By George R. Stewart
George R. Stewart’s vintage learn of place-naming within the usa used to be written in the course of international battle II as a tribute to the various historical past of the nation’s peoples. greater than part a century later, Names at the Land is still the authoritative resource on its topic, whereas Stewart’s intimate wisdom of the USA and love of anecdote make his ebook a special and pleasant window on American heritage and social life.
Names at the Land is an engaging and beautifully precise landscape of language in motion. Stewart opens with the 1st ecu names in what could later be the United States—Ponce de León’s flowery Florída, Cortés’s semi-mythical isle of California, and the crimson Rio Colorado—before occurring to discover New England, New Amsterdam, and New Sweden, the French and the Russian legacies, and the not likely contributions of each person from border ruffians to Boston Brahmins. those full of life pages learn the place and why Indian names have been more likely to be retained; nineteenth-century fads that gave upward push to dozens of Troys and Athens and to suburban Parksides, Brookmonts, and Woodcrest Manors; and deep and enduring mysteries akin to why “Arkansas” is Arkansaw, other than after all whilst it isn’t.
Names at the Land will have interaction somebody who has ever questioned on the curious names scattered around the American map. Stewart’s solution is usually a story—one of the numerous tales that lie in the back of the wealthy and weird variety of the united states.
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Extra info for Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States (New York Review Books Classics)
Within the historical past of naming there has been a lot classical and ecu precedent. Emperors and kings had named towns for themselves. Legend had busily provided so-called eponymous heroes the place none existed of checklist; everybody believed that Romulus had based Rome, scattered plantations; E121] KAM€S ON THC LAKD and lots of accredited the tale that London preserved the reminiscence of King Lud. within the southern colonies a few plantations bearing the owner's identify had changed into villages, however the genuine founding and naming of a city for oneself was once unusually missing during the first hundred years of cost. within the early eighteenth century, in spite of the fact that, stipulations have been altering and the yankee company guy used to be starting to emerge. this sort of was once William Trent. He was once a Scottish immigrant, who with sturdy Scots rose to be trendy in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In 1714 he acquired land on the head of navigation at the Delaware, a shrewdly selected website. at the New Jersey part he laid out a city, and provided plenty on the market. might be he believed that his personal identify, as that of a winning enterprise guy, may encourage self assurance in traders; as a minimum, it turned Trent's city, and shortly, Trenton. despite those exceptions, the final rule within the southern, or even within the center colonies, was once that cities weren't for- mally based, yet emerged from mere settlements. town plan nonetheless exhibits the New distinction. In England the critical com- mon supplies proof of a deliberate cost, yet in other places the city nonetheless exhibits in its alongside the pack-horse how street-lines path, the unique homes strung or converged upon a few fork or pass- roads or "Five Points," or clustered at a river-crossing. The names confirmed an analogous names of the North advised at so much contrast. The English city- that the settlers got here from a few yet within the different colonies the names of the little straggHng settlements have been in the direction of the land. occasionally an Indian identify of where was once saved, as with Yeopim, one of many first cities of North Carolina. Lewis Turnout and Smith's end up in South Carolina look via their names to teach that they have been as soon as actually what has given that develop into that reliable American word: "a broad position within the street. " Such names for cities definite a part of England. frequently express Meadows a mingling of poetry and grotesquery of Dan, Pine residences, Forks of Buffalo, —Little River, Gum Fork, chuffed Creek, Locust Hill. frequently, too, they confirmed the particular reason behind —Medlar's lifestyles of the payment  Mill, Dare's Wharf, Prin- How names turned extra English and the much less English Harper's Ferry, James shop. Rolling street in Maryland preserved the checklist that via it as soon as ran a tune alongside which hogsheads of tobacco have been rolled to the touchdown- cipio Furnace, position. The early plantation contact of humor frequently colourful, no longer with out a demanding discount. usually they integrated such probability, desire, and event. likelihood survives of a village in Maryland, and Charlie desire in Vir- The Widow's phrases names have been —All that is Left, Orphan's present, hassle adequate, final Shift, as Folly, because the identify ginia.
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