By Harriet Martineau
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:September 2011
Original Publication Year:1838
Subjects: Early Republic and Antebellum History , Social and Population History
Harriet Martineau (1802–1876) was a British writer and scholar who can be described as one of the first British sociologists. She was one of the first social theorists to examine all aspects of a society, including social class, religion, national character and the status of women. After the death of her fiancé Martineau published articles on economics and taxation before embarking on a two year tour of the United States in 1834. She immersed herself in American society, visiting both Houses of Congress along with prisons, hospitals and literary and scientific institutions. These volumes contain a description of her travels through America. Written in the form of a travel book, Martineau's sharp powers of observation provide not only a vivid description of America but also insights into the construction of nineteenth century American society. Volume 1 contains her travels from New York to Washington D.C.