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The Majestic Nature of the North
Thomas Kelah Wharton’s Journeys in Antebellum America through the Hudson River Valley and New England
The Majestic Nature of the North
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Steven A. Walton - Editor
Michael J. Armstrong - Editor
Price: $90.00 
Hardcover - 320 pages
Release Date: March 2019
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7327-7


forthcoming

Summary

The illustrated nineteenth-century travel diaries of artist, educator, and architect Thomas Kelah Wharton, documenting his trips in the lower Hudson River Valley and New Orleans to Boston and back.

Thomas Kelah Wharton’s travel diaries provide an intimate glimpse into the society of early nineteenth-century America. As a young immigrant from England, the eldest son of a wealthy merchant who fell on hard times, Wharton (1814–1862) navigated the complex world of New York and the Hudson River Valley in the early 1830s and his diaries reveal a vibrant cultural and social scene. Wharton’s details of encounters with the Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole; the author Washington Irving; Sylvanus Thayer, superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point; the Greek Revival architect Martin E. Thompson, and many others who enliven his story. Skipping two decades to1853, Wharton—now an established professional living in New Orleans—brought his young family from New Orleans to Boston. The trip to and from Boston illuminates the joys and hazards of travelling aboard steamboats and trains, and touches on the tensions growing between North and South. The diary entries show an inquisitive, observant mind at work. A gifted pen-and-ink artist, the inclusion of Wharton’s faithful drawings provide rare and wonderful views of an America from a very unique and personal perspective.

“This book is unique. Wharton is not a major figure in art, architecture, or education, although he did all three. However, Wharton does give us a view from a potential ‘social-riser’ during a period when the US was full of opportunities. His interactions in the nineteenth-century New York art world and, twenty years later, life in New Orleans on the eve of the Civil War, unveil the role of social networks in both regions.” — Thomas S. Wermuth, author of Rip Van Winkle’s Neighbors: The Transformation of Rural Society in the Hudson River Valley, 1720–1850

Steven A. Walton is Associate Professor of History at Michigan Technological University. He is the author and editor of several books, including Wind & Water in the Middle Ages: Fluid Technologies from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Michael J. Armstrong is retired Senior Vice President of Operations for U.S. News & World Report and former President of the Chapel Restoration, Wharton’s first architectural commission, in Cold Spring, New York.


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4-7327-7/4-7328-4(AL/JMBG/FK)




 
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