Compare and contrast Abigail Adams' letter to her daughter with Jean de Crevecoeur's essay from "Letters from an American Farmer."

2 Answers | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In his Letters from an American Farmer, Michel Guillaume-Jean de Crevecoeur has nothing but praise for American and the beauty of the wilderness.  Of the colonies, he writes,

Here he [who comes to America] beholds fair cities, substantial villages, extensive fields, an immense country filled with decent houses, good roads, orchards, meadows, and bridges..."

Regarding the uncharted lands, Crevecoeur has nothing but praise in his romantic idealization of the wilderness.  For instance, he writes of how the effete vegetation of Europe finds new life in America, and he states that there is an abundance of timber and other natural resources.  To Crevecoeur, it is a larger and fuller life that the American can live.  A likely comparison to Thoreau is made with Crevecoeur who lives for years in the wilderness, ecstatic over its beauty.  He praises the idyllic life that can be lived in the new country of America.

While Abigail Adams's letter to her daughter shortly after she has arrived at the new White House in Washington, D.C., praises the scenic Potomac River and the countryside's beauty, it is clear that she is rather disappointed in the rustic state of the area and the White House itself. The place is not finished, the roads are impassable when wet, people are three or four miles away.  Her greatest complaint is that there are no bells to summon servants in such a large house, and no wood can be procured to warm the house.  There is coal available, but no grates:

but such a place as Georgetown appears,--why our Milton is beautiful. But no comparisons;--if they will put me up some bells, and let me have wood enough to keep fires, I design to be pleased. I could content myself almost anywhere three months; but surrounded with forest, can you believe that wood is not to be had, because people cannot be found to cut and cart it?....{Breisler] has had recourse to coals; but we cannot get grates made and set. We have indeed come into a new country.

Clearly, Abigail Adams's assessment of her new location is less than idyllic, but Crevcoeur finds nothing wrong with any aspect of America.

kathoway's profile pic

kathoway | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I'm not sure why someone who purports to be a teacher would do someone else's homework, which is clearly the purpose of the question.  Very disappointing.

We’ve answered 318,989 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question