This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 Against the background thus rapidly sketched we are to project a hundred years of travel and observation. The wealth and variety of material are very great. For the period in question, one bibliographer has recorded 413 titles of works bearing upon the single state of Illinois; for the same region between 1818 and 1865, he notes 69 British travellers, 53 American, and 31 German. For the country as a whole, a second writer has listed forty-five books of the sort by foreigners between 1789 and 1820. Whether of American or foreign origin, such books were not restricted to one volume; gradually there came to be two or three, and sometimes four. And commonly the route described was one of these: from New York to Albany, and thence across to Niagara Falls; from an eastern port south to Savannah by boat, then overland to Mobile and New Orleans, and up the Mississippi; from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, down the Ohio to the Mississippi, and from the Mississippi up the Missouri to the North-west. Canadian travellers followed the St. Lawrence. As the lists would indicate, the literature is cosmopolitanan inference that is confirmed in other ways. Not only were the works of foreigners turned into English, but British and American observers were translated on the Continent: Bartram into French, German, and Dutch; Crevecoeur into French (by himself) and German; Weld into Italian, Dutch, and German; and so on. Again, the same work, as, for example, Bartram's, might be published in the same year at Philadelphia and at London or Dublin, or first in this country, and then abroad, or vice versa. And finally, the borrowings from earlier by later travellers, irrespective of tongues, are endless. Confining ourselves as far as possible to British and American travellers, we may say that their motives were as various as their callings and station, and ran from the lust of a Daniel Boone for new solitudes, through the desire to promote the fur trade or immigration, and through semi-scientific or scientific curiosity, to the impulses of the literary artist or to the religious aims of the missionary. George Rogers Clark, Logan, and Boone were pioneers. Fearon, Darby, and Faux came to study conditions for emigrants. Bernard, Tyrone Power, and Fanny Kemble were actors. Wilson, Nuttall, and Audubon were professed ornithologists; the Bartrams and Michaux, botanists.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.