I'll post links to lecture notes and sites of interest to our readings over the course of the semester.

You might like a bit more information about Martin Espada, who wrote the poem, "The River Will Not Testify" that we read on the first day of class. You can also read more about the history of Turner's Falls here and more about the massacre specifically here. Also, yes, Horse-Thief-Detecting-Societies were (are?) a real thing.


"Beginnings" (first readings, first writings)

Notes for discussion of Native American Oral Tradition here.

Our version of the "Iroquois Creation Story" is from David Cusick. If you're interested in reading more of Cusick's Sketches of the Ancient History of the Six Nations, you can download the whole volume (just 28 pages) for free here. Cusick published the text along with four of his own engravings. You can see them at the version stored at the Library of Congress, here.

There are some interesting sites about Cabeza de Vaca (a scholarly project about the text), and Learning from Cabeza de Vaca (which examines foodways).

There's some interesting primary source work on the Columbus Letter here.

For some disturbing images that help us interpret Columbus, Cabeza de Vaca, (and also Bartholome de las Casas, who we didn't read), take a look here at engravings by deBry.


Mary Rowlandson

Images and links for Mary Rowlandson here.

Anne Bradstreet

You can see photos of an Anne Bradstreet manuscript here.


Ben Franklin

Additional Reading Assignment for Benjamin Franklin (handout from class in PDF form).


Olaudah Equiano:

There is a controversy about whether Equiano was born in Africa or South Carolina. Read more here.

There's a nice image of the frontispiece of his narrative here.

For more about the details of the Middle Passage, you may be interested in this extensive archive of images related to the Atlantic Slave Trade here. The full collection of images and their categories can be accessed here (University of Virginia).

See Frederick Jackson Turner's 1840 painting, "Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying)" at the MFA in Boston.

The New York Public Library's Schomburg Center has an incredible site providing history of the Slave Trade and Abolition, including a timeline, lots of maps, essays, and images of the US Slave Trade (and other fascinating items of interest!).

Phillis Wheatley:

The Massachusetts Historical Society has some artifacts related to Wheatley that you can see here.



We'll use this colorful version of "Thanatopsis" to break down the poem for part of our discussion.


The Walden Woods Project has some great Thoreau resources, particularly related to outdoor education.

The Thoreau Society is another good resource.

Thoreau Farm is where Thoreau was born -- it's now a Land Trust.

Walden Pond is now a State Reservation. You can swim there!

Many folks have tried to re-create Thoreau's Walden experiment. Here's one group (Thoreau House) that did it as a class project.

It's been difficult to find online (digitized) versions of Thoreau manuscript, but one former student's project found a nice cache of the surveying documents that Thoreau created: http://www.concordlibrary.org/scollect/Thoreau_surveys/Thoreau_surveys.htm.


The Concord Library has a great online exhibit on Emerson featuring lots of great primary documents and images.

They also have a great collection of pre-Civil War newspapers that were published in Concord.

Emerson's House now has full-time caretakers; their story is interesting (from the NYT). It feature a nice slideshow with current images from the house.

There's a wonderful new site here: Digital Emerson: A Collective Archive


No, this isn't a link to THAT thing, or even THAT thing about Lincoln. Instead, I'm pointing out this link to a story about books about Lincoln.


Irving, Hawthorne, Poe:

Images for discussion of Romanticism.

Yes, there is a Wishbone episode about Rip Van Winkle.

There's a wonderful online exhibition of Hawthorne materials at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.

Hawthorne and his wife, Sophia Peabody, kept a joint diary together.

You might be interested in the Poe Museum.

Also, Poe visited Lowell; we know that he was here at least three times. The first visit was in 1848, where he met Mrs. Annie Richmond. Despite the fact that she was married, it seems the two of them had a relationship of some sort; Poe wrote her several passionate letters. It is likely that she is the one who paid for the daguerreotype taken only months before his death. So yes, it's actually possible (even likely?) that Poe visited The Worthen House, a bar still operating in downtown Lowell.


Harriet Beecher Stowe

To prepare for class discussion on Stowe, please take a look at the website Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture: A Multimedia Archive, located here: http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/ I would like you to take a look around the site to see what it offers, and find one page of information or one document that you think is interesting. If you click on “browse” mode, you’ll see some options that will make this easy. You might want to just start here: http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/sitemap.html

Here's a link to notes for our class discussion of Stowe.


Emily Dickinson

Don't forget the reading assignment on Dickinson.

Next time you're out in Western Massachusetts, you should check out the Emily Dickinson museum, located in the very house where Dickinson lived and wrote (and did other things, according to that article we read!).

You can see a few original manuscripts of her poems here.

There are more manuscripts and lots of other information at the Emily Dickinson Electronic Archives. I'm rather fond of their "Emily Dickinson, Cartoonist" series, and I'm also interested in the ways that she manipulated her manuscripts, as detailed in "Mutilations: What was erased, inked over, and cut away."


Rebecca Harding Davis

Take a look at my notes and powerpoint on "Life in the Iron Mills," which you'll find here.


Kate Chopin

The Kate Chopin Society maintains an excellent resource on Chopin's life and work.

For a great overview of Realism v. Naturalism, visit Professor doCarmo's page here.


Robert Frost

Here's a link to a video of Frost reading his famous "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening."

Listen to Frost reading one of our assigned poems, "Pasture."

On the topic of "Out Out," I was intrigued by this blogger's details on the issue of the "buzz saw" that features in the poem.


Susan Glaspell

There's a nice web site featuring a group of student projects on Trifles.

The true story behind the situation portrayed in the play -- the Hossack Case -- is detailed in Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland. That site includes information on the case, including some original documents.


William Faulkner

In our discussion of "A Rose for Emily," one aspect we'll discuss is the role of Tobe and race issues that are here.

We'll discuss "Strange Fruit." Here's a link to a performance of the song by Billie Holiday (sorry, there's an ad at the start of it). There is a great documentary about the song on PBS.


Robert Lowell

Here is a link to a great hypertext version of "For the Union Dead," created by Professor Luria at Holy Cross.

Here are some images of the South Boston Aquarium, referenced in "For the Union Dead."

For the line about the "Moser Safe, the 'Rock of Ages' / that survived the blast" check out this blog post about an advertisement that is likely Lowell's reference here.


Gwendolyn Brooks

Here is Brooks reading her poem, "the mother."


Billy Collins

Hear Collins read his poem, "Forgetfulness" along with a brief introduction.

Curious about Art Blakey's version of "Three Blind Mice" referenced in "I Chop Some Parsley While Listening to..."? There's a link to a video featuring the song here (more for listening than watching).


Li-Young Lee

Norton has provided an audio recording of "Persimmons" (I *think* this is Lee reading it).
















This page updated 4 May 2012.