This article contributes to the history of settler colonial relations in early New England by revealing previously missed allusions in Thomas Morton's May Day poem. I uncover references to Captain Robert Gorges and the Council for New England that provide new information about the colonial history of Massachusetts from 1624 to 1627. I also demonstrate how Morton wrote his poem not only as a critique of Puritan colonial ambitions, but also as a defense of his own cavalier form of settler colonialism. In contrast to the typological and isolationist practices of the "moles" at New Plymouth, Morton encourages social and sexual relations with the Wampanoags in his May Day poem to promote an aristocratic and cavalier future for America. Morton poetically fashions himself a colonial Proteus, uniquely capable of adapting to the American landscape and husbanding the First Peoples in a way the Pilgrims never could.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 373-394
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.