By James West Davidson, Mark Lytle

ISBN-10: 0073385484

ISBN-13: 9780073385488

For greater than twenty-five years, After the Fact has guided scholars via American heritage and the tools used to review it. In dramatic episodes that stream chronologically via American heritage, this best-selling ebook examines a large number of themes together with oral proof, pictures, ecological info, movies and tv courses, church and city documents, census info, and novels. no matter if for an introductory survey or for a ancient equipment direction, After as a matter of fact the appropriate textual content to introduce readers, step-by-step, to the detective paintings and analytical methods historians use once they are literally doing historical past.

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Extra info for After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection

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Depending on the measure being used, 350 leagues could be 910 miles or 1,225. " And although names like Napituca were unknown when Europeans settled in the region a century later, others persisted. The anthropologistJohn R. Swanton, head of a federal commission to reconstruct De Soto's route in 1936, explic­ itly assumed that "the Indian tribes encountered by De Soto ... " Over the past 300 years, scholars have suggested at least a dozen alterna­ tive expedition routes. By the time Swanton's federal commission of 1936 attempted a definitive solution, the confusion was evident.

The Indian diseases were deadly. villages near the Pilgrim settle­ ments had experienced mortality rates as high as 95 percent, and early colonists were often astonished to find pile after pile of unburied bones, picked clean by the wolves and bleached by the sun. The most likely cause was chicken pox European fishermen had brought to American shores four years before the Pilgrims arrived. More to the point, in De Soto's time Cortes was able to conquer the mighty Aztec empire in large part because smallpox ravaged the capital of Tenochtitlan.

Messengers from Mabila brought cornbread seasoned with chestnuts. Mabila proved to be guarded by a stout palisade, and despite a celebration of welcome, the houses on the plaza concealed Indian warriors. Hot words between the Indians and the Spaniards led to a scuffle in which an Indian had his arm chopped off. In an instant Tascaluza's men poured out. De Soto, suspecting a trap, had nevertheless entered the walled village with a dozen or so comrades and found himself surrounded. He barely fought free to the outside, losing some of his men in the process.

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After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection by James West Davidson, Mark Lytle


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