How the States Got Their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Borderlines
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Was Roger Williams too pure for the Puritans, and what does that have to do with Rhode Island? Why did Augustine Herman take ten years to complete the map that established Delaware? How did Rocky Mountain rogues help create the state of Colorado? All this and more is explained in Mark Stein's new book.
How the States Got Their Shapes Too follows How the States Got Their Shapes looks at American history through the lens of its borders, but, while How The States Got Their Shapes told us why, this book tells us who. This personal element in the boundary stories reveals how we today are like those who came before us, and how we differ, and most significantly: how their collective stories reveal not only an historical arc but, as importantly, the often overlooked human dimension in that arc that leads to the nation we are today.
The people featured in How the States Got Their Shapes Too lived from the colonial era right up to the present. They include African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, women, and of course, white men. Some are famous, such as Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster. Some are not, such as Bernard Berry, Clarina Nichols, and Robert Steele. And some are names many of us know but don't really know exactly what they did, such as Ethan Allen (who never made furniture, though he burned a good deal of it).
In addition, How the States Got Their Shapes Too tells of individuals involved in the Almost States of America, places we sought to include but ultimately did not: Canada, the rest of Mexico (we did get half), Cuba, and, still an issue, Puerto Rico.
Each chapter is largely driven by voices from the time, in the form of excerpts from congressional debates, newspapers, magazines, personal letters, and diaries.
Told in Mark Stein's humorous voice, How the States Got Their Shapes Too is a historical journey unlike any other you've taken. The strangers you meet here had more on their minds than simple state lines, and this book makes for a great new way of seeing and understanding the United States.
From the Hardcover edition.
Traveller Bird, Tell Them They Lie, 45–46, 113. 4. S. Charles Bolton, “Jeffersonian Indian Removal and the Emergence of Arkansas Territory,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 62, no. 3 (Autumn 2003): 253–71. 5. Thomas Valentine Parker, The Cherokee Indians (New York: Grafton, 1907), 13. 6. American State Papers: Indian Affairs, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, 1834), 145. 7. George E. Foster, Se-quo-yah, the American Cadmus and Modern Moses (Philadelphia: Indian Rights Association,
thirty years. Though Connecticut ultimately lost, those battles that it won were led by Zebulon Butler. Butler grew up in Lyme, Connecticut. The hilly and rocky nature of the area likely contributed to his purchasing, at the age of twenty-nine, newly available land being sold by Connecticut’s Susquehanna Company in the fertile Wyoming Valley. Like his fellow pioneers, Butler knew that Pennsylvania disputed the legality of their purchases. Pennsylvania’s reasons were quite simple. The land being
who, on the prior advice of abolitionist leaders, demanded that the slave owner turn back. When the slave owner continued his effort (which had been made legal by the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850), shots were fired and a melee ensued in which the slave owner and one of his sons died. The grand jury indictments that followed were for treason, rather than murder, so that the charges could be (and were) brought against not only those who fired the fatal shots but also everyone else in the
Following the War of 1812, Congress appropriated funds to induce more Cherokees to move. Sequoyah was among the delegation of Cherokees who received a written offer from General Andrew Jackson. Sequoyah had fought under Jackson in a Cherokee regiment (the Cherokees having placed their bets on the Americans in response to their enemy, the Red Stick Creeks, having bet on the British). Jackson did not know Sequoyah, who had only been a private during the war. Nevertheless Sequoyah knew something of
Court and became the preeminent debater in the U.S. Senate. He was also a bit of a devil himself. Those unfamiliar with Webster can take comfort in the fact that in September 1852 the Daily Ohio Statesman headlined an article on the then longtime political veteran, “Who Is Daniel Webster?” Everyone at that time knew his name, but few knew what—other than oratory—he had done. Webster served for over twenty-three years as a senator from Massachusetts, was the secretary of state twice, and sought