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JONATHAN CARVER (c. 1725-1780)

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Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 437 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JONATHAN CARVER (c. 1725-1780), American traveller, was born probably in Canterbury, Connecticut. The date usually given for his birth, 1932, is now considered too late, since he was apparently married in 1746. In early life he followed the trade of a shoemaker and subsequently served with the provincial forces in the French and Indian wars. According to his " Journal " he conceived the idea, after the peace of 1763, of exploring Great Britain's newly acquired territory in the north-west. He is said to have set out in 1766, journeyed west-ward by way of the Straits of Mackinac and the Fox and Wisconsin rivers to the Mississippi, viewed the Falls of St Anthony, lived for some time among the Indians, and received from them a grant of Roo sq. m. of territory between the Mississippi and St Croix rivers. Returning east in 1768 by way of the north shore of Lake Superior he proceeded in 1769 to England, where he presented a letter of introduction to Benjamin Franklin, and made vain efforts to interest the board of trade in his investigations. In 1778 there was published in London what purported to be his own narrative of his explorations under the title of Travels through the Interior Parts of North America in the Years 1766, 1767 and 2768. It had an immediate success, was translated into French, German and Dutch, and was long generally accepted as a truthful narrative of his travels and observations, and as one of the highest authorities on the manners, customs and language of the Indians of the northern Mississippi valley. Carver died in London on the 31st of January 1780, having married a second time in England although his first wife was still living in America. Soon after his death a new edition of the Travels was brought out by the well-known Quaker physician and author, Dr John Coakley Lettsom (1744-1815), who " edited " the work and furnished a biographical introduction. Some doubt seems to have been early entertained as to the real authorship of the
End of Article: JONATHAN CARVER (c. 1725-1780)
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