By Gregory Evans Dowd
Why did Elizabethan adventurers think that the inner of the USA concealed tremendous caches of gold? Who began the rumor that British officials bought innovative white women’s scalps, packed them via the bale, and shipped them to their superiors? And why are buyers nonetheless confident that white settlers—hardly immune as a bunch to the disease—routinely allotted smallpox-tainted blankets to the natives?
Rumor—spread by way of colonists and local american citizens alike—ran rampant in early the USA. In Groundless, historian Gregory Evans Dowd explores why half-truths, planned lies, and outrageous legends emerged within the first position, how they grew, and why they got such credence through the New global. Arguing that rumors are a part of the target fact left to us via the past—a type of fragmentary archival record—he examines how doubtful information turned strong sufficient to cascade during the centuries.
Drawing on particular case experiences and tracing ordinary rumors over many generations, Dowd explains the seductive energy of unreliable tales within the jap North American frontiers from the 16th to the mid-nineteenth centuries. The rumors studied here—some beautiful, a few frightening—commanded realization and demanded motion. They have been all, through definition, groundless, yet they weren't all fake, they usually prompted the vintage problems with historic inquiry: the formation of alliances, the making of revolutions, the expropriation of work and assets, and the origins of war.
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