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Old March 18th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #1

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France and England in North America


Reading the introduction to the second volume of Francis Parkman's classic history of France and England. (In the Library of America editiion, this is volume I, p364. Parkman is not noted, of course, for his sympathies for the French, Spanish, Catholics, or Indians. I just had to share the following footnote.

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"In comparing five Iroquois heads, I find that they give an average internal capacity of eighty-eight inches which is within two inches of the Caucasian mean." -- Morton, Crania Americana, p195. -- It is remarkable that the skulls of the barbarous American tribes is greater than that of either the Mexicans or the Peruvians. "The difference in volume is due mainly to the occipital and basal portions," -- in other words to the region of the animal propensities; and hence, it is argued, the ferocious, brutal, and uncivilizable character of the wild tribes. -- See J. S. Phillips, Admeasurement of the Crania of the Principal Groups of Indians in the United States.
When I was young, my dad had many books that dated back to the last half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th. As often as I have read those books, I had forgotten how blunt some of them were about ideas like this.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #2

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Re: France and England in North America


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Originally Posted by Patito de Hule View Post
Reading the introduction to the second volume of Francis Parkman's classic history of France and England. (In the Library of America editiion, this is volume I, p364. Parkman is not noted, of course, for his sympathies for the French, Spanish, Catholics, or Indians. I just had to share the following footnote.



When I was young, my dad had many books that dated back to the last half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th. As often as I have read those books, I had forgotten how blunt some of them were about ideas like this.
Before the days of Political Correctness.

I have always wanted to read his Montcalm and Wolfe, but never gotten around to it... I am such a slow reader.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #3

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Re: France and England in North America


Parkman sure told he like he saw it! I didn't get the sense that he was anti-French, though. Anti-Catholic, yes, but he has a lot of grudging respect for the Jesuits. Anti-Iroquois definitely, as you will find out.

I've got "Montcalm and Wolfe" on my shelf (in the Library of America version). I'm about halfway through the second book and will read M & W shortly. I'm trying to go more or less chronologically-now I'm on the War of the Spanish Succession, so it won't be long until Parkman finds his way back to my chair side book stand.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: France and England in North America


A lot of old history books (written 1700-1900) have gone into Public Domain and have been digitized by DODO Press and available for free download in PDF format. Google will help you find them.
Lots of good reading there.

Theodore Roosevelt's Winning of the West is a good example of the frame of mind at the time (1800's) towards natives, British and Spanish.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #5

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Re: France and England in North America


I enjoy this whole series. I read Montcalm and Wolfe (#7) first and then La Salle (#3) while still in high school. Pioneers of France (#1) I read a couple years ago, and finally decided to read all seven in order starting with Pioneers of France. I wish I'd done it that way to begin with, but now that I'm retired I've been reading a lot more.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #6

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A lot of old history books (written 1700-1900) have gone into Public Domain and have been digitized by DODO Press and available for free download in PDF format. Google will help you find them.
Lots of good reading there.

Theodore Roosevelt's Winning of the West is a good example of the frame of mind at the time (1800's) towards natives, British and Spanish.
Those are wonderful when you want a rare old book. I read Steadman's history of the American revolution like that--he was a Tory from Philadelphia who fought for the loyalists and published his history in 1790. It is great to read a different POV like that. But usually I'd much rather curl up with a paper edition, thanks.
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