Arkansas Travelers: Geographies of Exploration and Perception, 1804-1834 (Hardcover)

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“I reckon stranger you have not been used much to traveling in the woods,” a hunter remarked to Henry Rowe Schoolcraft as he trekked through the Ozark backcountry in late 1818. The ensuing exchange is one of many compelling encounters between Arkansas travelers and settlers depicted in Arkansas Travelers: Geographies of Exploration and Perception, 1804–1834. This book is the first to integrate the stories of four travelers who explored Arkansas during the transformative period between the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and statehood in 1836: William Dunbar, Thomas Nuttall, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, and George William Featherstonhaugh.

In addition to gathering their tales of treacherous rivers, drunken scoundrels, and repulsive food, historian and geographer Andrew J. Milson explores the impact such travel narratives have had on geographical understandings of Arkansas places. Using the language in each traveler’s narrative, Milson suggests, and the book includes, new maps that trace these perceptions, illustrating not just the lands traversed, but the way travelers experienced and perceived place. By taking a geographical approach to the history of these spaces, Arkansas Travelers offers a deeper understanding—a deeper map—of Arkansas.

About the Author

Andrew J. Milson is professor of history and geography at the University of Texas at Arlington. His ancestors settled in Arkansas in the 1820s.

Praise For…

“[A] truly eye-opening volume, which lays aside the traditional travels of so long ago, and neatly places each excursion within two major themes—that of place and landscape. … Milson has given us a new way to examine these travels and the Arkansas Travelers themselves.”
—Maylon Rice, Fort Smith Historical Society Journal, September 2019

Product Details
ISBN: 9781682260968
ISBN-10: 1682260968
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2019
Pages: 346