What a Difference between the Same place
Today I would like to share one certain very small part of my forthcoming book with you. The original post is one article down — and having finished that short article then start right here with the continuance of what is in the “Introduction” section of my forthcoming book. Again as usual I would like to know your own personal feelings if you happened upon a book that displayed this kind of introduction. (Starting now…)
These newly inbound passengers thought that they would come across tame, limited, surmountable geography as they had in England. But they did not. Much to their surprise they discovered that this new world was completely different than the land from where they came. The scale was vaster than anything they had encountered before. An immense, almost unbroken forest traversed into distances beyond their comprehension.
Rivers — greater and wilder, and more spectacular than the grandest stream in all of Britain poured out of the continent — the Hudson, the Delaware, Susquehanna, the Potomac, earlier settlers spoke and mapped the James, the Roanoke, the Cape Fear, the Savannah and many, many more. For inspiring settlers they began walking, talking, and writing about how vast the territory was really. They had figured that more than half a dozen England’s could be easily fitted along the coast.
As time would have it many settlers or pioneers as they wished to be called began venturing up the great rivers to find the headwaters, being confident that the highlands where the rivers arose would indeed mark the limit of this new land.
However, when the pioneers reached the great chain of mountains called the Appalachians and gazed out from its heights, they were utterly confounded and confused insofar as before them laid even more boundless, more astonishing land stretched out to seeming infinity toward a setting sun.
With just this short jaunt into the wilderness for curiosities sake — and no doubt led and guided by those humans who were indigenous to this “home” land, of course the Native Americans who showed them the wilderness and the amount of “happy hunting grounds” that could be found.
This was the premier thought or better still, the moment when the American character was formed. Whatever limits of class or status that the pioneers had brought with them from Britain would fall away to insignificance in this prestigious land. Also insignificant at this time was racism, or any privileged class.
Individuals looked toward the limitless frontier that they now knew would beckon continuously on the western horizon, they realized that no king, no aristocracy, however selfish, could crush them. Most importantly they arrived at a moment — acknowledging that at any time they could cross this frontier and leave all of Europe’s restraints behind them. Americans, whether they crossed the frontiers or not, were destined to be forever free.