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

By James West Davidson, Mark Lytle

For greater than twenty-five years, After the Fact has guided scholars via American historical past and the equipment used to review it. In dramatic episodes that circulation chronologically via American heritage, this best-selling ebook examines a large number of themes together with oral proof, images, ecological info, motion pictures and tv courses, church and city documents, census info, and novels. even if for an introductory survey or for a ancient tools direction, After actually the correct textual content to introduce readers, step-by-step, to the detective paintings and analytical methods historians use after they are literally doing background.

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Additional resources for After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection

Sample text

Only two days' journey from Cofitachequi, said the Indians, was the ocean-along the Carolina coast. In 1526 an expedition led by Lucas Vazquez de Ayll6n had landed at Winyaw Bay and exchanged trade goods there. These beads must be some of them. De Soto's men noticed something else about Cofitachequi. Many of the towns in the area were deserted, with weeds and trees growing up in the Contact 23 plazas. When asked, the Indians said that a great plague had come two years earlier and wiped out many inhabitants.

Eventually De Soto's men surmounted the fence and set fire to the thatched huts, as hand-to-hand combat continued through a haze of smoke and flames. Tascaluza's men urged their chief to flee, and he may have; or he may have been killed-the records do not say. Once the palisade was breached, however, Spanish lancers on horseback provided a decisive advan­ tage. Victory came at a steep cost: 22 killed and another 148 wounded, much clothing gone, winter coming on-and De Soto's men ready to mutiny.

In the spring of 1540 De Soto resumed his march toward a richer kingdom to the north named Cofitachequi. Traveling through present-day Georgia, he crossed the Savannah River into what is now South Carolina, demanding 400 Indian porters along the way from another chief­ dom. At Cofitachequi, several leaders in dugout canoes met him, including a woman who was a paramount chief, a leader whose authority extended across a broad territory of settlements. " He was interested in shiny yellow and white stones as well, he told her, by which he meant gold and silver.

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