Manifest Destiny, as a term for westward expansion, was not used until the 1840s. Its predecessor was the Doctrine of Discovery, a legal tradition by which Europeans and Americans laid legal claim to the land of the indigenous people that they discovered. In the United States, the British colonists who had recently become Americans were competing with the English, French, and Spanish for control of lands west of the Mississippi. Who would be the discoverers of the Indians and their lands, the United States or the European countries? We know the answer, of course, but in this book, Miller explains for the first time exactly how the United States achieved victory, not only on the ground, but also in the developing legal thought of the day.
The American effort began with Thomas Jefferson's authorization of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, which set out in 1803 to lay claim to the West. Lewis and Clark had several charges, among them the discovery of a Northwest Passage—a land route across the continent—in order to establish an American fur trade with China. In addition, the Corps of Northwestern Discovery, as the expedition was called, cataloged new plant and animal life, and performed detailed ethnographic research on the Indians they encountered. This fascinating book lays out how that ethnographic research became the legal basis for Indian removal practices implemented decades later, explaining how the Doctrine of Discovery became part of American law, as it still is today.
New in Paperback! The Masonic secrets of our founding fathers.
Turning the Solomon Key is an exhilarating quest to discover the Masonic influences which George Washington brought to bear on the layout of Washington D.C. In this second book of his Key trilogy, Robert Lomas has used Masonic rituals and Washington's own diaries to uncover the symbolic reasoning behind the positioning of the White House and the Capitol, and in the process he disposes of many anti-Masonic urban myths. This exciting, and authoritative, detective story then investigates the sources of creative behavior, to reveal a hitherto unsuspected Secret Science of Masonic Astrology which underpinned Washington's actions. Continue reading →
One hundred years in the life of a founding father’s 5,000 acre “retreat”
“Poplar Forest embodies the culmination of Jefferson’s vision of the American agricultural ideal. This highly readable volume introduces us to the people, objects, and landscapes of Poplar Forest in the tumultuous period between the Revolution and the Civil War. Jefferson’s Poplar Forest presents a remarkably multidimensional portrait of the estate as a personal retreat, a designed landscape, a plantation, and a home and workplace for enslaved African American families.”—Lu Ann De Cunzo, University of Delaware Continue reading →
Copied out by hand as a young man aspiring to the status of Gentleman, George Washington's 110 rules were based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The first English edition of these rules was available in Francis Hawkins' Youths Behavior, or Decency in Conversation Amongst Men, which appeared in 1640, and it is from work that Washington seems to have copied. The rules as Washington wrote them out are a simplified version of this text. However much he may have simplified them, these precepts had a strong influence on Washington, who aimed to always live by them. The rules focus on self-respect and respect for others through details of etiquette. The rules offer pointers on such issues as how to dress, walk, eat in public, and address one's superiors.