VIRGIN LAND

THE AMERICAN WEST AS SYMBOL AND MYTH

Henry Nash Smith

Harvard University Press

Copyright 1950

by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

Copyright 1978

by Henry Nash Smith

All rights reserved

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE: EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ORIGINS                         
3

BOOK ONE: PASSAGE TO INDIA

     I.  A Highway to the Pacific: Thomas Jefferson and the
          Far West                                           
15

II. Passage to India: Thomas Hart Benton and Asa

          Whitney                                            
19

     III.The Untransacted Destiny: William Gilpin            
35

     IV. Walt Whitman and Manifest Destiny                   
44

BOOK TWO: THE SONS OF LEATHERSTOCKING

V. Daniel Boone: Empire Builder or Philosopher of

          Primitivism?                                       
51

     VI. Leatherstocking and the Problem of Social Order     
59

VII. The Innocence and Wildness of Nature: Charles W.

          Webber and Others                                  
71

   VIII. The Mountain Man as Western Hero: Kit Carson        
81

IX. The Western Hero in the Dime Novel: I. From Seth

          Jones to Deadwood Dick                             
90

          II. Buffalo Bill and Buck Taylor                   
102

      X. The Dime Novel Heroine                              
112

BOOK THREE: THE GARDEN OF THE WORLD

XI. The Garden of the World and American

          Agrarianism                                        
123

     XII. The Yeoman and the Fee-Simple Empire               
133

     XIII. The South and the Myth of the Garden              
145

     XIV. The New Calculus of Western Energies               
155

XV. The Agrarian Utopia in Politics: The Homestead

          Act                                                
165

     XVI. The Garden and the Desert                          
174

     XVII. The Empire Redivivus                              
184

     XVIII. Failure of the Agrarian Utopia                   
189

XIX. The Myth of the Garden and Reform of the Land

          System                                             
195

     XX. The Garden as Safety Valve                          
201

XXI. The Agricultural West in Literature: I. Cooper

          and the Stages of Society                          
211

          II. From Caroline Kirkland to Hamlin Garland       
224

XXII. The Myth of the Garden and Turner's Frontier

          Hypothesis                                         
250

          Notes                                              
263

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