Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Illustrations

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pp. vi-vi

Contributors

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pp. vi-x

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Introduction

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pp. 3-10

American literature originates, according to long-standing tradition, in the narratives of explorers like CaptainJohn Smith of Virginia and settlers like Governor William Bradford of Massachusetts, men who sought in the New World the fulfillment of Europe's timeless dream of a new beginning...

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A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

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pp. 11-66

At sunrise on February 10,1676, a band ofIndians descended "with great numbers" on the English frontier settlement of Lancaster, Massachusetts. As Mary Rowlandson-the wife of Lancaster's minister and author of the first narrative of Indian captivity-describes it, the attack...

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The Journal of Madam Knight

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pp. 67-116

When Sarah Kemble Knight set forth from her Moon Street home in Boston on the afternoon of October 2,1704, to begin an arduous journey to New Haven, her act made a very clear statement. She was declaring a self-confidence and an indifference to convention that was, if not unique, certainly noteworthy. The road from Boston to New Haven, though increasingly...

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Some Account of the Fore Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge

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pp. 117-180

Though never entirely unknown to the relatively small audience who have read Quaker autobiography, Elizabeth Ashbridge now makes her appearance to a generation of readers prepared as never before to respond to the significance of her plainspoken yet astutely imagined...

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The Travel Diary of Elizabeth House Trist: Philadelphia to Natchez, 1783–84

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pp. 181-231

In 1774 twenty-three-year-old Elizabeth House, daughter of Philadelphia Quakers, married a British officer stationed in the colonies, Nicholas Trist of County Devon, England. Elizabeth's widowed mother ran one of Philadelphia's finest boardinghouses, and the couple had met when Nicholas Trist's regiment was billeted in that city...