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Use the timeline above to explore the new nation and its emerging literary independence. Clicking the link under a writer’s picture will show you more about that writer, and buttons will help you explore the era. You can also scroll down the page to read about all the writers in this time period.

What defines the American Voice?

Finding a unique American literary voice took quite some time. Early writers were often heavily influenced by religion or a lack thereof. Several movements arose throughout the period until the Civil War, when American voices finally began to shine.

Click the buttons below for more information about different aspects of the new nation as it found literary independence.

Jump to Featured Writers:

Sojourner Truth | William ApessHarriet Ann Jacobs | Frederick DouglassHerman MelvilleWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson | Louisa May Alcott

Jump to Featured Writers:

Sojourner Truth | William ApessHarriet Ann Jacobs | Frederick DouglassHerman MelvilleWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson | Louisa May Alcott

Jump to Featured Writers:

Sojourner Truth | William ApessHarriet Ann Jacobs | Frederick DouglassHerman MelvilleWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson | Louisa May Alcott

Jump to Featured Writers:

Sojourner Truth | William ApessHarriet Ann Jacobs | Frederick DouglassHerman MelvilleWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson | Louisa May Alcott

Jump to Featured Writers:

Sojourner Truth | William ApessHarriet Ann Jacobs | Frederick DouglassHerman MelvilleWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson | Louisa May Alcott

Jump to Featured Writers:

Sojourner Truth | William ApessHarriet Ann Jacobs | Frederick DouglassHerman MelvilleWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson | Louisa May Alcott

Jump to Featured Writers:

Sojourner Truth | William ApessHarriet Ann Jacobs | Frederick DouglassHerman MelvilleWalt WhitmanEmily Dickinson | Louisa May Alcott