The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Volumes A & B: Beginnings to Reconstruction
  • Print Publication Date: July 15, 2022
  • eBook Publication Date: May 1, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781039301573 / 1039301576
  • 2350 pages; 7¾" x 9⅜"

Note on pricing.

Ebook will also be available for purchase upon publication.

Request Exam Copy

Availability: Canada & the US

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Volumes A & B: Beginnings to Reconstruction

  • Print Publication Date: July 15, 2022
  • eBook Publication Date: May 1, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781039301573 / 1039301576
  • 2350 pages; 7¾" x 9⅜"

About the Anthology

Covering American literature from its pre-contact Indigenous beginnings through the Reconstruction period, the first two volumes of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature represent a substantial reconceiving of the canon of early American literature. Guided by the latest scholarship in American literary studies, and deeply committed to inclusiveness, social responsibility, and rigorous contextualization, the anthology balances representation of widely agreed-upon major works with an emphasis on American literature’s diversity, variety, breadth, and connections with the rest of the Americas.

About Volumes A & B

Highlights of the two-volume set include the complete texts of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, The Coquette, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; and Benito Cereno; in-depth, themed sections on such topics as “Slavery and Resistance,” “Print Culture and Popular Literature,” “Expansion, Native American Expulsion, and Manifest Destiny,” and “Gender and Sexuality”; and broader and more extensive coverage of Indigenous oral and visual literature and African American oral literature than in competing anthologies. In addition to more frequently anthologized figures, full author sections in the anthology are devoted to authors such as Anne Hutchinson, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Briton Hammon, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Jose Maria Heredia, and Black Hawk.


“I am eager to teach with this anthology! It aligns with cutting-edge research through its selections, its introductions, and explanatory notes, and the texts are supplemented with primary documents that encourage teachers and students to think critically and dynamically.” — Koritha Mitchell, The Ohio State University

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature promises to be a dynamic addition to the genre—I’m very much looking forward to teaching from it.” — Michael Borgstrom, San Diego State University

“I’m very excited to teach from this new anthology!” — Megan Walsh, St. Bonaventure University

Readings listed in green are included on the anthology’s companion website.

Volume A: Beginnings to 1820

General Introduction

Indigenous Oral and Visual Literature

  • Wampanoag
    • [Moshup Story], as recorded by William Baylies
    • [Moshup Story], as recorded by Benjamin Bassett
    • [Moshup Story], as recorded by Anonymous
  • Mi’kmaq
    • Petroglyph of Human Figure and Sun
    • Petroglyph Tracing
    • Page of a Mi’kmaq Prayer Book
  • Mohegan
    • Painted Wood-Splint Storage Basket
  • Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
    • from [Creation Story], as recorded and translated by David Cusick
    • from “The Creation,” as recorded by Brian Rice
    • “Origin of Folk Stories,” as recorded by Arthur C. Parker
    • Thanksgiving Address, as crafted by Rokwaho (Dan Thompson) and translated by John Stokes and Kanawahienton (David Benedict)
    • “Iroquois or Confederacy of the Five Nations,” as recorded by Ely S. Parker
    • Wampum Belts
      • Ha:yëwënta’ (Hiawatha) Belt
      • Two Row Wampum
  • Ojibwe
    • from “The Birth of Nenabozho,” as told by Waasaagoneshkang, recorded by William Jones and translated by Rand Valentine
    • “Nanabush Eats the Artichokes,” as told by Waasaagoneshkang, recorded and translated by William Jones and revised by Ridie Wilson Ghezzi
    • “Nanabozho,” as told by Charles Kawbawgam, translated by Jacques LePique and recorded by Homer H. Kidder
    • Ojibwe Pictographs, as recorded and translated by George Copway
  • Cherokee
    • “Why the Possum’s Tail Is Bare,” as recorded by James Mooney
    • Sequoyah, Cherokee Syllabary
    • [The Belt That Would Not Burn], as told by Lloyd Sequoyah and transcribed by Barbara R. Duncan
  • Maya
    • from the Dresden Codex
    • from the Popol Vuh, as translated by Dennis Tedlock
  • Navajo (Diné)
    • from Creation Story, as recorded by Hasteen Klah with Mary C. Wheelwright
    • Tse’ Hone / Newspaper Rock
  • Coast Salish
    • “Maiden of Deception Pass,” as told by Victor Underwood Sr. and edited by Brent Galloway
      • [Samish version, translated into English]
      • [English version]
    • Tracy Powell, The Maiden of Deception Pass
    • Hul’q’umi’num House Post
    • Lummi House Post
    • “Battle at Sea,” as told by Wilson George and edited by Vi Hilbert (taqʷšəblu) and Thomas M. Hess
    • Coyote and Rock, as told by Vi Hilbert (audio selection)

Civilizations in Contact

  • Vinland
    • from Erik the Red’s Saga
    • from The Saga of the Greenlanders
  • The Caribbean
    • from Christopher Columbus with Bartolomé de las Casas, Journal of the First Voyage to America
    • Christopher Columbus, Letter of Columbus to Various Persons Describing the Results of His First Voyage and Written on the Return Journey
    • from Michele de Cuneo, Letter [Concerning Columbus’s Second Voyage]
    • from Bartolomé de las Casas, An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies
  • Mexico
    • from Hernán Cortés, Second Letter to the Spanish Crown
    • from the Anonymous manuscript of Tlatelolco
  • Florida and New Mexico
    • from Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, La Florida del Inca
    • from Alonso Gregorio de Escobedo, La Florida
    • from Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, History of New Mexico
    • The Pueblo Revolt
      • Antonio de Otermín, Letter on the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, 8 September 1680
      • “How the Spaniards Came to Shung-Opovi, How They Built a Mission, and How the Hopi Destroyed the Mission,” as recorded by Edmund Nequatewa
  • Northeastern Woodlands
    • Lenni Lenape (Delaware) Accounts of the Arrival of the Whites
    • Indian Account of the First Arrival of the Dutch at New York Island
    • The Coming of the Whites
    • Prediction of the Arrival of the White People
    • from Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia
    • Caleb Cheeshateaumauk, letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, 1663
    • Mittark, Agreement of Mittark and His People Not to Sell Land to the English
    • Handsome Lake, “How the White Race Came to America and Why the Gai´wiio‘ Became a Necessity”
  • New France
    • from Samuel de Champlain, Voyages of Samuel Champlain
    • from Relation of the Discoveries and Voyages of Cavalier de La Salle from 1679 to 1681
    • from Chrestien Le Clercq, New Relation of Gaspesia, with the Customs and Religion of the Gaspesian Indians
  • The Myth of Thanksgiving
    • from Edward Winslow, “A Letter Sent from New England to a Friend in These Parts,” Mourt’s Relation
    • from William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
    • Abraham Lincoln, A Proclamation
  • California
    • from Antonio de la Ascención, A Brief Report of the Discovery in the South Sea
    • from Pablo Tac, “Conversion of the San Luiseños of Alta California”
    • from Lorenzo Asisara with Thomas Savage, [Account of Mission Life]
  • Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
    • from The Relation of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

John Smith

  • from The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles
    • from The Third Book
    • from The Fourth Book
    • from The Sixth Book
  • In Context: Illustrations from The General History
  • In Context: Alternative Accounts of Wahunsonacock and Pocahontas

William Bradford

  • from Of Plymouth Plantation
  • In Context: Mourt’s Relation
    • from Edward Winslow and William Bradford, A Relation or Journal of the Proceedings of the Plantation Settled at Plymouth in New England
    • from Robert Cushman, Reasons and Considerations Touching the Lawfulness of Removing out of England into the Parts of America
  • In Context: Mapping Colonial Conflict
    • John Underhill, “The Figure of the Indians’ Fort or Palizado in New England and the Manner of Destroying It by Captain Underhill and Captain Mason,” News from America
    • John Tinker, Uncas, Wesawegun, Cassacinamon, Harry Wright, and Ninigret, “Plan of the Pequot Country and Testimony of Uncas, Cassacinamon, and Wesawegun”
    • William Hubbard, “A Map of New-England”

Thomas Morton

  • from New English Canaan
    • “The Author’s Prologue”
    • from Book One
    • from Book Three

John Winthrop

  • A Model of Christian Charity
  • from The Journal of John Winthrop

Anne Hutchinson

  • The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newtown
  • In Context: John Winthrop’s Record of Anne Hutchinson’s Testimony
    • from John Winthrop, A Short Story of the Rise, Reign, and Ruin of the Antinomians, Familists and Libertines, That Infected the Churches of New England

Roger Williams

  • from A Key into the Language of America
  • from The Bloody Tenet of Persecution
  • from [Address] to the Right Honourable Both Houses of the High Court of Parliament
  • Letter to the Town of Providence
  • from Hireling Ministry None of Christ’s

Anne Bradstreet

  • Prologue
  • In Honour of That High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth of Most Happy Memory
  • Contemplations
  • The Flesh and the Spirit
  • The Author to Her Book
  • Before the Birth of One of Her Children
  • To My Dear and Loving Husband
  • A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment
  • To Her Father with Some Verses
  • In Reference to Her Children, 23 June 1659
  • In Memory of My Dear Grand-Child Elizabeth Bradstreet
  • In Memory of My Dear Grand-Child Anne Bradstreet
  • On My Dear Grand-Child Simon Bradstreet
  • For Deliverance from a Fever
  • Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666
  • As Weary Pilgrim
  • To My Dear Children
  • from Meditations Divine and Moral
  • from The Four Monarchies
  • An Elegy upon That Honourable and Renowned Knight, Sir Philip Sidney
  • To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq.
  • Another [Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment I]
  • Another [Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment II]

Michael Wigglesworth

  • from The Diary of Michael Wigglesworth
  • from The Day of Doom, Or A Poetical Description of the Great Last Judgment
  • from Meat Out of the Eater
  • from God’s Controversy with New England

Mary Rowlandson

  • The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson
  • In Context: Editions of Rowlandson’s Narrative
  • In Context: Picturing Mary Rowlandson
  • In Context: Indigenous Experiences of Metacom’s War
    • James Quannapaquait with unnamed magistrates, The Examination and Relation of James Quannapaquait, alias James Rumny-Marsh
    • John Easton, letter to Josiah Winslow, 26 May 1675
    • Numphow and John Line, letter to Thomas Henchman, c. 1675
    • Recorded by Edward Rawson, Massachusetts Council order regarding Indigenous allies 30 August 1675
    • from Daniel Gookin, An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New England in the Years 1675, 1676, 1677
    • Attributed to James Printer, note tacked to a tree
    • Andrew Pittimee, Quanahpohkit, John Mague, and James Speen, petition to the Massachusetts Colony, June 1676
    • William Ahaton, petition to the Governor and Council of the Massachusetts Colony, July 1676
    • William Wannuckhow, Joseph Wannuckhow, and John Appamatahqeen, petition to the Boston Court of Assistants, 5 September 1676

Edward Taylor

  • [Acrostic Love Poem to Elizabeth Fitch]
  • from God’s Determinations Touching His Elect
  • from Preparatory Meditations before My Approach to the Lord’s Supper
  • Upon a Spider Catching a Fly
  • Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold
  • Huswifery
  • Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children
  • The Ebb and Flow

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

  • 82 (“Divina lysi mía” / “My divine Lysis”) (facing-column translation)
  • 92 (“Silly, you men”)
  • 92 (“Hombres necios” / “Silly, you men”) (facing-column translation)
  • 165 (“Semblance of my elusive love, hold still—”)
  • 165 (“Deténte, sombra de mi bien esquivo” / “Semblance of my elusive love, hold still—”) (facing-column translation)
  • In Context: The Frontispieces to Sor Juana’s Published Works
  • from the Reply to Sor Philothea
  • In Context: Sor Philothea’s Letter to Sor Juana

Samuel Sewall

  • from The Diary of Samuel Sewall
  • The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial

Cotton Mather

  • from The Wonders of the Invisible World
  • In Context: The Salem Witch Trials
    • from Ezekiel Cheever, transcript of the examination of Tituba
    • from Anonymous, transcript of the examination of Martha Carrier
    • from Deodat Lawson, “A Brief and True Narrative of Some Remarkable Passages Relating to Sundry Persons Afflicted by Witchcraft, Salem Village”
    • from Cotton Mather, letter to John Richards, 31 May 1692
    • from Samuel Willard, Miscellany Observations on Our Present Debates Respecting Witchcrafts, in a Dialogue between S. & B.
    • from Robert Calef, More Wonders of the Invisible World
    • Samuel Sewall, public apology, 14 January 1697
    • Ann Putnam, public confession, 25 August 1706

Richard Allen

  • from “Confession of John Joyce, Alias Davis, Who Was Executed on Monday, the 14th of March, 1808”


  • Speech at Lancaster, 26 June 1744
  • Speech at Lancaster, 4 July 1744
  • In Context: Indigenous–Settler Negotiations in the Mid-Eighteenth Century
    • from George Washington, The Journal of Major George Washington

Jonathan Edwards

  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
  • [Personal Narrative]
  • In Context: The Preaching of Jonathan Edwards
  • from A History of the Work of Redemption

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw

  • A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince, as Related by Himself

Elizabeth Ashbridge

  • Some Account of the Fore Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge
  • In Context: Quaker Conversion Narratives

Contexts: Immigration and Indentured Servitude

  • This section includes advertisements for indentured servants and pieces by Gottlieb Mittelberger, Thomas Lloyd, and Elizabeth Sprigs.

Lucy Terry

  • Bars Fight
  • In Context: Josiah Holland’s Account of the Bars Fight

John Marrant

  • A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black


  • [Reply to the Missionary Jacob Cram]
  • [Reply to President Washington, 31 March 1792]

Benjamin Franklin

  • Remarks concerning the Savages of North America
  • On the Slave Trade
  • from The Autobiography (full text online)
    • Part 1
    • Part 2
  • In Context: Portraits of Benjamin Franklin
  • “Fair Venus Calls, Her Voice Obey” [Drinking Song]
  • The Speech of Miss Polly Baker
  • Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One
  • from The New-England Courant [The “Silence Dogood” Papers]
  • The Way to Wealth: Preface to Poor Richard Improved
  • In Context: Correspondence between William Franklin and Benjamin Franklin
  • In Context: Franklin’s Cultural and Literary Influences
  • In Context: France Mourns Benjamin Franklin

Samson Occom

  • [Autobiographical Narrative]
  • from A Sermon, Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian
  • The Sufferings of Christ
  • The Most Remarkable and Strange State, Situation, and Appearance of Indian Tribes in This Great Continent
  • Elm Bark Box

Sarah Kemble Knight

  • The Journal of Madame Knight

J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur

  • Letters from an American Farmer
    • from Letter 2: On the Situation, Feelings, and Pleasures of an American Farmer
    • from Letter 3: What Is an American?
    • from Letter 4: Description of the Island of Nantucket
    • from Letter 9: Description of Charles-Town
    • from Letter 10: On Snakes and on the Humming Bird
    • from Letter 12: Distresses of a Frontier Man
    • In Context: Nantucket and Charles-Town
    • In Context: Reactions to Letters from an American Farmer
    • In Context: Rationalizing Colonialism: Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and George Washington

John Adams, Abigail Adams, and Thomas Jefferson

  • from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 19 August 1774
  • from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 16 September 1774
  • John Adams to Abigail Adams, 29 October 1775
  • Abigail Adams to John Adams, 27 November 1775
  • Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March 1776
  • from John Adams to Abigail Adams, first letter of 3 July 1776
  • John Adams to Abigail Adams, second letter of 3 July 1776
  • John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 February 1777
  • Abigail Adams to John Adams, 8 February 1777
  • John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 2 September 1813
  • Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 28 October 1813
  • John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 15 November 1813

Thomas Paine

  • from Common Sense
  • In Context: A Response to Common Sense
  • from The American Crisis
  • from Rights of Man, Part Two
  • from The Age of Reason

Thomas Jefferson

  • from The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
  • A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America
  • In Context: British and American Reactions to the Declaration of Independence
  • from Notes on the State of Virginia
  • In Context: Responses to Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia

The Federalist

  • from The Federalist
  • No. 1 [Alexander Hamilton]
  • No. 6
  • No. 9
  • No. 10 [James Madison]
  • No. 51

Venture Smith

  • A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa

Contexts: Slavery and Resistance

  • This section includes readings from such writers as King Alfonso I (Nzinga Mbemba) of Kongo, John Woolman, Benjamin Banneker, and Belinda Sutton.

Olaudah Equiano

  • from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
  • In Context: Equiano’s Narrative as a Philadelphia Abolitionist Pamphlet
  • In Context: Reactions to Olaudah Equiano’s Work

Absalom Jones

  • The Petition of the People of Color
  • from A Thanksgiving Sermon

Richard Allen and Absalom Jones

  • from A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People, during the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia

Herman Mann and Deborah Sampson

  • from The Female Review
  • In Context: Picturing Deborah Sampson

Contexts: Rebellions and Revolutions

  • This section includes materials addressing Pontiac’s War, Gabriel’s Rebellion, and the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions.

Judith Sargent Murray

  • “On the Equality of the Sexes”
  • from The Gleaner Contemplates the Future Prospects of Women in This “Enlightened Age”

Briton Hammon

  • A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprising Deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro Man

Philip Freneau

  • The Hurricane
  • The Wild Honey Suckle
  • The Indian Burying Ground
  • On Mr. Paine’s Rights of Man
  • To Sir Toby
  • In Context: Slavery in the Caribbean
  • On the Religion of Nature
  • from A Poem on the Rising Glory of America
  • from The Rising Glory of America
  • from Some Account of the Capture of the Ship Aurora
  • from The British Prison Ship
  • Reflections on the Gradual Progress of Nations from Democratical States to Despotic Empires
  • On the Universality of Other Attributes of the God of Nature

Phillis Wheatley

  • To Maecenas
  • To the University of Cambridge, in New-England
  • To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty
  • On Being Brought from Africa to America
  • On the Death of a Young Lady of Five Years of Age
  • On the Death of a Young Gentleman
  • An Hymn to the Morning
  • On Recollection
  • On Imagination
  • To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth
  • To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works
  • A Farewell to America. To Mrs. S.W.
  • To His Excellency General Washington
  • On the Death of General Wooster
  • On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield
  • Selected Letters
    • Letter to Obour Tanner, 19 May 1772
    • Letter to Selina Hastings, 27 June 1773
    • Letter to Colonel David Wooster, 18 October 1773
    • Letter to Obour Tanner, 30 October 1773
    • Letter to Samson Occom, 11 February 1774
  • In Context: Preface to Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
  • In Context: Reactions to Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
    • Letter from Ignatius Sancho to Jabez Fisher, 27 January 1778
    • from Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia

Lemuel Haynes

  • from Liberty Further Extended: Or Free Thoughts on the Illegality of Slave-keeping
  • Universal Salvation: A Very Ancient Doctrine

Royall Tyler

  • The Contrast, a Comedy; in Five Acts
  • from The Algerine Captive

Susanna Haswell Rowson

  • Slaves in Algiers; or, A Struggle for Freedom
  • from Charlotte Temple

Hannah Webster Foster

  • The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton
  • In Context: Eighteenth-Century Marriage Advice
  • In Context: Elizabeth Whitman
  • In Context: The Coquette and the Eighteenth-Century Seduction Novel
  • from The Boarding-School; Lessons of a Preceptress to Her Pupils

Print Culture and Popular Literature

  • from The Bay Psalm Book
  • Samuel Sewall, “Wednesday”
  • Henry Timberlake, “A Translation of the War-Song” [of the Cherokee]
  • Mary Nelson, “Forty Shillings Reward”
  • from Benjamin Franklin, “The Printer to the Reader”
  • Philip Freneau, from American Liberty
  • Philip Freneau, from “The Country Printer”
  • Anonymous (“Old Gaffer Gingerbread”), “History of Giles Gingerbread, a Little Boy Who Lived upon Learning”
  • from Benjamin Harris, The New England Primer / The New English Tudor
  • Mercy Otis Warren, “A Thought on the Inestimable Blessing of Reason”
  • Mercy Otis Warren, “On a Survey of the Heavens”
  • Anonymous, “Address to the Journeymen Cordwainers”
  • from James Revel, “The Poor, Unhappy, Transported Felon”
  • Anonymous (“A Lady”), “Woman’s Hard Fate”
  • Anonymous, “Every Man His Own Politician”
  • Poems Printed in the “Temple of the Muses” Section of The Philadelphia Repository and Weekly Register, 17 March 1804
    • L’Embonpoint
    • The Mother
  • Anonymous (“Volina”), “You Say We’re Fond of Fops—Why Not?”
  • Anonymous, “The Patriot Diggers”

Charles Brockden Brown

  • from An Address to the Government of the US on the Cession of Louisiana to the French
  • Somnambulism: A Fragment

David George

  • An Account of the Life of David George

Mary Jemison

  • from A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison
  • In Context: Illustrating Jemison’s Narrative


  • Speech to William Henry Harrison
  • Speech to the Osages

Washington Irving

  • from A History of New York
  • The Wife
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • In Context: Images of Rip Van Winkle
  • In Context: German Source for “Rip Van Winkle”
  • English Writers on America
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Traits of Indian Character

Volume B: 1820 to Reconstruction

General Introduction

William Apess

  • An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man
  • from Eulogy on King Philip
  • In Context: The Mashpee Struggle for Land Rights and Self Determination

Catharine Maria Sedgwick

  • from Hope Leslie
  • Cacoethes Scribendi
  • Berkeley Jail
  • from “Slavery in New England”

James Fenimore Cooper

  • from The Last of the Mohicans
    • from Preface
    • Volume 1, from Chapter 3
    • Volume 2, from Chapter 12
    • Volume 2, from Chapter 15
    • Volume 2, Chapter 16
    • In Context: Thomas Cole and The Last of the Mohicans
    • In Context: The Illustrated Editions of The Last of the Mohicans
    • In Context: Introduction to the 1831 London Edition

Lydia Huntley Sigourney

  • Death of an Infant
  • The Suttee
  • To the First Slave Ship
  • Indian Names
  • Slavery
  • The Indian’s Welcome to the Pilgrim Fathers
  • Our Aborigines
  • To a Shred of Linen
  • Fallen Forests

William Cullen Bryant

  • Thanatopsis
  • To a Waterfowl
  • To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe
  • The Prairies
  • Death of Lincoln
  • The Night Journey of a River

Contexts: Nature and the Environment

  • This section includes a range of written and visual materials under thematic groupings, such as “Changing Views,” “The Hudson River School,” “Urban and Industrial Environments,” and “The West.” Indigenous perspectives on the environment and nonhuman life, including works by Chief Seattle and the Lakota artist Black Hawk, are among the pieces featured.

George Moses Horton

  • The Lover’s Farewell
  • On Liberty and Slavery
  • The Slave’s Complaint
  • On Hearing of the Intention of a Gentleman to Purchase the Poet’s Freedom
  • Lines to My—
  • The Fearful Traveller in the Haunted Castle
  • Reflections from the Flash of a Meteor
  • Imploring to Be Resigned at Death
  • On the Pleasures of College Life
  • Division of an Estate
  • For the Fair Miss M.M. McLean, an Acrostic
  • George Moses Horton, Myself
  • The Southern Refugee
  • The Obstructions of Genius
  • Death of an Old Carriage Horse
  • Like Brothers We Meet
  • Weep
  • Lincoln Is Dead
  • from “Life of George M. Horton, the Colored Bard of North Carolina”

Catharine Brown

  • Selected letters
    • Letter to Loring S. Williams and Matilda Loomis Williams, 5 July 1819
    • “To a Young Lady in Philadelphia,” 28 January 1820
    • Letter to David Brown, 12 August 1820
    • from Letter to Mrs. A.H., 2 June 1821

John Brown

  • from John Brown’s Provisional Constitution
  • In Context: “John Brown Song”
  • John Brown’s Last Speech

Jane Johnston Schoolcraft / Bamewawagezhikaquay

  • To the Pine Tree (facing-column translation)
  • The Contrast
  • By an Ojibwa Female Pen
  • To My Ever Beloved and Lamented Son William Henry
  • Mishösha, or the Magician and His Daughters: A Chippewa Tale or Legend
  • Invocation
  • Lines Written at Castle Island, Lake Superior
  • On Leaving My Children John and Jane at School (facing-column translation followed by free translation)

José María Heredia

  • Niágara
  • The 1832 Version of “Niágara”: Spanish Text and English Translation
  • To Washington
  • Selected Letters
    • Letter to Josefa “Pepilla” Arango Y Manzano, 31 November 1823
    • from Letter to Ignacio Heredia Campuzano, 15 April 1824
    • from Letter to Ignacio Heredia Campuzano, 17 June 1824

Vicente Pérez Rosales

  • from Diary of Travels in California
  • from Travels in California: Memories of 1848, 1849, 1850
  • In Context: The California Gold Rush
    • Images of Gold Rush Days
    • Newspaper Reports
    • from William Swain, letter to his mother, 12 August 1850
    • In Context: The California Gold Rush


  • from Xicoténcatl

Solomon Northup

  • from Twelve Years a Slave

Lydia Maria Child

  • from Hobomok
  • from An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans
  • The Quadroons
  • from Letters from New York
    • Letter 20: Birds
    • Letter 34: Woman’s Rights
    • Letter 36: The Indians
  • Letter from New York [Trial of Amelia Norman]
  • from The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act: An Appeal to the Legislators of Massachusetts
  • Correspondence between Lydia Maria Child, and Gov. Wise and Mrs. Mason, of Virginia
  • from An Appeal for the Indians

Contexts: Expansion, Native American Expulsion, and “Manifest Destiny”

  • This section features multilingual materials and includes Cherokee women’s petitions, Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress on Indian Removal, editorials on “manifest destiny” ideology by Walt Whitman and James Monroe Whitfield, and transcribed oral accounts of the Trail of Tears.

Sarah Moore Grimké

  • from Letters on the Equality of the Sexes
    • Letter 8 [On the Condition of Women in the United States]

Angelina Grimké Weld

  • from Appeal to the Christian Women of the South
  • from Letters to Catherine E. Beecher
    • Letter 12 [Human Rights Not Founded on Sex]
    • In Context: The Burning of Pennsylvania Hall

Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • from Nature (full text online)
  • In Context: Illustrations of Emerson’s Nature
  • Original Hymn [Concord Hymn]
  • The American Scholar
  • Each in All
  • The Rhodora
  • The Snow-Storm
  • Self-Reliance
  • Circles
  • from “The Poet” (full text online)
  • Threnody
  • Brahma
  • In Context: Emerson and the Lyceum Movement
  • An Address Delivered before the Senior Class in Divinity College, 15 July 1838
  • Compensation
  • Power
  • Experience

Mà-ka-tai-me-she-kià-kiàk (Black Hawk)

  • from Life of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, or Black Hawk (full text online)

Elias Boudinot (Gallegina)

  • Address to the Whites
  • To the Public

Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • My Kinsman, Major Molineux
  • Young Goodman Brown
  • The Minister’s Black Veil
  • The Birthmark
  • from The House of the Seven Gables
    • Preface
  • from Chiefly about War Matters
  • In Context: Chiefly about War Matters
  • Endicott and the Red Cross
  • from The Life of Franklin Pierce
  • Rappaccini’s Daughter

Robert Montgomery Bird

  • from Sheppard Lee

William Gilmore Simms

  • from The Sword and the Distaff
  • Grayling; or, “Murder Will Out”
  • The Broken Arrow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • A Psalm of Life
  • The Village Blacksmith
  • Excelsior
  • The Wreck of the Hesperus
  • from Poems on Slavery (full text online)
    • The Slave’s Dream
    • The Slave Singing at Midnight
    • The Quadroon Girl
  • In Context: The Publication of Longfellow’s Poems on Slavery
  • Mezzo Cammin
  • The Arrow and the Song
  • The Day Is Done
  • The Bridge
  • from Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie
  • from The Building of the Ship
  • The Fire of Drift-Wood
  • The Jewish Cemetery at Newport
  • In Context: “The Jews at Newport”
  • In Context: Rebekah Hyneman, Poems on Death
    • The Unforgotten
    • Now Let Me Die
  • My Lost Youth
  • from The Song of Hiawatha
    • Introduction
    • The Peace Pipe
    • Hiawatha’s Fasting
    • Picture-Writing
    • from The White-Man’s Foot
    • Hiawatha’s Departure
  • In Context: The Reception of The Song of Hiawatha
  • The Ropewalk
  • Snow-Flakes
  • In the Churchyard at Cambridge
  • Paul Revere’s Ride
  • In Context: Paul Revere’s Ride
  • The Children’s Hour
  • Divina Comedia
  • Aftermath
  • The Old Bridge at Florence / Il Ponte Vecchio di Firenze
  • Milton
  • Nature
  • The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
  • My Cathedral
  • The Cross of Snow
  • In Context: Images of Longfellow

Abraham Lincoln

  • A House Divided
  • from Cooper Union Address
  • First Inaugural Address
  • The Gettysburg Address
  • Second Inaugural Address

Frances Sargent Locke Osgood

  • The Maiden’s Mistake
  • Lines
  • The Little Hand
  • Ellen Learning to Walk
  • Woman, A Fragment
  • To a Child Playing with a Watch
  • A Mother’s Prayer in Illness
  • The Indian Maid’s Reply to the Missionary

John Greenleaf Whittier

  • The Farewell of a Virginia Slave Mother to Her Daughters, Sold into Southern Bondage
  • Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyll
  • The Hunters of Men
  • Massachusetts to Virginia
  • Maud Muller
  • The Prophesy of Samuel Sewall, A.D. 1697
  • The Common Question
  • from Songs of Labor
    • Dedication
    • The Lumbermen
  • First-Day Thoughts

Edgar Allan Poe

  • Sonnet—To Science
  • Ligeia
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Man of the Crowd
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Black Cat
  • The Raven
  • In Context: “The Raven” in Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture
  • The Imp of the Perverse
  • from “The Philosophy of Composition”
  • Hop-Frog
  • Annabel Lee
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Man That Was Used Up
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • The Purloined Letter
  • The Valley of Unrest
  • from The Poetic Principle
  • from The Literati of New York City

Nineteenth-Century Oratory

  • Petalesharo or Sharitarish, Speech of “The Pawnee Chief,” 5 February 1822
  • from Frances Wright, Speech at New Harmony Hall, 4 July 1828
  • Maria W. Stewart, “Lecture Delivered at Franklin Hall,” 21 September 1832
  • from Michael Walsh, “An Abridgment of the Speech at the Great County Meeting in Tammany Hall”
  • from Henry Highland Garnet, “Address to the Slaves of the United States of America”
    • In Context: The Debate over Garnet’s “Address”
  • from William Gilmore Simms, “The Sources of American Independence: An Oration”
  • from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Address on Woman’s Rights”
  • from John C. Calhoun, “On the Slavery Question,” 4 March 1850
    • In Context: Frederick Douglass on John C. Calhoun
  • from Daniel Webster, “On the Constitution and the Union,” 7 March 1850
  • from Henry Clay, “On the Compromise of 1850,” 22 July 1850
  • from Theodore Parker, “Of Justice and the Conscience”
  • from Wendell Phillips, “On the Philosophy of the Abolition Movement, before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, at Boston,” 27 January 1853
  • from Lucy Stone, Speech to the Sixth National Woman’s Rights Convention
  • from Charles Sumner, “The Crime against Kansas”
  • from Angelina Grimké Weld, “Address at the Women’s Loyal National League”
  • Bayley Wyat, “Speech by a Virginia Freedman”
  • from Frederick Douglass, “The Composite Nation”
  • from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Speech at the National Woman’s Suffrage Convention (“The Destructive Male”)
  • Red Cloud, Speeches

Margaret Fuller

  • from Woman in the Nineteenth Century
  • The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men. Woman versus Women
  • from Summer on the Lakes in 1843
  • from Things and Thoughts in Europe

David Walker

  • from Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles (full text online)

Contexts: Slavery and Abolition

  • This section includes runaway advertisements; excerpts from American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses; from The Fugitive Slave Act, and from the Emancipation Proclamation; and Jourdon Anderson’s “Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master,” among other materials.

William Lloyd Garrison

  • To the Public
  • Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society
  • In Context: The Boston Anti-Abolitionist Riot of 1835: “Downfal of Abolition”

Sojourner Truth

  • from The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a Northern Slave
  • Speech at the Akron, Ohio, Women’s Rights Convention, 1851
  • In Context: Sojourner Truth’s cartes de visite
  • In Context: Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Sojourner Truth, the Libyan Sibyl”

African American Oral Literature

  • [We Raise de Wheat]
  • Poor Rosy, Poor Gal
  • Roll, Jordan, Roll
  • Michael Row the Boat Ashore
  • O’er the Crossing
  • Run, N—, Run
  • Charleston Gals
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel
  • Many Thousand Gone
  • Steal Away
  • Slave Marriage Ceremony Supplement
  • Pick a Bale of Cotton
  • De Rabbit, De Wolf An’ De Tar Baby
  • Why Brer Possum Has No Hair on His Tail
  • [Big Sixteen]
  • All God’s Chillen Had Wings
  • The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story
  • How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox

James Monroe Whitfield

  • America
  • Self-Reliance
  • The Misanthropist
  • Yes, Strike Again That Sounding String
  • The North Star
  • Stanzas for the First of August
  • from J.M. Whitfield in Reply to F. Douglass

Martin R. Delany

  • Political Destiny of the Colored Race on the American Continent
  • from Blake; or The Huts of America

Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • from Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • In Context: Visualizing Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the Nineteenth Century
  • In Context: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Public
  • In Context: Martin Delany and Frederick Douglass Debate Harriet Beecher Stowe

Fanny Fern

  • Hints to Young Wives
  • Thanksgiving Story
  • A Practical Bluestocking
  • Soliloquy of a Housemaid
  • Critics
  • Mrs. Adolphus Smith Sporting the “Blue Stocking”
  • Male Criticism on Ladies’ Books
  • A Law More Nice Than Just
  • Independence
  • The Working-Girls of New York
  • In Context: Contemporary Reviews of Fanny Fern’s Work
  • from Ruth Hall: A Domestic Tale of the Present Time

Harriet Jacobs

  • from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself
  • In Context: Fugitive Slave Advertisement for Harriet Jacobs
  • In Context: The “Peculiar Circumstances” of Slavery

William Wells Brown

  • from Clotel
  • In Context: Advertisement for a Lecture by William Wells Brown
  • from “The Narrative of the Life and Escape of William Wells Brown”

Henry David Thoreau

  • Resistance to Civil Government
  • In Context: The Civil Disobedience of Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane
  • from Walden (full text online)
  • In Context: The Photographs of Herbert Wendell Gleason
  • from A Plea for Captain John Brown
  • from The Maine Woods
  • In Context: Frederick Edwin Church Painting the Maine Woods
  • from A Yankee in Canada
  • from Journal 1850-61

Frederick Douglass

  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself
  • In Context: Responses to Frederick Douglass’s Narrative
    • Margaret Fuller, Review of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, The New York Tribune
    • A.C.C. Thompson, “To the Public. Falsehood Refuted,” The Delaware Republican, reprinted in The Liberator
    • Frederick Douglass, “Reply to Mr. A.C.C. Thompson,” The Liberator
  • To My Old Master
  • What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?
  • from Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
  • In Context: Photographs of Frederick Douglass
  • from My Bondage and Freedom
  • The Heroic Slave

E.D.E.N. Southworth

  • from The Hidden Hand

Contexts: The Civil War and Its Literature

  • This section includes writing from a range of authors and sources. Featured pieces include “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union” from the South Carolina Succession Convention, excerpts from Mary Chesnut’s diary, Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Frederick Douglass’s “Men of Color, to Arms!,” and poems by Sarah Piatt.

Walt Whitman

  • from 1855 Leaves of Grass
    • [Preface]
    • Song of Myself
  • In Context: 1855 Leaves of Grass [Song of Myself]
  • from 1881 Leaves of Grass
    • from Inscriptions
      • One’s Self I Sing
    • from Children of Adam
      • I Sing the Body Electric
      • A Woman Waits for Me
      • Once I Pass’d through a Populous City
    • from Calamus
      • 8 [Long I thought that knowledge alone would suffice me]
      • 9 [Hours continuing long, sore and heavy-hearted]
      • Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
      • For You O Democracy
      • Recorders Ages Hence
      • When I Heard at the Close of the Day
      • Are You the New Person Drawn toward Me?
      • Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes
      • City of Orgies
      • I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing
      • To a Stranger
      • This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful
      • When I Peruse the Conquer’d Fame
      • Here the Frailest Leaves of Me
      • A Glimpse
      • A Leaf for Hand in Hand
      • Earth, My Likeness
      • I Dream’d in a Dream
      • What Think You I Take My Pen in Hand?
      • To a Western Boy
      • O You Whom I Often and Silently Come
    • Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
    • Song of the Redwood-Tree
    • from Sea-Drift
      • Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
      • As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life
      • The World Below the Brine
    • from By the Roadside
      • When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
      • I Sit and Look Out
      • The Dalliance of the Eagles
      • A Farm Picture
      • The Runner
    • from Drum-Taps
      • Beat! Beat! Drums!
      • Cavalry Crossing a Ford
      • Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night
      • The Wound-Dresser
      • Long, Too Long America
      • Reconciliation
      • As I Lay with My Head in Your Lap Camerado
      • A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown
      • A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim
    • from Memories of President Lincoln
      • When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
      • O Captain! My Captain!
      • This Dust Was Once the Man
      • Hush’d Be the Camps To-day
    • In Context: Nineteenth-Century Reviews of Leaves of Grass (additional selections online)
    • In Context: The Design of Leaves of Grass, 1855–60
    • Live Oak, with Moss
    • from Democratic Vistas
    • In Context: Portraits of Whitman
    • from Autumn Rivulets
      • This Compost
    • The Sleepers
    • Dumb Kate—An Early Death
    • from Specimen Days
      • Two Brooklyn Boys
      • The Wounded from Chancellorsville
      • Death of a Pennsylvania Soldier
      • The Real War Will Never Get in the Books
    • from November Boughs
      • Negro Slaves in New York
      • Paying the 1st USCT
    • New Orleans in 1848
    • In Context: Whitman’s Correspondence with Emerson

Herman Melville

  • Hawthorne and His Mosses, by a Virginian Spending July in Vermont
  • from Moby-Dick (30 additional chapters included online)
    • Chapter 42: The Whiteness of the Whale
  • In Context: Nineteenth-Century Images of Whales and Whaling
  • In Context: The Story of the Essex
  • In Context: Selection of Melville’s Letters to Hawthorne
  • Bartleby, the Scrivener
  • In Context: The Book of Job
  • The Encantadas; or, Enchanted Isles
  • Benito Cereno
  • from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War
    • The Portent
    • Misgivings
    • The March into Virginia
    • Dupont’s Round Fight
    • A Utilitarian View of the Monitor’s Fight
    • Shiloh
    • Malvern Hill
    • The House-Top
    • The Apparition
    • America
    • Supplement
  • Bridegroom Dick
    • The Aeolian Harp
    • The Maldive Shark
    • Art
  • Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative)
  • from Clarel
    • Canto 17 (“Nathan”)
  • The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids
  • from The Confidence-Man

Print Culture and Popular Literature

  • John Howard Payne, “Home, Sweet Home”
  • from Anonymous (“A Quondam Sailor”), “Evening Music at Sea”
  • “Rosa” (Jane Johnston Schoolcraft), “Invocation to My Maternal Grandfather on Hearing His Descent from Chippewa Ancestors Misrepresented”
  • The Haitian Revolution in Literature
    • Anonymous (“S”), “Theresa, a Haytien Tale”
    • from John Greenleaf Whittier, “Toussaint L’Ouverture”
    • from Ignace Nau, “Dessalines”
  • Anonymous (“Yankee”), “A Song Written for the Fourth of July 1828, Addressed to the Working Classes”
  • Anonymous, “The Mill Has Shut Down”
  • from Anonymous, “The Lowell Factory Girl”
  • from Lowell Offering
    • from “Editorial Corner”
    • from Anonymous (“A Factory Girl”), “Factory Girls”
    • Anonymous (“S.G.B.”), “The Pleasures of Factory Life”
    • Anonymous (“A Factory Girl”), “Gold Watches”
    • Anonymous (“Lucinda”), “Abby’s Year at Lowell”
    • Anonymous (“A.M.S.”), “Home”
    • In Context: “Factory Girls”
  • Anonymous (from The Maine Farmer), “‘Up East’ versus ‘Down East’”
  • Sarah Mapps Douglass, “The Stranger in America”
  • Blackface, Minstrelsy, and “Jim Crow”
    • Thomas D. Rice, “Jim Crow”
    • “Jim Crack Corn, or the Blue Tail Fly”
    • from William Leman Rede (written for Thomas D. Rice), Flight to America
    • from Charles Townsend, Negro Minstrels with End Men’s Jokes, Gags, Speeches, Etc.
  • from Anna Cora Mowat, Fashion; or, Life in New York
    • from Act 1, Scene 1
    • from Act 2, Scene 1
    • from Act 3, Scene 1
    • from Act 5, Scene 1
    • Epilogue
  • from George Lippard, The Quaker City; or The Monks of Monk-Hall: A Romance of Philadelphia Life, Mystery, and Crime
    • The Origin and Object of This Book
    • from Chapter Thirteenth: The Gold Which Devil-Bug Won
    • Chapter Fourteenth: Devil-Bug’s Dream
  • Phoebe Cary, “Homes for All”
  • Anonymous, “The Little Communist”
  • from Godey’s Lady’s Book, October 1857
    • Virginia De Forest, The Sisters
    • from The Servant Question
    • Reminiscences of Bonnets
    • Enigmas 15, 16, 17, 18
    • Practical Dress Instructor
    • The Andalusian
    • from Sarah Hale, Editor’s Table
      • On Children’s Education
      • On Thanksgiving Day
  • John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Barefoot Boy”
  • Annie Keely, “Beautiful Snow”
  • William J. Wilson, “On the Twenty-Fifty Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery”
  • from William J. Wilson, Afric-American Picture Gallery
  • William Dean Howells, “The Poet’s Friends”
  • Frances Sophia Stoughton Pratt, “The ‘Cattle’ to the ‘Poet’”
  • from Ann S. Stephens, Maleska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter
  • Anonymous, “Right Names”
  • Anonymous (“A Mechanic’s Wife”), from “Capital and Labor”
  • Horatio Alger, from Ragged Dick
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1: Ragged Dick Is Introduced to the Reader
  • R.W. Hume, “John Chinaman”

Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat

  • from Ethel’s Love Life

Elizabeth Stoddard

  • The Poet’s Secret
  • November
  • In the Still, Star-Lit Night
  • I Love You, but a Sense of Pain
  • Nameless Pain
  • The Wife Speaks
  • The Husband Speaks
  • One Morn I Left Him in His Bed
  • Last Days
  • from “From Our Lady Correspondent,” Daily Alta California
  • Lemorne versus Huell
  • The Prescription
  • Collected by a Valetudinarian
  • Out of the Deeps

Harriet Wilson

  • from Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, in a Two-Story White House, North

William and Ellen Craft

  • from Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom

Francis Ellen Watkins Harper

  • The Slave Mother
  • Bible Defense of Slavery
  • Eliza Harris
  • Ethiopia
  • The Drunkard’s Child
  • The Revel
  • Advice to Girls
  • A Mother’s Heroism
  • The Fugitive’s Wife
  • Buy Me in a Free Land
  • Vashti
  • Learning to Read
  • In Context: Learning to Read and Write before Emancipation
  • The Rallying Cry
  • A Double Standard
  • The Colored People in America
  • We Are All Bound Up Together
  • The Triumph of Freedom—A Dream
  • from Fancy Sketches
  • Letters
    • Breathing the Air of Freedom, 12 September 1856
    • Letter to John Brown, 25 November 1859
    • Letter to William Still, 5 July 1871
  • A Dialogue
  • Aunt Chloe

John Rollin Ridge / Yellow Bird

  • from The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta
  • In Context: Sensational News of Joaquín Murieta!
  • Reflections Irregular
  • The Man Twenty Feet High
  • The Dark One to His Love
  • The Atlantic Cable

Contexts: Gender and Sexuality

  • This section features a range of writing in thematic groupings, including excerpts from Lucretia Mott’s Discourse on Women, the anonymous short story “The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman,” and Bayard Taylor’s “To a Persian Boy, in the Bazaar at Smyrna.”

Emily Dickinson

  • [It’s all I have to bring today – ]
  • [I never lost as much but twice – ]
  • [I robbed the woods – ]
  • [Success is counted sweetest]
  • [These are the days when Birds come back ˎ]
    • (manuscript facsimile, transcription, and Poems version [“October”])
  • [Safe in their Alabaster Chambers – ]
    • (1859 version, 1859 manuscript facsimile, The Republican facsimile [“The Sleeping”], 1861 version)
  • [Besides the Autumn poets sing]
  • [All overgrown by cunning moss,]
  • [I’m “wife” – I’ve finished that – ]
  • [Title divine – is mine!]
  • [Faith is a fine invention]
  • [Faith is a fine invention]
    • (alternative transcription)
  • [Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – ]
  • [The Lamp burns sure – within – ]
  • [I came to buy a smile – today – ]
  • [I’m Nobody! Who are you?] (1861)
    • [manuscript facsimile]
  • [Wild nights – Wild nights!]
    • (manuscript facsimile, conventional transcription, alternative transcription, 1891 Poems version)
  • [Over the fence – ]
  • [I taste a liquor never brewed – ]
  • Springfield Daily Republican version (“The May-Wine”)
  • [There’s a certain Slant of light,] (1862)
    • (manuscript facsimile, conventional transcription, alternative transcription, 1890 Poems version)
  • [“Hope” is the thing with feathers – ]
  • [Your Riches – taught me – Poverty.]
  • [I found the words to every thought]
  • [I like a look of Agony,]
  • [I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,]
  • [It was not Death, for I stood up,]
  • [A Bird came down the Walk – ]
  • [I know that He exists.]
  • [After great pain, a formal feeling comes]
  • [This World is not conclusion.]
  • [I like to see it lap the Miles – ]
  • [The Soul selects her own Society – ]
  • [One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted – ]
  • [They shut me up in Prose – ]
  • [This was a Poet – ]
  • [I died for Beauty – but was scarce]
  • [The Malay – took the Pearl – ]
  • [Our journey had advanced – ]
  • [Because I could not stop for Death – ]
    • (manuscript facsimile)
  • [I dwell in Possibility – ]
  • [He fumbles at your Soul]
  • [It feels a shame to be Alive – ]
  • [This is my letter to the World]
  • [I’m sorry for the Dead – Today – ]
  • [I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – ]
  • [The Brain – is wider than the Sky – ]
  • [There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House,]
  • [I measure every Grief I meet]
  • [Much Madness is divinest Sense – ]
  • [I started Early – Took my Dog – ]
  • [That I did always love]
  • [What Soft – Cherubic Creatures – ]
  • [My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun – ]
  • [“Nature” is what We see – ]
  • [I could bring You Jewels – had I a mind to – ]
  • [Publication – is the Auction]
  • [Truth – is as old as God – ]
  • [I never saw a Moor – ]
  • [Color – Caste – Denomination – ]
  • [She rose to His Requirement – dropt]
  • [The Poets light but Lamps – ]
  • [A Man may make a Remark – ]
  • [Banish Air from Air – ]
  • [As imperceptibly as Grief]
  • [The Heart has narrow Banks]
  • [Could I but ride indefinite]
  • [As the Starved Maelstrom laps the Navies]
  • [A narrow Fellow in the Grass]
    • (manuscript facsimile, 1865 transcription, Springfield Republican facsimile [“The Snake”], 1872 transcription)
  • [The Bustle in a House]
  • [A Spider sewed at Night]
  • [Tell all the Truth but tell it slant – ]
  • [To pile like Thunder to it’s close]
  • [Apparently with no surprise]
  • [A word made Flesh is seldom]
  • [My life closed twice before its close;]
  • [To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,]
  • In Context: The Reception of Emily Dickinson in the Nineteenth Century
  • Alternative Transcriptions of Dickinson’s Poems
  • Fascicle 13
  • Dickinson’s Personal Correspondence

Rebecca Harding Davis

  • Life in the Iron-Mills
  • In Context: Pittsburgh and the Mills and Mines of Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvania

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

  • from A Plea for Emigration
  • American Slavery
  • Mary Ann Shadd Cary to Frederick Douglass in North Star, 22 January 1849

Louisa May Alcott

  • My Contraband
  • from Little Women: Part Second
  • In Context: Little Women Illustrated
  • Transcendental Wild Oats


Derrick Spires, Cornell University
Christina Roberts, Seattle University
Joseph Rezek, Boston University
Justine Murison, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Laura Mielke, University of Kansas
Christopher Looby, UCLA
Rodrigo Lazo, UC Irvine
Alisha Knight, Washington College
Hsuan Hsu, UC Davis
Rachel Greenwald Smith, Saint Louis University
Michael Everton, Simon Fraser University
Christine Bold, University of Guelph

Features of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature

  • • Strong foundation in current scholarship, including particular attention to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.
  • • Illuminating contextual materials provided for key authors and works.
  • • Large trim-size, two-column format, allowing for side-by-side presentation of different versions of certain texts. (Several of Dickinson’s poems are presented in this way, as is the Declaration of Independence; several Spanish-language selections are presented in facing-column translation.)
  • • More visual and print-cultural materials than competing anthologies.
  • • More extensive and more helpful annotations than in competing anthologies.
  • • Comprehensive introductions to periods, including a wide range of historical as well as literary information.
  • • Full author introductions, providing not only biographical details and essential background, but also information on textual history, reception history, and the social impact of particular authors and works.
  • • Close attention paid to links between the United States and the rest of the Americas, especially Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • • Can be packaged with any of Broadview’s standalone editions for $5 per edition.
  • • Custom text options available (see “Custom Texts” tab)

Features of the Volume A and B Set: Beginnings to Reconstruction

  • • Major works presented in full include Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette, Rowson’s Slaves in Algiers, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Fuller’s “The Great Lawsuit,” and Melville’s Benito Cereno.
  • • Full author sections in the bound book are devoted to often underrepresented figures. Volume A includes such authors as Anne Hutchinson, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Briton Hammon, Venture Smith, Lucy Terry, Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket), Tecumseh, and Elizabeth Ashbridge; Volume B includes George Moses Horton, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Jose Maria Heredia, Black Hawk, Sojourner Truth, James Whitfield, Martin Delany, Fanny Fern, William Wells Brown, David Walker, and John Rollin Ridge.
  • • Frequently anthologized authors are looked at with fresh eyes. In Volume A, selections include excerpts from Bradstreet’s Meditations, Divine and Moral; Franklin’s “On the Slave Trade” and his drinking song “Fair Venus Calls, Her Voice Obey”; and Irving’s “The Wife.” Selections in Volume B include Sedgwick’s “Cacoethes Scribendi”; excerpts from Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha; excerpts from Thoreau’s A Yankee in Canada; Whitman’s “Song of the Redwood Tree”; and excerpts from Melville’s The Confidence Man and the full text of his Encantadas.
  • • Wide range of additional authors, works, and contextual materials provided as part of the anthology’s online component: selections include topics such as “Immigration and Indentured Servitude” and the reception of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Online author entries feature such writers as Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, John Marrant, Sarah Kemble Knight, Mary Jemison, Catharine Brown, Mary Ann Shadd, Frances Sargent Locke Osgood, Robert Montgomery Bird, Margaret Sweat, and E.D.E.N. Southworth.
  • • Includes literature through the Reconstruction era, reflecting increasing scholarly emphasis on the ongoing legacy of slavery after the end of the Civil War. (Reconstruction material will also be included in the anthology’s third volume.)

Click the links below to access PDF samples of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature. Please note that these samples are from the advance uncorrected proofs.

Preface to The Broadview Anthology of American Literature
Washington Irving
Olaudah Equiano
Sor Juana
William Bradford
Civilizations in Contact: The Caribbean
William Apess
Rebecca Harding Davis
Emily Dickinson
Herman Melville
Frederick Douglass
David Walker
Contexts: Expansion, Native American Expulsion, and “Manifest Destiny”

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Online

The anthology’s website includes well over a thousand pages of additional readings and contextual materials. These are not “add-ons” meant to be accorded a subsidiary status, but an integral part of the anthology itself, presented in the same format, and edited and annotated according to the same principles as the material included in the bound book volumes.

Though our research has suggested that most of these online authors and works are likely to be taught somewhat less frequently than those in the bound book volumes, we expect that a majority of instructors will wish to teach at least some of the selections that are to be found on the website. Our aim is to provide instructors with the widest possible range of materials to choose from, prepared to a high editorial standard, and accompanied by the widest possible range of contextual materials.

In addition to the wealth of additional readings outlined above, the anthology’s website includes a range of companion materials. Included are audio materials, an introduction to poetry analysis, and a list of contents by theme and author background.

A website access code is included with all new copies of the anthology.

Instructor’s Guide

Located on a separate site, the Instructor’s Guide suggests ways of approaching both canonical and less-familiar texts in the classroom, highlighting connections between works in the anthology and providing helpful discussion questions and background information.

For an Instructor’s Guide access code, please contact your Broadview Representative or write to

Any of Broadview’s editions can be packaged with an anthology volume at an additional cost of only $5! Broadview’s American literature list now includes more than 80 titles, edited by a distinguished list of academics (among them Janet Beer, Celeste-Marie Bernier, Mary Chapman, Russ Castronovo, Michael Colacurcio, Michael Drexler, Gregory Eiselein, Hsuan Hsu, Koritha Mitchell, James Nagel, Michael Nowlin, Siân Silyn Roberts, and Brian Yothers); a complete list of available editions can be found here.

Broadview is happy to create a custom text including only your preferred readings, chosen from the bound book and website components of the anthology; you may also in most cases include works from other Broadview anthologies and editions. We offer an easy and intuitive Custom Text Builder, and our Custom Text Administrator welcomes inquiries.

You may also like…