Tender the River captures in verse the history and legacy of the Merrimack River Valley, from the Pennacook, Wamesit, Algonquin, and other indigenous tribes who settled there first, to the European settlers who came with guns and their god to supplant them, to being the birthplace of America’s industrial revolution and first labor movements, to becoming a center of continued immigration, of entrenched nativism, and even multicultural celebration. The Merrimack River begins with the confluence of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee rivers spilling from the White Mountains in New Hampshire, then travels down through mill towns like Manchester, Lowell, and Haverhill to finally spit out violently into the Atlantic in the old port (now posh) town of Newburyport. In its journey between those points and as well across the centuries, the Merrimack River Valley has been America in microcosm, many of the nation’s democratic successes and demagogic sins being seeded there.
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Published by Texas Review Press