Excursion Through the Slave States, from Washington on the Potomac to the Frontier of Mexico 2 Volume Set: With Sketches of Popular Manners and Geological Notices

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The English geologist George William Featherstonhaugh (1780-1866) was commissioned to undertake a survey of the Arkansas territory in America, and spent 1834-5 travelling through the southern slave states to reach his destination. He was shocked by the slave system of the south, saying he 'had never seen so revolting a sight'. When he began to write about his experiences, Featherstonhaugh was urged not to publish his work in the US, as his opinions might 'irritate a powerful interest', and his manuscript remained unpublished until 1844, after his return to England. His lively two-volume account of his adventures contains fascinating details about geology, fauna, and above all, human interactions. It is a closely observed record of Southern society in the period before the Civil War that candidly documents the violence experienced by Black slaves and Native Americans and the harsh conditions encountered by frontier settlers.