U.S. History through Children's Literature: From the Colonial Period to World War II

By Wanda J. Miller | Go to book overview
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Chapter 1
Native Americans


Introduction

Native Americans settled in America long before anyone else. From the names of cities, rivers, and streets to foods such as corn, potatoes, and squash, Native Americans have left their mark on history.

The trade books selected in this chapter are recommended to help students understand the relationships between the Native Americans and the early European settlers. Many of the individual titles are included for further study of Native Americans and for research purposes.

Read and discuss the following poem with your class to begin your study of Native Americans:


Indian Names

Ye say they all have passed away,
That noble race and brave;
That their light canoes have vanished
From off the crested wave;
That, mid the forest where they roamed,
There rings no hunters' shout;
But their name is on your waters,
Ye may not wash it out.

'Tis where Ontario's billow
Like ocean's surge is curled,
Where strong Niagara's thunders wake
The echo of the world,
Where red Missouri bringeth
Rich tribute from the west,
And Rappahannock sweetly sleeps
On green Virginia's breast.

Ye say their conelike cabins,
That clustered o'er the vale,
Have disappeared, as withered leaves
Before the autumn's gale;
But their memory liveth on your hills,
Their baptism on your shore,
Your everlasting rivers speak
Their dialect of yore.

Old Massachusetts wears it
Within her lordly crown,
And broad Ohio bears it
Amid his young renown.
Connecticut hath wreathed it
Where her quiet foliage waves,
And bold Kentucky breathes it hoarse
Through all her ancient caves.

Wachusett hides its lingering voice
Within its rocky heart,
And Allegheny graves its tone
Throughout his lofty chart.
Monadnock, on his forehead hoar,
Doth seal the sacred trust,
Your mountains build their monument,
Though ye destroy their dust.

Lydia Huntley Sigourney

-1-

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