Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape
In this provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across a continent and time, Savoy explores how the country’s still unfolding history, and ideas of “race,” have marked her and the land. From twisted terrain within the San Andreas Fault zone to a South Carolina plantation, from national parks to burial grounds, from “Indian Territory” and the U.S.-Mexico Border to the U.S. capital, Trace grapples with a searing national history to reveal the often unvoiced presence of the past.
In distinctive and illuminating prose that is attentive to the rhythms of language and landscapes, she weaves together human stories of migration, silence, and displacement, as epic as the continent they survey, with uplifted mountains, braided streams, and eroded canyons. Gifted with this manifold vision, and graced by a scientific and lyrical diligence, she delves through fragmented histories -- natural, personal, cultural -- to find shadowy outlines of other stories of place in America.
"Every landscape is an accumulation," reads one epigraph. "Life must be lived amidst that which was made before." Courageously and masterfully, Lauret Savoy does so in this beautiful book: she lives there, making sense of this land and its troubled past, reconciling what it means to inhabit terrains of memory—and to be one.
Van Hise and Charles K. Leith admitted the impetus of research in The Geology of the Lake Superior Region, their seven-hundred-page monograph for the U.S. Geological Survey: “The great development of the mineral industry in this region has afforded the geologist unusual opportunity for study, as it has not only made the region more accessible but has justified larger expenditures for geologic study than would otherwise have been made.” Paths toward understanding the history and architecture of
moments earlier descended into undefined darkness then glowed in great blocky detail. As shadows receded a thin sliver in the far inner gorge caught the rising sun, glinting—the Colorado River. I’ll never know what that morning meant to my father when he took this detour on his homeward journey. Or to my mother. We traveled together but arrived with different beholding eyes. This was The Move. My parents were returning to a familiar and familial East. My home lay behind us on the sunset coast,
75 Bad River Band, Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, 62, 65 Bailyn, Bernard, 108 Baldwin, James The Fire Next Time, 45, 196 Banff National Park, 183 Baraboo (WI), 47 Basin and Range Province, 116 Basso, Keith, 81–82 Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache, 81–82, 200 Battle of Cowpens, 90, 91 Bayfield, Henry Wolsey, 64, 198 Bayfield Peninsula, 62 Big Sycamore Stands Alone (Record), 141 Big Sycamore Stands There. See Gashdla’á Cho O’áá (Big
the Cherokee Nation to more fluid social relations in Seminole society. Autonomous communities of Seminole “slaves” formed the earliest Black towns here. Freed people established more settlements after the war. Then came the 1889 and 1890s land runs. Thousands of African American homesteaders were among those who settled “unassigned” or “surplus” lands—what hadn’t been reserved for other removed tribal peoples including Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Apache. Many settlers came from the Deep
plains. Had they wagoned in on a day like that of my visit, the sky an open vault, the air scented by the previous night’s rain and a thick June greening, they must have imagined possibility and then begun to live it. I’d like to say the old homestead lay upstream, that they called it haven, that maybe they raised broodmares and grew the best greens for miles. I’d like to believe imagination could be sparked by familial memory. Or did any arrive in bondage decades earlier as slavery and