American Places: Encounters with History, a Celebration of by William E. Leuchtenburg

By William E. Leuchtenburg

For an individual drawn to background, the actual lines of the previous, particularly ancient locations, carry a unique fascination. if it is a battlefield or the house of a outstanding American, there is not any query that we comprehend the earlier in a distinct and extra instant manner after we come upon it "on the ground."
In American Places, greater than dozen of America's so much talented historians write approximately their very own encounters with old locations, bringing a private point of view to undergo on a large choice of web sites, starting from Monticello to Fenway Park. right here James M. McPherson writes concerning the battlefield of Gettysburg, and the way strolling the floor of Pickett's cost encouraged one in every of his books. Kevin Starr visits the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood and reveals the various flavors of California heritage there. Joel Williamson takes a bemused travel of Elvis Presley's Graceland, and David Kennedy tells the tale of the "Pig conflict" of San Juan Island, the place a spat among Britain and the United States over a speck of land within the Pacific helped verify the form of the U.S. and Canada. William Freehling compares locations, Charleston's Battery and New Orleans' Jackson sq., exhibiting how every one finds the various spirit of the society that created it. And Edward Ayers talks approximately spending time in our on-line world, u.s., a digital position that has a lot in universal with the the US visited through Alexis de Tocqueville a century and a part in the past. different items comprise Robert Dallek at the FDR Memorial, David Hackett Fischer at the Boston universal, and William Leuchtenburg on his local borough of Queens.
American Places celebrates the occupation of Sheldon Meyer, who over his years at Oxford collage Press has released a few of our so much exclusive historians, together with many Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize winners, almost all of whom have contributed to this quantity.

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My thoughts return to Quork Walker, who in 1754 came as an infant to America from the east coast of Africa. He was a slave, the son of Dinah and Mingo. So far as anyone knows, Quork—his name sometimes appears in the early records as Quock or Quok—made no trouble for his master James Caldwell. After Caldwell died, however, the slave's life in this rural community, then known as the Rutland District, took a turn for the worse. Caldwell's widow married Nathaniel Jennison, a local man who seems to have possessed few positive virtues.

Clark must sense my inability to make the Jennison property communicate across a gulf of time about the lost world of Quork. Before my disappointment turns to despair, however, my guide quickly points out an overgrown path barely discernible across the state highway. That, he announces triumphantly, is the actual path that the African took when he left Jennison's farm and sought employment with John Caldwell. The day has become uncomfortably hot. Although I can easily make out the configuration of an eighteenth-century road, I do not welcome an opportunity to retrace Quork's steps, at least not at this moment.

Breen A MONUMENT FOR BARRE Memory in a Massachusetts Town T he physical face of Barre betrays uncertainty rather than indifference about more than two centuries of local history. A maze of highways crisscrosses the Common at the center of the village, creating curious grass fractals bounded by asphalt. One road leads to Worcester, some twenty-two miles to the east. Others connect Barre to small neighboring communities in central Massachusetts, obscure farming towns founded long ago, which now increasingly attract those who have the resources to sustain a rural retreat.

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