Jean de Crèvecoeur, also known as J. Hector St. John, was a French-American writer and farmer who is best known for his letters describing life in early America. He was born in 1735 in Caen, France, and immigrated to the British colonies in America in 1755.
Crèvecoeur's most famous work is his book "Letters from an American Farmer," which was published in 1782. This book consists of a series of letters written by a fictional farmer named James, who describes life in the American colonies and the experiences of immigrants who came to America in search of a better life. Crèvecoeur's letters paint a vivid picture of the natural beauty of the American landscape and the diverse cultures and ways of life of the people who lived there.
In his letters, Crèvecoeur explores the concept of the "American Dream," the idea that anyone can achieve success and happiness through hard work and determination. He describes the opportunities available in America for people of all backgrounds and how the country's democratic values and freedom allowed people to pursue their dreams and aspirations.
Crèvecoeur also wrote about the conflicts and challenges faced by the early settlers in America, including conflicts with Native Americans and the difficulties of carving out a new life in a harsh and unfamiliar land. Despite these challenges, he saw great potential in the American colonies and believed that they had the potential to become a great nation.
Crèvecoeur's writing had a significant impact on the way that Europeans and Americans viewed the American colonies and the concept of the American Dream. His letters were widely read and had a profound influence on the way that people thought about the American colonies and the opportunities they offered.
In conclusion, Jean de Crèvecoeur was a talented writer and farmer who made a lasting contribution to our understanding of life in early America. His letters from an American Farmer provide a valuable glimpse into the experiences of immigrants and the development of the American Dream in the early colonies.
Hector St John Crèvecoeur’s Letters From An American Farmer
Can it be possible that the force of custom should ever make me deaf to all these reflections, and as insensible to the injustice of that trade, and to their miseries, as the rich inhabitants of this town seem to be? This forcible idea never quits them, they launch forth, and by dint of sobriety, rigid parsimony, and the most persevering industry, they commonly succeed. Jean de Crèvecoeur New York: Columbia University Press, 1916 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the. No, Sir, replied Andrew, I know nothing of what you mean about lease, improvement, will, jury, etc. I thought little of the journey, though it was above two hundred miles, because I was well acquainted with many friends, at whose houses I intended to stop. Particularly concerned about the condition of Société des Amis des Noirs Society of the Friends of the Blacks , founded in Paris.
What Is An American?" By Hector St. John Crevecoeur
In that space, prosperity will polish some, vice and the law will drive off the rest, who uniting again with others like themselves will recede still farther; making room for more industrious people, who will finish their improvements, convert the loghouse into a convenient habitation, and rejoicing that the first heavy labours are finished, will change in a few years that hitherto barbarous country into a fine fertile, well regulated district. The lands possessed by a few, are leased down ad infinitum, and the occupiers often pay five guineas an acre. . I wish I could be acquainted with the feelings and thoughts which must agitate the heart and present themselves to the mind of an enlightened Englishman, when he first lands on this continent. This unnatural state often occasions the most acute, the most pungent of their afflictions; they have no time, like us, tenderly to rear their helpless off-spring, to nurse them on their knees, to enjoy the delight of being parents. Michel-Guillaume-Saint-Jean de Crèvecoeur, also called Hector Saint John de Crèvecoeur or especially in America J.
Such is our progress, such is the march of the Europeans toward the interior parts of this continent. In the 1760s, he undertook extensive tours of the American colonies before settling down in 1769, after marriage, as an American farmer in Orange country in the Hudson River Valley of New York. Is he a merchant? Admitting that each generation should last but forty years, this makes a period of 1200; an extraordinary duration for the uninterrupted descent of any family! John de Crèvecoeur: Introduction Born in Normandy, France, J. He conceives no other idea of a clergyman than that of an hired man; if he does his work well he will pay him the stipulated sum; if not he will dismiss him, and do without his sermons, and let his church be shut up for years. He was also a patron of botanical gardens, experiments with steamships, and the first Roman Catholic church in New York City. The number of children seemed as great as that of the people; they had all paid for being conveyed here. In all societies there are off-casts; this impure part serves as our precursors or pioneers; my father himself was one of that class, but he came upon honest principles, and was therefore one of the few who held fast; by good conduct and temperance, he transmitted to me his fair inheritance, when not above one in fourteen of his contemporaries had the same good fortune.
Its situation is admirable, being built at the confluence of two large rivers, which receive in their course a great number of inferior streams; all navigable in the spring, for flat boats. Americans are the western pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, sciences, vigour , and industry which began long since in the east; they will finish the incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared, and which will hereafter become distinct by the power of the different climates they inhabit. The book is structured into a set of twelve letters, addressed by a simple American farmer not exactly an alter ego of the sophisticated Crevecouer to an erudite, cultivated, man—of—the—world English citizen curious to learn about the state of affairs in the American colonies. To all these reasons you must add, their lonely situation, and you cannot imagine what an effect on manners the great distances they live from each other has! They marry where inclination leads them; visit their wives every week; are as decently clad as the common people; they are indulged in educating, cherishing, and chastising their children, who are taught subordination to them as to their lawful parents: in short, they participate in many of the benefits of our society, without being obliged to bear any of its burdens. I will candidly tell you all my thoughts but you are not to expect that I shall advance any reasons. Europe contains hardly any other distinctions but lords and tenants; this fair country alone is settled by freeholders, the possessors of the soil they cultivate, members of the government they obey, and the framers of their own laws, by means of their representatives.
No wonder, therefore, that he was embarrassed; for how could the man who had hardly a will of his own since he was born, imagine he could have one after his death? What religious education will they give their children? These are my terms, I cannot sell, but I will lease you the quantity that Mr. Next morning I found my host in the orchard destroying caterpillars. The European immigrant who had experienced the sameness and degeneration of European peasantry found in America a frontier environment conducive to feelings of liberty and opportunity. From nothing to start into being; from a servant to the rank of a master; from being the slave of some despotic prince, to become a free man, invested with lands, to which every municipal blessing is annexed! The English government should purchase the most northern and barren of those islands; it should send over to us the honest, primitive Hebrideans, settle them here on good lands, as a reward for their virtue and ancient poverty; and replace them with a colony of her wicked sons. They are now distressed; their minds are racked by a variety of apprehensions, fears, and hopes. It is in consequence of this straggling situation, and the astonishing power it has on manners, that the back-settlers of both the Carolinas, Virginia, and many other parts, have been long a set of lawless people; it has been even dangerous to travel among them.
There the very delirium of tyranny tramples on the best gifts of nature, and sports with the fate, the happiness, the lives of millions: there the extreme fertility of the ground always indicates the extreme misery of the inhabitants! To examine how the world is gradually settled, how the howling swamp is converted into a pleasing meadow, the rough ridge into a fine field; and to hear the cheerful whistling, the rural song, where there was no sound heard before, save the yell of the savage, the screech of the owl or the hissing of the snake? If thou wilt carefully educate thy children, teach them gratitude to God, and reverence to that government that philanthropic government, which has collected here so many men and made them happy. There he sees a parson as simple as his flock, a farmer who does not riot on the labour of others. By that of the laws and that of their industry. They enjoy as much liberty as their masters, they are as well clad, and as well fed; in health and sickness they are tenderly taken care of; they live under the same roof, and are, truly speaking, a part of our families. What then is the American, this new man? A pleasing uniformity of decent competence appears throughout our habitations. He likewise raises good crops, his house is handsomely painted, his orchard is one of the fairest in the neighbourhood. Several citizens, impelled either by spontaneous attachments, or motives of humanity, took many of them to their houses; the city, agreeable to its usual wisdom and humanity, ordered them all to be lodged in the barracks, and plenty of provisions to be given them.
Analysis Of Crevecoeur's Letters Of An American Farmer
Size exceeded You may not upload any more photos to this memorial "Unsupported file type" Uploading. The ever complex definition of an American is given by those who do not abide by the typical American standards. In this great American asylum, the poor of Europe have by some means met together, and in consequence of various causes; to what purpose should they ask one another what countrymen they are? These are scenes which I believe you would willingly share with me. There is no tracing observations of this kind, without making at the same time very great allowances, as there are everywhere to be found, a great many exceptions. We are nothing but what we derive from, the air we breathe, the climate we inhabit, the government we obey, the system of religion we profess, and the nature of our employment… America, in his opinion, offers the immigrant from Europe the ideal conditions for self — regeneration. The Indians, who were Mr.
A country that had no bread for him, whose fields procured him no harvest, who met with nothing but the frowns of the rich, the severity of the laws, with jails and punishments; who owned not a single foot of the extensive surface of this planet? As farmers they will be careful and anxious to get as much as they can, because what they get is their own. The American is most often identified with the idea of democracy, which promises much, though the reality always falls short. This surrounding hostility immediately puts the gun into their hands; they watch these animals, they kill some; and thus by defending their property, they soon become professed hunters; this is the progress; once hunters, farewell to the plough. No sooner did I lie down to rest than I thought myself in a most odoriferous arbour, so sweet and fragrant were the sheets. Each of these people instruct their children as well as they can, but these instructions are feeble compared to those which are given to the youth of the poorest class in Europe.
The sea inspires them with a love of traffic, a desire of transporting produce from one place to another; and leads them to a variety of resources which supply the place of labour. Does he want uncultivated lands? The neatness of these good people is no phenomenon, yet I think this excellent family surpasses everything I know. The foolish vanity, or rather the fury of making Proselytes, is unknown here; they have no time, the seasons call for all their attention, and thus in a few years, this mixed neighbourhood will exhibit a strange religious medley, that will be neither pure Catholicism nor pure Calvinism. After this explanation of the effects which follow by living in the woods, shall we yet vainly flatter ourselves with the hope of converting the Indians? May God repay you for all your kindnesses, said Andrew; as long as I live I shall thank you, and do what I can for you. That is enough to begin with; is not your land pretty hard to clear? After a very few reflections, Andrew found that his weapon was useless, when opposed to nine tomahawks; but this did not diminish his anger, on the contrary; it grew greater on observing the calm impudence with which they were devouring the family provisions.
No, no, said I, if you are careful and sober, and do what you can, you shall receive what I told you, after you have served a short apprenticeship at my house. The first never settle singly, it is a colony of the society which emigrates; they carry with them their forms, worship, rules, and decency: the others never begin so hard, they are always able to buy improvements, in which there is a great advantage, for by that time the country is recovered from its first barbarity. In another century, the law will possess in the north, what now the church possesses in Peru and Mexico. Persecution, religious pride, the love of contradiction, are the food of what the world commonly calls religion. If one corner breathes in peace for a few years, it is, in turn subjected, torn, and levelled; one would almost believe the principles of action in man, considered as the first agent of this planet, to be poisoned in their most essential parts. It is difficult to account for this surprising locality, one would think on so small an island an Irishman must be an Irishman: yet it is not so, they are different in their aptitude to, and in their love of labour.