Early American and Colonial Period through 1776

 Accounts of exploration and exploitation
 Explore:
 Exploit:
 The first known and sustained contact between the
Americas and the rest of the world began with the
famous voyage of Italian explorer, Christopher
Columbus in _____________
 The voyage was funded by Spanish rulers Ferdinand and
 Columbus kept a journal, “Epistola”, which was printed
in 1493
Told of the trip’s drama, including the crew’s terror
Columbus’s trickeries
The first sighting of land as they neared America
 The first English colony was set up in 1585 in Roanoke,
North Carolina
 Disastrous!!!
 Thomas Hariot A Brief and True Report of the New-Found
Land of Virginia
 Scientific and accurate
 Widely translated and published for over 200 years
 Jamestown, Virginia was established in 1607
 Starvation, brutality and misrule
 Literary accounts pain America in glowing colors as “the land
of riches and opportunity
 John Smith – romantic exaggerator
 Pocahontas
 Diaries
 Letters
 Travel Journals
 Ship Logs
 Reports to financial backers
 Historical Narratives: accounts of real-life historical
experiences either given by someone who
experienced the events first hand OR someone who
has observed or studied them.
 Slave Narrative: An American literary genre that
portrays the life of slaves as written by the slaves
themselves after having gained their freedom
 Olaudah Equiano
 Pirates, adventurers and explorers led to more
permanent colonists
 Not just English
 Since England eventually took possession of North
American colonies, the best known colonial-literature
is English
 Creation myth- explains how the universe, earth and
life began
 Essentially religious and present the cosmic views (how the
world is organized) of the cultural groups that create them
 Joseph Campbell – scholar and mythology expert
 Four Functions of Myth
 Instill a sense of awe towards the mystery of the universe
 Explain the workings of the natural world (cosmology)
 Support and validate social customs
 To guide people through the trials of living