Travels Between the Hudson and the Mississippi: 1851-1852
Moritz Busch, a German journalist, theologian, and participant in the Revolution of 1848, proved himself both an accurate observer and a sensitive interpreter of American life in the mid-nineteenth century. His charming and richly detailed account has been translated into English for the first time. Not only an outstanding travel account, it proves to be a lode of background material that will be valued by the general reader, historians, political scientists, sociologists, and other scholars. Busch was keenly interested in the working of American institutions-government, religion, economy, and social customs-and his descriptions rank with the best contemporary accounts. His concern in studying American mores was to understand what made the New World different from-and apparently on the way to surpassing-the Old. Busch traveled the rivers and back roads, noting what Americans ate and drank, how they dressed and talked, gave their opinions on religion and politics. He described boats, stagecoaches, schools, hotels, and passed on folk tales and regional history as told by his many hosts. This engaging work is annotated with translator's notes to explain Busch's references to German literature and history, as well as more obscure points of American geography and history.