A New Gazetteer

A New Gazetteer
Alternative Title
Davenport's Gazetteer
In an ongoing effort to accurately document the ever-changing face of the United States, the creators and compilers of this book were tasked by Congress to provide an updated Gazetteer. This Gazetteer contains:

1 - A general description of North America
2 - A general description of the United States; the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States
3 - A description of all the states, counties, cities, towns, villages, forts, seas, harbors, capes, rivers, lakes, canals, railroads, mountains, &c. connected with North America
"Containing likewise many tables relating to the commerce, population, revenue, debt, and various institutions of the United States."

The Gazetteer also contains two pull-out maps.

In the first section, the author describes the inhabitants as follows: "The inhabitants may be divided into three classes - Whites, Negroes, and Indians. The whites are descendants of Europeans, who have migrated to America since its discovery. The negroes are mostly held in slavery, and are descendants of Africans forced from their native country." (pg 6) The distinguishment made by the author as to the honest origins of enslaved Africans and their descendants is comparatively tasteful for his time.

In describing indigenous inhabitants, the author begins by saying, "The Indians are the aborigines of the country, and generally savage," the word "savage" being repeated throughout along with other words such as "fierce" and "uncultivated." The author does gives them credit for being "hospitable and generous, faithful in their friendship," and describes in great detail various aspects of their government, customs, and society, but ethnocentric sentiments are felt throughout.

Written descriptions of indigenous cultures by Western authors have their costs and benefits. Although they often portray First Nations as "uncultured" or even sub-human, the act of documenting their cultures is vital to the preservation of a people whose culture, language, and customs are often related orally. Because of written descriptions such as the one found in this Gazetteer, indigenous people of today can learn more about their ancestors after years of their cultures being restricted by Western settlers albeit through a diluted lens.
Date Created
1833 AD
Bishop Davenport
George M'Dowell & Son
Geographical Coverage
Temporal Coverage
19th Century
Collecting Areas
History of Writing Collection
Bibliographic Citation
Davenport, Bishop, 1800-1855. A new gazetteer, or, Geographical dictionary of North America and the West Indies ... A description of all the states, counties, cities, towns ... connected with North America ... Compiled from the most recent and authentic sources by Bishop Davenport. Baltimore: George M'Dowell & Son, 1833.

Item sets