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The Resource Groundless : rumors, legends, and hoaxes on the early American frontier, Gregory Evans Dowd

Groundless : rumors, legends, and hoaxes on the early American frontier, Gregory Evans Dowd

Label
Groundless : rumors, legends, and hoaxes on the early American frontier
Title
Groundless
Title remainder
rumors, legends, and hoaxes on the early American frontier
Statement of responsibility
Gregory Evans Dowd
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • "Why did Elizabethan adventurers believe that the interior of America hid vast caches of gold? Who started the rumor that British officers purchased revolutionary white women's scalps, packed them by the bale, and shipped them to their superiors? And why are people today still convinced that white settlers--hardly immune as a group to the disease--routinely distributed smallpox-tainted blankets to the natives? Rumor--spread by colonists and Native Americans alike--ran rampant in early America. In Groundless, historian Gregory Evans Dowd explores why half-truths, deliberate lies, and outrageous legends emerged in the first place, how they grew, and why they were given such credence throughout the New World. Arguing that rumors are part of the objective reality left to us by the past--a kind of fragmentary archival record--he examines how uncertain news became powerful enough to cascade through the centuries. Drawing on specific case studies and tracing recurring rumors over many generations, Dowd explains the seductive power of unreliable stories in the eastern North American frontiers from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. The rumors studied here--some alluring, some frightening--commanded attention and demanded action. They were all, by definition, groundless, but they were not all false, and they influenced the classic issues of historical inquiry: the formation of alliances, the making of revolutions, the expropriation of labor and resources, and the origins of war"--
  • "Today we have grown so used to having boundless information at our fingertips that we can easily forget the practical limits on reliable news that both natives and European settlers faced in early America. Beyond what one could see or hear at the instant, one could only make surmises based on what others reported or reportedly said, etc. In a real sense, rumor ruled. Historians have known about this problem of information and wondered about how stories of far-off deeds, plans, or intentions could develop and then travel about from place to place, crossing various lines of authority and changing in every telling. Here Greg Dowd, an established student of Native Americans and their encounters with white settlers, makes a determined effort to examine the phenomenon itself. Using about a dozen case studies, organized in parts that alternately deal with overarching themes and groups of specific episodes, he asks on what basis rumors or legends emerged in the first place and why they grew as they did and reached the level of credibility they did. The Spanish belief that the interior of America hid huge supplies of gold will be familiar to readers, as will the white practice of using tainted blankets to spread smallpox among the natives (this before the germ theory of disease). Others, like stories of Washington's use of rumor and Franklin's worries about counterfeit currency and the role of bad information in the Indian-removal campaign of the Andrew Jackson presidency may surprise"--
Member of
Assigning source
  • Provided by publisher
  • Provided by publisher
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1956-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Dowd, Gregory Evans
Dewey number
973
Index
index present
LC call number
E179
LC item number
.D685 2015
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Series statement
Early America : history, context, culture
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • United States
  • Frontier and pioneer life
  • Rumor
  • Legends
  • Hoaxes
  • HISTORY
  • Gerücht
  • Lüge
  • Legende
  • USA
  • Frontier
Label
Groundless : rumors, legends, and hoaxes on the early American frontier, Gregory Evans Dowd
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Gold : the legend in black -- Pox : the blanket truth -- Slaves : colonial fear -- Panic : rumors deployed, 1751 -- Father : rumors unmanaged, 1757 -- Bonds : sexual assault and slavery -- Solidarity : fugitive rumor, modern legend -- Scalps : charged revolutionary rumor -- Hoax : Franklin's forgery -- Slavery : south to freedom -- Extirpation : disease and removal -- Murder : mystery, rumor, and removal -- Conclusion: "Tears of the Indians."
Control code
ocn907657497
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
ix, 391 pages
Isbn
9781421418667
Lccn
2015010721
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40025541559
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781421418650
  • (OCoLC)907657497
Label
Groundless : rumors, legends, and hoaxes on the early American frontier, Gregory Evans Dowd
Link
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Gold : the legend in black -- Pox : the blanket truth -- Slaves : colonial fear -- Panic : rumors deployed, 1751 -- Father : rumors unmanaged, 1757 -- Bonds : sexual assault and slavery -- Solidarity : fugitive rumor, modern legend -- Scalps : charged revolutionary rumor -- Hoax : Franklin's forgery -- Slavery : south to freedom -- Extirpation : disease and removal -- Murder : mystery, rumor, and removal -- Conclusion: "Tears of the Indians."
Control code
ocn907657497
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
ix, 391 pages
Isbn
9781421418667
Lccn
2015010721
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40025541559
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781421418650
  • (OCoLC)907657497

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