German Culture in America, 1600-1900: Philosophical and Literary Influences

By Henry A. Pochmann; Arthur R. Schultz | Go to book overview

Early Interest in German Culture

THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

Points of View

The accepted view of colonial Americans as a singularly provincial people, isolated from the great cosmopolitan traditions of the world, is gradually being revised as investigation progresses into the cultural heritage of America. Among European influences felt in colonial times, those emanating from Germany have been consistently underestimated. The tradition persists that Americans were content to remain ignorant of Germany until the early nineteenth century when, so the legend goes, a group of young Harvard men, suddenly fired by Madame-de-Staël's account of the great German universities, journeyed thither and brought back with them the weapons wherewith to effect a Teutonic conquest of American learning, literature, and thought. The story is too pat to be credible, and recent investigations 1 lead to the inescapable conclusion that there was, almost from the date of the first settlement in New England, a lively and rather steadily mounting interest in Germany. 2

The conventional account of early German-American relationships 3 takes cognizance of the work of Francis Daniel Pastorius as the founder of Germantown about 1683 and mentions the stream of German books that issued from the Saur and Ephrata presses, but it finds little else to record save the correspondence that Cotton Mather is known to have carried on with August Hermann Francke4 of Halle until a century later--so the story runs--when Madame de Staël's . De l'Allemagne ( London, 1813; Paris, 1814; New York, 1814) opened bright young men's eyes to the dazzling splendors of German libraries and to the unparalleled advantages of a German university education; whereupon Ticknor, Bancroft, Everett, and a few others set out at once to learn the language, only to meet the formidable obstacle of finding no German books available in all Boston. 5 Andrew Preston Peabody, recalling Dr. Carl Follen's introduction, in 1825, of German as a regular subject of instruction at Harvard, relates how he joined the first class of eight volunteers and how they encountered similar difficulties until Dr. Follen prepared a "German Reader for Beginners' . . . furnished to the class in single sheets as . . . needed and printed in Roman type, there being no German type within easy reach." 6

Lowell, reminiscing in 1890 over a span of almost half a century, helped to give currency to this tradition by asserting, "Mr. George Bancroft told me that he learned German of Professor Sydney Willard, who, himself self-taught, had no notion of its pronunciation." 7 And Moses Stuart, who himself taught philosophy and theology of a sufficiently Germanic cast as early as 1810 to put the heresy hunters on his trail, recalled in 1841 how "for years together" he was "almost alone in the study of German," adding that "the late J. S. Buckminster, of Brattle Street Church, was the only man among the Literati of this region, who at that time had any other knowledge of German than what belonged

-19-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
German Culture in America, 1600-1900: Philosophical and Literary Influences
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • List of Tables xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Book One German Thought in America 17
  • Early Interest in German Culture 19
  • Thought Currents of the Nineteenth Century 59
  • The Transcendentalist Writers 153
  • The Spread of Interest in German Philosophy 257
  • Book Two German Literary Influence 325
  • Some Areas and Lines of Influence 327
  • Germanic Materials and Motifs in the Short Story 367
  • Nineteenth Century Poets, Novelists, and Critics 409
  • Notes 493
  • Index 801
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 870

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.