An emigrant French aristocrat-turned-farmer, Jean de Crèvecoeur was granted New York citizenship in 1765 and became a landowner in Orange County. There, he wrote about his farming experiences and interpreted the nation's development in a series of charming and keenly observant essay-length letters about life in the Early Republic.
A Baedeker of American culture for Old World readers, the book painted a vivid portrait of the young country, not only detailing seafaring life in New England and plantation culture in the South, but also providing incisive vignettes of the hardships of frontier living and the perilous unrest that existed between fanatical patriots and back-country loyalists. For many Europeans, his essays offered first major impressions of American landscapes, people, institutions, and the problems that stood in the way of making one nation out of diverse former colonies.
One of the best-known early accounts of life in eighteenth-century America, Letters from an American Farmer is essential reading for students of colonial history and a must-have for Americana enthusiasts.