William Goetzmann

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Publications

Army Exploration in the American West. 1803–1863


First published in 1959, this book tells the story of the U.S. Army's role in exploring the trans-Mississippi West, particularly the role of the Topographical Engineers. An interdisciplinary book, it addresses the military's role in the founding of archaeology and ethnology in this country and includes art and photography as part of the story.
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Exploration and Empire: The Explorer and the Scientist in the Winning of the American West


In this classic work, Goetzmann argues that the exploration of the American West was not a series of haphazard adventures motivated by personal gain, but rather a series of carefully planned missions to promote the national good. He draws on the diaries and letters of explorers to contrast the early American expeditions, sponsored by the federal government to promote national development, with private British ventures, such as the Hudson’s Bay Company, which sought commercial gain.Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were the first explorers with a broad and explicit sense of national purpose, setting out in 1804 with instructions from President Thomas Jefferson to collect information "covering the whole range of natural history from geology to Indian vocabularies." And as Lewis and Clark traveled toward the American Northwest, William Dunbar and Dr. George Hunter journeyed south to collect information on the newly acquired Louisiana Territory.Two major eras of Western exploration followed the one launched by Lewis and Clark: the period of settlement and investment (1845-1860) and the era of the great surveys (1860-1900). During the first of these, explorers such as John B. Weller and John Russell Bartlett became political diplomats as well as discoverers as they surveyed the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. During the second period, explorers were no longer discoverers or diplomats, but academic scientists, such as Josiah Dwight Whitney, whose philosophy influenced twentieth-century attitudes toward conservation and the environment.
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New Lands, New Men: America and the Second Great Age of Discovery


In New Lands, New Men, the third volume in his award-winning Exploration Trilogy, one of America’s leading historians tells the dramatic story of three centuries of exploration that witnessed Europeans exploring the Pacific and Northwest, Americans setting out across their own immense continent, and finally, Americans exploring new worlds: the oceans, Japan, the polar regions.Spanning the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, the Second Great Age of Discovery was marked by the Enlightenment’s ideals of science and progress. Explorers from James Cook to George Catlin, from Charles Wilkes to Matthew Maury, trained as scientists intent on precise observation and gathered information that would transform natural history and botany into systematic inquiries, place geography and cartography on their modern footing, and launch the newer sciences of geology and oceanography. And the artists accompanying these explorers would have as tremendous an impact, their renditions of spectacular terrains, of customs and costumes of exotic tribes inspiring the birth of Romanticism.William H. Goetzmann writes in absorbing detail about the remarkable adventures of the explorers and the explosive rise of American science. America was truly exploration’s nation—a culture of endless possibilities, continually looking forward in the direction of the new. New Lands, New Men illuminates America’s rise to cultural and scientific prominence—and transforms our understanding of America’s role in world history.
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Sam Chamberlain's Mexican War: The San Jacinto Museum of History Paintings


Sam Chamberlain's Mexican War is an important book. . . . There is no other collection of such impressive dimension that reflects the experiences of a common volunteer soldier." --Robert W. Johannsen, author of To the Halls of the Montezumas: The Mexican War in the American ImaginationPrivate Sam Chamberlain provided up-close views of the Mexican War. This book reproduces these treasures for the first time in color
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Handbook Entries

Title Contributor Type
Chamberlain, Samuel Emery Author

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