Page 30

the 142-foor barquentine Capitana playthan diggi ng to get at the facts of work, commerce, and capital, as well as raking ing the role of Santa Maria . This kind of into acco unt how people live, talk, ear, methodology used to research and write history was unheard of at rhe rime and drink and comport themselves. Buoyed by rhe success of The Mariopened a whole new chap ter in American historiography. time History ofMassachusetts, Morison acAble to read Larin, Spanish, Italcepted a three-year professo rship at Oxian, and French sources in their original ford University from 1922-25. Next cam e forms and assid uous in seeking them The Oxford History of the United States in our, Morison estab lished the purposes, 1927. In 1930, the epochal Growth ofthe events, and outcomes of Co lumbus's American Republic followed. Written in partnership with Henry Steele Commagvoyages in terms that all the rumble over the quintecentenary of the 1492 voyage er, this work rook up the development of rhe ideas that shaped America. Here yo u did nothing to shake. He recognized and find great issues treated in a seam anlike celebrated native Taino culture. H e revealed rhe de pths in the interactions of manner within an oceanic perspective. The British parliamentarian Edm und both the local caciques with Columbus Burke is cited extensively in the Ameriand the co nquistador Spanish with the indigenous population that had escaped can Republic because Morison believed he stood for the liberal values which gave prior histo rians and escapes too many birth to American independence. These today. While clearly an admirer of Covalues inspired the parliamentary forces, lumbus's feats, Morison also recognized which finally prevailed in granting American independence, rath- and acknowledged the seeds of evil in some of Columbus's ideas. er than opt to continue a wrongheaded war to a grisly end. In His knowledge of ship construction and his skills as a marihis discussion of the framing of the US Constitution, Morison ner, with thousands of sea miles in his wake, made his assessment repeatedly affirmed Benjamin Franklin's centrist, moderate views, of the ships and navigational techniques of the day-notably Codevoted to the welfare of rhe common man. He explained how lumbus's highly accurate dead reckoning-that much more valuslavery was tolerated to avoid splitting the republic into two sepa- able. Above all, his realistic grasp of day-to-day life afloat in these rate American nations, which would (above) Morison chartered the 142-ft. barquentine Capirana to sail in Columbus's tracks have ended all hope of achieving the across the Atlantic as part of the Harvard Columbus Expedition; continental nation that the young (below) Morison, in the foreground on the left, and his crew onboard Capitana. republic ultimately became. Of Samuel Adams and others who withdrew their support from the Consti tution, we learn from Morison that they "abstained largely from wou nded vani ty, since some of their pet projects were not adopted." No punches pulled there, certainly, or in rhe characterization of George Mason's abstention because he "looked down his nose at George Washington as an upstart surveyor." A 300-year history of Harvard University fo llowed on this great work, and, in celebration of its completio n, Morison went to sea. Seeking to gain a more intimate knowledge of Columb us's fo ur voyages across the Atlantic, Morison decided he could only accomplish this perspective by sailing in Columbus's track. The Harvard Columbus Expedition got underway with Morison's own Mary Otis serving as Nina and

28

SEA HISTOR~Y 113 , WINTER 2005-2006

Sea History 113 - Winter 2005-2006  

10 Dangerous Voyage, by Roger Tilton • 16A French Spoliation Case: Not-Quite Justice after Never-Was War, by Jock Yellott • 26 Samuel Elio...

Sea History 113 - Winter 2005-2006  

10 Dangerous Voyage, by Roger Tilton • 16A French Spoliation Case: Not-Quite Justice after Never-Was War, by Jock Yellott • 26 Samuel Elio...