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    B E C O M I N G


    An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution Edited by Wendy Kurant, Ph.D.

    Blue Ridge | Cumming | Dahlonega | Gainesville | Oconee







    Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0

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    ISBN: 978-1-940771-46-5

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    Author Introductions and Reading and Review Questions contributed by: Bonnie J. Robinson

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    Part One: Pre- and early COlOnial literature


    1.1 Learning Outcomes


    1.2 Introduction


    1.2.1 Native American Accounts


    1.2.2 European Exploration Accounts


    1.3 Native American


    1.3.1 Creation Story (Haudenosaunee (Iroquois))


    1.3.2 How the World Was Made (Cherokee)


    1.3.3 Talk Concerning the First Beginning (Zuni)


    1.3.4 From the Winnebago Trickster Cycle


    1.3.5 Origin of Disease and Medicine (Cherokee)


    1.3.6 Thanksgiving Address (Haudenosaunee (Iroquois))


    1.3.7 The Arrival of the Whites (Lenape (Delaware))


    1.3.8 The Coming of the Whiteman Revealed: Dream of the White Robe and Floating

    Island (Micmac)


    1.3.9 Reading and Review Questions


    1.4 Christopher Columbus


    1.4.1 Letter of Discovery 30

    1.4.2 Reading and Review Questions


    1.5 Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca


    1.5.1 From The Relation of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca


    1.5.2 Reading and Review Questions


    1.6 Thomas Harriot


    1.6.1 From A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia


    1.6.2 Reading and Review Questions


    1.7 Samuel de Champlain


    1.7.1 From The Voyages and Explorations of Sieur de Champlain


    1.7.2 Reading and Review Questions


    1.8 John Smith


    1.8.1 From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles


    1.8.2 Reading and Review Questions


    1.9 Adriaen van der Donck


    1.9.1 From A Description of New Netherland, the Country


    1.9.2 Reading and Review Questions


    Page | iii

    Part twO: Seventeenth Century engliSh

    COlOnial literature


    2.1 Learning Outcomes


    2.2 Introduction


    2.3 William Bradford


    2.3.1 Of Plymouth Plantation


    2.3.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.4 John Winthrop


    2.4.1 A Model of Christian Charity


    2.4.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.5 Roger Williams


    2.5.1 Christenings Make Not Christians


    2.5.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.6 Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore


    2.6.1 From A Relation of the Lord Baltemore’s Plantation in Maryland 156

    2.6.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.7 Anne Bradstreet


    2.7.1 “The Prologue”


    2.7.2 “The Author to Her Book”


    2.7.3 “To My Dear and Loving Husband”


    2.7.4 “Contemplations”


    2.7.5 “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House”


    2.7.6 “In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet”


    2.7.7 “In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Anne Bradstreet”


    2.7.8 “On My Dear Grandchild Simon Bradstreet”


    2.7.9 Reading and Review Questions


    2.8 Michael Wigglesworth


    2.8.1 The Day of Doom


    2.8.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.9 Mary Rowlandson


    2.9.1 From The Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson


    2.9.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.10 Edward Taylor


    2.10.1 “Prologue” to Preparatory Meditations


    2.10.2 “Preface” to God’s Determination 266

    2.10.3 “Meditation 8” (First Series)


    2.10.4 “Medication 32” (First Series)


    2.10.5 “A Fig for Thee, O Death”


    Page | iv

    2.10.6 “Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children”


    2.10.7 Reading and Review Questions


    2.11 Samuel Sewall


    2.11.1 “The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial”


    2.11.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.12 Gabriel Thomas


    2.12.1 From An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of

    Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America 275

    2.12.2 Reading and Review Questions


    2.13 John Norris


    2.13.1 From Profitable Advice for Rich and Poor


    2.13.2 Reading and Review Questions


    Part three: revOlutiOnary and early natiOnal

    PeriOd literature


    3.1 Learning Outcomes


    3.2 Introduction


    3.3 Jonathan Edwards


    3.3.1 “Personal Narrative”


    3.3.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.4 Benjamin Franklin


    3.4.1 “The Way to Wealth”


    3.4.2 “An Edict by the King of Prussia”


    3.4.3 “Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One”


    3.4.4 The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin


    3.4.5 Reading and Review Questions


    3.5 Samson Occom


    3.5.1 A Short Narrative of My Life 376

    3.5.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.6 J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur


    3.6.1 From Letters from an American Farmer 378

    3.6.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.7 John Adams and Abigail Adams


    3.7.1 From Familiar Letters of John Adams and his Wife Abigail Adams,

    During the Revolution 434

    3.7.2 Reading and Review Questions


    Page | v

    3.8 Thomas Paine


    3.8.1 Common Sense


    3.8.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.9 Thomas Jefferson


    3.9.1 From Notes on the State of Virginia


    3.9.2 Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson


    3.9.3 Reading and Review Questions


    3.10 The Federalist


    3.10.1 Federalist #1 515

    3.10.2 F ederalist #10 518

    3.10.3 Reading and Review Questions


    3.11 Olaudah Equiano


    3.11.1 From The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano:

    Or, Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself 525

    3.11.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.12 Judith Sargent Murray


    3.12.1 “On the Equality of the Sexes”


    3.12.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.13 Philip Freneau


    3.13.1 To Sir Toby


    3.13.2 “The Indian Burying Ground”


    3.13.3 “On Mr. Paine’s Rights of Man”


    3.13.4 “A Political Litany”


    3.13.5 Reading and Review Questions


    3.14 Phillis Wheatley


    3.14.1 “On Being Brought from Africa to America”


    3.14.2 “To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth”


    3.14.3 “On the Death of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770”


    3.14.4 “To S. M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing his Works”


    3.14.5 “Letter to Rev. Samson Occom”


    3.14.6 Reading and Review Questions


    3.15 Royall Tyler


    3.15.1 The Contrast


    3.15.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.16 Hannah Webster Foster


    3.16.1 From The Coquette: Or; the History of Eliza Wharton 646

    3.16.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.17 Tecumseh


    3.17.1 Speech to the Osages 671

    3.17.2 Reading and Review Questions


    Page | vi

    3.18 Cherokee Women


    3.18.1 Cherokee Indian Women To Pres. Benjamin Franklin, September 8, 1787


    3.18.2 Reading and Review Questions


    3.19 Charles Brockden Brown


    3.19.1 Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist


    3.19.2 Reading and Review Questions


    Part FOur: nineteenth Century rOmantiCiSm

    and tranSCendentaliSm


    4.1 Learning Outcomes


    4.2 Introduction


    4.3 Washington Irving


    4.3.1 From The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. 725

    4.3.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.4 James Fenimore Cooper


    4.4.1 The Pioneers


    4.4.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.5 Catharine Maria Sedgwick


    4.5.1 From Hope Leslie 781

    4.5.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.6 Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney


    4.6.1 “To the First Slave Ship”


    4.6.2 “Indian Names”


    4.6.3 “Our Aborigines”


    4.6.4 “Fallen Forests”


    4.6.5 Reading and Review Questions


    4.7 William Cullen Bryant


    4.7.1 “Thanatopsis”


    4.7.2 “To a Waterfowl”


    4.7.3 “The Prairies”


    4.7.4 Reading and Review Questions


    4.8 David Walker


    4.8.1 An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World


    4.8.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.9 William Apess


    4.9.1 “An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man”


    4.9.2 Reading and Review Questions


    Page | vii

    4.10 Jane Johnston Schoolcraft


    4.10.1 Mishosha, or the Magician and his Daughters


    4.10.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.11 Ralph Waldo Emerson


    4.11.1 “The American Scholar”


    4.11.2 “The Divinity School Address”


    4.11.3 “Self-Reliance”


    4.11.4 “Experience”


    4.11.5 “Merlin”


    4.11.6 “Hamatreya”


    4.11.7 “Brahma”


    4.11.8 Reading and Review Questions


    4.12 Lydia Maria Child


    4.12.1 “The Quadroons”


    4.12.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.13 Nathaniel Hawthorne


    4.13.1 “My Kinsman, Major Molineux”


    4.13.2 “The Minister’s Black Veil”


    4.13.3 “Young Goodman Brown”


    4.13.4 “The Birth-Mark”


    4.13.5 “Rappaccini’s Daughter”


    4.13.6 Reading and Review Questions


    4.14 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    4.14.1 “A Psalm of Life”


    4.14.2 “The Jewish Cemetery at Newport”


    4.14.3 “My Lost Youth”


    4.14.4 Reading and Review Questions


    4.15 John Greenleaf Whittier


    4.15.1 “The Hunters of Men”


    4.15.2 “The Farewell”


    4.15.3 Reading and Review Questions


    4.16 Edgar Allan Poe


    4.16.1 “Sonnet—To Science”


    4.16.2 “The Raven”


    4.16.3 “Annabel Lee”




    4.16.5 “The Fall of the House of Usher”


    4.16.6 “The Tell-Tale Heart”


    4.16.7 “The Purloined Letter”


    4.16.8 “The Cask of Amontillado”


    4.16.9 Reading and Review Questions


    Page | viii

    4.17 Margaret Fuller


    4.17.1 The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men, Woman versus Women 1048

    4.17.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.18 Harriet Beecher Stowe


    4.18.1 Uncle Tom’s Cabin 1083

    4.18.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.19 Fanny Fern (Sara Willis Parton)


    4.19.1 “Male Criticism on Ladies’ Books”


    4.19.2 “Hints to Young Wives”


    4.19.3 Reading and Review Questions


    4.20 Harriet Jacobs


    4.20.1 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl 1150

    4.20.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.21 Henry David Thoreau


    4.21.1 “Resistance to Civil Government”


    4.21.2 From Walden, or Life in the Woods 1186

    4.21.3 Reading and Review Questions


    4.22 Frederick Douglass


    4.22.1 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself 1262

    4.22.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.23 Herman Melville


    4.23.1 “Bartleby, the Scrivener”


    4.23.2 “Benito Cereno”


    4.23.3 “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids”


    4.23.4 “The Portent”


    4.23.5 “A Utilitarian View of the Monitor Fight”


    4.23.6 “Shiloh: A Requiem”


    4.23.7 Reading and Review Questions


    4.24 Walt Whitman


    4.24.1 “Song of Myself”


    4.24.2 “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”


    4.24.3 “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”


    4.24.4 “Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night”


    4.24.5 “The Wound-Dresser”


    4.24.6 “Reconciliation”


    4.24.7 “When Lilies Last in Dooryard Bloom’d”


    4.24.8 Reading and Review Questions


    4.25 Frances Ellen Watkins Harper


    4.25.1 “The Slave Mother”


    4.25.2 “Ethiopia”


    Page | ix

    4.25.3 “Learning to Read”


    4.25.4 Reading and Review Questions


    4.26 Emily Dickinson


    4.26.1 #122 [These are the days when Birds come back]


    4.26.2 #194 [Title divine, is mine]


    4.26.3 #207 [I taste a liquor never brewed]


    4.26.4 #225 [I’m “wife” – I’ve finished that]


    4.26.5 #236 [Some keep the Sabbath going to Church]


    4.26.6 #260 [I’m Nobody! Who are you?]


    4.26.7 #269 [Wild nights – Wild nights!]


    4.26.8 #320 [There’s a certain Slant of light]


    4.26.9 #340 [I felt a Funeral, in my Brain]


    4.26.10 #341 [‘Tis so appalling it exhilarates]


    4.26.11 #348 [I would not paint – a picture]


    4.26.12 #353 [I’m ceded – I’ve stopped being Their’s]


    4.26.13 #355 [It was not Death, for I stood up]


    4.26.14 #359 [A Bird, came down the Walk]


    4.26.15 #372 [After great pain, a formal feeling comes —]


    4.26.16 #381 [I cannot dance upon my Toes]


    4.26.17 #407 [One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted]


    4.26.18 #409 [The Soul selects her own Society]


    4.26.19 #466 [I dwell in Possibility]


    4.26.20 #479 [Because I could not stop for Death]


    4.26.21 #519 [this is my letter to the World]


    4.26.22 #598 [The Brain – is wider than the Sky]


    4.26.23 #620 [Much Madness is divinest Sense]


    4.26.24 #656 [I started Early – Took my Dog]


    4.26.25 #675 [What soft – Cherubic Creatures]


    4.26.26 #764 [My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun —]


    4.26.27 #857 [She rose to His Requirement – dropt]


    4.26.28 #1096 [A narrow Fellow in the Grass]


    4.26.29 #1263 [Tell all the truth but tell it slant]


    4.26.30 #1773 [My life closed twice before it’s close]


    4.26.31 Reading and Review Questions


    4.27 Rebecca Harding Davis


    4.27.1 Life in the Iron Mills


    4.27.2 Reading and Review Questions


    4.28 Louisa May Alcott


    4.28.1 “My Contraband”


    4.28.2 Reading and Review Questions


    Page | x

    1Pre- and Early Colonial Literature


    After reading this chapter, students will be able to

    • Categorize the types of Native American tales and their contribution to their respective tribes’ cultures.

    • Identify significant tropes and motifs of movement in Native American creation stories.

    • Identify the cultural characteristics of Native American creation, trickster, and first contact stories distinct from European cultural characteristics.

    • Identify elements of trickster stories.

    • Understand how the search for the Westward passage to Asia led to the European discovery of the Americas.

    • Understand how the search for commodities led to territorial appropriation of North American land by various European countries.

    • Understand the role religion played in European settlement in North America.

    • Understand how their intended audience and purpose affected the content and tone of European exploration accounts.


    1.2.1 Native American Accounts

    It is well to bear in mind that the selections here should not be understood as representative of Native American culture as a whole. There are thousands of different Native American tribes, all with distinct practices. It would not be possible in the space of a typical anthology to represent just the tribes with whom the colonists had the most contact during the early years of European settlement, or even to say with any precision exactly how many tribes the colonists did interact with since European colonists were often unable to distinguish among different tribes. Additionally, we must realize that these works come to us with Page | 1



    omissions and mediations. Many Native American tales are performative as well as oral—the meanings of the words supplemented by expressions, movements, and shared cultural assumptions—and so the words alone do not represent their full significance. That being said, the examples of Native American accounts that follow give us some starting points to consider the different ways in which cultures explain themselves to themselves.

    First among a culture’s stories are the tales of how the earth was created and how its geographical features and peoples came to be. The Native American creation stories collected here demonstrate two significant tropes within Native American creation stories: the Earth Diver story and the Emergence story. Earth Diver stories often begin with a pregnant female falling from a sky world into a watery world, such as the ones here from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people of the eastern United States and from the Cherokee people from the southern United States.

    Various animals then work together to create dry land so that the woman may give birth there, starting the process of creating the familiar world and its population.

    With Emergence stories, here represented by the Zuni creation story, animals and people emerge from within the earth, a distinction from the Earth Diver story that is likely connected to the topography familiar to this tribe from the southwestern United States. Creation stories feature a “culture hero,” an extraordinary being who is instrumental in shaping the world in its current form. Other examples in addition to the works here are the Wampanoag culture hero Moshup or Maushop, a giant who shared his meals of whale with the tribe and created the island of Nantucket out of tobacco ash, and Masaw, the Hopi skeleton man and Lord of the Dead who helped the tribe by teaching them agriculture in life and caring for them in death. Some creation tales show similarities to Judeo-Christian theology and suggest parallel development or European influence, quite possible since many of these stories were not put into writing until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    Some Native American creation tales show motifs of movement from chaos to duality to order and beings of creation and destruction paired together, themes also found in European accounts of creation. However, these tales feature significant differences to the European way of understanding the world. These tales often show the birth of the land and of the people as either contemporaneous events, as with the Earth Diver stories, or as the former figuratively birthing the latter, as with the Emergence stories. This suggests the context for some tribes’ beliefs in the essentialness of land to tribal and personal identity. As Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna Pueblo) asserts in The Sacred Hoop (1986), “The land is not really the place (separate from ourselves) where we act out the drama of our isolate destinies . . . It is rather a part of our being, dynamic, significant, real.” In addition, Native American creation tales often depict the relationship between man and animals in ways sharply different from European assumptions. In the Haudenosaunee tale and many other Earth Diver tales like it, animals and cultural heroes create the earth and its distinctive features collaboratively.

    Page | 2



    Like creation stories, Native American trickster stories fulfill an explanatory function about the world; they also explain why social codes exist and why they are needed. The trickster character—often represented as an animal such as a coyote, a raven, or a hare—is a figure of scatological humor, frequently focused on fulfilling and over-fulfilling physical needs to the detriment of those around him. However, above all things the trickster represents fluid boundaries. The trickster can shift between sexes, interacts with both humans and animals, rarely settles down for any period of time, and is crafty and foolish at the same time. Furthermore, the Trickster transgresses what is socially acceptable and often what is physically possible. In one of the best known trickster cycle, that of the Winnebago tribe originating in the Wisconsin region, the trickster Wakdjunkaga has a detachable penis that can act autonomously and sometimes resides in a box. These tales entertain but also function as guides to acceptable social behavior. Through the mishaps the trickster causes and the mishaps s/he suffers, the trickster tends to reinforce social boundaries as much as s/he challenges them and also can function as a culture hero. Much like the culture heroes described previously, the Winnebago trickster Wakdjunkaga also benefits the tribe. In the last tale of the cycle, s/he makes the Mississippi River Valley safe for occupation by killing malevolent spirits and moving a waterfall.

    As is apparent in both the creation stories and the Trickster stories, Native American cultures did not differentiate between animal behavior and human behavior to the extent that Europeans did. While the European concept of the Great Chain of Being established animals as inferior to humans and the Bible was understood to grant man dominion over the animals, the Native American stories to follow suggest a sense of equality with the animals and the rest of nature.

    Animals contributed to the creation of the world upon which humans live, were able to communicate with humans until they chose not to, and followed (or refused to follow) the same social codes as humans, such as meeting in councils to discuss problems as a group and agreeing together on a course of action. Nonetheless, like with the laxative bulb story, there is tension between the helpful and harmful aspects of nature, and these works teach the lesson that nature must be given due respect lest one lose its benefits and suffer its anger.

    “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”: the European perspective on the first contact between Native peoples and European explorers has been taught to Americans from pre-school onward, but the Native American perspective on these events is less familiar. Just like their counterparts, Native American depictions of first contact with European explorers situated them within their accustomed natural, spiritual, and social contexts. The explorers’ large ships were interpreted as whales, houses, or islands; their paler complexions were a sign of illness or divinity. The gifts or drinks offered by the strangers are accepted out of politeness and social custom, not naiveté or superstition. As these tales were recorded with hindsight, they often ruefully trace how these explorers and colonists disingenuously relied on the natives’ help while appropriating more and more land Page | 3



    to themselves and their introduction of alcohol and European commodities into native culture.

    1.2.2 European Exploration Accounts

    Spain, the first European country to establish a significant foothold in the Americas in the fifteenth century, was not looking for previously unknown lands at all. It was looking for a westward passage to Asia. Earlier in the century, the Ottoman Empire had captured Constantinople and after that point, controlled the territory through which the traditional land-based trade routes to China and India ran, effectively giving the Ottoman Empire a monopoly on trade between Europe and Asia. Spain, like other European nations, looked for a solution by seeking a westward route. Spain at that time did not exist as a unified nation but rather was a collection of kingdoms, sometimes collaborating but more often competing with each other. The move toward nationhood began when King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile married in 1469 and unified two of the more powerful Iberian kingdoms. To consolidate their economic and regional power, these monarchs were very interested in securing trade routes for the very lucrative commodities coming from the east. Additional motivation came from a powerful rival within the same peninsula. Portugal had already circumnavigated Africa and looked poised to discover that westward passage. Those influences encouraged King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to support Christopher Columbus’ proposal of finding a western route. Unaware that a landmass intervened between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and miscalculating the distance between western Europe and eastern Asia, Columbus thought he had succeeded in his quest when he landed on islands in the Caribbean. He hadn’t, but Spain discovered that the New World had desirable commodities too, namely gold and silver mines that funded Spain’s empire-building aspirations.

    Just as the powerful European nations fought for supremacy within the confines of the European continent, they also grappled over territory in the Americas. Like Spain, other European countries sought new trade routes and, failing that, coveted the new land as a source of commodities such as precious metals, fur, timber, and agricultural products and as an extension of their empires.

    Spain primarily explored and appropriated areas in South and Central America and in the southeastern and southwestern parts of North America. Holland has the smallest territory for the briefest amount of time in the Americas, controlling the Hudson River Valley from New York City to Albany as well as the western tip of Long Island for little more than fifty years before losing it to the English in 1664

    as part of the settlement of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. The French territories concentrated primarily in the Canadian areas of Newfoundland to Quebec as well as around the Great Lakes and a large swath of land in the midsection of the country from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River delta. England, one of the last major European powers to create settlements in North America, ultimately ended up having the largest and most lasting colonial reach, starting with their first Page | 4



    permanent settlement in Jamestown in 1608, and expanding along the eastern seaboard where they frequently clashed with Spanish territories to the south and Dutch and French territories to the north and west. A small and densely populated island with a system of primogeniture which increasingly invested land in fewer and fewer hands, England was the European country most in need of agricultural settlements in North America. In addition to supplying food and goods to a mother country, it provided land for younger sons and those without prospects at home as well as a convenient place to send unruly groups within the population.

    The relationship between imperialism and the spread of religion in the new world was first cemented during Spanish exploration. In a 1493 papal bull, Pope Alexander VI granted Ferdinand and Isabella and their heirs the right to any lands they “discovered towards the west and south” of a demarcation line that was not already in the possession of a Christian monarch so that “the Catholic faith and the Christian religion [would] be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread.”

    Like the Spanish, French explorers were also accompanied by missionaries to convert North American natives to Catholicism, though they did so with less fervor and less coercion than their co-religionists from Spain. Dutch explorers showed little interest in converting the natives, as Holland had a policy of religious toleration during the time in which it colonized North America. The Church of England had already seceded from the authority of the Catholic Church by the time Jamestown was established, and though the charter from King James emphasized the motive of spreading the Christian faith and church attendance was mandatory in Jamestown’s early years, more energy was put into survival and trade than into proselytizing the natives. It was the later colonies founded by Separatists and Puritans that came to the new world with the primary intention of spreading the beliefs of their denominations.

    The initial function of the exploration accounts to follow in this section was to report back to the governments and organizations that funded the expeditions.

    However, the invention of the Gutenberg press with its movable type and increased productivity meant that these accounts could be more easily printed and more widely disseminated. Speaking to a wider audience, these accounts fulfilled other purposes as well. They served as written records of a nation’s claim to a territory, as tales of exotic lands and thrilling adventure, and as testimonials to lure more people into investing in and emigrating to these fledgling colonies.

    Page | 5






    The selections of this section

    come from six tribes whose home-

    lands cover the majority of the

    United States’ eastern seaboard as

    well as regions in the midwest and

    southwest. The Micmac or Mi’kmaq

    tribe belonged to the Wabanaki

    Confederacy and occupied a region

    in southeastern Canada’s maritime

    provinces as well as parts of New Image 1.1 | Flag of the Wabanaki Confederacy York and New Jersey. One of the Artist | User “GrahamSlam”

    oldest political entities in the Source | Wikimedia Commons new world, the Haudenosaunee License | CC BY-SA 4.0

    Confederacy were called the Iroquois by the French and the Five Nations by the English. The latter refers to the five tribes that made up the confederacy: the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca tribes. The name was changed to Six Nations when the Tuscarora tribe joined in the eighteenth century. Their territory covered the majority of New York with some inroads in southern Canada and northern Pennsylvania. Called the Delaware by Europeans, the Lenape tribe’s territory included what became New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York, northern Delaware, and a bit of southern Connecticut. The Cherokee tribe occupied the southeastern United States as far north as Kentucky and Virginia and as far south as Georgia and Alabama. The Winnebago, or the Ho-chunks, lived in Wisconsin. Finally, the Zuni or the A:shimi were descendants of the ancient Anasazi and Mogollon cultures of the southwestern United States and occupied the area called New Mexico.

    Missionaries and ethnologists were some of the first collectors of Native American tales. The missionaries often learned Native American languages and customs as a way to better proselytize the tribes, and some became at least as interested in these studies as in their religious missions. Moravian missionary John Heckewelder recorded the Lenape account of first contact before the American Revolution and published it early in the next century as part of the transactions of the American Philosophical Society, an outgrowth of the Federal era’s zeal for knowledge and scientific study. Baptist missionary Silas Rand ministered to the Micmac tribe and recorded the first contact story told to him by Micmac man Josiah Jeremy. A self-taught linguist, Rand also published a Micmac dictionary. Toward the latter half of the nineteenth century, the developing field of ethnology—the analytic study of a culture’s customs, religious practices, and social structures—fueled the study of Native American culture. The Cherokee accounts recorded by James Mooney and the Zuni accounts recorded by Ruth Bunzel were first published as part of the annual reports produced by the Bureau of American Ethnology, a federal office in existence from 1879 to 1965 that authorized ethnological studies of tribes throughout America.

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    Paul Radin—like Bunzel, a student of cultural anthropology pioneer Franz Boas—did his fieldwork for his doctorate among the Winnebago and there recorded the tribe’s trickster tales. While many of the accounts come from outsiders embedded for a time within tribes, some accounts were recorded by tribe members themselves. Though previously recounted by others, the Haudenosaunee creation story here is from Tuscarora tribal member David Cusick. A physician and artist, Cusick was one of the first Native American writers to preserve tribal history in his Sketches of the Ancient History of the Six Nations (1826). The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address comes from University of Victoria professor Gerald Taiaiake Alfred, a member of the Kahnawake (Mohawk) tribe. Alfred has published several works about Native American culture in the early 21st century.

    Image 1.2 | Wampum Belt Commemorating the Iroquis Confederacy Artist | Unknown

    Source | Wikimedia Commons

    License | Public Domain

    1.3.1 Creation Story (Haudenosaunee (Iroquois))

    In the great past, deep water covered all the earth. The air was filled with birds, and great monsters were in possession of the waters, when a beautiful woman was seen by them falling from the sky. Then huge ducks gathered in council and resolved to meet this wonderful creature and break the force of her fall. So they arose, and, with pinion overlapping pinion, unitedly received the dusky burden.

    Then the monsters of the deep also gathered in council to decide which should hold this celestial being and protect her from the terrors of the water, but none was able except a giant tortoise, who volunteered to endure this lasting weight upon his back.

    There she was gently placed, while he, constantly increasing in size, soon became a large island. Twin boys were after a time brought forth by the woman—one the spirit of good, who made all good things, and caused the maize, fruit, and tobacco to grow; the other the spirit of evil, who created the weeds and all vermin. Ever the world was increasing in size, although occasional quakings were felt, caused by the efforts of the monster tortoise to stretch out, or by the contraction of his muscles.

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    After the lapse of ages from the time of his general creation Ta-rhuⁿ-hiă-wăh-kuⁿ, the Sky Holder, resolved upon a special creation of a race which should surpass all others in beauty, strength, and bravery; so from the bosom of the great island, where they had previously subsisted upon moles, Ta-rhuⁿ-hiă-wăh-kuⁿ brought out the six pairs, which were destined to become the greatest of all people.

    The Tuscaroras tell us that the first pair were left near a great river, now called the Mohawk. The second family were directed to make their home by the side of a big stone. Their descendants have been termed the Oneidas. Another pair were left on a high hill, and have ever been called the Onondagas. Thus each pair was left with careful instructions in different parts of what is now known as the State of New York, except the Tuscaroras, who were taken up the Roanoke River into North Carolina, where Ta-rhuⁿ-hiă-wăh-kuⁿ also took up his abode, teaching them many useful arts before his departure. This, say they, accounts for the superiority of the Tuscaroras. But each of the six tribes will tell you that his own was the favored one with whom Sky Holder made his terrestrial home, while the Onondagas claim that their possession of the council fire prove them to have been the chosen people.

    Later, as the numerous families became scattered over the State, some lived in localities where the bear was the principal game, and were called from that circumstance the clan of the Bear. Others lived where the beavers were trapped, and they were called the Beaver clan. For similar reasons the Snipe, Deer, Wolf, Tortoise, and Eel clans received their appellations.

    1.3.2 How the World Was Made (Cherokee)

    The earth is a great floating island in a sea of water. At each of the four corners there is a cord hanging down from the sky. The sky is of solid rock. When the world grows old and worn out, the cords will break, and then the earth will sink down into the ocean. Everything will be water again. All the people will be dead. The Indians are much afraid of this.

    In the long time ago, when everything was all water, all the animals lived up above in Galun’lati, beyond the stone arch that made the sky. But it was very much crowded. All the animals wanted more room. The animals began to wonder what was below the water and at last Beaver’s grandchild, little Water Beetle, offered to go and find out. Water Beetle darted in every direction over the surface of the water, but it could find no place to rest. There was no land at all. Then Water Beetle dived to the bottom of the water and brought up some soft mud. This began to grow and to spread out on every side until it became the island which we call the earth. Afterwards this earth was fastened to the sky with four cords, but no one remembers who did this.

    At first the earth was flat and soft and wet. The animals were anxious to get down, and they sent out different birds to see if it was yet dry, but there was no place to alight; so the birds came back to Galun’lati. Then at last it seemed to be time again, so they sent out Buzzard; they told him to go and make ready for them.

    This was the Great Buzzard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. He flew all Page | 8



    over the earth, low down near the ground, and it was still soft. When he reached the Cherokee country, he was very tired; his wings began to flap and strike the ground. Wherever they struck the earth there was a valley; whenever the wings turned upwards again, there was a mountain. When the animals above saw this, they were afraid that the whole world would be mountains, so they called him back, but the Cherokee country remains full of mountains to this day. [This was the original home, in North Carolina.]

    When the earth was dry and the animals came down, it was still dark.

    Therefore they got the sun and set it in a track to go every day across the island from east to west, just overhead. It was too hot this way. Red Crawfish had his shell scorched a bright red, so that his meat was spoiled. Therefore the Cherokees do not eat it.

    Then the medicine men raised the sun a handsbreadth in the air, but it was still too hot. They raised it another time; and then another time; at last they had raised it seven handsbreadths so that it was just under the sky arch. Then it was right and they left it so. That is why the medicine men called the high place “the seventh height.” Every day the sun goes along under this arch on the under side; it returns at night on the upper side of the arch to its starting place.

    There is another world under this earth. It is like this one in every way. The animals, the plants, and the people are the same, but the seasons are different.

    The streams that come down from the mountains are the trails by which we reach this underworld. The springs at their head are the doorways by which we enter it.

    But in order to enter the other world, one must fast and then go to the water, and have one of the underground people for a guide. We know that the seasons in the underground world are different, because the water in the spring is always warmer in winter than the air in this world; and in summer the water is cooler.

    We do not know who made the first plants and animals. But when they were first made, they were told to watch and keep awake for seven nights. This is the way young men do now when they fast and pray to their medicine. They tried to do this.

    The first night, nearly all the animals stayed awake. The next night several of them dropped asleep. The third night still more went to sleep. At last, on the seventh night, only the owl, the panther, and one or two more were still awake. Therefore, to these were given the power to see in the dark, to go about as if it were day, and to kill and eat the birds and animals which must sleep during the night.

    Even some of the trees went to sleep. Only the cedar, the pine, the spruce, the holly, and the laurel were awake all seven nights. Therefore they are always green.

    They are also sacred trees. But to the other trees it was said, “Because you did not stay awake, therefore you shall lose your hair every winter.”

    After the plants and the animals, men began to come to the earth. At first there was only one man and one woman. He hit her with a fish. In seven days a little child came down to the earth. So people came to the earth. They came so rapidly that for a time it seemed as though the earth could not hold them all.

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    1.3.3 Talk Concerning the First Beginning (Zuni)

    Yes, indeed. In this world there was no one at all. Always the sun came up; always he went in. No one in the morning gave him sacred meal; no one gave him prayer sticks; it was very lonely. He said to his two children: “You will go into the fourth womb. Your fathers, your mothers, käeto·-we, tcu-eto·we, mu-eto·we, łhe·-eto-we, all the society priests, society ̂pekwins, society bow priests, you will bring out yonder into the light of your sun father.” Thus he said to them. They said,

    “But how shall we go in?” “That will be all right.” Laying their lightning arrow across their rainbow bow, they drew it. Drawing it and shooting down, they entered.

    When they entered the fourth womb it was dark inside. They could not distinguish anything. They said, “Which way will it be best to go?” They went toward the west. They met someone face to face. They said, “Whence come you?”

    “I come from over this way to the west.” “What are you doing going around?” “I am going around to look at my crops. Where do you live?” “No, we do not live any place. There above our father the Sun, priest, made us come in. We have come in,” they said. “Indeed,” the younger brother said. “Come, let us see,” he said.

    They laid down their bow. Putting underneath some dry brush and some dry grass that was lying about, and putting the bow on top, they kindled fire by hand.

    When they had kindled the fire, light came out from the coals. As it came out, they blew on it and it caught fire. Aglow! It is growing light. “Ouch! What have you there?” he said. He fell down crouching. He had a slimy horn, slimy tail, he was slimy allover, with webbed hands. The elder brother said, “Poor thing! Put out the light.” Saying thus, he put out the light. The youth said, “Oh dear, what have you there?” “Why, we have fire,” they said. “Well, what (crops) do you have coming up?” “Yes, here are our things coming up.” Thus he said. He was going around looking after wild grasses.

    He said to them, “Well, now, let us go.” They went toward the west, the two leading. There the people were sitting close together. They questioned one another.

    Thus they said, “Well, now, you two, speak. I think there is something to say. It will not be too long a talk. If you lotus know that we shall always remember it.” “That is so, that is so,” they said. “Yes, indeed, it is true. There above is our father, Sun.

    No one ever gives him prayer sticks; no one ever gives him sacred meal; no one ever gives him shells. Because it is thus we have come to you, in order that you may go out standing yonder into the daylight of your sun father. Now you will say which way (you decide).” Thus the two said. “Hayi! Yes, indeed. Because it is thus you have passed us on our roads. Now that you have passed us on our roads here where we stay miserably, far be it from us to speak against it. We can not see one another. Here inside where we just trample on one another, where we just spit on one another, where we just urinate on one another, where we just befoul one another, where we just follow one another about, you have passed us on our roads.

    None of us can speak against it. But rather, as the priest of the north says, so let it be. Now you two call him.” Thus they said to the two, and they came up close toward the north side.

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    They met the north priest on his road. “You have come,” he said. “Yes, we have come. How have you lived these many days?” “Here where I live happily you have passed me on my road. Sit down.” When they were seated he questioned them.

    “Now speak. I think there is something to say. It will not be too long a talk. So now, that you will let me know.” “Yes, indeed, it is so. In order that you may go out standing there into the daylight of your sun father we have passed you on your road.

    However you say, so shall it be.” “Yes, indeed, now that you have passed us on our road here where we live thus wretchedly, far be it from me to talk against it. Now that you have come to us here inside where, we just trample on one another, where we just spit on one another, where we just urinate on one another, where we just befoul one another, where we just follow one another about, how should I speak against it?” so he said. Then they arose. They came back. Coming to the village where they were sitting in the middle place, there they questioned one another.

    “Yes, even now we have met on our roads. Indeed there is something to say; it will not be too long a talk. When you let me know that, I shall always remember it,”

    thus they said to one another. When they had spoken thus, “Yes, indeed. In order that you may go out standing into the daylight of your sun father, we have passed you on your road,” thus they said. “Hayi! Yes, indeed. Now that you have passed us on our road here where we cannot see one another, where we just trample on one another, where we just urinate on one another, where we just befoul one another, where we just follow one another around, far be it from me to speak against it. But rather let it be as my younger brother, the priest of the west shall say. When he says, ‘Let it be thus,’ that way it shall be. So now, you two call him.” Thus said the priest of the north and they went and stood close against the west side.

    “Well, perhaps by means of the thoughts of someone somewhere it may be that we shall go out standing into the daylight of our sun father.” Thus he said.

    The two thought. “Come, let us go over there to talk with eagle priest.” They went.

    They came to where eagle was staying. “You have come.” “Yes.” “Sit down.” They sat down. “Speak!” “We want you.” “Where?” “Near by, to where our fathers, käeto·-we, tcu-eto·we, stay quietly, we summon you.” “Haiyi!” So they went. They came to where käeto·-we stayed. “Well, even now when you summoned me, I have passed you on your roads. Surely there is something to say; it will not be too long a talk. So now if you let me know that I shall always remember it,” thus he said. “Yes, indeed, it is so. Our fathers, käeto·-we, tcu-eto·we, mu-eto·we, łhe·-eto-we, all the society priests shall go out standing into the daylight of their sun father. You will look for their road.” “Very well,” he said, “I am going,” he said. He went around.

    Coming back to his starting place he went a little farther out. Coming back to his starting place again he went still farther out. Coming back to his starting place he went way far out. Coming back to his starting place, nothing was visible. He came.

    To where käeto·-we stayed he came. After he sat down they questioned him. “Now you went yonder looking for the road going out. What did you see in the world?”

    “Nothing was visible.” “Haiyi!” “Very well, I am going now.” So he went.

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