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Special Collections - Native American History: Travel Narratives

Travel literature is a specific genre of literature that has its origins in the early second century. The format grew in popularity in the eighteenth century as the colonization of the Western Hemisphere granted Europeans the opportunity to visit and explore new locales. Aristocrats, clergy, and other wealthy individuals, especially within the British Empire, visited North America and recorded their experiences. The collection of narratives below fall within the travel literature genre and focus on the North American colonies, the frontier, and interactions with Native Americans:

  • J.F.D. Smyth, A Tour in the United States of America: Containing an Account of the Present Situation of that Country; the Population, Agriculture, Commerce, Customs, and Manners of the Inhabitants...,1784 (Williams, SH 2888)
  • Gilbert Imlay, A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America: Containing a Succinct Account of its Soil, Climate, Natural History, Population, Agriculture, Manners, and Customs..., 1793 (Williams SH 1536)
  • Le Page du Pratz, Histoire de la Louisiane..., 1758 (Williams SH 968).
  • Robert Rogers, A Concise Account of North America: Containing a Description of the Several British Colonies on that Continent, Including the Islands of Newfoundland, Cape Breton, etc., 1765 (Williams SH 2663)
  • Bossu and Forster, Travels through that Part of North American Formerly Called Louisiana, 1771 (Williams VAULT 0005)
  • James Adair, The History of the American Indians; particularly those nations adjoining to the Mississippi, East and West Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia1775 (Williams SH 0028)
  • Edmund Burke, An Account of the European Settlements in America, in Six Parts..., 1777 (Hoole Rare Books E143 .B94 1777)
  • Jonathan Carver and John Lettsom, Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America, in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768, 1778 (Williams SH 594)
  • William Bartram, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the country of the Chactaws..., 1792 (Williams SH 235)
  • Francois Marie Perrin du Lac, Travels through the two Louisianas, and among the savage nations of the Missouri...1807 (Williams SH 959)