A Gathering of Voices: Literature of Early America

  • Honors English 11                                 UNIT I                                      Beginnings to 1800

    Below are the selections we may read in this unit.  If you follow the check-list for success for each

    selection, you will be well prepared for class discussion and assessments.

    Check List for Success:

    1. Read assignment by due date.  Careful reading may require more than one reading.  Each reading selection assignment automatically includes background information included with selection, including author information.


    2. Take notes while you are reading.  In addition to information you think is important, include any questions you have about what you have read.  These are good starting places for discussion.


    3. Learn new vocabulary and literary terms included with selection.  Knowledge of these words/terms will be crucial for future success with the unit.


    4. Take good notes during class discussion and lecture.  Accurate notes will not only help you study for quizzes and tests, they will help you make important, “big picture” connections to the unit.


    5. Complete all in-text and worksheet study guide questions, whether they are formally assigned or not.  Doing so will be your way of self-checking your reading comprehension.  Some formally assigned questions/worksheets will be collected.


    6. Keep in mind that quizzes will be given throughout the unit.  Some may be announced, others will be “pop”.  There will be a cumulative unit test and unit information will be on the semester final.


    Unit I               Introduction                                                                            p. xxxii—p.13

    PART I                   The Meeting of Cultures

    A.         Onondaga myth         “The Earth on the Turtle’s Back”                                 p. 20  

    B.         Modoc myth               “When Grizzlies Walked Upright”                              p. 24  

    C.         from The Navaho Origin Legend                                                                   p. 27  

    D.        from The Iroquis Constitution                                                                                    p. 42  

    E.         Susan Power                “Museum Indians”                                                       p. 34  

    F.         William Bradford        from Of Plymouth Plantation                                     p. 58


    PART II                  Puritan Influence

    G.        Anne Bradstreet           “To My Dear and Loving Husband”                           p. 76  

    H.        Edward Taylor                        “Huswifery”                                                                p. 82  

    I.          Jonathan Edwards       from “Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God”             p. 86  


    PART III                 A Nation is Born

    J.          Patrick Henry              Speech in the Virginia Convention                              p. 100

    K.         Benjamin Franklin       Speech in the Convention                                           p. 105

    L.         Thomas Jefferson        “The Declaration of Independence                            p. 112

    M.        Thomas Paine              from “The American Crisis”                                        p. 117

    N.        Phillis Wheatley           “To His Excellency, General Washington”                  p. 124

    O.        Benjamin Franklin       from The Autobiography                                            p. 136

    P.         Benjamin Franklin       from Poor Richards Almanack                                                p. 148

    Q.        William L. Andrews     Introduction to Olaudah Equiano                              p. 166

    R.         Olaudah Equiano        from The Interesting Narrative of

                                                                the Life of Olaudah Equiano                           p. 170

    S.          Abigail Adams             “Letter to Her Daughter from the New White

                                                    House”                                                                                    p. 182

    T.         John Adams                “Letter to His Wife”                                                    p. 181




    origin myths:


    oral tradition:


    political document:




    author’s purpose:


    Puritan plain style:












    heroic couplet:






    slave narrative: