The second volume of North American Exploration encompasses the intermediate period between the thrill of first discovery in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and the later stages of nineteenth-century scientific inquiry. The literature for this period is voluminous, even more so than that for the first volume. Hence, the following bibliographic listing is necessarily partial and arbitrary. It is, however, a fairly comprehensive coverage of the cardinal themes of exploration during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Two categories of literature will be conspicuous by their absence in the following collection: articles from periodicals and professional journals; and foreign-language publications. Both of these types of literature are contained within the notes accompanying each of the chapters in volume 2. We have tried to present in the selected bibliography materials that will be available in both medium-sized public libraries and most college and university libraries. This means that most of the materials are secondary sources. For a good selection of primary materials (also included in the bibliography), the reader will need to visit college and university libraries, along with some specialized larger private and municipal libraries (the Newberry Library in Chicago and the New York Public Library, for example).
The secondary sources offer scholars explications of the process of exploration and the stories of the people who were part of that process. They are very worthwhile reading. But even more valuable are the words of the explorers themselves and of their contemporaries. For those readers whose interest in North American exploration during the intermediate period runs deeper, those primary sources should be sought out; therefore, these too are represented in the selected bibliography. The words of the participants carry the reader up the rivers of the Atlantic seaboard and the Saint Lawrence drainage to the Great Lakes and the mountains beyond, across the barren grounds of the Far North in search of the elusive Northwest Passage. Where earlier explorers had, in their imaginations, smelled the exotic aroma of sandalwood, borne on the breeze blowing from the Spice Islands, the continental and coastal explorers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries sensed salt spray and river mist, heard the sound of falling water, saw the hazy uplands of the interior, and smelled the smoke of thousands of native campfires. Listen to their voices as they tell the story.