restricted access Essay on Sources
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e s s a y o n s o u r c e s Primary Sources In this book, I set out to understand what ordinary Americans from the era of the American Revolution through the antebellum period thought about their travels in Europe. To that end I concentrated on manuscript sources—diaries and letters—and now-obscure published accounts. Of course, the women and men whose views this book investigates were anything but “ordinary” by the standards of their day. But they were more ordinary than the subjects of most studies of Americans abroad in this period, which overwhelmingly focus on well-known literary figures. Most Americans who visited Europe did so only once in their lives. They almost always kept some kind of account of their experiences, both to enshrine their travels in order to revisit them later in life and to share their adventures with friends and family in the States. As a result, historical libraries hold a wealth of diaries, account books, letters, and other ephemera of travel, such as collections of prints, used guidebooks, and the like. The most useful repositories for my research were the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia); the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond); the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA); the Perkins Library at Duke University; the Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore); the Special Collections division of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University; the Filson Club Historical Library (Louisville, KY); the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston); the Library Company of Philadelphia ; the John Hay Library at Brown University; the South Carolina Historical Society (Charleston); the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia; and the Library of Congress. I also made use of the published letters and diaries of travelers, which are particularly rich, for whatever reason, for the colonial period. Especially worthwhile accounts include Ronald Hoffman, ed., Dear Papa, Dear Charley: The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat , as told by Charles Carroll of Carrollton and his Father, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, with Sundry Observations on Bastardy, Child-Rearing, Romance, Matrimony, Commerce, Tobacco, Slavery, and the Politics of Revolutionary America, 3 vols. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and 216 Essay on Sources Culture, 2001); The Journal of Dr. John Morgan of Philadelphia from the City of Rome to the City of London, 1764, with a Fragment of a Journal Written at Rome, 1764, and a Biographical Sketch (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1907); George W. Corner, ed., The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush: His “Travels through Life” Together with his Commonplace Book for 1789–1813, Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 25 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1948); “Journal of Josiah Quincy, Jun., During his Voyage and Residence in England from September 28th, 1774, to March 3rd, 1775,” Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings 50 (October 1916–June 1917): 433–71; and H. Trevor Colbourn, ed., “A Pennsylvania Farmer at the Court of King George: John Dickinson’s London Letters, 1754–1756,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 86 (July 1962): 241– 86, (October 1962): 417–53. Two sources on South Carolinians are particularly detailed: the accounts of Henry Laurens in Philip M. Hamer et al., eds., The Papers of Henry Laurens, vol. 7, Aug. 1, 1769–Oct. 9, 1771; vol. 8, Oct. 10, 1771–April 19, 1773; vol. 9, April 19, 1773–December 12, 1774 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press for the South Carolina Historical Society, 1980–81); and Mabel L. Webber, ed., “Peter Manigault’s Letters,” South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 31 (July 1930): 171–183, (October 1930): 261–82; 32 (January 1931): 46–60, (April 1931): 115–30, (July 1931): 175–92; 33 (January 1932): 55–62, (April 1932): 148–53, (July 1932): 247–50. Worthwhile accounts from the postrevolutionary era include Vernon Snow, ed., “The Grand Tour Diary of Robert C. Johnson, 1792–1793,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 102 (February 1959): 60–105; and Minnie Claire Yarborough, ed., The Reminiscences of William C. Preston (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1933). For the reflections of two articulate, self-confident people, see Thomas Adam and Gisela Mettele, eds., Two Boston Brahmins in Goethe’s Germany: The Travel Journals of Anna and George Ticknor (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009). Two diaries of privileged young men provide extraordinary detail on European travel in the early antebellum era: Donald G. Rohr, ed., The...


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Subject Headings

  • Americans -- Travel -- Europe -- History.
  • Europe -- Description and travel.
  • Americans -- Europe -- Ethnic identity -- History.
  • Ethnicity -- Europe -- History.
  • Europe -- Social life and customs -- 18th century.
  • Europe -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
  • Europe -- Foreign public opinion, American.
  • Travelers' writings, American -- Europe.
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