E. Thomson Shields, Jr.
East Carolina University
Early American Literature and Its Later Influences
In this course we will look at several works of early American literature--such as Columbus's journal, John Lawson's A Voyage to Carolina, and Ebenezer Cook's The Sot-weed Factor--seeing them as literary works unto themselves as well as comparing them to nineteenth- and twentieth- century works which have drawn their inspiration from these earlier works--such as John Barth's novel The Sotweed Factor and Barbara Helfgott Hyett's collection of poems The Double Reckoning of Christopher Columbus.
Barth, John. THE SOT-WEED FACTOR. Rev. ed. New York: Doubleday, 1967. New York: Anchor-Doubleday, 1987.
Bartram, William. TRAVELS OF WILLIAM BARTRAM. Ed. Mark Van Doren. New York: Dover, 1955.
Galvin, Brendan. WAMPANOAG TRAVELER: BEING, IN LETTERS, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LORANZO NEWCOMB, AMERICAN AND NATURAL HISTORIAN. Baton Rouge, LA:
Louisiana State UP, 1989.
Hyett, Barbara Helfgott. THE DOUBLE RECKONING OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, 3 AUGUST-12 OCTOBER 1492. Urbana, IL: U of Illinois P, 1992.
Jane, Cecil, ed. THE FOUR VOYAGES OF COLUMBUS: A HISTORY IN EIGHT DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING FIVE BY CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, IN THE ORIGINAL SPANISH, WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS. 2 vols. London: The Hakluyt Society, 1930-1933. 2 vols. in 1. New York: Dover, 1988.
Course Packet (AccuCopy, 521 S. Cotanche St.)
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Christopher Columbus, LETTER OF COLUMBUS [LETTER TO SANTANGEL, (n.p., 1493)], THE FOUR VOYAGES OF COLUMBUS, I: 2-19; "Narrative of the voyage which the
admiral, Don Christopher Columbus, made the third time that he came to the Indies, when he discovered Tierra Firme, as he sent it to the sovereigns from the island of Espan/~/ola," THE FOUR VOYAGES OF COLUMBUS, II: 2-47 "A letter which Don Christopher Columbus, viceroy and admiral of the Indies, wrote to the most Christian and most mighty king and queen of Spain, our sovereigns, in which he notified them of that which had occurred on his voyage, and of the lands, provinces, cities and rivers, and other marvellous things, and where there are mines of gold in great abundance, and other things of great richness and value" [LETTRA RARISSIMA (Venice, 1505)], THE FOUR VOYAGES OF COLUMBUS, II: 72-111.
Week 3: Christopher Columbus, Prologue to 12 October 1492, DIARIO (Packet).
Barbara Helfgott Hyett, THE DOUBLE RECKONING OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, 3 AUGUST-12 OCTOBER 1492.
Week 4: John Smith, from A TRUE RELATION OF SUCH OCCURENCES AND ACCIDENTS OF NOATE AS HATH HAPNED IN VIRGINIA (Packet); Dedication, "What happened till the first supply" (Book 3, Chapt. 2), and "To the most high and vertuous Princesse Queene Anne of Gret Brittaine" (from Book 4), THE GENERALL HISTORIE OF VIRGINIA, NEW ENGLAND, AND THE SUMMER ISLES (Packet);
Ralph Hamor, from A TRUE DISCOURSE OF THE PRESENT ESTATE OF VIRGINIA, AND THE SUCCESSE OF THE AFFAIRES THER TILL THE 18 OF JUNE 1614 (Packet);
John Rolfe, "The coppie of the Gentle-mans letters to Sir Thomas Dale, that after maried Powhatans daughter, containing the reasons moving him thereunto," in Hamor (Packet).
Week 5: George Washington [Parke] Custis, POCAHONTAS; OR, THE SETTLERS OF VIRGINIA, A NATIONAL DRAMA, IN THREE ACTS (Packet).
Week 6: Joseph Bressani, "The Captivity of Father Joseph Bressani" (Packet);
Emmanuel Crespel, VOYAGES OF REV. FATHER EMMANUEL CRESPEL, IN CANADA, AND HIS SHIPWRECK, WHILE RETURNING TO FRANCE (Packet).
WEEK 7: THE BLACK ROBE (shown in class).
WEEK 8: Open
WEEK 9: William Bartram, TRAVELS OF WILLIAM BARTRAM (selections).
WEEK 10: Brendan Galvin, WAMPANOAG TRAVELER: BEING, IN LETTERS, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LORANZO NEWCOMB, AMERICAN AND NATURAL HISTORIAN.
Week 11: Ebenezer Cook, THE SOT-WEED FACTOR; OR, A VOYAGE TO MARYLAND (Packet).
Week 12: John Barth, THE SOT-WEED FACTOR.
Week 13: John Barth, THE SOT-WEED FACTOR (cont.).
Week 14: Wrap-Up
Week 15: FINAL ESSAY