The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James

The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James ❮EPUB❯ ✸ The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James Author Bob Deans – From the establishment of the first permanent English colony at Jamestown in 1607 to the fall of Richmond in 1865 the James River has been instrumental in the formation of modern America It was along From the Where America PDF ✓ establishment of the first permanent English colony at Jamestown in to the fall of Richmond in the James River has been instrumental in the formation of modern America It was along the James that The River PDF or British and Native American cultures collided and in a twisted paradox the seeds of democracy and slavery were sown side by side The culture crafted by Virginia's learned aristocrats merchants farmers and frontiersmen gave voice to the cause of River Where America MOBI í the American Revolution and provided a vision for the fledgling independent nation's future Over the course of the United States' first century the James River bore witness to the irreconcilable contradiction of a slave holding nation dedicated to liberty River Where America Began: A MOBI :↠ and euality for all When that intractable conflict ignited civil war the James River served as a critical backdrop for the bloodiest conflict in US history As he guides readers through this exciting historical narrative Deans gives life to a dynamic cast of characters including the familiar Powhatan John Smith Patrick Henry Thomas Jefferson Benedict Arnold and Robert E Lee as well as those who have largely escaped historical notoriety The River Where America Began takes readers on a journey along the James River from the earliest days of civilization nearly years ago through the troubled English settlement at Jamestown and finishes with Lincoln's tour of the defeated capital of Richmond in Deans traces the historical course of a river whose contributions to American life are both immeasurable and uniue This innovative history invites us all to look into these restless waters in a way that connects us to our past and reminds us of who we are as Americans.

10 thoughts on “The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James

  1. Chris Chris says:

    Just over a hundred years ago a scrappy band of Englishmen sailed across the Atlantic under a charter from the Virgina Company of London They found a river which they promptly named for their king James I the James River They went up the river a ways and founded Jamestown the first English settlement in North America with a very simple mission find gold and silver and find a passage to the Pacific OceanThey accomplished none of thatWhat they did manage was to give European colonization a lasting foothold on this continent and set the tone for the country that would one day become the United States of America for good and for bad Honestly it's a miracle that things worked out the way it did Jamestown was a corporate enterprise one that failed abysmally there was no gold nor was there silver or a passage to the Pacific which is what the Virginia Company wanted Instead of working on you know growing food and building a stable community the settlers were charged with looking for resources that just weren't there By the time tobacco was grown as a cash crop the Virginia Company was as good as dead and the whole thing had to be taken over by the King Still a few people got rich and the governing body of the Virginia colony the House of Burgesses was pretty much a rich mens' club where the wealthy landowners did they best to stay wealthyAnd then there were the Indians What a cock up that was For all that the romantic story of Pocahontas captured peoples' hearts and minds the promise of an Indian English union was never to be They tried for a given value of try but they were doomed to failure For his part John Smith approached the natives whose ancestors had been occupying the land for tens of thousands of years like they were simple savages The colonists came to land that wasn't theirs and refused to deal with the Indians as euals deciding instead to start from the position that they were superior and that Powhatan and his people had to be bent to their will For his part Powhatan was perhaps too trusting He wanted to believe that his people and the English could coexist and gave them chances than they probably deserved Neither side wanted to compromise or to truly understand the other and so there was only one outcome death destruction and despairWhich brings us to the slaves The first enslaved Africans came on a Dutch ship that grounded on Point Comfort near the mouth of the James With a little bit of doublethink and a healthy heaping of racism and paternalism the colonists realized that slaves could be really helpful especially with all that tobacco to harvest And so the infamous slave trade began transporting millions of slaves across the Atlantic to the coloniesI don't think I need to really say Slavery is bad Here in the 21st century we pretty much take that as a given What was interesting was the mental gymnastics that had to be done to keep slavery going For example Deans notes that there was a debate about how converting the Africans to Christianity would affect their bondage it would be un Christian after all to enslave other Christians Solution? Easy the legislature decreed that Christianity was no bar to slavery for the Africans working in the fields The settlers I think knew what they were doing was wrong but the slaves were just too useful and the colonists' prejudices were too deeply ingrained Eventually slave owners would be given the liberty to hunt slaves like animals even to their deaths It set a flaw in American history that is still visible todayThere was an interesting passage regarding the War for Independence The British were offering freedom to any slave who left his owners to fight on the side of the Redcoats At the same time the leaders of the rebellious colonies were offering a slave to people who enlisted in the Colonial army To uoteFour years after Jefferson laid the cornerstone of American independence on the foundation that all men are created eual a militiaman fighting for that very principle could march into battle with the words Liberty or Death emblazoned across his chest and expect Jefferson's own government to give him in return cash land and the lifetime service of another human being who could be beaten worked to death or sold like a dog A colony impregnated at its birth with slavery Virginia had reduced itself to offering slaves as an incentive for white Americans battling for freedom even as their British foes dangled the promise of liberty in front of blacks willing to fight on behalf of the crown that had chartered the company that had enslaved them for profit Both sides called it democracy p 211So what happened along the banks of the James from 1607 to 1865 shaped the America of the 21st century Deans ends the book with a look at where we are today and draws the readers' attention to the current conflict in Ira where he leads us to an interesting pointFour hundred years ago our forefathers came into a land that was not theirs promised peace with the natives of that land but not on their terms Refusing to understand the culture the history or the values of the people they were dealing with the Jamestown colonists confident in their own superiority insisted that the Indians become like them It failed Horribly The mistreatment of the Native Americans is one of the great stains on American history and one would think that it could have been easy to prevent hindsight being what it isWill we do the same thing in the Middle East? It looks like we are which depresses me immensely We may not be able to go back in time to seventeenth century Jamestown to tell John Smith that he needs to deal with Powhatan as an eual not a savage but we can use that lesson now We can remember what a colossal failure that turned out to be and not do it again EverIf you're interested in early American history it's a good read Check it out

  2. Hannah Miller Hannah Miller says:

    I'm pleasantly surprised by this book I think the author did a fantastic job of presenting the story of Americas beginnings in a way that showcased the positive forward thinking ideas the founding fathers laid down in the Declaration and Constitution while contrasting that with the negative contradictory realities of slavery and racism I personally felt the use of uotes to portray these ideas was done very well The final epilogue chapter is where the author allows his own personal views to come through which results in a message that while our country did not immediately live up to the ideals it put forth we are all inheritors of a common history and common goal to create a country governed by the people to protect the rights of the individual and to create a world where all men and women are eual and free to live their lives as they see fit I think we all could benefit from reading this oneSN As a Richmond resident and native Hopewellian the stories are very close to home for me

  3. Alison Alison says:

    I just moved to a town along the James River so I picked this up to read some history about the area While I agree with some of the other reviews stating the beginning was a bit slow and verbose the rest of the book was incredibly interesting and informative I loved that Deans didn't give a year by year account but rather major event by major event This was not a typical history book which was refreshing to read but it still enlightened me into many moments in history I had little knowledge of; particularly of John Smith's pre America years I'm inspired to read about the infamous man who helped settle Virginia

  4. Becca Guillote Becca Guillote says:

    This is a great historical account of an important river and an interesting take on the “founding” of America Full disclosure it was particularly fun for me to read because I grew up in Richmond right on the James River

  5. The History Mom The History Mom says:

    This author is the emcee at the Junior League of Richmond’s Book and Author dinner that I attend every year and from that event I knew that he was a gifted storyteller With my blog posts about the Virginia Capital Trail and Sherwood Forest this month it was time for me to finally read it The book is a fascinating synopsis of American history that centers around the James River from the Jamestown settlement to the Civil War There is so much history along this river including Native American European and African stories The author has a wonderful way with words and really draws you into the stories with his insightful and lyrical prose I really loved all of his extensively researched historical tidbits

  6. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    Deans focuses on three pivotal eventsperiods of American history that have a connection to the James River Sometimes the connection is a bit thin but it is an enjoyable read never the less The events are the Jamestown settlement the development of the political thinking that lead the Virginia contingent to advocate separation from England and the capture of Richmond by Union forces at the end of the Civil War While he does manage in most cases to show how the nature of the James as a navigation route contributes to the way the early economy and society develops I don't think he makes the case that the river is instrumental in how things playout But the book is loaded with lots of detail from other books about the individuals and the events that contributed to the way the US came to be If you enjoy the background WHY type of history book you will enjoy this book

  7. Joe Vess Joe Vess says:

    So this book gets three stars because only about 23 of it was good This book is DESPERATELY in need of a good editor; the author goes on and on and on and on in the most flowery over wrought and digressive language about the simplest things especially in the beginning and end of the book And I have never seen someone try to create out of less This could have just been a good history of the James River and clearly lay out its connection to other things in American history but the author tries to create a unified theory of everything that definitely does not hold water and his frankly lazy writing does him no favors Skip the intro and first chapter and the last two chapters and epilogue and you've got a great book in between The rest is ridiculous fluff

  8. David David says:

    Not just a regional history From the 1607 colony at Jameston the the end of the civil war Mr Deans tells an American story The evolution of American values of freedom and euality and struggles to fulfill their promise are reflected in the history of the James River area Great story telling with fascinating characters John Smith Pocahantos Thomas Jefferson and When you've finished this wonderful narrative take a few minutes to read the epilogue It will make you reflect on American values and what it will continue to take to fulfill those ideals for all

  9. Deanna Deanna says:

    I read this since we're celebrating the 400 year anniversary of the founding of Jamestown very big in the Hampton Roads area It mainly deals with people and events around the James river and how it has shaped America Starts from when a meteor fell to earth to create the Chesapeake Bay news to me and ends with the Civil War The author does a really nice job tying all the side stories back to the James river A good read for this historic year

  10. Diane Diane says:

    This history of America focuses on the James River in Virginia It covers the founding of Jamestown and associated plantations the Revolutionary War era and the Civil War The author focuses on what was happening in the greater James River area also known as the Virginia Tidewater to illustrate the events happening throughout the country An interesting read as either American history or Virginia history

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *