Prehistoric Elephants in the Young Republic
October 8, 2006 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Peale’s Mastodon by Paul Semonin. "The skeleton preoccupied American patriots for another reason less scientific in nature–one which helps to explain why its bones were eagerly sought after by the Founding Fathers during and after the Revolutionary War. For many Americans, the great beast had become a symbol of the new nation’s own conquering spirit–an emblem of overwhelming power in a psychologically insecure society." An interesting article about Americans trying to understand mammoths, from Common-Place, the web magazine of early American history. Semion wrote a book on the topic, American Monster.
posted by LarryC (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh yeah, this one's a keeper. Thanks, LarryC.
posted by mediareport at 4:40 PM on October 8, 2006

Wow, that Common Place link is great! The "Early Cities of the Americas" special issue is worth a front page post of its own.
posted by mediareport at 5:03 PM on October 8, 2006

There's a great song called "Seven Scenes from the Painting 'The Exhuming of the First American Mastodon' by C.W. Peale" which is about exactly what you'd guess.
posted by kenko at 11:33 PM on October 9, 2006

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