Crèvecœur was a native of France, who - at the age of 20 - immigrated to North America. After a short military career in Canada, Crèvecœur purchased land in …show more content…
Crèvecœur contends that while this peaceful mix of religious sects within a community does foster tranquility among citizens, he also says that this mix will eventually dilute religious identity, much like national identity. As generations of Americans pass, they will intermingle religiously, and religious zeal will soon disappear, and religious persecution with it. (611)
The letters following What is an American illustrate the slow breakdown of Crèvecœur’s agrarian utopia into a land marked by oppression and strife. His encounters with slavery leave him questioning the contradictory republican ideals of freedom of expression and right to self-determination with the existence of slavery.
The most shocking and afflicting experience Crèvecœur had was with a slave, in a cage suspended from a tree branch, left in the sun to die. His eyes had been pecked out by birds of prey, and whose condition is such that Crèvecœur would have shot him to end his pain, had he a bullet.
The gaping maw that lies between the wealth of the planters and the slaves interferes with Crèvecœur’s egalitarian examination of American agricultural society. In Letter IX. Description of Charles-Town; Thoughts