Campbell also connects Alaska to a wider geographical world of kindred exploration and colonization particularly to parallels he draws with Africa as well as a larger intellectual world that both shaped and was shaped by Euro-American experiences along the Inside Passage. The end result is an elegant example of how to write history and historical geography in a way that is theoretically informed yet still centered in the richness of real persons living in and traveling through real places.
We begin by considering the emergence of Alaska as a destination in the first place. Then Campbell focuses on different aspects of the trip itself, including visits to native Tlingit villages, industrial centers such as Juneau , and spectacular glaciers such as those encountered in Glacier Bay. The narrative ends in the former Russian village of Sitka where most travelers completed their voyages and headed home. Along the way, Campbell sifts through an incredible array of promotional materials, traveler accounts, scientific and government reports, and published descriptions of the region by notables such as John Muir.
He employs six broader conceptual frameworks to shine new light on the region, to use Alaska as a window into late-nineteenth-century American society, and to offer a wider road map for other scholars to follow in their own explorations. First and foremost, Campbell places the stories he tells within the context of capitalism. We see Alaska as part of a global geography of economic transformation. Class matters just as much in Alaska as it does in New York City.
Campbell reminds us that most of the travel narratives were written by upper-class elites who had the time and money to make the long journey north. Campbell also makes visible an Alaskan landscape of ordinary laborers, even though most service and industrial workers remained invisible in the promotional materials and narratives of the time. Second, Campbell reminds us that Alaska was a story of American imperial expansion and fundamental transformations of political space. What had been a complex geography of native territories had been earlier redefined by Russian colonial claims.
After the American purchase of Alaska in the s, native political geographies continued to be ignored, all subordinated within a new imperial order. Campbell also notes how varied politicians and military men considered Alaska merely the first foray into the potential incorporation of all the northwestern portion of the continent into a larger United States, including British Columbia.
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Third, Campbell uses the Alaskan setting to assess late-nineteenth-century notions about race. He notes how white superiority was confirmed by examining the quaint, exotic otherness of native folk.
Campbell then takes these examples and places them in the broader Darwinian frameworks of late-nineteenth-century anthropology and psychology. For example, he notes how travelers and writers, when meeting native peoples in the region, saw the encounter as a kind of ethnographic museum exhibit or metropolitan-style exhibition of the time, a display that inevitably confirmed classic racial stereotypes of white superiority. Fourth, ideas about gender are explored at several points within the narrative. Prostitution, for example, became both an important sexual and economic act which wed in new ways the fortunes of Euro-American and native peoples.
Pilulae ExtractiJecoris Aselli. Fullywarranted for years. It 6 Payment invariably be ticLockStitch. Send for Circular. Philips Co. However, this resemblance was not lost on those who supported Congressional Reconstruction, especially after the remaining federal troops were withdrawn from both regions in Land of the North. The Caucasian bear will now have home rule, and will not be intimidated any more. The retreat of the federal soldiers to their tea kettle equates the Compromise of with a shameful admission of defeat by a nation willing to abandon its responsibilities for a return to domestic comfort.
Though Reconstruction is often understood as paving the way for later US imperial expansion beyond the continent, extra- continental colonialism was already underway in Alaska and influencing how Americans conceptualized the postbellum United States. Mark tracks Schwartz to the nearby town of San Miguel only to learn that Schwartz had been seen the previous evening negotiating passage at the last moment on a coasting schooner bound South—one of those nondescript little craft engaged in smuggling and illegal trading, with which the waters of the West Indies are infested. The schooner had made her way out of the harbor by moonlight.
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Although ostensibly bound for Key West, no one could say with any certainty that she would touch there; bribed by Schwartz, with all the harbors, inlets, and lagoons of the West Indies open to her, pursuit would be worse than hopeless. As John Lowe argues, Woolson connects the alleged moral bankruptcy of the West Indies to its swamp-like geography by having Schwartz escape to the West Indies instead of fleeing into the swamp, the traditional refuge of outlaws, fugitive slaves, and others seeking to elude the law.
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In this capacity, Florida serves Mark well, as it did countless tourists who wintered there in the late nineteenth century. Who knew of winter here? A narrative flashback finds Mark and the other crew members abandoning their icebound ship to walk doggedly across the ice, the numbing ice, the killing ice, the never-ending, gleaming, taunting, devilish ice.
One moves down upon us. We leap from block to block; we cry aloud in our despair; we call to each other, and curse and pray. But the strips of dark water widen between us; our ice-islands grow smaller; and a current bears us onward. We can no longer keep in motion, and freeze as we stand.
Critics have recognized this arctic expedition as a thinly veiled reference to the Second Grinnell Expedition led by Elisha Kent Kane.
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In , Kane set out to find British explorer Sir John Franklin, whose expedition in search of the Northwest Passage had been lost since But Woolson changed the expedition story to one of dwindling resources and wrenching farewells, a tale of stranded comrades as the ice field breaks up and they drift apart.
As both Proctor and Carl fall victim to the deadly environments which they occupy, Woolson symbolically forecloses US expansion beyond the continent, allowing a hetero- sexual—and thus reproductively viable—relationship to ensue.
By pairing a shattering field of arctic ice with the dissolving ground of the Florida swamp, Woolson presents a na- tional geography that lacks any clearly delineated boundary between domestic and foreign space. Instead, Woolson depicts a continent that disintegrates at the periphery. As the controversy surrounding the Alaska Purchase attests, many Americans in the Reconstruction Era were profoundly anxious about what constituted national space, where the borders of the nation would be drawn, and on what authority those borders rested.
Gregory P. Love, Race over Empire: Racism and U. Knopf, , , Appleton and Company, , Selected Bibliography Boyd, Anne E. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, Campbell, Robert. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Coates, Peter A. Dean, Sharon L. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, Diffley, Kathleen. Downes, Gregory P. Downes and Kate Masur, — Drake, James D. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Farrow, Lee A. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, Jennifer Rae.
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Hill, Jen. Hsu, Hsuan L. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Jehlen, Myra. Kennedy-Nolle, Sharon D. Lai, Paul. Love, Eric T. Race over Empire: Racism and U. Imperialism, — Lowe, John. Meinig, D. New Haven: Yale University Press, — Nugent, Walter. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Potter, Russell A. Seattle: University of Washington Press, Richardson, Heather Cox.