An American Farmer
[J. Hector St. John] (1735-1813)
Volume 1 of holograph
Gift of the Cafritz Foundation, 1986
In his 1782 literary classic Letters from an American Farmer, Crèvecoeur
gave literary expression to an emerging American national identity
and the attractions of the pastoral and agricultural landscape.
He portrayed the American farmer and Indian as pastoral ideals who
had escaped the corruption of civilization. Jefferson adopted this
notion of naive primitivism, which elevated the Indian to "noble
savage" but failed to seriously consider tribal order and Native
American culture when formulating policies and theories concerning
Native Americans. Crèvecouer's manuscript contains numerous essays
not found in the 1782 edition.