NitroFlare Fellow Travelers Indians and Europeans Contesting the Early American Trail

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    kocogi Active Member

    May 29, 2012
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    Fellow Travelers: Indians and Europeans Contesting the Early American Trail By Philip Levy
    2007 | 225 Pages | ISBN: 0813030587 | PDF | 1 MB

    When Europeans first arrived on North American shores, they came to a continent crisscrossed by a well-trodden network of native trails. The traders, missionaries, diplomatists, and naturalists who traveled these trails depended in no small measure on the skills, knowledge, and goodwill of the native people who were squarely in colonization's crosshairs. This study of 16th- to 19-century native and European travel companions, or "fellow travelers," as Levy calls them, draws on anthropological studies and applies ethnohistorical methodology. Examining the writings of European travelers who took to trails and rivers from the Rio Grande to the Arctic, Levy argues that travel relationships evolved from patterns of coercion and miscommunication to partnerships based on careful and constant negotiation. The shared trail was an arena of contested meanings. Levy explores the many forms such contests took and how they contributed to the larger shape and course of colonial travel. Dispelling the simplistic image of European travelers and explorers as heroes, Levy stresses the contingent and dependent nature of these endeavors, noting that natives were vital to the Europeans and vice versa; many natives came to rely on their fellow travelers as well. The realities of the trail potentially blurred distinctions among people eating the same food, treading the same path, and often wearing similar clothes, yet travelers worked hard to maintain distinctions between them. In sharing the rigors and burdens of the trail and relying on one another in a variety of ways, Indian and European travelers entwined their fates.[​IMG]
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