Recovering Charles Daly; or, Charles Daly and American Geographical Thought

By Schulten, Susan | The Geographical Review, October 2012 | Go to article overview

Recovering Charles Daly; or, Charles Daly and American Geographical Thought


Schulten, Susan, The Geographical Review


The American Geographical and Statistical Society (AGss) was founded in 1851 by men who were keenly interested in territorial expansion and commercial development. Victory over Mexico in 1848 had brought vast territory under American control (and devastating consequences for Native Americans). But this gain simultaneously raised the impossible question of the extension of slavery. Although the AGSS began in the flush of optimism after the Compromise of 1850, by the end of the decade the crisis over slavery had destroyed the Whig Party and driven a wedge between northern and southern Democrats, all of which enabled the Republican Party to elect Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 186o. Only months later the nation was engulfed in civil war. The AGSS is embedded in this fraught era of expansion, inspired by the dream of a transcontinental railroad but inextricably tethered to the problem of slavery.

In Civic Discipline Karen Morin showcases the work of the Society through its longtime postwar leader, Charles Daly, and demonstrates the many ways in which he too thought about geographical knowledge in terms of expansion. This sensibility is embodied by the Society's first president, the ardent nationalist George Bancroft, the most respected and widely read chronicler of American history. The choice of Bancroft to lead this fledgling organization in the 185os indicates the degree to which geographical and historical knowledge were interdependent fields in the nineteenth century.

Through a focus on Daly, Morin has written an innovative and provocative history of geography. Her title is meant to capture the way that Daly produced geographical knowledge through his multifaceted career. As an urban reformer who advocated for immigrants and advanced sanitation, Daly was constructing a vision of social space. Through his investment in western railroads he was shaping the settlement, transportation networks, and resource extraction in the U.S. West. And through his leadership in the Society he was not only directly shaping the public's knowledge of geography but also defining the very meaning of geographical knowledge. All of these practices were methods of disciplining geography; for Daly they were also ways of directing geographical knowledge to legal, financial, and political ends.

Thus it makes sense the AGSS was founded not just by geographical enthusiasts but by businessmen. Joseph Kennedy, then superintendent of the census, actively sought advice from its members when proposing changes to the Eighth Census of 1860. The AGSS shared his enthusiasm--even reverence--for statistics and even moved the census icon to the foreground of its organizational seal in 1861. This commitment to statistics peaked at the end of the 185os, when the Society invited Kennedy to outline his vision before its members. Like the AGSS, Kennedy believed that statistics could uncover natural laws and social patterns, or what he termed "society in movement." Yet the census was also a continual flashpoint in the growing sectional crisis.

Morin writes that the removal of statistics from the AGSS mission and title was in part rooted in a gendered understanding of knowledge. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Recovering Charles Daly; or, Charles Daly and American Geographical Thought
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.