Download e-book for kindle: Americans Recaptured: Progressive Era Memory of Frontier by Molly K. Varley

By Molly K. Varley

It used to be at the frontier, the place “civilized” women and men faced the “wilderness,” that Europeans first turned Americans—or so professionals from Frederick Jackson Turner to Theodore Roosevelt claimed. yet because the frontier disappeared, american citizens believed they wanted a brand new mechanism for solving their collective identification; they usually chanced on it, historian Molly ok. Varley indicates, in stories of white americans held captive by means of Indians.

For americans within the innovative period (1890–1916) those tales of Indian captivity looked as if it would end up that the violence of nationwide enlargement have been justified, that voters’ person ache have been heroic, and that settlers’ touch with Indians and desolate tract nonetheless characterised the nation’s “soul.” moreover, within the act of memorializing white Indian captives—through statues, parks, and reissued narratives—small cities came across a fashion of inscribing themselves into the nationwide story.

By drawing out the connections among real captivity, captivity narratives, and the memorializing of white captives, Varley exhibits how Indian captivity turned a way for innovative period american citizens to appear ahead by means of in retrospect. neighborhood boosters and cultural commentators used Indian captivity to outline “Americanism” and to resume these frontier characteristics deemed very important to the survival of the state within the post-frontier international, comparable to individualism, bravery, ingenuity, enthusiasm, “manliness,” and patriotism. In Varley’s research of the innovative period mentality, touch among white captives and Indians represented a degree within the evolution of a brand new American humans and affirmed the modern concept of the USA as a melting pot.

Revealing how the recitation and interpretation of those captivity narratives replaced over time—with moving emphasis on brutality, gender, and ethnographic and historic accuracy—Americans Recaptured shows that stories of Indian captivity have been not more fastened than American id, yet have been continually used to provide that id its personal important, ever-evolving shape.

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Americans Recaptured: Progressive Era Memory of Frontier Captivity by Molly K. Varley


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