Table of Contents

I. COLONIAL FOUNDATIONS
The Literature of Settlement (1607-1750)


John Smith (1580-1631)
from The General History of Virginia
William Bradford (1590-1657)
from Of Plymouth Plantation
Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)
Upon the Burning of Our House
To My Dear and Loving Husband
Edward Taylor (1642-1729)
Huswifery
Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

 

II. REASON AND REVOLUTION
The Literature of Independence (1750-1800)


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
from The Autobiography
from Poor Richard’s Almanack
Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
Speech in the Virginia Convention
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
from Common Sense
The Crisis, Number I
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
The Declaration of Independence
Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)
On Being Brought from Africa to America
To His Excellency, General Washington


III. COMING OF AGE
The Literature of Progress (1800-1840)


Washington Irving (1783-1859)
Rip Van Winkle
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Devil and Tom Walker
The Adventure of the German Student
William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)
Thanatopsis
To a Waterfowl
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
A Dream Within a Dream
To Helen
The Raven
The Bells
Annabel Lee
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Cask of Amontillado

 

IV. SHADES OF INSIGHT
The Literature of Contradiction (1840-1855)


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
from Nature
from Self-Reliance
Concord Hymn
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
from Walden
from Civil Disobedience
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
The Minister’s Black Veil
Wakefield
The Birthmark
Herman Melville (1819-1891)
Bartleby the Scrivener

 

V. NEW ENGLAND VERSE
Poetry of the Everyday (1840-1885)


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls
A Psalm of Life
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
from Snowbound
Hampton Beach
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)
Old Ironsides
The Chambered Nautilus
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Success is Counted Sweetest
Hope is the Thing with Feathers
There’s a Certain Slant of Light
Much Madness is Divinest Sense
I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died
Because I Could Not Stop for Death
I Never Saw a Moor
How Happy is the Little Stone


VI. A HOUSE DIVIDED
The Literature of War (1855-1865)


Frederick Douglass (1817?-1895)
from My Bondage and My Freedom
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)
from Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)
Letter to His Son—On Duty
Letter to His Son—On Secession
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
from A House Divided
The Emancipation Proclamation
The Gettysburg Address
Letter to Mrs. Bixby
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
from Song of Myself
I Hear America Singing
Beat! Beat! Drums!
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
A Noiseless Patient Spider
O Captain! My Captain!
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

 

VII. WESTWARD DRIFT
The Literature of Expansion (1865-1915)


Mark Twain (1835-1910)
The Celebrated Jumping Frog
of Calaveras County
Bret Harte (1836-1902)
The Outcasts of Poker Flat
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
from The Devil’s Dictionary

 

VIII. EMERGING VOICES
The Literature of Equality (1870-1930)


Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)
from Up from Slavery
W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963)
from The Souls of Black Folk
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)
We Wear the Mask
Life’s Tragedy
Sympathy
Kate Chopin (1851-1904)
The Story of an Hour
A Respectable Woman
The Storm
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)
The Yellow Wallpaper
Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Willa Cather (1873-1947)
A Wagner Matinée
Paul’s Case


IX. CRUEL TRUTHS
The Literature of Fate (1880-1920)


Hamlin Garland (1860-1940)
Under the Lion’s Paw
Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War is Kind
A Man Said to the Universe
The Open Boat
Jack London (1876-1916)
To Build a Fire


X. MODERN MUSINGS
The Literature of Uncertainty (1900-1940)


Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
Luke Havergal
Cliff Klingenhagen
Richard Cory
Miniver Cheevy
Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950)
Trainor the Druggist
Doc Hill
Abel Melveny
Lucinda Matlock
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
After Apple-Picking
Mending Wall
Birches
Out, Out—
The Road Not Taken
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
Chicago
Grass
Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
In a Station of the Metro
The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

 


 

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