Jonathan Carver's Travels Through America, 1766-1768: An Eighteenth-Century Explorer's Account of Uncharted America

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9780471118763: Jonathan Carver's Travels Through America, 1766-1768: An Eighteenth-Century Explorer's Account of Uncharted America

"Very moving … fires even the jaded 20th-century imagination." — The Economist In 1766, shortly after France ceded a vast expanse of North America to Britain, Captain Jonathan Carver undertook the first exploration of the wilderness in the service of the Crown. He set off from the straits between lakes Huron and Michigan, intending to befriend the Indians, map the land, and discover the elusive Northwest Passage that led to India. He spent three years canoeing and trekking through the region around the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, covered thousands of miles, and returned with journals that were to become one of the most unusual books in travel literature. With a keen eye for detail, he recorded the pristine beauty of the land, its magnificent flora and fauna, and its incredible abundance of wildlife. His descriptions of Sioux government, religion, food, games, hunting, and clothing comprise the most complete account we have of the life, customs, and manners of the Plains Indians before they were altered by contact with the Europeans. Published posthumously in 1778, the captain’s journal was the first popular American travel book and an international best-seller. This edition, with a biographical essay on Jonathan Carver by Norman Gelb, restores an American classic to its deserved place on the bookshelf.

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From Library Journal:

Carver's classic account of his travels through the Midwest following the French and Indian War was first published in 1778. Part of a small expedition to map uncharted territory west of the Mississippi, Carver visited many of the Native American groups residing in the area. His positive, though generalized, portrayal of their manners and customs helped dispel the 18th-century image of Indians as savages. In some cases Carver's is the earliest description published of the Sioux and Chippewa groups he encountered. Historian Gelb, in an informative introduction, places Carver in the context of both postwar colonial America and England. This title belongs in collections with Native American or colonial America strengths.
- Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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