First published in 1782, Letters from an American Farmer is a series of letters by J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur centering around various topics of the time period, including the birth of American nationalism and aspects of the slave trade. It enjoyed mediocre success in the United States, but become immensely popular in Europe, and influenced an eclectic range of later works of both American and European literature.
Letters from an American Farmer is narrated by an American peasant, James, who is in correspondence with an English gentleman, writing letters about different aspects of his life in the British colonial America. It is written in an epistolary format, comprised entirely of letters without introspective narration. While the novel centers around letters, only James' letters are shown; none of the replies are displayed. Throughout the novel, James travels to various locations, writing about a variety of topics, making observations from candid and amusing, to sociological in nature.
The author, J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur, was praised for his use of letters to convey a fictional story. The book also received acclaim for its complex combining of fiction and nonfiction into a cohesive, engaging narrative.