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The true history of a legendary American folk hero In the 1820s, a fellow named Sam Patch grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, working there (when he wasn't drinking) as a mill hand for one of America's new textile companies. Sam made a name for himself one day by jumping seventy feet into the tumultuous waters below Pawtucket Falls. When in 1827 he repeated the stunt in Paterson, New Jersey, another mill town, an even larger audience gathered to cheer on the daredevil they would call the "Jersey Jumper." Inevitably, he went to Niagara Falls, where in 1829 he jumped not once but twice in front of thousands who had paid for a good view. The distinguished social historian Paul E. Johnson gives this deceptively simple story all its deserved richness, revealing in its characters and social settings a virtual microcosm of Jacksonian America. He also relates the real jumper to the mythic Sam Patch who turned up as a daring moral hero in the works of Hawthorne and Melville, in London plays and pantomimes, and in the spotlight with Davy Crockett—a Sam Patch who became the namesake of Andrew Jackson's favorite horse. In his shrewd and powerful analysis, Johnson casts new light on aspects of American society that we may have overlooked or underestimated. This is innovative American history at its best.

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Genre: History
Author: Paul E. Johnson
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Release: 2004-06-16
File: 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 1429931957

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BOOK EXCERPT:

The true history of a legendary American folk hero In the 1820s, a fellow named Sam Patch grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, working there (when he wasn't drinking) as a mill hand for one of America's new textile companies. Sam made a name for himself one day by jumping seventy feet into the tumultuous waters below Pawtucket Falls. When in 1827 he repeated the stunt in Paterson, New Jersey, another mill town, an even larger audience gathered to cheer on the daredevil they would call the "Jersey Jumper." Inevitably, he went to Niagara Falls, where in 1829 he jumped not once but twice in front of thousands who had paid for a good view. The distinguished social historian Paul E. Johnson gives this deceptively simple story all its deserved richness, revealing in its characters and social settings a virtual microcosm of Jacksonian America. He also relates the real jumper to the mythic Sam Patch who turned up as a daring moral hero in the works of Hawthorne and Melville, in London plays and pantomimes, and in the spotlight with Davy Crockett-a Sam Patch who became the namesake of Andrew Jackson's favorite horse. In his shrewd and powerful analysis, Johnson casts new light on aspects of American society that we may have overlooked or underestimated. This is innovative American history at its best.

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Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Author: Paul E. Johnson
Publisher: Macmillan
Release: 2004-06-16
File: 240 Pages
ISBN-13: 0809083884

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Traces the achievements of waterfall jumper Sam Patch, noting his famous jump in Paterson, New Jersey, which led to his being dubbed the "Jersey Jumper;" as well as his two-time jump in Niagara Falls, in an account that offers an analysis of American cultural history in the 1820s.

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Genre: History
Author: Paul E. Johnson
Publisher: Macmillan
Release: 2003
File: 240 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780809083893

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In the autumn of 1834, New York City was awash with rumors of a strange religious cult operating nearby, centered around a mysterious, self-styled prophet named Matthias. It was said that Matthias the Prophet was stealing money from one of his followers; then came reports of lascivious sexual relations, based on odd teachings of matched spirits, apostolic priesthoods, and the inferiority of women. At its climax, the rumors transformed into legal charges, as the Prophet was arrested for the murder of a once highly-regarded Christian gentleman who had fallen under his sway. By the time the story played out, it became one of the nation's first penny-press sensations, casting a peculiar but revealing light on the sexual and spiritual tensions of the day.In The Kingdom of Matthias, the distinguished historians Paul Johnson and Sean Wilentz brilliantly recapture this forgotten story, imbuing their richly researched account with the dramatic force of a novel. In this book, the strange tale of Matthias the Prophet provides a fascinating window into the turbulent movements of the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening--movements which swept up great numbers of evangelical Americans and gave rise to new sects like the Mormons. Into this teeming environment walked a down-and-out carpenter named Robert Matthews, who announced himself as Matthias, prophet of the God of the Jews. His hypnotic spell drew in a cast of unforgettable characters--the meekly devout businessman Elijah Pierson, who once tried to raise his late wife from the dead; the young attractive Christian couple, Benjamin Folger and his wife Ann (who seduced the woman-hating Prophet); and the shrewd ex-slave Isabella Van Wagenen, regarded by some as "the most wicked of the wicked." None was more colorful than the Prophet himself, a bearded, thundering tyrant who gathered his followers into an absolutist household, using their money to buy an elaborate, eccentric wardrobe, and reordering their marital relations. By the time the tensions within the kingdom exploded into a clash with the law, Matthias had become a national scandal.In the hands of Johnson and Wilentz, the strange tale of the Prophet and his kingdom comes vividly to life, recalling scenes from recent experiences at Jonestown and Waco. They also reveal much about a formative period in American history, showing the connections among rapid economic change, sex and race relations, politics, popular culture, and the rich varieties of American religious experience.

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Genre: History
Author: Paul E. Johnson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 1995-08-03
File: 240 Pages
ISBN-13: 0195098358

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A quarter-century after its first publication, A Shopkeeper's Millennium remains a landmark work--brilliant both as a new interpretation of the intimate connections among politics, economy, and religion during the Second Great Awakening, and as a surprising portrait of a rapidly growing frontier city. The religious revival that transformed America in the 1820s, making it the most militantly Protestant nation on earth and spawning reform movements dedicated to temperance and to the abolition of slavery, had an especially powerful effect in Rochester, New York. Paul E. Johnson explores the reasons for the revival's spectacular success there, suggesting important links between its moral accounting and the city's new industrial world. In a new preface, he reassesses his evidence and his conclusions in this major work.

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Genre: History
Author: Paul E. Johnson
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Release: 2004-06-21
File: 240 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781466806160

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This landmark history of slavery in the South—a winner of the Bancroft Prize—challenged conventional views of slaves by illuminating the many forms of resistance to dehumanization that developed in slave society. Rather than emphasizing the cruelty and degradation of slavery, historian Eugene Genovese investigates the ways that slaves forced their owners to acknowledge their humanity through culture, music, and religion. Not merely passive victims, the slaves in this account actively engaged with the paternalism of slaveholding culture in ways that supported their self-respect and aspirations for freedom. Roll, Jordan, Roll covers a vast range of subjects, from slave weddings and funerals, to the language, food, clothing, and labor of slaves, and places particular emphasis on religion as both a major battleground for psychological control and a paradoxical source of spiritual strength. Displaying keen insight into the minds of both slaves and slaveholders, Roll, Jordan, Roll is a testament to the power of the human spirit under conditions of extreme oppression.

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Genre: History
Author: Eugene D. Genovese
Publisher: Vintage
Release: 2011-02-09
File: 864 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307772725

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Presents a fictionalized, rhyming version of the life and feats of the famous jumping daredevil.

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Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
Author: McLoughlin Brothers
Publisher: Applewood Books
Release: 2012-01-18
File: 24 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781429081665

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Compares the experiences of the New York communities of Albany, Buffalo, and Syracuse during the strikes of 1877, and argues that the crowds were seeking control over urban space, rather than higher wages or workplace control.

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Genre: History
Author: David O. Stowell
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 1999-06
File: 181 Pages
ISBN-13: 0226776697

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"Theodore Roosevelt is best remembered as America's prototypical "cowboy" president--an outdoorsy, rough-riding figure who was as versatile with a six-shooter as he was with a pen, and who derived his political wisdom from a life spent in rugged and inhospitable environs: the Dakota Badlands, the battlefields of Cuba, and the African savannah. Roosevelt himself did little to dispel his outdoorsy aura, and for decades historians have bought into this mythology. Yet while such experiences certainly contributed to Roosevelt's progressive politics and abiding love of the natural world, they've played an excessive role in defining his biography. In fact, Roosevelt was a native Manhattanite who came of age in the upper crust of New York society, and the reformist, anti-corruption policies for which he would come to be known were firmly rooted in the realities of life in the 19th-century city. A riveting portrait of a man and a city on the brink of greatness, Heir to the Empire City reveals that Roosevelt was a New Yorker through and through, and that his true education took place not on the ranges of the West but on the mean streets of New York"--

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Genre: History
Author: Edward P. Kohn
Publisher: Basic Books
Release: 2013-12-10
File: 272 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780465069750

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With Amusement for All contextualizes what Americans have done for fun since 1830, showing the reciprocal nature of the relationships among social, political, economic, and cultural forces and the ways in which the entertainment world has reflected, changed, or reinforced the values of American society.

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Genre: History
Author: LeRoy Ashby
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Release: 2006-05-12
File: 648 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780813123974

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