Was Roger Williams too pure for the Puritans, and what does that have to do with Rhode Island? Why did Augustine Herman take ten years to complete the map that established Delaware? How did Rocky Mountain rogues help create the state of Colorado? All this and more is explained in Mark Stein's new book.
How the States Got Their Shapes Too follows How the States Got Their Shapes looks at American history through the lens of its borders, but, while How The States Got Their Shapes told us why, this book tells us who. This personal element in the boundary stories reveals how we today are like those who came before us, and how we differ, and most significantly: how their collective stories reveal not only an historical arc but, as importantly, the often overlooked human dimension in that arc that leads to the nation we are today.
The people featured in How the States Got Their Shapes Too lived from the colonial era right up to the present. They include African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, women, and of course, white men. Some are famous, such as Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster. Some are not, such as Bernard Berry, Clarina Nichols, and Robert Steele. And some are names many of us know but don't really know exactly what they did, such as Ethan Allen (who never made furniture, though he burned a good deal of it).
In addition, How the States Got Their Shapes Too tells of individuals involved in the Almost States of America, places we sought to include but ultimately did not: Canada, the rest of Mexico (we did get half), Cuba, and, still an issue, Puerto Rico.
Each chapter is largely driven by voices from the time, in the form of excerpts from congressional debates, newspapers, magazines, personal letters, and diaries.
Told in Mark Stein's humorous voice, How the States Got Their Shapes Too is a historical journey unlike any other you've taken. The strangers you meet here had more on their minds than simple state lines, and this book makes for a great new way of seeing and understanding the United States.
|Publisher:||Smithsonian Institution Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
MARK STEIN is a playwright and screenwriter. His plays have been performed off-Broadway and at theaters throughout the country. His films include Housesitter with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. Stein has also taught writing and drama at American University and Catholic University. His previous book, How the States Got Their Shapes, a New York Times bestseller, was the basis for The History Channel's documentary of the same name.
Table of Contents
The Boundary of Religion Roger Williams 1
Why We Have Delaware Augustine Herman 7
Fifteen Minutes of Fame Robert Jenkins's Ear 13
Winning New Hampshire Robert Tufton Mason 17
What You Know or Who You Know? Lord Fairfax 25
America's Most Famous (and Misunderstood) Line Mason Dixon 30
Connecticut's Lost Cause Zebulon Butler 37
Vermont: The Fourteenth Colony Ethan Allen 43
Lines on the Map in Invisible Ink Thomas Jefferson 50
The U.S. Line from Spanish Canada John Meares 59
To Be Brilliant and Black in the New Nation Benjamin Banneker 66
The Erie Canal and the Gush of Redrawn Lines Jesse Hawley 72
The Man History Tried to Erase James Brittain 79
From Zero To Hero? Reuben Kemper 85
The 49th Parallel: A New Line of Americans Richard Rush 92
Illinois's Most Boring Border Nathaniel Pope 100
Putting the Boot Heel on Missouri John Hardeman Walker 107
The Massachusetts Texan John Quincy Adams 112
The Cherokee Line Sequoyah 117
The Toledo War Stevens T. Mason 125
Ohio Boundary Champ Takes on Missouri and Minnesota Robert Lucas 133
Maine's Border: The Devil in Daniel Webster Daniel Webster 142
Fifty-Four Forty or Fight! James K. Polk 151
Cutting Washington Down to Size Robert M. T. Hunter 160
The Man Who Lassoed Texas Sam Houston 168
The Boundary of Religion Revisited Brigham Young 180
California: Boundless Opportunity John A. Sutter 187
Government Aid to Big Business James Gadsden 195
The Line on Slavery: Erasing and Redrawing Stephen A. Douglas 201
Annexing Cuba: Liberty, Security, Slavery John A. Quitman 211
Using Boundaries to Break Boundaries Clarina Nichols 219
The British-American Pig War Lyman Cutler's Neighbor's Pig 224
Rocky Mountain Rogue? Robert W. Steele 230
The Battle Line That Became a State Line Francis H. Pierpont 234
Two Sides of the Coin of the Realm Francisco Perea John S. Watts 244
Good as Gold Sidney Edgerton James Ashley 251
Why Buy Alaska? William H. Seward 256
The Legal Boundary of Humanity Standing Bear v. Crook 261
Bordering on Empire Lili'uokalani Sanford Dole 272
Oklahoma's Racial Boundaries Alfalfa Bill Murray Edward P. McCabe Chief Green McCurtain 280
New Jersey Invades Ellis Island Bernard J. Berry 288
Puerto Rico: The Fifty-First State? Luis Ferré 293
When the Grass Is Greener on the Other Side David Shafer 299
Taxation without Representation Eleanor Holmes Norton 304
Photography Credits 348