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The Art of Memory : the Adventures of Alexander Henry

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Author(s)
Dunn, Kaitlin
Advisor(s)
Lang, Katherine H.
Date
Jul 13, 2007
Subject(s)
Indians of North America--Great Lakes Region (North America)--History--18th century.; Fur trade--Great Lakes Region (North America)--Personal narratives.; Henry, Alexander, 1739-1824.; History--Sources.; Travelers' writings.
Series
AS333
Abstract
How good is one person?s word in the world of historical analysis? This question is posed whenever historians examine travel narrative. Colonial travelogues and diaries form much of what we know about American Indians and cultural interaction in 18th century North America. Alexander Henry wrote about his experiences as a Great Lakes fur trader between the years of 1760 and 1776, and though he published his writings as a memoir the line between reality and fiction is anything but clear. Henry?s book has been used by countless historians for its rich and detailed information on American Indians, yet many questions exist regarding the truthfulness and accuracy of these observations. As a figure of regional interest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Henry?s publication has been the source of myth and tourist fodder for generations. This research on fur trade narratives will hopefully shed new light on the processes of imperial encounter and colonization in the broader historical context, as well as explore long terms effects travel literature has had on perception of history.
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http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/8501 
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