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Letters from an American Farmer Written by Michel St. John De Crevecoeur. Presented by: Heather Justice. Biography. Born Michel Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur In 1735 around Caen, France Came to North America by way of England in 1755

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letters from an american farmer written by michel st john de crevecoeur

Letters from an American FarmerWritten by Michel St. John De Crevecoeur

Presented by: Heather Justice

biography
Biography
  • Born Michel Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur
  • In 1735 around Caen, France
  • Came to North America by way of England in 1755
  • Served with Montcalm’s forces during the assault on For William Henry
  • Settled in upstate New York in 1759
  • Became a British subject in 1764
biography continued
Biography continued
  • Married in 1770 to Mehitable Tippet
  • Returned to France during the Revolution in 1780
  • Letters from an American Farmer published in 1782
    • Wrote under pseudonym J. Hector St. John
  • Returned to North America and learned his wife had been died and children were living with neighbors
  • Crevecoeur was French consul in New York City from 1783 to 1790
  • Returned to France in 1790 and remained there until his death in 1813
historical context
Historical Context
  • Crevecoeur was an American Farmer
    • “we are a people of cultivators”
  • The events leading to the Revolution were of major significance at the time
  • Crevecoeur was targeting the poor Europeans as his audience
    • “What attachment can a poor European emigrant have for a country where he had nothing?” “his country is now that which gives him land, bread, protection, and consequence.”
main points
Main Points
  • The metamorphosis of an European into an American
    • Crevecoeur likens poor Europeans to useless plants that are transplanted and have take root and flourished in America
  • The freedom and opportunities in North America (social, religious, etc.)
    • The chance to be a “freeman” and there are “no princes, for whom we toil, starve, and bleed: we are the most perfect society now existing In the world. Here man is free as he ought to be;”
  • To describe and define what it meant to be an American
    • “The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas, and form new opinions.”
historical significance
Historical Significance
  • The document gave an idealized view on the way of life for an American
    • Attempts to define “what is an American?”
  • The document was important to the poor European giving him hope that he will succeed and encourage him to work hard in America to be a success
  • Refers to “individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men” and “that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country”
questions
Questions
  • Do you agree on the Main Points?
  • What did this document say to you?
  • Do you feel that the descriptions of the transformation of an European into an American was romanticized or idealized?
    • Crevecoeur said “he no sooner breathes our air than he forms schemes, an embarks on designs he never would have thought of in his own country.”
sources
Sources
  • Bibliobase from Houghton Mifflin Company
  • http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761569179/Crevecoeur.html