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Gray, Edward G, The Making of John Ledyard: Empire and Ambition in the Life of an Early American Traveler (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007).

During the course of his short but extraordinary life, John Ledyard (1751–1789) came in contact with some of the most remarkable figures of his era: the British explorer Captain James Cook, American financier Robert Morris, Revolutionary naval commander John Paul Jones, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and others. Ledyard lived and traveled in remarkable places as well, journeying from the New England backcountry to Tahiti, Hawaii, the American Northwest coast, Alaska, and the Russian Far East. In this engaging biography, the historian Edward Gray offers not only a full account of Ledyards eventful life but also an illuminating view of the late eighteenth-century world in which he lived.

Ledyard was both a product of empire and an agent in its creation, Gray shows, and through this adventurers life it is possible to discern the many ways empire shaped the lives of nations, peoples, and individuals in the era of the American Revolution, the worlds first modern revolt against empire.


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filed under: studies of single traveller or author
 

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Studies in Travel Writing (journal)
Centre for Travel Writing Studies (Nottingham Trent University)

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