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Deep river : a memoir of a Missouri farm / David Hamilton

Main Author Hamilton, David, 1939- Country Estados Unidos. Publication Columbia : University of Missouri Press, cop. 2001 Description 169 p. : il. ; 24 cm ISBN 0-8262-1354-5 CDU 929 HAMILTON
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Monografia Biblioteca Vitor Aguiar e Silva
BVAS 929 HAMILTON - H Indisponível | Not available 315329
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Deep River uncovers the layers of history--both personal and regional--that have accumulated on a river-bottom farm in west-central Missouri. This land was part of a late frontier, passed over, then developed through the middle of the last century as the author's father and uncle cleared a portion of it and established their farm.

Hamilton traces the generations of Native Americans, frontiersmen, settlers, and farmers who lived on and alongside the bottomland over the past two centuries. It was a region fought over by Union militia and Confederate bushwhackers, as well as by their respective armies; an area that invited speculation and the establishment of several small towns, both before and after the Civil War; land on which the Missouri Indians made their long last stand, less as a military force than as a settlement and civilization; land that attracted French explorers, the first Europeans to encounter the Missouris and their relatives, the Ioways, Otoes, and Osage, a century before Lewis and Clark. It is land with a long history of occupation and use, extending millennia before the Missouris. Most recently it was briefly and intensively receptive to farming before being restored in large part as state-managed wetlands.

Deep River is composed of four sections, each exploring aspects of the farm and its neighborhood. While the family story remains central to each, slavery and the Civil War in the nineteenth century and Native American history in the centuries before that become major themes as well. The resulting portrait is both personal memoir and informal history, brought up from layers of time, the compound of which forms an emblematic American story.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Laces, an Introduction (p. 1)
  • I. In the Bottoms (p. 5)
  • George
  • Grand Pass
  • Sale
  • Underlined Passages in My Father's Walden
  • The Bottoms
  • Clearing
  • To Clear
  • Winter Onions
  • Springs
  • II. Hanging Mart Rider (p. 38)
  • Dark Cloud
  • Coon Hollow
  • Frank James
  • Dr. John Benson
  • A Man
  • Judge Lynch
  • Mart Rider
  • "Why, Mrs. Hamilton!"
  • The Hatchet
  • III. The Missouri Princess and Petit Missouri (p. 85)
  • One Boy
  • Possum
  • People of the Canoe
  • Bourgmont
  • Massacre
  • Our Discipline
  • Jim Duncan Wading
  • The Miamis
  • The Old Fort
  • IV. Mother, Father, Farm (p. 120)
  • The Miami Mastodon
  • Ice
  • Chicago Women
  • The Bridge
  • Mother and Her Boats
  • Chartreuse Sails
  • River Horse
  • Father
  • Farm
  • Deep River, a Conclusion (p. 161)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 163)
  • Bibliographical Appendix (p. 165)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Saline County occupies a corridor position in central Missouri. The Missouri River borders the county on the north and the Santa Fe Trail began just to the east. County territory has long been an avenue of movement into or across the region for Native Americans, Spanish explorers, French fur traders, government-sponsored explorers, and Anglo settlers. Hamilton (Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City) grew up on a river bottomland farm where he and his family collected the experiences and stories presented in this wonderful volume. Illustrating that there are no uninteresting places or landscapes, Hamilton weaves together in compelling fashion recollections of personal experience, family-collected oral histories, and historic events. Tacking back and forth across time and space, the narrative presents Saline County as a complex landscape created by residents responding to geographic circumstance. For example, Hamilton's father, observing a 1973 road construction project, found a mastodon kill site dated through carbon-14 testing at 35,000 years old, a story that ties to several others in the volume and illustrates the connectedness of place and people through time. No index, short bibliography, one vague map. Primarily of interest for academic and public libraries in Missouri, this book should be considered by libraries with collections supporting the study of rural, small-town America in the humanities and social sciences. K. B. Raitz University of Kentucky

Author notes provided by Syndetics

David Hamilton is Professor of English at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

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