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- Geography of & travel in North America
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Type of Item
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History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark: To the Sources of the Missouri, thence Across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean
This account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, published in 1814, is based on the detailed journals kept by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the leaders of expedition. The book begins with “Life of Captain Lewis,” written by Thomas Jefferson, which reproduces Jefferson’s detailed instructions to Lewis regarding the goals of the expedition. “The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregan [sic ...
Barbados, Native Huts
This photograph is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. The easternmost island in the ...
General View of Niagara Falls from Bridge
This Detroit Publishing Company photographic print from around 1901 shows Niagara Falls, the spectacular natural wonder on the Niagara River, which forms part of the border between Canada and the United States. The photograph is a cyanotype, a process that was invented in 1842 by the British astronomer and photography pioneer Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) and came into widespread use in the 1880s. Herschel discovered that water-soluble iron salts, when exposed to sunlight, form the compound known as Prussian Blue (a complex molecule that contains the compound cyanide, hence the ...
Midwinter Crowd at Miami Beach
Winter tourism became a major factor in the development of Miami and south Florida from the 1920s onward. Development, particularly of hotels, grew apace, with the increasing popularity of this tourism and retirement haven, and much helped by the spread of commercial aviation. By 1940 Miami had about two million vacationers a year. President Harry S Truman was there for the dedication of the Everglades National Park in 1947. Some of the new hotels, such as the 1948 Sherry Frontenac, had fine Art Deco details. This photograph, taken on December ...
African American Man Wrestling an Alligator at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
One of the symbols of the state of Florida in the popular imagination is the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). From the earliest European explorers to the present day, visitors have been fascinated by this cold-blooded freshwater reptile. With a name derived from the Spanish word lagarto (the lizard), alligators can grow to an average of 13–15 feet (4–4.6 meters) and weigh 500–1,000 pounds (227–453 kilograms). The alligator used to be prized for its meat and skin, was once hunted and harvested to near extinction ...
Man Fishing at Blue Springs
This undated photograph of Blue Springs in Marion County, Florida captures the tranquility offered by Florida’s springs before the rapid development of urban centers in central Florida altered the landscape. Marion County was the location of a U.S. government military agency established in 1825 to oversee displaced Seminoles. White settlers began moving into the area in the early to mid-19th century to take advantage of the abundant farm land and numerous freshwater springs and spring-fed rivers. Trading posts and communities formed around the springs, including what would later ...
Scenes of the Everglades
Businessman and adventurer Homer Augustus Brinkley produced this film in 1928 after living for several months among the Seminole Indians in the Everglades. He later used the film in a traveling show that featured a live, caged bear and himself dressed as a Seminole. Photographed by William B. Feeland, the film contains some of the earliest moving footage of the Seminole. Beginning with panoramic shots of vegetation, waterways, and abandoned structures, the film includes footage of wildlife, such as an owl, raccoons, water moccasins, alligators, deer, a wild turkey, and ...
Ross Allen Reptile Institute
E. Ross Allen was a pioneer promoter and theme-park entrepreneur who achieved national and international fame for his animal wrestling. Born in 1908 in Pittsburgh, he was an Eagle Scout as a boy and later a stand-in for Johnny Weismuller in the Tarzan movies. He transformed the historic, natural tourist attraction of Silver Springs into a prototype of modern theme parks. Ross Allen’s Reptile Institute opened in 1929 and catered to Florida traditions (and mythology) while employing Florida residents, including Seminole Indians. The institute later shifted its emphasis a ...
Welcome to Rainbow Springs
“Welcome to Rainbow Springs” is an example of the traditional tour guide performances delivered by guides at Florida’s natural springs, which were the first tourist attractions widely promoted in the state’s long history as a tourist destination. The speech is part welcome message, part folk song, and part tall tale, and demonstrates how African Americans were integral to the early tourist trade in Florida. The performance style is evocative of the minstrel songs and theatricals of earlier years. Rainbow Springs boat captain Skipper Lockett gives his recitation while ...
Emigrant's Map and Guide for Routes to North America
This map by Gotthelf Zimmermann reflects the importance of German immigration to North America in the mid-19th century. When the Revolution of 1848 failed to produce desired reforms within the German confederation, droves of disillusioned Germans turned their sights abroad. Maps such as this helped show them the way. At the time, land in the United States was cheap, fertile, and plentiful, making it an ideal choice for immigrants eager to establish new settlements and to begin new lives. German communities in the United States became so prevalent that on ...
Blacks on Tobacco Plantation, Jamaica
This photograph depicting a scene in Jamaica is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography. whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives ...
Method of Securing the Ports and Populations of All the Coasts of the Indies
In the second half of the 17th century, rampant piracy threatened the economic and commercial interests of Spain in the West Indies. Piracy also introduced a complicating factor in the ongoing struggle among Spain, France, and England for preeminence in the Caribbean. This book, published around 1694, offers recommendations, apparently addressed by Governor Sebastien de Roteta of Trinidad to King Charles II, on fortifying Spanish ports in the West Indies against pirate attack. The book is in two parts, with a printed iron cross appearing at the head of the ...
Two Years in the French West Indies
Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904) was an international writer best known for his books about Japan. Born on the Greek island of Lefkáda, the son of an Irish father and a Greek mother, he was raised in England, Ireland, and France and immigrated to the United States at age 19. He lived first in Cincinnati, where he landed a job as a journalist, and then moved to New Orleans in 1877, where he wrote for several newspapers. His impressionistic writings about the city caught the eye of editors at Harper’s ...
The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe
This book, published in London in 1778, is a succinct compilation of information about the West Indies, containing, as indicated by the lengthy subtitle, “an authentick account of the first discoverers of those islands, and the parts adjacent, their situation, extent, boundaries, soil, product, trade, commerce, inhabitants, strength, government, and religion: also their principal bays and harbours, the materials for which were collected on the spot during the last war by some of the officers of his Majesty's forces, and diligently compared with all authentick narrators.” Even though the ...
La Coca, a Jarabe Dancer
This 1904 photograph of a female dancer in Mexico is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and ...
The New and Unknown World: or Description of America and the Southland
This monumental work by the Dutch writer Arnoldus Montanus (1625?-83) reflects the fascination of 17-th century Europe with the New World. Montanus was a Protestant minister and headmaster of the Latin School in the town of Schoonhoven. He wrote books on church history, theology, the history of the Low Countries, and the peoples and cultures of the Americas and Australia. (The “Southland” in the title of his book refers to the recently-discovered Australia.) Montanus never visited the New World and his work contains numerous errors and fantastic conceptions about ...
Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44
The geographical knowledge of the mountain man Jedediah Smith (1799–1831) is recorded by George Gibbs on this map. Smith’s explorations played a significant role in the settlement of the American West. Smith was the first white man to cross the future states of Nevada and Utah, the first American to enter California by the overland route, and the first American to explore the Pacific coast from California to the banks of the Columbia River. Gibbs’s annotations, based on a manuscript map by Smith, detail such matters as ...
Topographical Map of Wisconsin Territory
This is the first large-scale map of the Wisconsin Territory based on actual surveys. The map was compiled and published by the surveyors Samuel Morrison, Elisha Dwelle, and Joshua Hathaway and engraved on three copperplates. In 1785, the United States Congress passed the Land Survey Ordinance, which provided for a system of square townships six miles on a side, divided into 36 one-square-mile sections. The map shows townships in the Wisconsin Territory surveyed by 1837. Also depicted are roads, trails, natural land forms, vegetation, mill sites, and the lead and ...
The Man of Commerce
“The Man of Commerce” is a detailed map that conflates human anatomy with the American transportation system. Published in 1889 by the Land & River Improvement Company of Superior, Wisconsin, the map promotes Superior as a transportation hub and shows the routes of 29 railroads across the United States. The outline map of North America is superimposed by a cutaway diagram of the human body. The map’s metaphor makes West Superior “the center of cardiac or heart circulation.” The railways become major arteries. New York is “the umbilicus through which ...
Chart of the NW Coast of America and Part of the NE of Asia with the Track of his Majesty's Sloops 'Resolution' and 'Discovery' from May to October 1778
George Vancouver (1757–98), who became a noted explorer and surveyor of the Pacific Northwest, joined the Royal Navy at the age of 13 and was a midshipman on H.M.S. Discovery during Captain James Cook’s ill-fated third voyage of 1778–80. This may be one of Vancouver’s first charts. The purpose for which the chart was made is not known. Such charts may have been drafted by the midshipmen as an exercise, part of a running survey conducted under the guidance of ships’ masters and captains ...
Central America; Describing Each of the States of Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica
John Baily was an Englishman who lived for many years in Central America. He was employed in 1837–38 by the government of Nicaragua to survey a potential canal route from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. In 1850 Baily published this book and a separate map of Central America that showed four proposed routes for an isthmian canal. Central America begins with an introductory chapter on the geography, history, and economy of the region as a whole, followed by individual chapters devoted to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mosquito ...