The Mirror of Nature: Chesapeake Perceptions of Wilderness, 1650-1787

by Green, Katie Elizabeth

Abstract (Summary)
This paper examines attitudes toward wilderness in the Chesapeake from 1650 to 1787. Traditionally scholars have argued that responses to wilderness during this time period were more ideological than pragmatic, but this paper argues the opposite, using as case studies four accounts by Chesapeake residents: The Discovery of New Brittaine (1650), by Edward Bland; The History and Present State of Virginia (1705), by Robert Beverley, The History of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina (1728), by William Byrd II; and Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), by Thomas Jefferson. Religious and intellectual views were not the primary influences of these responses; instead, settlers assessed wilderness according to the material value of its resources. This mode of evaluation perhaps stemmed from the pressures of a tobacco economy.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dan Flores; Kyle Volk; Phil Condon

School:The University of Montana

School Location:USA - Montana

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:08/07/2008

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