Download PDF by Molly K. Varley: Americans Recaptured: Progressive Era Memory of Frontier

By Molly K. Varley

It was once at the frontier, the place “civilized” women and men faced the “wilderness,” that Europeans first turned Americans—or so experts from Frederick Jackson Turner to Theodore Roosevelt claimed. yet because the frontier disappeared, americans believed they wanted a brand new mechanism for solving their collective identification; they usually came upon it, historian Molly ok. Varley indicates, in stories of white american citizens held captive through Indians.

For american citizens within the revolutionary period (1890–1916) those tales of Indian captivity appeared to end up that the violence of nationwide growth were justified, that voters’ person soreness were heroic, and that settlers’ touch with Indians and desert nonetheless characterised the nation’s “soul.” in addition, within the act of memorializing white Indian captives—through statues, parks, and reissued narratives—small cities discovered a manner of inscribing themselves into the nationwide story.

By drawing out the connections among genuine captivity, captivity narratives, and the memorializing of white captives, Varley indicates how Indian captivity turned a way for innovative period americans to appear ahead by means of in retrospect. neighborhood boosters and cultural commentators used Indian captivity to outline “Americanism” and to resume these frontier characteristics deemed important to the survival of the state within the post-frontier international, akin to individualism, bravery, ingenuity, enthusiasm, “manliness,” and patriotism. In Varley’s research of the revolutionary period mentality, touch among white captives and Indians represented a degree within the evolution of a brand new American humans and affirmed the modern concept of the USA as a melting pot.

Revealing how the recitation and interpretation of those captivity narratives replaced over time—with transferring emphasis on brutality, gender, and ethnographic and old accuracy—Americans Recaptured shows that stories of Indian captivity have been not more mounted than American identification, yet have been continuously used to offer that id its personal helpful, ever-evolving shape.

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Americans Recaptured: Progressive Era Memory of Frontier Captivity by Molly K. Varley

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