Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
Home About Unit Index Archive Book Club Site Search
3. Utopian Promise   

3. Gothic Undercurrents

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities


This timeline places literary publications (in black) in their historical contexts (in red).

1790s - Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland (1798)

1800s United States purchases Louisiana Territory from France (1803)
Foreign slave trade outlawed (1808)

1810s - Washington Irving, "Rip Van Winkle" (1819)
Second war against England (1812-14)

1820s - Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820)
Second Great Awakening, a Christian revivalist movement, spreads across the country (1820s-30s)
Monroe Doctrine warns European powers against future colonization in the Americas (1823)
First U.S. railroad (1827)
Andrew Jackson is president; the "Jacksonian impulse" urges westward expansion among whites (1829-37)

1830s - Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown" (1835)
- Edgar Allan Poe, "Ligeia" (1838)
Economic depression results in joblessness for one-third of labor force (1837)

1840s - Henry Ward Beecher, "The Strange Woman" (1843)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Rappaccini's Daughter" (1844)
Samuel Morse invents telegraph (1844)
United States annexes Texas (1845)
Mexican War; Southwest is ceded to the United States (1846-48)
California Gold Rush (1848-49)

1850s - Herman Melville, "Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1850), Moby-Dick (1851)
Fugitive Slave Act requires free states to return escaped slaves to slaveholders (1850)
Dred Scott decision denies citizenship to African Americans (1857)

1860s - Emily Dickinson, 258 [There's a certain Slant of light] (1861), 315 [He fumbles at your Soul], 465 [I heard a Fly buzz--when I died--] (1862), 1129 [Tell all the Truth but tell it slant--] (1868)
Civil War (1861-65)
First transcontinental railroad (1869)

1870s Thomas Edison invents electric lightbulb (1879)

1890s - Ambrose Bierce, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" (1890)
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892)
Wounded Knee ends Native American armed resistance to U.S. government (1890)

The Africans of the Slave Bark Wildfire
[2603] Harper's Weekly, The Africans of the Slave Bark "Wildfire"--The Slave Deck of the Bark "Wildfire," Brought in to Key West on April, 30, 1860--African Men Crowded onto the Lower Deck; African Women Crowded on an Upper Deck (1860),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-41678].

Whale beneath the Sea
[2232] Rockwell Kent, Whale beneath the Sea (1930),
courtesy of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum.

Carter's Little Liver Pills
[7249] Anonymous, Carter's Little Liver Pills (c.1860),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Samuel Rosenberg Collection [LC-USZ62-75898].

Slideshow Tool
This tool builds multimedia presentations for classrooms or assignments. Go

An online collection of 3000 artifacts for classroom use. Go

Download PDF
Download the Instructor Guide PDF for this Unit. Go


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy