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La Charrette Village

Interested in what Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone, Zebulon Pike, John Colter, President Jefferson and other notables thought about America's newly acquired westernmost village? Enjoy the west...before it became distorted by TV, movies and novels.

Location: Port Aransas, Texas, United States

A retired professor of Food and Animal Science at Texas A&M University, The University of Connecticut and Texas Tech. A cowboy in my previous life...never thought about being a professor or an author.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Americanization at La Charrette

The ethnic mixing at tiny La Charrette is as rich as any in our national 'melting pot'. The title link provides an insightful discussion of its fitful origin, and how the topic of miscegenation may be taught. In nearly all cases of mixed marriages on the earliest frontier, it appears as if necessity expressed itself as the mother of invention, i.e. ethnic mixing. Mostly male slaves were brought from Africa who bonded with Indian slave women. Likewise, most Europeans were males who also sought Native American women as partners. In reality, there was a shortage of women on the American frontier. This process is clearly reflected by the Creoles (Native American - Frenchmen) living at La Charrette when Lewis and Clark came by in 1804 as suggested in the commerative medallion (shown at left) commissioned by the Marthasville Lewis and Clark Celebration Committee in 2004.

Soon friends and families of Daniel and Rebecca Boone brought black slaves and then the Germans arrived. Boone's clan and the Germans tended to bring their women with them, yet they too soon intermarried outside of their cultural and ethnic circles. Americanization was now fully underway. Naomi Zack's book on Thinking About Race at http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M2b&product_isbn_issn=053453564X&discipline_number=5 provides a contemporary philosophical view of these matters in todays society. Dr. Zack is a philosophy professor at the University of Oregon. Today the concept of Americanization goes far beyond ethnic mixing as discussed at http://www.msu.edu/~millettf/americanization.html and on many other such Webpages offering other points of view. Is Americanization somehow linked to the emergence of American Dream?


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