Tracing historic events in the early westward movement, 'The First West - Writing from the American Frontier 1776-1860' brings together a unique and extensive range of writers and texts. Many of the texts produced in and about this "first West" have not been reprinted until now. The book's selections include government documents and treaties, land-promotion schemes, white depictions of natives, native accounts of whites, easterners describing westerners, westerners describing easterners, and literary texts. Several selections concern contact and conquest, while others focus on community building in the wake of westward-moving white settlement. The volume includes literary and non-literary writing from such well-known figures as Thomas Jefferson, William Bartram, Margaret Fuller, Black Hawk, Caroline Kirkland, Thomas Bangs Thorpe, and Abraham Lincoln. It also features writing from lesser-known individuals including William Warren, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Rebecca Burlend, Daniel Drake, Eliza Farnham, and Gideon Lincecum. Demonstrating a strikingly vital interracial, interregional, and intercultural dialogue, The First West illustrates the continuing diversification of American cultural history. An exceptional text for courses in American literature and history, it challenges students' ideas about the American frontier, the West, and the processes of contact, settlement, community, and class.