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The Red Man's Continent: a chronicle of aboriginal America   By: (1876-1947)

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THE RED MAN'S CONTINENT

A CHRONICLE OF ABORIGINAL AMERICA

By Ellsworth Huntington

NEW HAVEN: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS

TORONTO: GLASGOW, BROOK & CO.

LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

1919

PREFACE

In writing this book the author has aimed first to present in readable form the main facts about the geographical environment of American history. Many important facts have been omitted or have been touched upon only lightly because they are generally familiar. On the other hand, special stress has been laid on certain broad phases of geography which are comparatively unfamiliar. One of these is the similarity of form between the Old World and the New, and between North and South America; another is the distribution of indigenous types of vegetation in North America; and a third is the relation of climate to health and energy. In addition to these subjects, the influence of geographical conditions upon the life of the primitive Indians has been emphasized. This factor is especially important because people without iron tools and beasts of burden, and without any cereal crops except corn, must respond to their environment very differently from civilized people of today. Limits of space and the desire to make this book readable have led to the omission of the detailed proof of some of the conclusions here set forth. The special student will recognize such cases and will not judge them until he has read the author's fuller statements elsewhere. The general reader, for whom this book is designed, will be thankful for the omission of such purely technical details.

CONTENTS

I. THE APPROACHES TO AMERICA II. THE FORM OF THE CONTINENT III. THE GEOGRAPHIC PROVINCES OF NORTH AMERICA IV. THE GARMENT OF VEGETATION V. THE RED MAN IN AMERICA BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

THE RED MAN'S CONTINENT

CHAPTER I. THE APPROACHES TO AMERICA

Across the twilight lawn at Hampton Institute straggles a group of sturdy young men with copper hued complexions. Their day has been devoted to farming, carpentry, blacksmithing, or some other trade. Their evening will be given to study. Those silent dignified Indians with straight black hair and broad, strong features are training their hands and minds in the hope that some day they may stand beside the white man as equals. Behind them, laughing gayly and chattering as if without a care in the world, comes a larger group of kinky haired, thick lipped youths with black skins and African features. They, too, have been working with the hands to train the mind. Those two diverse races, red and black, sit down together in a classroom, and to them comes another race. The faces that were expressionless or merely mirthful a minute ago light up with serious interest as the teacher comes into the room. She stands there a slender, golden haired, blue eyed Anglo Saxon girl just out of college a mere child compared with the score of swarthy, stalwart men as old as herself who sit before her. Her mobile features seem to mirror a hundred thoughts while their impassive faces are moved by only one. Her quick speech almost trips in its eagerness not to waste the short, precious hour. Only a strong effort holds her back while she waits for the slow answers of the young men whom she drills over and over again in simple problems of arithmetic. The class and the teacher are an epitome of American history. They are more than that. They are an epitome of all history.

History in its broadest aspect is a record of man's migrations from one environment to another. America is the last great goal of these migrations. He who would understand its history must know its mountains and plains, its climate, its products, and its relation to the sea and to other parts of the world. He must know more than this, however, for he must appreciate how various environments alter man's energy and capacity and give his character a slant in one direction or another. He must also know the paths by which the inhabitants have reached their present homes, for the influence of former environments upon them may be more important than their immediate surroundings... Continue reading book >>




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