John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
The larger Atlantic world connections of colonization are now transforming Puritan studies. Colonial historians are rediscovering, although in new ways, something that Perry Miller noted more than two generations ago: New England’s Puritans were continuing participants in a complex culture...
One: John Winthrop, Jr., and the European Alchemical Movement of the Early Seventeenth Century
Today most historians of science view alchemy as an important contributing factor in the development of modern chemistry and experimental science. While they are still working out the exact nature of alchemy’s contributions and the complex motivations leading early modern Europeans to pursue the...
Two: The Republic of Alchemy and the Pansophic Moment
On the November 1631 day that John Winthrop, Jr., stepped ashore to the welcoming salutes of cannon fire and musket volleys from the Bay Colony’s train-bands, he began a career of colonial leadership that would see him become one of the most important figures in all English America. Twenty-five years...
Three: Founding a New London
John Winthrop, Jr., returned to New England in 1643 filled with a sense of possibility. Inspired by the alchemical contacts he had made in England and in Europe, Winthrop had formed a pansophic vision of New England’s potential to serve as a vanguard in the restoration of knowledge and improvement of...
Four: Which Man’s Land?
Two conflicts that surfaced with explosive force in New England in 1637 reverberated with particular impact on Winthrop’s new plantation in the mid- 1640s. For more than a decade, the success or failure of the alchemical project hinged on how the issues raised by these earlier events would be resolved. The...
Five: Alchemical Vision Refined
Uncas’s sustained harassment during the initial years of settlement had a chilling effect on the launch of Winthrop’s alchemical plantation. Continuous unrest discouraged relocation to the new plantation. It also precluded the possibility of shipping ore from the mine at Tantiusque to the harbor town,...
Six: “God’s Secret”
Jonathan Brewster’s concern that news of his discovery of the “Elixer, fitt for Medicine, and healing of all maladyes,” would bring a throng of people to his remote woodland plantation was more than just a projection of imaginative desire. It reflected the reality he had seen in the demand for the alchemical...
Seven: The Magus as Mediator
Between 1647, when New England hanged its first witch, and the end of the Hartford witch-hunt in 1663, the Puritan elite prosecuted witches with zeal. Thirty-four persons were tried for witchcraft, and fifteen of them were convicted and hanged. Connecticut assumed leadership in Puritan witch-hunting...
Eight: “Matters of Present Utility”
By the time John Winthrop, Jr., became governor of Connecticut in 1657, he had achieved an international reputation as an alchemist. During his travels to Europe he had met and made a lasting impression on members of the European republic of alchemy, several of whom he had sustained correspondence...
Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 9 halftones, 1 map
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia
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