Crossings invites you to take four historic routes across the United States.

Maps, guidebooks, travelogues, postcards, and more from the Newberry’s collection recreate travelers’ experiences along the northern and southern borders of the US, across the continent’s interior, and up and down the Mississippi River.

These cross-country paths have been in use for centuries whether by water, railroad, car, or airplane. And they’ve remained remarkably consistent despite changes in transportation, commerce, and the people who’ve used them.

But not everyone has experienced travel and mobility equally. The same paths meant “discovery” to the European explorer, freedom to the enslaved, and loss and removal for Indigenous nations.

Crossings shows how centuries of movement––from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the American road trip––have forged deep relationships between people and places that survive to this day.

Crossings: Mapping American Journeys is generously supported by Rand McNally, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Jossy and Ken Nebenzahl, and Andrew and Jeanine McNally.

Crossings: Mapping American Journeys

Black Cowboys in the American West: On the Range, on the Stage, behind the Badge

Black Cowboys in the American West: On the Range, on the Stage, behind the Badge

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Who were the black cowboys? They were drovers, foremen, fiddlers, cowpunchers, cattle rustlers, cooks, and singers. They worked as wranglers, riders, ropers, bulldoggers, and bronc busters. They came from varied backgrounds--some grew up in slavery, while free blacks often got their start in Texas and Mexico. Most who joined the long trail drives were men, but black women also rode and worked on western ranches and farms.

The first overview of the subject in more than fifty years, Black Cowboys in the American West surveys the life and work of these cattle drivers from the years before the Civil War through the turn of the twentieth century. Including both classic, previously published articles and exciting new research, this collection also features select accounts of twentieth-century rodeos, music, people, and films. Arranged in three sections--"Cowboys on the Range," "Performing Cowboys," and "Outriders of the Black Cowboys"--the thirteen chapters illuminate the great diversity of the black cowboy experience.

Like all ranch hands and riders, African American cowboys lived hard, dangerous lives. But black drovers were expected to do the roughest, most dangerous work--and to do it without complaint. They faced discrimination out west, albeit less than in the South, which many had left in search of autonomy and freedom. As cowboys, they could escape the brutal violence visited on African Americans in many southern communities and northern cities.

Black cowhands remain an integral part of life in the West, the descendants of African Americans who ventured west and helped settle and establish black communities. This long-overdue examination of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black cowboys ensures that they, and their many stories and experiences, will continue to be known and told.

BORN OF LAKES AND PLAINS: MIXE

BORN OF LAKES AND PLAINS: MIXE

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Often overlooked, there is mixed blood at the heart of America. And at the heart of Native life for centuries there were complex households using intermarriage to link disparate communities and create protective circles of kin. Beginning in the seventeenth century, Native peoples--Ojibwes, Otoes, Cheyennes, Chinooks, and others--formed new families with young French, English, Canadian, and American fur traders who spent months in smoky winter lodges or at boisterous summer rendezvous. These families built cosmopolitan trade centers from Michilimackinac on the Great Lakes to Bellevue on the Missouri River, Bent's Fort in the southern Plains, and Fort Vancouver in the Pacific Northwest. Their family names are often imprinted on the landscape, but their voices have long been muted in our histories. Anne F. Hyde's pathbreaking history restores them in full.

Vividly combining the panoramic and the particular, Born of Lakes and Plains follows five mixed-descent families whose lives intertwined major events: imperial battles over the fur trade; the first extensions of American authority west of the Appalachians; the ravages of imported disease; the violence of Indian removal; encroaching American settlement; and, following the Civil War, the disasters of Indian war, reservations policy, and allotment. During the pivotal nineteenth century, mixed-descent people who had once occupied a middle ground became a racial problem drawing hostility from all sides. Their identities were challenged by the pseudo-science of blood quantum--the instrument of allotment policy--and their traditions by the Indian schools established to erase Native ways. As Anne F. Hyde shows, they navigated the hard choices they faced as they had for centuries: by relying on the rich resources of family and kin. Here is an indelible western history with a new human face.

BRAVE AND CUNNING PRINCE: THE

BRAVE AND CUNNING PRINCE: THE

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The extraordinary story of the Powhatan chief who waged a lifelong struggle to drive European settlers from his homeland

In the mid-sixteenth century, Spanish explorers in the Chesapeake Bay kidnapped an Indian child and took him back to Spain and subsequently to Mexico. The boy converted to Catholicism and after nearly a decade was able to return to his land with a group of Jesuits to establish a mission. Shortly after arriving, he organized a war party that killed them.

In the years that followed, Opechancanough (as the English called him), helped establish the most powerful chiefdom in the mid-Atlantic region. When English settlers founded Virginia in 1607, he fought tirelessly to drive them away, leading to a series of wars that spanned the next forty years--the first Anglo-Indian wars in America-- and came close to destroying the colony.

A Brave and Cunning Prince is the first book to chronicle the life of this remarkable chief, exploring his early experiences of European society and his long struggle to save his people from conquest.

Bronzed Small Compass

Bronzed Small Compass

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A bronzed pocket compass, a reproduction from the 19th C. campaign trail.

Cherokee Americans: The Eastern Band of Cherokees in the Twentieth Century (Revised)

Cherokee Americans: The Eastern Band of Cherokees in the Twentieth Century (Revised)

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Much has been written about the forced removal of thousands of Cherokee Indians to present-day Oklahoma in the 1830s. Many of them died on the Trail of Tears. But until recently historians have largely ignored the tribal remnant that avoided removal and remained in North Carolina. John R. Finger shifts attention to the Eastern Band of Cherokees, descended from that remnant and now numbering almost ten thousand, most of whom live on a reservation adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cherokee Americans is, ironically, the first comprehensive account of the twentieth-century experience of a band that is known to and photographed by millions of tourists. This book is a sequel to The Eastern Band of Cherokees, 1819-1900 (1984) by John R. Finger, who is a professor of history at the University of Tennessee.
Cherokee Narratives: A Linguistic Study

Cherokee Narratives: A Linguistic Study

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The stories of the Cherokee people presented here capture in written form tales of history, myth, and legend for readers, speakers, and scholars of the Cherokee language. Assembled by noted authorities on Cherokee, this volume marks an unparalleled contribution to the linguistic analysis, understanding, and preservation of Cherokee language and culture.

Cherokee Narratives spans the spectrum of genres, including humor, religion, origin myths, trickster tales, historical accounts, and stories about the Eastern Cherokee language. These stories capture the voices of tribal elders and form a living record of the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' oral tradition. Each narrative appears in four different formats: the first is interlinear, with each line shown in the Cherokee syllabary, a corresponding roman orthography, and a free English translation; the second format consists of a morpheme-by-morpheme analysis of each word; and the third and fourth formats present the entire narrative in the Cherokee syllabary and in a free English translation.

The narratives and their linguistic analysis are a rich source of information for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Cherokee syllabary, as well as for students of Cherokee history and culture. By enabling readers at all skill levels to use and reconstruct the Cherokee language, this collection of tales will sustain the life and promote the survival of Cherokee for generations to come.

CHICAGO AND THE ILLINOIS CENTR

CHICAGO AND THE ILLINOIS CENTR

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Headquartered in Chicago, the Illinois Central Railroad was known as the "Main Line of Mid-America."


This was a major railroad cutting through the middle section of the United States with two major routes.The Main Line, which ran south out of Chicago toward New Orleans, and the Western Lines, which ran west toward Iowa. The Illinois Central Railroad had eight major freight yards in Chicago, which in 1937 handled nearly two million freight cars. It was also well known for its passenger service and operated some of the finest passenger trains: the Green Diamond, the all-Pullman Panama Limited, and the City of New Orleans. Chicago and the Illinois Central Railroad covers the railroad's operations within the city of Chicago, plus the outlying suburbs, from the late 1800s to 1960. It explores, through vintage photographs, the passenger and freight trains, suburban trains, locomotives, shops and repair facilities, and people that made the railroad function.

CHINESE AND THE IRON ROAD: BUI

CHINESE AND THE IRON ROAD: BUI

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The completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869 is usually told as a story of national triumph and a key moment for American Manifest Destiny. The Railroad made it possible to cross the country in a matter of days instead of months, paved the way for new settlers to come out west, and helped speed America's entry onto the world stage as a modern nation that spanned a full continent. It also created vast wealth for its four owners, including the fortune with which Leland Stanford would found Stanford University some two decades later. But while the Transcontinental has often been celebrated in national memory, little attention has been paid to the Chinese workers who made up 90 percent of the workforce on the Western portion of the line. The Railroad could not have been built without Chinese labor, but the lives of Chinese railroad workers themselves have been little understood and largely invisible.

This landmark volume explores the experiences of Chinese railroad workers and their place in cultural memory. The Chinese and the Iron Road illuminates more fully than ever before the interconnected economies of China and the US, how immigration across the Pacific changed both nations, the dynamics of the racism the workers encountered, the conditions under which they labored, and their role in shaping both the history of the railroad and the development of the American West.

CITIZEN HOBO: HOW A CENTURY OF

CITIZEN HOBO: HOW A CENTURY OF

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Death and Lighthouses on the Great Lakes

Death and Lighthouses on the Great Lakes

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The author of Michigan's Haunted Lighthouses shares tales of disaster and misfortune on the Great Lakes.

Losing one's life while tending to a Great Lakes lighthouse sadly wasn't such an unusual occurrence. Death by murder, suicide or other tragic causes--while rare--were not unheard of. Two keepers on Lake Superior's Grand Island disappeared one early summer day in 1908, their decomposed remains found weeks later. A newly hired and some say depressed keeper on Pilot Island in Wisconsin's Door County slit his own throat after a consultation with a local butcher about the location of the jugular vein. A smallpox outbreak in the late 1890s led to the tragic death of a lighthouse hired hand on South Bass Island in Lake Erie.


Join author Dianna Stampfler as she uncovers the facts (and debunks some fiction) behind some of the Great Lakes' darkest lighthouse tales.