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Crèvecoeur's Eighteenth-Century Travels in Pennsylvania and New York

Percy G. Adams

Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crèvecouer, long regarded as a chief figure in American letters of the Revolutionary period, is remembered as the author of Letters from an American Farmer and the posthumous Sketches of Eighteenth Century of America, but his last and most ambitious work has been almost entirely neglected. Published in France as Le Voyage dans la haute Pensylvanie et dans d'état de New York, Crèvecouer's last book was never popular and has not heretofore appeared in English. Yet the Voyage has much to add to Crèvecouer's picture of eighteenth-century America, and to our own picture of the American Farmer as a man and writer. The Voyage, written after Crèvecouer's sojourn in France and his return to America as French consul, records a new phase both in American history and in the author's life.

Adams has arrived at a selection of extracts from Voyage which will be of interest to Crèvecouer's many admirers among students of American history and literature. The editor has translated, arranged, and annotated these selections to form a collection will be a fit companion for Crèvecouer's two volumes of English essays and will supplement the earlier books by recording Crèvecouer's final view of the American scene. In his introduction to this collection, Adams presents a thorough analysis of the content and significance of the Voyage and convincingly justifies his contention that, though the work contains much that is not worthy of translation or republication, the selection here published for the first time in English may be regarded as a significant addition to Crèvecouer's writings.

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Creating the British Atlantic

Essays on Transplantation, Adaptation, and Continuity

Jack P. Greene

Set mostly within an expansive British imperial and transatlantic framework, this new selection of writings from the renowned historian Jack P. Greene draws on themes he has been developing throughout his distinguished career. In these essays Greene explores the efforts to impose Old World institutions, identities, and values upon the New World societies being created during the colonization process. He shows how transplanted Old World components—political, legal, and social—were adapted to meet the demands of new, economically viable, expansive cultural hearths. Greene argues that these transplantations and adaptations were of fundamental importance in the formation and evolution of the new American republic and the society it represented.

The scope of this work allows Greene to consider in depth numerous subjects, including the dynamics of colonization, the development and character of provincial identities, the relationship between new settler societies in America and the emerging British Empire, and the role of cultural power in social and political formation.

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Creole Subjects in the Colonial Americas

Empires, Texts, Identities

Ralph Bauer

Creolization describes the cultural adaptations that occur when a community moves to a new geographic setting. Exploring the consciousness of peoples defined as "creoles" who moved from the Old World to the New World, this collection of eighteen original essays investigates the creolization of literary forms and genres in the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Creole Subjects in the Colonial Americas facilitates a cross-disciplinary, intrahemispheric, and Atlantic comparison of early settlers' colonialism and creole elites' relation to both indigenous peoples and imperial regimes. Contributors explore literatures written in Spanish, Portuguese, and English to identify creole responses to such concepts as communal identity, local patriotism, nationalism, and literary expression.

The essays take the reader from the first debates about cultural differences that underpinned European ideologies of conquest to the transposition of European literary tastes into New World cultural contexts, and from the natural science discourse concerning creolization to the literary manifestations of creole patriotism. The volume includes an addendum of etymological terms and critical bibliographic commentary.

Contributors:
Ralph Bauer, University of Maryland
Raquel Chang-Rodriguez, City University of New York
Lucia Helena Costigan, Ohio State University
Jim Egan, Brown University
Sandra M. Gustafson, University of Notre Dame
Carlos Jauregui, Vanderbilt University
Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel, University of Pennsylvania
Jose Antonio Mazzotti, Tufts University
Stephanie Merrim, Brown University
Susan Scott Parrish, University of Michigan
Luis Fernando Restrepo, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Jeffrey H. Richards, Old Dominion University
Kathleen Ross, New York University
David S. Shields, University of South Carolina
Teresa A. Toulouse, Tulane University
Lisa Voigt, University of Chicago
Jerry M. Williams, West Chester University



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Crossing the Sound

The Rise of Atlantic American Communities in Seventeenth-Century Eastern Long Island

Faren Siminoff

In seventeenth-century North America, communities on eastern Long Island were an integral part of the tumultuous and dynamic New England region and the larger Atlantic American world. They were created and modified by ideas and traditions that were inherent to life in Atlantic America and were not simply imported from Europe or established solely by settlers and imposed on native peoples.

In Crossing the Sound Faren R. Siminoff skillfully weaves new data with sophisticated theoretical analysis to demonstrate that the development of eastern Long Island was based more on complex interactions between settlers and native peoples than on clashes between the two groups. English and Dutch colonists did not merely transport traditional systems of land ownership, political organizations, and control of economic resources to the Northeast. Rather, both settlers and natives underwent a process of negotiation, resulting in a hybrid society that adapted and reworked new and old patterns of life, highlighting the lasting influence of native communities on the emerging American identity.

This compelling case study adds new layers to the history of the Atlantic world: it becomes a story without a dominant voice or community at its core, demonstrating that neither monolithic groups nor static interests prevailed in the region. Crossing the Sound offers a fresh interpretation of colonial relationships tracing social, cultural, and political exchanges between groups.

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Cultivating a Past

Essays on the History of Hadley, Massachusetts

edited by Marla R. Miller

In 1659, a group of Puritan dissenters made their way north from Hartford and Wethersfield, Connecticut, to a crook in the Connecticut River that cut through some of the most fertile land in New England. Three hundred and fifty years later, a group of distinguished scholars mark the founding of that town— Hadley, Massachusetts—with a book that explores a history as rich as that soil. Edited with an introduction by Marla R. Miller, Cultivating a Past brings together fifteen essays, some previously published and others new, that tell the story of Hadley from a variety of disciplinary vantage points. Archaeologists Elizabeth Chilton, Siobhan Hart, Christopher Donta, Edward Hood, and Rita Reinke investigate relations between Native and European communities, while historians Gregory Nobles, Alice Nash, and Pulitzer Prize winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich explore the social, cultural, and political past of this New England town. Musicologist Andrea Olmstead surveys the career of composer Roger Sessions, costume specialist Lynne Bassett interprets the wardrobes of the town’s seventeenth-century residents, Douglas Wilson investigates the connection between Hadley and the regicides William Goffe and Edward Whalley, and Martin Antonetti charts the course of a 1599 Bible alleged to have belonged Goffe. Taken together, the essays capture how men and women in this small community responded to the same challenges that have faced other New Englanders from the seventeenth century to the present. They also reveal how the town’s historical sense of itself evolved along the way, as stories of the alleged “Angel of Hadley,” of favorite sons Joseph Hooker and Clarence Hawkes, and of daughters Mary Webster and Elizabeth Porter Phelps contributed to a civic identity that celebrates strength of character.

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The Culture and Commerce of the Early American Novel

Reading the Atlantic World-System

Stephen Shapiro

Taking his cue from Philadelphia-born novelist Charles Brockden Brown’s Annals of Europe and America, which contends that America is shaped most noticeably by the international struggle between Great Britain and France for control of the world trade market, Stephen Shapiro charts the advent, decline, and reinvigoration of the early American novel. That the American novel “sprang so unexpectedly into published existence during the 1790s” may be a reflection of the beginning of the end of Franco-British supremacy and of the power of a middle class riding the crest of a new world economic system. Shapiro’s world-systems approach is a relatively new methodology for literary studies, but it brings two particularly useful features to the table. First, it refines the conceptual frameworks for analyzing cultural and social history, such as the rise in sentimentalism, in relation to a long-wave economic history of global commerce; second, it fosters a new model for a comparative American studies across time. Rather than relying on contiguous time, a world-systems approach might compare the cultural production of one region to another at the same location within the recurring cycle in an economic reconfiguration. Shapiro offers a way of thinking about the causes for the emergence of the American novel that suggests a fresh approach to the paradigms shaping American studies.

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Dangerous Economies

Status and Commerce in Imperial New York

By Serena R. Zabin

Before the American Revolution, the people who lived in British North America were not just colonists; they were also imperial subjects. To think of eighteenth-century New Yorkers as Britons rather than incipient Americans allows us fresh investigations into their world. How was the British Empire experienced by those who lived at its margins? How did the mundane affairs of ordinary New Yorkers affect the culture at the center of an enormous commercial empire?

Dangerous Economies is a history of New York culture and commerce in the first two thirds of the eighteenth century, when Britain was just beginning to catch up with its imperial rivals, France and Spain. In that sparsely populated city on the fringe of an empire, enslaved Africans rubbed elbows with white indentured servants while the elite strove to maintain ties with European genteel culture. The transience of the city's people, goods, and fortunes created a notably fluid society in which establishing one's own status or verifying another's was a challenge. New York's shifting imperial identity created new avenues for success but also made success harder to define and demonstrate socially.

Such a mobile urban milieu was the ideal breeding ground for crime and conspiracy, which became all too evident in 1741, when thirty slaves were executed and more than seventy other people were deported after being found guilty—on dubious evidence—of plotting a revolt. This sort of violent outburst was the unforeseen but unsurprising result of the seething culture that existed at the margins of the British Empire.

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Dark Work

The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island

Christy Clark-Pujara

Historians have written expansively about the slave economy and its vital role in early American economic life. In Dark Work, Christy Clark-Pujara tells the story of one state in particular whose role was outsized: Rhode Island. Like their northern neighbors, Rhode Islanders bought and sold slaves and supplies that sustained plantations throughout the Americas; however, nowhere else was this business so important. During the colonial period trade with West Indian planters provided Rhode Islanders with molasses, the key ingredient for their number one export: rum. More than 60 percent of all the slave ships that left North America left from Rhode Island. During the antebellum period Rhode Islanders were the leading producers of “negro cloth,” a coarse wool-cotton material made especially for enslaved blacks in the American South.
 
Clark-Pujara draws on the documents of the state, the business, organizational, and personal records of their enslavers, and the few first-hand accounts left by enslaved and free black Rhode Islanders to reconstruct their lived experiences. The business of slavery encouraged slaveholding, slowed emancipation and led to circumscribed black freedom. Enslaved and free black people pushed back against their bondage and the restrictions placed on their freedom. It is convenient, especially for northerners, to think of slavery as southern institution. The erasure or marginalization of the northern black experience and the centrality of the business of slavery to the northern economy allows for a dangerous fiction—that North has no history of racism to overcome. But we cannot afford such a delusion if we are to truly reconcile with our past.

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Darkness Falls on the Land of Light

Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England

Douglas L. Winiarski

This sweeping history of popular religion in eighteenth-century New England examines the experiences of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Drawing on an unprecedented quantity of letters, diaries, and testimonies, Douglas Winiarski recovers the pervasive and vigorous lay piety of the early eighteenth century. George Whitefield's preaching tour of 1740 called into question the fundamental assumptions of this thriving religious culture. Incited by Whitefield and fascinated by miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit--visions, bodily fits, and sudden conversions--countless New Englanders broke ranks with family, neighbors, and ministers who dismissed their religious experiences as delusive enthusiasm. These new converts, the progenitors of today's evangelical movement, bitterly assaulted the Congregational establishment.

The 1740s and 1750s were the dark night of the New England soul, as men and women groped toward a restructured religious order. Conflict transformed inclusive parishes into exclusive networks of combative spiritual seekers. Then as now, evangelicalism emboldened ordinary people to question traditional authorities. Their challenge shattered whole communities.

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David Franks

Colonial Merchant

Mark Abbott Stern

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