This unique and unusual book brings to life for you the sights, sounds, and smells of America in its unspoiled state. Every region in the country is presented as it appeared to the first Europeans who settled or explored it. You visit a Manhattan fragrant with wildflowers and covered with forests; a Boston still teeming with beavers; a Chicago trodden by countless herds of buffalo. Your eyes feast on miles of virgin canebrake, the wild turkeys in the magnolias, and the many gorgeous birds soon to be wiped out by greedy hunters.
Citing scores of original journals, diaries and letters, as well as authentic Indian narratives, Mr. Bakeless reconstructs the reciprocal impact of civilized Europeans and the untamed new land. He shows you what it was really like to taste the rich new fruit and game; to hunt squirrels with the backwoodsmen; to survive prairie fires and Indian onslaughts. You join the great explorers on their epoch-making treks: Coronado, viewing the first buffalo stampede seen by white men; Cartier, tasting tobacco 50 years before Raleigh was to introduce it to Europe; Radisson, enduring torture in an Indian village. But not only the great names are included here; there are also the farmers and the trappers; the simple soldiers who first caught sight of San Francisco Bay; and the man who crossed the wilds of Kentucky 100 years before Daniel Boone.
Sixty-eight illustrations, 39 of them specially selected for this edition, include a sketch of Niagara Falls in 1678; three now extinct American birds; a view of St. Augustine, Florida, in 1586; five of Catlin's famous Indian and buffalo scenes; and much more. The frontispiece map shows the routes of 15 major explorations from Verrazano in 1524 to Lewis and Clark in 1805.
Historians, students, naturalists, conservationists, anthropologists, and general readers will all enjoy and profit by this unusual re-visualization of America's fascinating past ... an incomparable recreation of a time and place that will not come again.
Reprint of Eyes of Discovery, J. B. Lippincott Co., 1950.
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