Yankee Origins...

The White Man comes, pale as the dawn, with a load of thought, with a slumbering intelligence as a fire raked up, knowing well what he knows, not guessing but calculating; strong in community, yielding obedience to authority; of experienced race; of wonderful, wonderful common sense; dull but capable, slow but persevering, severe but just, of little humor but genuine; a laboring man despising game and sport; building a house that endures, a framed house. He buys the Indian's mocassins and baskets, the buys his hunting grounds, and at length forgets where he is buried, and plows up his bones. And here town records, old, tattered, time-worn, weather-stained chronicles, contain the Indian sachem's mark, perchance, an arrow or a beaver, and the few fatal words by which he deeded his hunting grounds away. He comes with a list of ancient Saxon, Norman and Celtic names, and strews them up and down this river... and this is New Angle-land, and these are the new West Saxons, whom the Red Men call, not Angle-ish, but Yengeese, and so at last they are known for Yankees.

Henry David Thoreau
A Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers
September, 1839

Posted by sullivan at November 20, 2004 09:02 AM
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