• Language is key to the future and greatness for America
• He wrote "the American Dictionary" in 1828 which was based on the American use of English language
• "A national language is a bond of a national union. Every engine should be employed to render the people of this country national to call their attachments home to their own country, and to inspire them with the pride of national character"
• First truly American author to making an enduring reputation
• Focus and the Western Frontier
• Wrote "Rip Van Winkle" and "Legend of the Sleepy Hollows"
• History of NY by Diedrich Kickerbocker
James Fenimore Cooper
• Romantic tales at sea and frontier (key themes of America at that time)
• Wrote "the Deerslayer", "Last of the Mohicans", "the Pioneers"
• Bold and daring romantic novels
• Caught up in Puritan NE past
• "concerned with the impact of sea on people's lives and how people are caught up with webs of their own making"
• Wrote "the Scarlet Letter", "House of Seven Gables"
• Themes of evil that men do and how it lives on after them, people overwhelmed with own past
• Had apprenticed as a sailor so most of his works are about the sea
• Wrote "Moby Dick", "Billy Budd"
• He wrestles with evil in the world
• Vacillates b/w tragedy (Greeks) and good triumphs over evil (Christianity)
Edgar Allen Poe
• Born in Boston and grew up in VA
• Poetry and short stories
• Beyond his time and place yet still very detailed
• "on the outer edge of sanity"
• "Romance of mystery, terror, yearning"
• He wrote "House of Usher", "The Raven", "Annabel Lee"
• Publish biographies of early leaders like George Washington
• Wrote the first " History of the United States"
• Know as "the father of American history"
• Sec. Navy and found the Naval Academy
Ralph Waldo Emerson
• "The American Scholar" (speech at Harvard 1837)
• "urged American writers to throw off European tradition and delve into the riches of their own backyard"
• "his ideals reflected those of an expanding America"
• Poet, philosopher
• "vision of drawing all men up to their heights and reforming society according to their own view"
• Emerson: "What is man born for but to be a reformer?"
Henry David Thoreau
• "Condemning a government that supported slavery, he refused to pay Mass. Poll tax and jailed for a night."
• Wrote "Walden" and "on Civil Disobedience"
• Transcendentalist answer to poetry
• "Leaves of Grass"
• "poet laureate of democracy"
• Female transcendentalist and ardent feminist
• Will live at Brook Farm as a writer and editor
William Gilmore Simms
• Romantic novels of the colonial era in the South
• "Guy Rivers", "The Yemassee"
• Loved Sir Walter Scott who wrote Ivanhoe
Hudson River School
• School for artists in NY
• Landscape painters inspired by native land
• Beauty of Hudson River Valley and Catskill Mountains
John James Audubon
• Came from Santo Domingo in 1803
• Studies and draws the beauty of American wild life
• In architecture
• Classic lines of ancient Greek Temples
• Emphasis on democratic spirit
• Jackson starts 2nd bank of US and US Capitol (1812)
• Actual Greeks trying to win independence from Turks
George Caleb Bingham
• Paints the boatmen on Miss. River, frontier politicians
• Loved political scene
John Singer Copley
• On architecture
• NYC - Trinity Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral
• DC - Smithsonian
• Isabella Boufrey ran away from slavery and joins a cult with the prophet of Jeremiah
• She had a religious revival and changed her name to Sojourner Truth
• Starts to give teachings about women's abolitionist rights
• 1st freed slave to speak because he gave moving speeches describing the first hand insight into slavery
• Starts abolitionist newspaper called the "North Star"
• House in Rochester which is a stop in the underground railroad
Charles Grandson Finney
• Revivals in NY for the Presbyterians in the "burned over district"
• Said that people were in control of their own fate which was appealing in the era of the common man
• Salvation was open to all but you can't wait for it, must work for it which resonated with middle class
Oneida County Female Missionary Society
• Famous one of many benevolent female societies
• Women have time to focus and try to improve the community and focus was on education
• Joseph Smith writes a book that connects Native Americans to the lost tribes of Israel
• He found the heavenly angel - needed to find the plates of a book buried and lost and he finds them
• Able to translate the book which was in a lost language of an Israeli tribe - "Book of Mormon"
• Smith had no followers in NY so moves to Ohio and forms the Nauvoo Mormon Settlement
• Polygamy was allowed which makes the NE puritans living in Ohio suspicious and they start to threaten them. Mormons voted together to raise a militia but they were forced out of Ohio
• Brigham Young - lead Mormons to Great Salt Lake
• William Miller - 2nd eminent Christ - made cults where everyone sold all their possessions and wore white robes then settled in a cave on the mountain top in Dec of 1844
• People were getting ready for the Jesus' revival and the cult people were trying to avoid the apocalypse
• Nothing happened so the movement fell apart
• DEF - change was happening so fast that people thought the world was ending
• Utopian Communities - live apart from the industrial cities and try to create their own detached utopia
• Some religious and some secular, hold property in common and communitarian - Wholesale structure
• Transcendentalists take on the utopian society created by George Ripley
• Combined thinking and physical labor and was secular which drew in many transcendentalists
• Heavily in debt because better at writing than working and then it was burned down in a fire
• (England in 1770's) Ann Lee/ "Mother Lee" was believed to be the next avatar of Christ
• Kept property in common and kept men and woman apart
• Celibacy - no need to have kids (millennialism)
• Services - intense group dancing and singing
• Furniture and music are their specialty
• They had a hard time recruiting so the movement didn't last long
• Formed by John Humphrey in Oneida NY and it was equal in social and economic standing
• Shared everything including marriage partners
• Eugenic selection - maximize the gene pool and create superior children
• Economically prosperous - made silverware - "Sexual Forks"
• Formed by Robert Owen in Indiana
• He sees inequality in industrialization and wants to form a socialist commune which fails
• His idea was to try and stop competing and try to make everyone educated - "Owenism"
• Charles Fourier wanted to end the fierce competition that pulls society apart
• Lived together happily
• Unsuccessful overall because Americans so individualistic and competitive