The World, the Flesh, and the Devil: A History of Colonial St. Louis (Hardback)
  • The World, the Flesh, and the Devil: A History of Colonial St. Louis (Hardback)
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The World, the Flesh, and the Devil: A History of Colonial St. Louis (Hardback)

(author)
£39.95
Hardback 376 Pages / Published: 30/07/2011
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As Anglo-American colonists along the Atlantic seaboard began to protest British rule in the 1760s, a new settlement was emerging many miles west. St. Louis, founded simply as a French trading post, was expanding into a diverse global village. Few communities in eighteenth-century North America had such a varied population: indigenous Americans, French traders and farmers, African and Indian slaves, British officials, and immigrant explorers interacted there under the weak guidance of the Spanish governors. As the city's significance as a hub of commerce grew, its populace became increasingly unpredictable, feuding over matters large and small and succumbing too often to the temptations of 'the world, the flesh, and the devil.' But British leaders and American Revolutionaries still sought to acquire the area, linking St. Louis to the era's international political and economic developments and placing this young community at the crossroads of empire. With its colonial period too often glossed over in histories of both early America and the city itself, St. Louis merits a new treatment. The first modern book devoted exclusively to the history of colonial St. Louis, The World, the Flesh, and the Devil illuminates how its people loved, fought, worshipped, and traded. Covering the years from the settlement's 1764 founding to its 1804 absorption into the young United States, this study reflects on the experiences of the village's many inhabitants. The World, the Flesh, and the Devil recounts important, neglected episodes in the early history of St. Louis in a narrative drawn from original documentary records. Chapters detail the official censure of the illicit union at the heart of St. Louis's founding family, the 1780 battle that nearly destroyed the village, Spanish efforts to manage commercial relations between Indian peoples and French traders, and the ways colonial St. Louisans tested authority and thwarted traditional norms. Patricia Cleary argues that St. Louis residents possessed a remarkable willingness to adapt and innovate, which enabled them to survive the many challenges they faced. The interior regions of the U.S. have been largely relegated to the margins of colonial American history, even though their early times were just as dynamic and significant as those that occurred back east. The World, the Flesh, and the Devil is an inclusive, wide-ranging, and overdue account of the Gateway city's earliest years, and this engaging book contributes to a comprehensive national history by revealing the untold stories of Upper Louisiana's capital.

Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826219138
Number of pages: 376
Weight: 456 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Patricia Cleary's book is by far the best and most complete history of early St. Louis. Cleary has an impressive command of all the relevant sources and has used them to produce a work that is at once sophisticated and highly readable. Her creativity and intelligence are evident throughout. This is a considerable contribution to the colonial historiography of mid-America."--Morris S. Arnold, author of Colonial Arkansas, 1686-1804


"Patricia Cleary's new book on early St. Louis is an excellent addition to the growing literature on the history of this fascinating place." - Jay Gitlin, Indiana Magazine of History

"A clear exposition of Spanish rule in colonial St. Louis and a fascinating look at the 'intimate frontiers' of a critical contact zone, Cleary's book provides a rich history of a place she characterizes as a 'global village ... tied to a vast territory as a center of commercial exchange' (p. 37)." - Jay Gitlin, Indiana Magazine of History

"Cleary's nuanced portrait captures the texture of everyday life with gripping tales about spoiled food, drunken soldiers, unhappy slaves, disgruntled priests, and philandering spouses. These previously untold stories enrich the narrative and provide a more complete picture of St. Louis's earliest years and its cultural diversity."--William E. Foley, author of The Genesis of Missouri: From Wilderness Outpost to Statehood and coauthor of The First Chouteaus: River Barons of Early St. Louis

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