Letters from an American farmer – J. Hector St. John
St, John (Crèvecœur) wrote these “Letters” during a period of seven years prior to the American Revolutionary War, while farming land near Orange County, New York. They are told from the viewpoint of a fictional narrator in correspondence with an English gentleman, and each letter concerns a different aspect of life or location in the British colonies of America. the letters are written in a spirit of touching simplicity, almost better than Chateaubriand. You’d think neither of them would ever know how many beans make five. This American Farmer tells of the joys of creating a home in the wilderness, and of cultivating the virgin soil.
Letters from an American farmer.
Available at amazon.com and other venues.
American exploration in the 18th century (from Wikipedia):
Anthony Henday was the first to have seen the Rocky Mountains, in 1754, but curiously did not mention it in his journals. From his westernmost geographic position (roughly near the town of Olds, Alberta, halfway between Calgary and Red Deer, Alberta) the Rockies should have been quite conspicuous, but he was likely trying to disguise the disappointing fact that an unknown range of seemingly impassible mountains now stood between the HBC and the Pacific. Samuel Hearne found the Coppermine River in 1769-71 in his failed search for copper ore deposits. Burned by these shortfalls, the HBC largely quit exploration.
The North West Company, on the other hand, used a business model that required constant expansion into untapped areas. Under the auspices of the NWC, Alexander Mackenzie discovered the Mackenzie River in 1789 and was the first European to reach the North-American Pacific overland, via the Bella Coola River, in 1793. Simon Fraser reached the Pacific in 1808 via the Fraser River.
David Thompson, widely regarded as the greatest land geographer that ever lived, traveled over 90,000 km during his lifetime. In 1797, Thompson was sent south by his employers to survey part of the Canada-U.S. boundary along the water routes from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods to satisfy unresolved questions of territory arising from the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States. By 1798 Thompson had completed a survey of 6,750 km (4,190 mi) from Grand Portage, through Lake Winnipeg, to the headwaters of the Assiniboine and Mississippi Rivers, as well as two sides of Lake Superior. In 1798, the company sent him to Red Deer Lake (in present-day Alberta) to establish a trading post. The English translation of Lac La Biche-Red Deer Lake-first appeared on the Mackenzie map of 1793. Thompson spent the next few seasons trading based in Fort George (now in Alberta), and during this time led several expeditions into the Rocky Mountains. In 1811/1812 he followed the Columbia River to the Pacific, and in 1814 used his notes and measurements to draft the first European-style map of western Canada, covering 3.9 million square kilometres.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.