THE MOVING FRONTIER: North America Seen Through the Eyes of its Pioneer Discoverers by Louis B. & Elaine W. Fowler--Eds. Wright

THE MOVING FRONTIER: North America Seen Through the Eyes of its Pioneer Discoverers

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The final volume in the publisher's Great Explorers Series ranges from Florida to Alaska and includes excerpts from the journals and logs of De Soto, Coronado, Champlain, Zebulon Pike, several Jesuit missionaries, Ben Franklin, Marquette and Joliet, Lewis and Clark and other wilderness wanderers. Apart from ritual exclamations at the majestic scenery, the abundance of strange birds and beasts, and the strange customs of the ""savages,"" the chronicles collectively provide interesting glimpses of early Indian-American relations. Coronado's diplomacy (""so that the other natives would fear the Spaniards, he ordered 200 stakes to be prepared at once to burn them alive"") fortunately isn't typical of Anglo-French explorers who often displayed cordial interest in Indian crafts, languages, and nature lore. That many of these accounts were essentially propaganda for the benefit of the home government footing the bills for the large and costly expeditions does not detract from their interest at all -- though the editors are generally lackadaisical about providing political background. The chronicles cover the 17th through the 19th centuries and include notes on the Gold Rush and early forays into the Yukon. A useful sourcebook for students of Manifest Destiny, conscientiously assembled.

Pub Date: July 26th, 1972
Publisher: Delacorte