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Word Count: 1,138
The American Identity could be considered and oxymoron in and of itself From the very inception of explorers to the New Land to American culture today Americans still dont have a firm grasp of whom they really are In any event I will attempt to trace the evolution of the American identity using time honored literary figures such as Columbus de Vaca Smith Rowlandson and others Sent on a conquest to find new trade routes Christopher Columbus pummeled into a land America that signaled the birthing of a new culture In Columbus Journal he describes the Native Americans response They signified their admiration and reverence of the strangers by touching them kissing their hands and feet and making signs of wonder They imagined them come from heaven and signified as much to them They were feasted with such food as the natives had to offer 113 As you can imagine this awe and wonder presented to one of the first Americans inflated egos and impressed the idea that the Native Americans were inherently beneath them However all newcomers were not entrenched with admiration as is shown in Cabeza de Vacas travels De Vaca and his men were not shown the kindness Columbus enjoyed alternately they were killed and de Vaca himself taken captive In the excerpt In view of the poverty of the land the unfavorable accounts of the population and of everything else we heard the Indians making continual war upon us wounding our people and horses at the places where they went to drink shooting from the lakes with such safety to themselves that we could not retaliate killing a lord of Tescuco named Don Pedro whom the commissary brought with him we determined to leave that place and go in quest of the sea and the town of Aute
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