Abstract

Abstract:

The article explores the theme of swamp cultivation in J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur's sketches about immigrants who become citizens. It focuses on Crèvecoeur's attitudes toward swamps, highlighting the environmental dimensions of Americanization as immigrant characters learn how to cultivate wetlands in Letters from an American Farmer (1782) and his lesser-studied French works. As the essay argues, Crèvecoeur depicts American civic identities emerging through a dialogic relationship in which humans modify nature as much as nature modifies humans. Particular emphasis is given to the political significance of wetlands, meadow companies, water exhaustion, and beaver habitats in his texts to examine how notions of belonging are structured around attitudes toward swamps in his sketches about becoming an American.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-147X
Print ISSN
0012-8163
Pages
pp. 343-368
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-14
Open Access
No
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