to principles of ecology, genetics, physiology, and even animal behavior.

            Writing in informal language with a bit of wry humor, Dalton invites readers to imagine the West that Lewis and Clark found, revealing the dynamic features of nature and the dramatic changes that earlier peoples brought about. He explains surprising facts, ranging from why Indians used cottonwood bark as winter feed for horses to why the explorers experienced gastric distress with some foods, and even why the Expedition’s dog would have been well-advised to avoid a diet of salmon.

Dalton introduces the tools and techniques of today’s science in a way that won’t intimidate nonspecialist readers. Throughout the book he expertly balances botanical and zoological information, with coverage ranging from the extinction of large animals in North America a few thousand years ago to the expected effects of invasive species and climate change in the coming centuries.

            Enhanced with unusual and informative illustrations—not only nature photography but also historical images—this book will fascinate any reader with an interest in the natural history of the American West as well as broader issues in conservation and ecology. The Natural World of Lewis and Clark tells the story behind the story of this remarkable expedition and shows that its legacy extended not only across a continent but also into our own time.

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Neither Hee Nor Any of His Companie Did Return Againe
Failed Colonies in the Caribbean and Latin America, 1492–1865
David MacDonald
Westholme Publishing, 2023
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries European powers vied for control of the land and resources in the Caribbean and Latin America. Colonies made Spain rich through gold, silver, and gems looted from the Native cultures, along with rare and exotic goods such as tobacco, sugar, and dyewood, and even humble products such as hides. In rapid turn, other European monarchies and merchants sent out colonizing expeditions to the region to exploit the resources of the New World, but creating permanent footholds was perilous. All European settlements founded in the New World faced a variety of challenges, including food supply, inconsistent support from Europe, leadership, ignorance of the area colonized, irrational expectations, religious discord, relations with Native peoples, and violent national rivalries. Colonies that succeeded and those that failed faced the same challenges, although in differing degrees and circumstances. The margin between survival and disaster was always small—there were few chances to succeed and the risk of failure was never far away. 
   In Neither Hee Nor Any of His Companie Did Return Againe: Failed Colonies in the Caribbean and Latin America, 1492–1865, historians David MacDonald and Raine Waters examine the European, and later American, failures to establish permanent settlements in the region. Beginning with Columbus’s ill-conceived ventures, the authors discuss the efforts, from German claims in Venezuela and Scottish attempts in Panama to defeated Confederates fleeing to Mexico, Brazil, and elsewhere. For each colony, the primary source information is contextualized and evaluated. Along the way, the authors determine commonalities across these ill-fated colonies as well as underscore the fact that while Indigenous peoples of the region often vigorously resisted predatory European colonization, their numbers were decimated by relentless warfare, slave raids, and European diseases. As Indian populations declined, colonists imported African slaves in large numbers. The brutal treatment of slaves resulted in those who escaped creating their own settlements that existed in a state of endemic warfare with European colonists. An important contribution to Atlantic World studies, this volume reveals the fine line between colonies that thrived and those that failed.
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New Worlds, Ancient Texts
The Power of Tradition and the Shock of Discovery
Anthony Grafton
Harvard University Press, 1992
Describing an era of exploration during the Renaissance that went far beyond geographic bounds, this book shows how the evidence of the New World shook the foundations of the old, upsetting the authority of the ancient texts that had guided Europeans so far afield. What Anthony Grafton recounts is a war of ideas fought by mariners, scientists, publishers, and rulers over a period of 150 years. In colorful vignettes, published debates, and copious illustrations, we see these men and their contemporaries trying to make sense of their discoveries as they sometimes confirm, sometimes contest, and finally displace traditional notions of the world beyond Europe.
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Now Is the Time to Collect
Daniel Giraud Elliot, Carl Akeley, and the Field Museum African Expedition of 1896
Paul D. Brinkman
University of Alabama Press, 2024
The rediscovery of a curator’s lost journal illuminates the astonishing African journey that formed the basis of the Chicago Field Museum’s famed collections

“Now” Is the Time to Collect tells the fascinating story of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History’s zoological expedition to Africa in 1896, the source of many of the museum’s foundational collections and an astounding episode in nineteenth-century science. After the well-publicized extinction of the dodo and Carolina parakeet and the collapse of the American bison population, late nineteenth-century naturalists expected many more vulnerable species to die out with spread of Western-style industrialization. This triggered a race to collect rare species of animals expected soon to be lost forever.

Established in 1893, Chicago’s ambitious Field Museum aimed to become a global center of study. Zoologist Daniel Giraud Elliot persuaded museum patrons to fund an immediate expedition to British Somaliland (contemporary Somalia). There, his team hunted and killed hundreds of animals for the growing collection. On the trip was groundbreaking taxonomist Carl Akeley. Back in Chicago, Akeley created captivating lifelike dioramas of rare animal groups that enhanced the museum’s fame and remain popular to this day.

Enriched with illuminated passages from Elliot’s journal, only recently rediscovered, “Now” Is the Time to Collect is the first book of its kind by an American museum and a case study in what author Paul D. Brinkman calls “salvage zoology”—the practice of aggressively collecting rare animal specimens for preservation just prior to the birth of the modern conservation movement. It is a riveting account of the expedition, the travelers’ experiences in Somalia during its colonial period, and the astonishing origins of one of Chicago’s classic museum experiences.
 
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The Odyssey of Ibn Battuta
Uncommon Tales of a Medieval Adventurer
David Waines
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Ibn Battuta was, without doubt, one of the world’s truly great travelers. Born in fourteenth-century Morocco, and a contemporary of Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta left an account in his own words of his remarkable journeys, punctuated by adventure and peril, throughout the Islamic world and beyond. Whether sojourning in Delhi and the Maldives, wandering through the mazy streets of Cairo and Damascus, or contesting with pirates and shipwreck, the indefatigable Ibn Battuta brought to vivid life a medieval world brimming with marvel and mystery. Carefully observing the great diversity of civilizations that he encountered, Ibn Battuta exhibited an omnivorous interest in such matters as food and drink; religious differences among Christians, Hindus, and Shia Muslims; and ideas about purity and impurity, disease, women, and sex.

David Waines offers here a graceful analysis of Ibn Battuta’s travelogue. This is a gripping treatment of the life and times of one of history’s most daring, and at the same time most human, adventurers.

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Peter Fidler
From York Factory to the Rocky Mountains
Barbara Belyea
University Press of Colorado, 2020
In 1792–93 Peter Fidler surveyed the Hudson’s Bay Company’s river and overland routes west from York Factory. He traveled with a fur brigade up the Hayes and Saskatchewan Rivers and then spent the winter months with a Piikani band who hunted buffalo in the Rocky Mountain foothills. Fidler kept precise journals that make it possible to follow the traders’ passage over a lake-strewn landscape and across the plains. The journal texts combine astronomical observations, notation of distances and directions, small sketch maps, and verbal descriptions. Peter Fidler: From York Factory to the Rocky Mountains presents two of Fidler’s survey journals edited and extensively annotated by historian Barbara Belyea from manuscripts in the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives.
 
The two journals—“From York Factory to Buckingham House” and “From Buckingham House to the Rocky Mountains”—detail Fidler’s travels over a period of nine months. They include remarks on fur trade history, organization of the inland brigade, three distinct geographical regions, and the daily life of a Plains nation. Belyea’s introduction and ample notes provide insight into the way geographic, specifically cartographic, information was noted in the journals, with additional information on industry trading techniques, traders’ economic decisions, broad changes in regional social and economic conditions, and interactions with indigenous peoples.
 
Fidler’s journals are an exceptional record of the fur trade’s western expansion and the daily life of a Plains nation at the height of its power and prosperity. With its rich analysis of primary source documents and painstaking reproduction of historical trade routes, Peter Fidler: From York Factory to the Rocky Mountains will be of great value to students and scholars in the fields of fur trade studies, cartography, travel literature, and Canadian history, as well as general readers interested in westward expansion, exploration, commerce, and indigenous-colonial relations.
 
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The Powell Expedition
New Discoveries about John Wesley Powell's 1869 River Journey
Don Lago
University of Nevada Press, 2017
John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon continues to be one of the most celebrated adventures in American history, ranking with the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Apollo landings on the moon. For nearly twenty years Lago has researched the Powell expedition from new angles, traveled to thirteen states, and looked into archives and other sources no one else has searched. He has come up with many important new documents that change and expand our basic understanding of the expedition by looking into Powell’s crewmembers, some of whom have been almost entirely ignored by Powell historians. Historians tended to assume that Powell was the whole story and that his crewmembers were irrelevant. More seriously, because several crew members made critical comments about Powell and his leadership, historians who admired Powell were eager to ignore and discredit them.
 
Lago offers a feast of new and important material about the river trip, and it will significantly rewrite the story of Powell’s famous expedition. This book is not only a major work on the Powell expedition, but on the history of American exploration of the West.
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Rhumb Lines and Map Wars
A Social History of the Mercator Projection
Mark Monmonier
University of Chicago Press, 2004
In Rhumb Lines and Map Wars, Mark Monmonier offers an insightful, richly illustrated account of the controversies surrounding Flemish cartographer Gerard Mercator's legacy. He takes us back to 1569, when Mercator announced a clever method of portraying the earth on a flat surface, creating the first projection to take into account the earth's roundness. As Monmonier shows, mariners benefited most from Mercator's projection, which allowed for easy navigation of the high seas with rhumb lines—clear-cut routes with a constant compass bearing—for true direction. But the projection's popularity among nineteenth-century sailors led to its overuse—often in inappropriate, non-navigational ways—for wall maps, world atlases, and geopolitical propaganda.

Because it distorts the proportionate size of countries, the Mercator map was criticized for inflating Europe and North America in a promotion of colonialism. In 1974, German historian Arno Peters proffered his own map, on which countries were ostensibly drawn in true proportion to one another. In the ensuing "map wars" of the 1970s and 1980s, these dueling projections vied for public support—with varying degrees of success.

Widely acclaimed for his accessible, intelligent books on maps and mapping, Monmonier here examines the uses and limitations of one of cartography's most significant innovations. With informed skepticism, he offers insightful interpretations of why well-intentioned clerics and development advocates rallied around the Peters projection, which flagrantly distorted the shape of Third World nations; why journalists covering the controversy ignored alternative world maps and other key issues; and how a few postmodern writers defended the Peters worldview with a self-serving overstatement of the power of maps. Rhumb Lines and Map Wars is vintage Monmonier: historically rich, beautifully written, and fully engaged with the issues of our time.
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Route for the Overland Stage
James H. Simpson's 1859 Trail Across the Great Basin
Jesse G. Petersen
Utah State University Press, 2008

The 1859 exploration of the Great Basin by army topographical engineer James Simpson opened up one of the West's most important transportation and communication corridors, a vital link between the Pacific Coast and the rest of the nation. It became the route of the Pony Express and the Overland Mail and Stage, the line of the Pacific telegraph, a major wagon road for freighters and emigrants, and, later, the first transcontinental auto road, the Lincoln Highway, now Highway 50.

No one has accurately tracked or mapped Simpson's original route, until now. Jesse Petersen shows in words, maps, and photos exactly where the explorer went. Sharing his detective-like reasoning as he walked or drove the entire trail west and Simpson's variant route returning east, Petersen takes readers on a mountain and desert trek through some of America's most remote and striking landscapes.

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Rude and Barbarous Kingdom
Russia in the Accounts of Sixteenth-Century English Voyagers
Edited by Lloyd E. Berry and Robert O. Crummey
University of Wisconsin Press, 1972

Lloyd E. Berry and Robert O. Crummey offer edited accounts of six English voyagers and their experiences in Muscovy Russia between 1553 and 1600. With modernized spelling and presentation, these accounts are accompanied by a glossary of Russian terms, introductions of their authors, and annotations that help put the travelers’ narratives into perspective.

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Rude Pursuits and Rugged Peaks
Schoolcraft's Ozark Journal, 1818-1819
H. Schoolcraft
University of Arkansas Press, 1996
In the winter of 1818, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft set out from Potosi, Missouri, to document lead mines in the interior of the Ozarks. Intending only to make his fortune by publishing an account of the area's mineral resources, he became the first skilled observer to witness and record frontier life in the Ozarks.

The journal kept by Schoolcraft as he traveled ninety days in the rugged terrain of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas was originally published in 1821 and has become an essential record of Ozark territorial society and natural history documenting some of the earliest American settlers in the region, the power and beauty of many lost portions of the White River, the majesty of the open prairies, and the wealth of wildlife once found in the Ozarks.
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Slicing the Silence
Voyaging to Antarctica
Tom Griffiths
Harvard University Press, 2007

From Scott and Shackleton to sled dogs and penguins, stories of Antarctica seize our imagination. In December 2002, environmental historian Tom Griffiths set sail with the Australian Antarctic Division to deliver the new team of winterers. In this beautifully written book, Griffiths reflects on the history of human experiences in Antarctica, taking the reader on a journey of discovery, exploration, and adventure in an unforgettable land.

He weaves together meditations on shipboard life during his three-week voyage with fascinating forays into the history and nature of Antarctica. He brings alive the great age of sail in the initiation of travelers to the great winds of the “roaring forties.” No continent is more ruled by wind, and Griffiths explains why Antarctica is a barometer of global climatic health. He charts the race to the South Pole, from its inception as part of the drive to map Earth’s magnetism, to the reasons for Robert Scott’s tragic death. He also offers vivid descriptions of life in Antarctica, such as the experience of a polar night, the importance of food for morale, and coping with solitude.

A charming narrative and an informative history, Slicing the Silence is an intimate portrait of the last true wilderness.

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Spain and the Plains
Myths and Realities of Spanish Exploration and Settlement on the Great Plains
Ralph H. Vigil
University Press of Colorado, 2007
The myths of settlement of the Great Plains usually conjure up images of Anglo-American pioneers moving into a sea of grass, opposed by Native peoples. Such myths leave out the considerable influence of Spain. Spain and the Plains corrects this error, revealing the Plains as a northern frontier of New Spain, a frontier antedating the northern European presence in North America, and a frontier where Spanish and Native peoples met, clashed, and blended.

Spain and the Plains introduces and documents Spanish exploration of and migration to the Plains, examines the myths that shaped Spanish exploration and the pragmatic realities of exploration and settlement, and documents racism and misrepresentation that Hispanic groups encountered in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Contributors show how early explorers, shaped by the intellectual context of the Renaissance, sought mythical locales: the fountain of youth, the straits of Anian, and the city of Quivira. They describe how exploration shifted to emphasize military and economic gains in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Essays portray the diaspora of Spanish settlers and reconstruct daily life in their settlements on the Plains.

This unique collection paints a clear picture of a crucial but often misrepresented and neglected era in American and Spanish history.

The editors, all authors of previous books, are affiliated with the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where Frances W. Kaye is a professor of English, John R. Wunder is a professor of history and journalism, and Ralph H. Vigil is a professor emeritus of history and ethnic studies. Contributors include Félix D. Almaráz Jr., Thomas E. Chávez, Frances W. Kaye, Russell M. Magnaghi, Ralph H. Vigil, Waldo R. Wedel, and John R. Wunder.

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The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815
A Reader of Primary Sources
Christina Lee
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
The Spanish Pacific designates the space Spain colonized or aspired to rule in Asia between 1521--with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan--and 1815--the end of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade route. It encompasses what we identify today as the Philippines and the Marianas, but also China, Japan, and other parts of Asia that in the Spanish imagination were extensions of its Latin American colonies. This reader provides a selection of documents relevant to the encounters and entanglements that arose in the Spanish Pacific between European, Spanish Americans, and Asians while highlighting the role of natives, mestizos, and women. A-first-of-its-kind, each of the documents in this collection was selected, translated into English, and edited by a different scholar in the field of early modern Spanish Pacific studies, who also provided commentary and bibliography.
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Surviving Spanish Conquest
Indian Fight, Flight, and Cultural Transformation in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico
Karen F. Anderson-Córdova
University of Alabama Press, 2017
Surviving Spanish Conquest reveals the transformation that occurred in Indian communities during the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico from 1492 to 1550.

In Surviving Spanish Conquest: Indian Fight, Flight, and Cultural Transformation in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, Karen F. Anderson-Córdova draws on archaeological, historical, and ethnohistorical sources to elucidate the impacts of sixteenth-century Spanish conquest and colonization on indigenous peoples in the Greater Antilles. Moving beyond the conventional narratives of the quick demise of the native populations because of forced labor and the spread of Old World diseases, this book shows the complexity of the initial exchange between the Old and New Worlds and examines the myriad ways the indigenous peoples responded to Spanish colonization.
 
Focusing on Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, the first Caribbean islands to be conquered and colonized by the Spanish, Anderson-Córdova explains Indian sociocultural transformation within the context of two specific processes, out-migration and in-migration, highlighting how population shifts contributed to the diversification of peoples. For example, as the growing presence of “foreign” Indians from other areas of the Caribbean complicated the variety of responses by Indian groups, her investigation reveals that Indians who were subjected to slavery, or the “encomienda system,” accommodated and absorbed many Spanish customs, yet resumed their own rituals when allowed to return to their villages. Other Indians fled in response to the arrival of the Spanish.
 
The culmination of years of research, Surviving Spanish Conquest deftly incorporates archaeological investigations at contact sites copious use of archival materials, and anthropological assessments of the contact period in the Caribbean. Ultimately, understanding the processes of Indian-Spanish interaction in the Caribbean enhances comprehension of colonization in many other parts of the world. Anderson-Córdova concludes with a discussion regarding the resurgence of interest in the Taíno people and their culture, especially of individuals who self-identify as Taíno. This volume provides a wealth of insight to historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and those interested in early cultures in contact.
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Three Voyages
Rene Laudonniere
University of Alabama Press, 2001

This translation of an eyewitness account by a major participant offers valuable information about all three attempts to establish a French colony on the south Atlantic coast of North America.



Rene Laudonniere's account of the three attempts by France to colonize what is now the United States is uniquely valuable because
he played a major role in each of the ventures—first, in 1562, as second in command during the founding of the ill-fated Charlesport, then as commander for the establishment of Fort Caroline on Florida's St. Johns River in 1564, and finally as the one to welcome French reinforcements the following year. It was also Laudonniere's destiny to witness the tragic fall of Fort Caroline to Spanish claims one month later.




Laudonniere wrote his chronicle, L'histoire Notable de la Floride, in 1565 following the fall of Fort Caroline as he recuperated in England. Much more than an account of his feelings and adventures, Laudonniere's history reveals him to be an exceedingly able and accurate geographer with a highly developed interest in anthropology.




The first English translation was published by Richard Hakluyt in 1587. Charles E. Bennett's graceful and accurate rendering in modern English was first published in 1975 by the University Press of Florida. Besides the account, thoroughly annotated and with present-day names identifying sites visited by the Frenchman, this volume includes a valuable introductory essay. The appendices to the volume are four noteworthy documents, the last of which—a guide to plants of 16th-century Florida—will be of exceptional interest to naturalists, gardeners, and students of folklore. The account itself will fascinate professional historians and anthropologists as well as general readers interested in the exciting and often moving
events of early European settlement in the New World.




Rene Laudonniere was a French adventurer and explorer of the 16th century who wrote L'histoire Notable de la Floride. Charles E. Bennett is a historian and former Florida congressman. He was coauthor of the Moss-Bennett legislation and was instrumental in the establishment of the Fort Caroline National Memorial and the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve. Jerald T. Milanich is Curator in Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

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To My Dearest Wife, Lide
Letters from George B. Gideon Jr. during Commodore Perry’s Expedition to Japan, 1853–1855
Edited by M. Patrick Sauer and David A. Ranzan
University of Alabama Press, 2019
A personal account of Commodore Perry’s landmark expedition to Japan and life in the antebellum navy
 
George B. Gideon Jr. served as second assistant engineer aboard the  USS Powhatan from 1852 to 1856. From his position on the steam  frigate, Gideon traveled to Singapore, Labuan, Borneo, Hong Kong, and many other Asian lands. During his time at sea, Gideon penned dozens of letters to his wife, Lide, back home in Philadelphia. Recently  discovered in the attic of his great-great-grandniece, were fifty-one letters penned by Gideon providing thorough and insightful commentary  throughout the voyage.

Through these correspondences, Gideon laboriously documents the details of his daily life on board, from the food they ate to the technical aspects of his work, as well as observations concerning the historical events unfolding around him, such as Chinese piracy, the Taiping Rebellion, the Crimean War, and the devastation of Shimoda.  To My Dearest Wife, Lide: Letters from George B. Gideon Jr. during  Commodore Perry’s Expedition to Japan, 1853–1855 is a rare first-person account of the landmark American naval expedition to Japan to establish commercial relations between the two countries. Gideon’s letters have been meticulously transcribed and annotated by the editors and are an invaluable primary historical source.

Gideon’s letters are candid and revealing, delving into the rampant dysfunction in the navy of the 1850s—sickness and disease, alcohol abuse, and poor leadership, among other challenges. Gideon also unabashedly shares his own cynical views of the navy’s role in supporting American economic interests in Japan. This firsthand account of the political mission of the Perry expedition is a unique contribution to naval and military history and gives readers a better view of life aboard a navy ship.
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Trading Territories
Mapping the Early Modern World
Jerry Brotton
Reaktion Books, 1997
Trading Territories is a beautifully illustrated book that offers a new account of the status of maps and geographical knowledge in the early modern world. Focusing on how early European geographers mapped the territories of the Old World—Africa and Southeast Asia—Jerry Brotton contends that the historical preoccupation with Columbus’s “discovery” of the New World in 1492 has tended to obscure the importance of the mapping of territories that have been defined as “eastern.”
 
Brotton situates the rise of early modern mapping within the context of the seaborne commercial adventures of the early maritime empires—the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Ottomans, the Dutch, and the English—and explores the ways in which maps and globes were used to mediate the commercial and diplomatic disputes between these empires. Rather than the development of early maps being shaped by disinterested intellectual pursuits, Trading Territories argues that trade, diplomacy, and financial speculation played the most essential role.
 
“In this outstanding study of maps and mapping, Jerry Brotton reveals a dynamism in the transaction between East and West beyond anything we have previously appreciated.”—Lisa Jardine, Queen Mary, University of London
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Tragic History Of The Sea
C.R. Boxer
University of Minnesota Press, 2001

Compelling stories of shipwreck, adventure, and death on the high seas, now back in print.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were a time of great colonial expansion, marked by a mercantile frenzy of ships carrying merchants, aristocrats, missionaries, sailors, Inquisitors, botanists, and statesmen pursuing the spoils of empire. Among the narratives that chronicled these voyages, those of the Portuguese are unequaled. C. R. Boxer’s fascinating translations of famous Portuguese shipwreck stories detail the disasters and terrors plaguing the perilous sea trading route between Portugal and India.

In the tradition of Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare, Defoe, and Poe, these dramatic stories of shipwreck—and those who lived to tell about it—represent existence and survival pushed to the limits. They describe disastrous turns of fate and miraculous rescues, heroism and cowardice, and offer the exhilaration and sheer emotive appeal of a tale of adventure well told. Often circulated in pamphlet form, these stories recounting the dangers and terrors of storm-tossed ocean voyages and the fate of castaways in distant lands were a popular genre, rife with compelling and often gory details. This first ever paperback edition includes a new translation of the tragic tale of Captain Manuel de Sousa Sepúlveda, shipwrecked with his family on the sands of Africa in 1552, the previous English versions of which have long been unavailable. Vividly descriptive and engrossing, these tales of selfishness, cruelty, despair, pirates, mayhem, and harrowing storms will captivate readers.
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The Travels of Reverend Olafur Egilsson
Karl Smari Hreinsson
Catholic University of America Press, 2016
The combination of Reverend Olafur's narrative, the letters, and the material in the Appendices provides a first-hand, in-depth view of early seventeenth-century Europe and the Maghreb equaled by few other works dealing with the period. We are pleased to offer it to the wider audience that an English edition allows.
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Unfreezing the Arctic
Science, Colonialism, and the Transformation of Inuit Lands
Andrew Stuhl
University of Chicago Press, 2016
In recent years, journalists and environmentalists have pointed urgently to the melting Arctic as a leading indicator of the growing effects of climate change. While climate change has unleashed profound transformations in the region, most commentators distort these changes by calling them unprecedented. In reality, the landscapes of the North American Arctic—as well as relations among scientists, Inuit, and federal governments— are products of the region’s colonial past. And even as policy analysts, activists, and scholars alike clamor about the future of our world’s northern rim, too few truly understand its history.
 
In Unfreezing the Arctic, Andrew Stuhl brings a fresh perspective to this defining challenge of our time. With a compelling narrative voice, Stuhl weaves together a wealth of distinct episodes into a transnational history of the North American Arctic, proving that a richer understanding of its social and environmental transformation can come only from studying the region’s past. Drawing on historical records and extensive ethnographic fieldwork, as well as time spent living in the Northwest Territories, he closely examines the long-running interplay of scientific exploration, colonial control, the testimony and experiences of Inuit residents, and multinational investments in natural resources. A rich and timely portrait, Unfreezing the Arctic offers a comprehensive look at scientific activity across the long twentieth century. It will be welcomed by anyone interested in political, economic, environmental, and social histories of transboundary regions the world over.


The author intends to donate all royalties from this book to the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) and East Three School's On the Land Program.
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We Could Perceive No Sign of Them
Failed Colonies in North America, 1526–1689
David MacDonald
Westholme Publishing, 2020
The Story of the Many Ill-Fated Attempts by Europeans to Create Permanent Settlements in the New World 
The nations of the modern Americas began as successful colonies, but not all colonies succeeded, and the margin between colonies that survived and those that failed was small. Both contribute to our understanding of the ordeals of the Europeans who first settled in the New World and of the Native Americans who had to interact with them, but with the exception of the famous lost Roanoke colony, the failed colonies of North America remain largely unknown except to specialists in colonial history. The Spanish and French repeatedly attempted to colonize parts of Georgia, Florida, and Virginia, while the Dutch, French, and English sought to establish permanent settlements along the northern waterways of the New World. The greatest problem faced by every colony was the specter of starvation. Native Americans gave food to newly arrived colonists, but such generosity could not endure. Indigenous people soon realized that colonists of every nationality were prepared to make war against Native peoples, conquer, subjugate, and even massacre whole communities unless they were cooperative and offered no resistance to the intrusion into their territory. In response, Native Americans withheld aid or resorted to retaliatory violence, dooming many European settlements. 
    In We Could Perceive No Sign of Them: Failed Colonies in North America, 1526–1689, historians David MacDonald and Raine Waters tell the fascinating stories of the many attempts to establish a European foothold in the New World, from the first Spanish colony in 1526 on the coast of Georgia to the final disastrous French endeavors near the arctic. Using primary source texts, the authors synthesize the shared experiences of Europeans to better understand the very fine line between success and failure and the varieties of Native American responses. 
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A World of Empires
The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada
Edyta M. Bojanowska
Harvard University Press, 2018

A Financial Times Best History Book of the Year

Many people are familiar with American Commodore Matthew Perry’s expedition to open trade relations with Japan in the early 1850s. Less well known is that on the heels of the Perry squadron followed a Russian expedition secretly on the same mission. Serving as secretary to the naval commander was novelist Ivan Goncharov, who turned his impressions into a book, The Frigate Pallada, which became a bestseller in imperial Russia. In A World of Empires, Edyta Bojanowska uses Goncharov’s fascinating travelogue as a window onto global imperial history in the mid-nineteenth century.

Reflecting on encounters in southern Africa’s Cape Colony, Dutch Java, Spanish Manila, Japan, and the British ports of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, Goncharov offers keen observations on imperial expansion, cooperation, and competition. Britain’s global ascendancy leaves him in equal measures awed and resentful. In Southeast Asia, he recognizes an increasingly interlocking world in the vibrant trading hubs whose networks encircle the globe. Traveling overland back home, Goncharov presents Russia’s colonizing rule in Siberia as a positive imperial model, contrasted with Western ones.

Slow to be integrated into the standard narrative on European imperialism, Russia emerges here as an increasingly assertive empire, eager to position itself on the world stage among its American and European rivals and fully conversant with the ideologies of civilizing mission and race. Goncharov’s gripping narrative offers a unique eyewitness account of empire in action, in which Bojanowska finds both a zeal to emulate European powers and a determination to define Russia against them.

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