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A Scholarly Edition
First published in 1624, Edward Winslow’s Good News from New England chronicles the early experience of the Plimoth colonists, or Pilgrims, in the New World. For several years Winslow acted as the Pilgrims’ primary negotiator with New England Algonquians, including the Wampanoag, Massachusett, and Narragansett Indians. During this period he was credited with having cured the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit, one of the colonists’ most valuable allies, of an apparently life-threatening illness, and he also served as the Pilgrims’ chief agent in England. It was in the context of all of these roles that Winslow wrote Good News in an attempt to convince supporters in England that the colonists had established friendly relations with Native groups and, as a result, gained access to trade goods. Although clearly a work of diplomacy, masking as it did incidents of brutal violence against Indians as well as evidence of mutual mistrust, the work nevertheless offers, according to Kelly Wisecup, a more complicated and nuanced representation of the Pilgrims’ first years in New England and of their relationship with Native Americans than other primary documents of the period. In this scholarly edition, Wisecup supplements Good News with an introduction, additional primary texts, and annotations to bring to light multiple perspectives, including those of the first European travelers to the area, Native captives who traveled to London and shaped Algonquian responses to colonists, the survivors of epidemics that struck New England between 1616 and 1619, and the witnesses of the colonists’ attack on the Massachusetts.
The Origins of American Political Practice in Colonial Philadelphia
During the colonial era, ordinary Philadelphians played an unusually active role in political life. Because the city lacked a strong central government, private individuals working in civic associations of their own making shouldered broad responsibility for education, poverty relief, church governance, fire protection, and even taxation and military defense. These organizations dramatically expanded the opportunities for white men—rich and poor alike—to shape policies that immediately affected their communities and their own lives. In Governed by a Spirit of Opposition, Jessica Choppin Roney explains how allowing people from all walks of life to participate in political activities amplified citizen access and democratic governance. Merchants, shopkeepers, carpenters, brewers, shoemakers, and silversmiths served as churchwardens, street commissioners, constables, and Overseers of the Poor. They volunteered to fight fires, organized relief for the needy, contributed money toward the care of the sick, took up arms in defense of the community, raised capital for local lending, and even interjected themselves in Indian diplomacy. Ultimately, Roney suggests, popular participation in charity, schools, the militia, and informal banks empowered people in this critically important colonial city to overthrow the existing government in 1776 and re-envision the parameters of democratic participation. Governed by a Spirit of Opposition argues that the American Revolution did not occasion the birth of commonplace political activity or of an American culture of voluntary association. Rather, the Revolution built upon a long history of civic engagement and a complicated relationship between the practice of majority-rule and exclusionary policy-making on the part of appointed and self-selected constituencies.
Documents on the Revival of Religion, 1740-1745
Most twentieth-century Americans fail to appreciate the power of Christian conversion that characterized the eighteenth-century revivals, especially the Great Awakening of the 1740s. The common disdain in this secular age for impassioned religious emotion and language is merely symptomatic of the shift in values that has shunted revivals to the sidelines.
The very magnitude of the previous revivals is one indication of their importance. Between 1740 and 1745 literally thousands were converted. From New England to the southern colonies, people of all ages and all ranks of society underwent the New Birth. Virtually every New England congregation was touched. It is safe to say that most of the colonists in the 1740s, if not converted themselves, knew someone who was, or at least heard revival preaching.
The Awakening was a critical event in the intellectual and ecclesiastical life of the colonies. The colonists' view of the world placed much importance on conversion. Particularly, Calvinist theology viewed the bestowal of divine grace as the most crucial occurrence in human life. Besides assuring admission to God's presence in the hereafter, divine grace prepared a person for a fullness of life on earth. In the 1740s the colonists, in overwhelming numbers, laid claim to the divine power which their theology offered them. Many experienced the moral transformatoin as promised. In the Awakening the clergy's pleas of half a century came to dramatic fulfillment.
Not everyone agreed that God was working in the Awakening. Many believed preachers to be demagogues, stirring up animal spirits. The revival was looked on as an emotional orgy that needlessly disturbed the churches and frustrated the true work of God. But from 1740 to 1745 no other subject received more attention in books and pamphlets.
Through the stirring rhetoric of the sermons, theological treatises, and correspondence presented in this collection, readers can vicariously participate in the ecstasy as well as in the rage generated by America's first national revival.
Crime, Transportation, and the Servitude of Female Convicts, 1718-1783
Translation and the Language of Community in Early Pennsylvania
In early Pennsylvania, translation served as a utopian tool creating harmony across linguistic, religious, and ethnic differences. Patrick Erben challenges the long-standing historical myth--first promulgated by Benjamin Franklin--that language diversity posed a threat to communal coherence. He deftly traces the pansophist and Neoplatonist philosophies of European reformers that informed the radical English and German Protestants who founded the "holy experiment." Their belief in hidden yet persistent links between human language and the word of God impelled their vision of a common spiritual idiom. Translation became the search for underlying correspondences between diverse human expressions of the divine and served as a model for reconciliation and inclusiveness.
Drawing on German and English archival sources, Erben examines iconic translations that engendered community in colonial Pennsylvania, including William Penn's translingual promotional literature, Francis Daniel Pastorius's multilingual poetics, Ephrata's "angelic" singing and transcendent calligraphy, the Moravians' polyglot missions, and the common language of suffering for peace among Quakers, Pietists, and Mennonites. By revealing a mystical quest for unity, Erben presents a compelling counternarrative to monolingualism and Enlightenment empiricism in eighteenth-century America.
Roanoke's Forgotten Indians
Roanoke is part of the lore of early America, the colony that disappeared. Many Americans know of Sir Walter Ralegh's ill-fated expedition, but few know about the Algonquian peoples who were the island's inhabitants. The Head in Edward Nugent's Hand examines Ralegh's plan to create an English empire in the New World but also the attempts of native peoples to make sense of the newcomers who threatened to transform their world in frightening ways.
Beginning his narrative well before Ralegh's arrival, Michael Leroy Oberg looks closely at the Indians who first encountered the colonists. The English intruded into a well-established Native American world at Roanoke, led by Wingina, the weroance, or leader, of the Algonquian peoples on the island. Oberg also pays close attention to how the weroance and his people understood the arrival of the English: we watch as Wingina's brother first boards Ralegh's ship, and we listen in as Wingina receives the report of its arrival. Driving the narrative is the leader's ultimate fate: Wingina is decapitated by one of Ralegh's men in the summer of 1586.
When the story of Roanoke is recast in an effort to understand how and why an Algonquian weroance was murdered, and with what consequences, we arrive at a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of what happened during this, the dawn of English settlement in America.
A New Edition with an Introduction by Susan Scott Parrish
While in London in 1705, Robert Beverley wrote and published The History and Present State of Virginia, one of the earliest printed English-language histories about North America by an author born there. As a native-born American-- most famously claiming "I am an Indian"-- he provided English readers with the first thoroughgoing account of the province's past, natural history, Indians, and current politics and society. In this new edition, Susan Scott Parrish situates Beverley and his History in the context of the metropolitan-provincial political and cultural issues of his day and explores the many contradictions embedded in his narrative.
A fully annotated edition of a classic work detailing the cultures of five southeastern American Indian tribes during the Contact Period.
James Adair was an Englishman who lived and traded among the southeastern Indians for more than 30 years, from 1735 to 1768. During that time he covered the territory from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River. He encountered and lived among Indians, advised governors, spent time with settlers, and worked tirelessly for the expansion of British interests against the French and the Spanish. Adair's acceptance by the Creeks, Choctaws, Cherokees, and Chickasaws provided him the opportunity to record, compare, and analyze their cultures and traditions.
Adair's written work, first published in England in 1775, is considered one of the finest histories of the Native Americans. His observations provide one of the earliest and what many modern scholars regard as the best account of southeastern Indian cultures. This edition adheres to current standards of literary editing, following the original closely, and provides fully annotated and indexed critical apparatus.
A Lost Patrol of the French and Indian War
In September 1756, fifty American soldiers set off on a routine reconnaissance near Lake George, determined to safeguard the upper reaches of the New York colony. Caught in a devastating ambush by French and native warriors, only a handful of colonials made it back alive. Toward the end of the French and Indian War, another group of survivors, long feared dead, returned home, having endured years of grim captivity among the native and French inhabitants of Canada. Pieced together from archival records, period correspondence, and official reports, Hodges’ Scout relates the riveting tale of young colonists who were tragically caught up in a war they barely understood. Len Travers brings history to life by describing the variety of motives that led men to enlist in the campaign and the methods and means they used to do battle. He also reveals what the soldiers wore, the illnesses they experienced, the terror and confusion of combat, and the bitter hardships of captivity in alien lands. His remarkable research brings human experiences alive, giving us a rare, full-color view of the French and Indian War—the first true world war.
German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America, 1717-1775
In 1700, some 250,000 white and black inhabitants populated the thirteen American colonies, with the vast majority of whites either born in England or descended from English immigrants. By 1776, the non-Native American population had increased tenfold, and non-English Europeans and Africans dominated new immigration. Of all the European immigrant groups, the Germans may have been the largest.
Aaron Spencer Fogleman has written the first comprehensive history of this eighteenth-century German settlement of North America. Utilizing a vast body of published and archival sources, many of them never before made accessible outside of Germany, Fogleman emphasizes the importance of German immigration to colonial America, the European context of the Germans' emigration, and the importance of networks to their success in America