In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, English explorers and settlers disagreed about the importance of converting their North American holdings into precious metals. Whereas Martin Frobisher and John Winthrop Jr. regarded alchemy as a pathway to prosperity, Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor regarded rumors of mineral wealth in the New World as red herrings distracting English colonists from their true purpose and motives. The poems of Bradstreet and Taylor relocate the wealth of the Americas from gold and silver mines to household economies and familial relations. They promote huswifery and its domestic products as the primary purpose of English colonization, celebrating kitchen alchemy as an alternative to the extraction and refinement of precious metals in colonial mining operations. Lauding the metamorphic potential of women's work, their poetics of domesticity invites readers to reconsider the priorities of American colonization by finding wealth in the household goods and relational wealth of kitchen hearths rather than in the gold sought by Frobisher, Winthrop, and others.


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pp. 1-23
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