Ida C. Craddock and Paul Royster , editor
Ida Craddock took her own life in October 1902, rather than face the 5-year federal prison term she seemed certain to receive following her conviction for distributing this work through the U.S. Mail. It is a short (24-page) pamphlet addressed to young women and men about to embark on a sexual relationship and an honest and frank effort to alleviate the ignorance which both sexes often brought to the marriage union. Craddock's discussion of the "sexual act" stressed that empathy and consideration for one's partner were the vital elements for an enduring marriage. Craddock neither shrank from the description of genital anatomy nor from giving prescriptions for men's proper role in giving sexual pleasure to the female. These things put her advice and her attitudes beyond the realm of what could be safely published in America at that time.
Craddock's advice for men included the following:
A woman’s orgasm is as important for her health as a man’s is for his. And the bridegroom who hastens through the act without giving the bride the necessary half-hour or hour to come to her own climax, is not only acting selfishly; he is also sowing the seeds of future ill-health and permanent invalidism in his wife.
And her counsel for women:
Also, to the bride, I would say: Bear in mind that it is part of your wifely duty to perform pelvic movements during the embrace, riding your husband’s organ gently, and, at times, passionately, with various movements, up and down, sideways, and with a semi-rotary movement, resembling the movement of the thread of a screw upon a screw. These movements will add very greatly to your own passion and your own pleasure, but they should not be dwelt on in thought for this purpose.
Ultimately for Craddock, however, it was in the union of man, woman, and Divine Spirit, that highest fulfillment was achieved, and the close of her little treatise includes a discussion of yoga, Christian holiness, controlled orgasm, and "the most perfect communion with the Spirit of God which is known to us earthly beings."
The persecution of Ida Craddock and the legal censoring of her teachings were spearheaded by Anthony Comstock of the League for the Suppression of Vice, even though she never advocated anything more than the monogamous intercourse of heterosexual couples within marriage. She quite consciously and purposefully violated the taboos that restricted women's lives and diminished their opportunities by speaking plainly and eloquently on subjects of intimate importance. She paid a heavy price for attempting to shed light and knowledge where ignorance and prejudice prevailed, and this little-known pamphlet is a monument to her dedication, generosity, perseverance.
Ida C. Craddock and Paul Royster , Editor
This remarkable and unconventional description of the Christians’ afterlife in the New Jerusalem is based on Ida Craddock’s strict interpretation of Bible passages (from Ezekiel, Elijah, Daniel, and John) that describe the heavenly city and on the words of Jesus relating to life after the Resurrection. She advances scriptural arguments to show that Heaven is a substantial place where the inhabitants with physical bodies eat, drink, work, defecate, have sexual relations, and go naked.
“The idea, all too prevalent among Christian people, that Heaven is ethereal, unsubstantial, and intangible, with little or no likeness to earth and the earthly life, has not the least support in the testimony of Scripture. On the contrary, every glimpse the Bible gives us of Heaven and of its inhabitants goes to prove that the life of angels and of the blessed dead is but the old earth-life writ large and purified, plus additional capacities of which we are at present ignorant. … There is not one word said about the world beyond the grave being a ghostly place, peopled with misty shadows. It is, apparently, a tangible, actual, material world, where people live healthy, physical lives; where they love and beget children as they do here, but only in accordance with righteous laws; where communion with God is far more intimate and ecstatic than here; and where, finally, temptation to wrong-doing must still be met and overcome, and the moral nature kept uppermost, if a man’s Heavenly citizenship is to be a permanent thing.”
Ida C. Craddock (1857–1902) was an American spiritualist, theosophist, freethinker, yogic practitioner, and sexologist. A Philadelphia Quaker by birth and training, she championed women’s rights and enlightened sexual relations within marriage, but she was repeatedly convicted of sending “obscene” literature through the mail. This work, published in 1897, has none of her sexual researches or advice, but illustrates her conventional—even fundamentalist—approach to Christianity.
Timoleon, Etc. was the last work by Herman Melville published during his life. It was printed by the Caxton Press in May 1891, in an edition of 25 copies.
This ebook edition presents a facsimile of the 1891 first edition, in PDF format. Ultimately, the Northwestern-Newberry edition will establish and make available the authoritative texts of these 42 poems. Until such time, the texts here are offered for the use of researchers, scholars, and readers.
Timoleon, Etc. includes the following 42 poems: Timoleon • After the Pleasure Party • The Night March • The Ravaged Villa • The Margrave’s Birthnight • Magian Wine • The Garden of Metrodorus • The New Zealot to the Sun • The Weaver • Lamia’s Song • In a Garret • Monody • Lone Founts • The Bench of Boors • The Enthusiast • Art • Buddha • C_____’s Lament • Shelley’s Vision • Fragments of A Lost Gnostic Poem of the 12th Century • The Marchioness of Brinvilliers • The Age of The Antonines • Herba Santa • FRUIT OF TRAVEL LONG AGO [section] • Venice • In a Bye Canal • Pisa’s Leaning Tower • In a Church of Padua • Milan Cathedral • Pausilippo • The Attic Landscape • The Same • The Parthenon • Greek Masonry • Greek Architecture • Off Cape Colonna • The Archipelago • Syra • Disinterment of the Hermes • The Apparition • In the Desert • The Great Pyramid • L‘ ENVOI [section] • The Return of the Sire de Nesle
John Marr and Other Sailors, Herman Melville’s penultimate published work, was printed by the De Vinne Press in 1888 in an edition of 25 copies.
Presented here is an electronic text-based facsimile of the 1888 first edition, in PDF format. All line and page breaks from the original have been preserved, as have spelling, punctuation, capitalization, drop capitals, page numbers, and signature identification numbers. Ultimately, the Northwestern-Newberry edition will establish and make available the authoritative texts of these poems and prose pieces. Until such time, the texts here are offered for the use of researchers, scholars, and readers, who are encouraged to download, save, print, copy from, and link to these files, but are requested not to publish or post the complete work elsewhere without prior permission. A facsimile of the 1924 Constable (Standard) edition in PDF format and the texts of both editions in ASCII format are also attached as supplemental “Related Files.” The Constable edition is of particular interest because it incorporates notes and alterations that Melville indicated in his and other copies of the first edition.
John Marr and Other Sailors includes the following poems and prose pieces:
The Æolian Harp
To the Master of the “Meteor”
The Man-of-War Hawk
The Good Craft “Snow-Bird”
The Tuft of Kelp
The Maldive Shark
To Ned Crossing the Tropics
The Enviable Isles
Thomas R. Gray and Nat Turner
Nat Turner (1800–1831) was known to his local “fellow servants” in Southampton County as “The Prophet.” On the evening of Sunday, August 21, 1831, he met six associates in the woods at Cabin Pond, and about 2:00 a.m. they began to enter local houses and kill the white inhabitants. Over the next 36 hours, they were joined by as many as 60 other slaves and free blacks, and they killed at least 10 men, 14 women, and 31 infants and children. By noon of Tuesday, August 23, the insurgents had been killed, captured, or dispersed by local militia. Nat Turner alone escaped—until October 30, when he was caught in the immediate vicinity, having used several hiding places over the previous 9½ weeks. The next day he was delivered to the county sheriff and lodged in the county jail in Jerusalem (now Courtland), Virginia. There, from November 1 through November 3, he was interviewed by Thomas Ruffin Gray, a 31-year-old lawyer who had previously represented several other defendants charged in the uprising. Gray had witnessed the aftermath of the killings, interviewed other participants, and survivors, and had supplied written accounts to various newspapers. He was familiar with the outlines of Nat Turner’s life and the plot, and he was aware of the intense interest and the commercial possibilities of its originator’s narrative.
In the Confessions, Nat Turner appears more a fanatic than a practical liberator. He tells of being spoken to by the Holy Spirit, of seeing visions and signs in the heavens—”that I was ordained for some great purpose in the hands of the Almighty.” In Gray’s view, “He is a complete fanatic, or plays his part most admirably.”
On November 5th, Nat Turner was tried and condemned to be executed; on November 9th, he was hanged. On November 10th, Gray registered his copyright for the Confessions, in Washington, D.C. Within a week his pamphlet appeared, and it is estimated over 50,000 copies were sold in the next few months.
This ebook edition is based on the first edition, published at Baltimore, MD, in November 1831.
Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, … (Boston, 1830)
David Walker and Paul Royster , editor & depositor
This is a digitally reconstructed edition of David Walker’s inflammatory and influential antislavery pamphlet. It provides an online, text-based and textually reliable copy that recreates the form and presentation of the 1830 edition. This version captures the look and feel of Walker’s original self-publication and represents the work as it might have appeared fresh from the printer.
Walker’s Appeal ... is a radical antislavery and antiracist manifesto by a free American of African ancestry. Its bold denunciation of European culture was unprecedented, unrestrained, and startling, viz.:
“The whites have always been an unjust, jealous, unmerciful, avaricious and blood-thirsty set of beings, always seeking after power and authority.”
Walker attacks the slave system and its rampant racism from the viewpoint of America’s allegiance to the idea of freedom; he quotes the Declaration of Independence at length, and strikes a recognizably jeremiad note:
“O Americans! Americans!! I call God—I call angels— I call men, to witness, that your destruction is at hand, and will be speedily consummated unless you REPENT.”
The Appeal’s targets include Southern slaveholders, their political protectors, Christian ministers who deny the lessons of the Gospel to Africans, and the efforts to resettle (i.e., deport) free and freed Negroes back to Africa. Two hundred years after enslaved Africans were first brought to North America, Walker’s Appeal announced a new phase of resistance and struggle. Considered too radical by many who sympathized with abolition, it casts a beam of insightful courage across the centuries since—speaking truth to power, and chiding modern Americans over how much of its indictment still obtains.
This very early (if not the first) account of Native American history and myth, written and published in English by an Indian, is valuable on that score alone. This online electronic edition (in pdf format) was transcribed from digital images of the 1828 edition in the Library of Congress. No attempt has been made to correct or regularize spelling and punctuation or to standardize the language of the original; some typographical errors have been corrected, and these are listed in the notes.
The history begins at the Creation, with the twin brothers Enigorio and Enigonhahetgea (the good spirit and evil spirit) and their creatures, the Eagwehoewe (the people) and their enemies the Ronnongwetowanca (giants). The earliest people were championed by the hero Donhtonha and the less heroic Yatatonwatea and plagued by the mischeivous Shotyeronsgwea. These early people were also threatened by (but survived) the Big Quisquiss or mammoth, the Big Elk, the great Emperor who resided at the Golden City to the south, the great horned serpent of Lake Ontario, and the blazing star that fell.
More recently, the creation was renewed and restored, and the Six Nations situated and intermittently rescued by the intervention of Tarenyawagon, the Holder of the Heavens.
The Five Nations were a confederacy, or Ggoneaseabneh (Long House), consisting of the 1. Teakawrehhogeh or Tehawrehogeh (Mohawks) 2. Newhawtehtahgo or Nehawretahgo (Oneidas) 3. Seuhnaukata or Seuhnowkahtah (Onondagas) 4. Shoneanawetowah (Cayugas) 5. Tehooneanyohent or Tehowneanyohent (Senecas) They were later joined by the Kautanohakau (Tuscaroras) to make the Six Nations.
Their human enemies at times included the Sohnourewah (Shawnees), Twakanhahors (Mississaugers), Ottauwahs, Squawkihows, Kanneastokaroneah (Eries), Ranatshaganha (Mohegans), Nay-Waunaukauraunah, and Keatahkiehroneah.
Their monstrous enemies included the Konearaunehneh (Flying Heads), the Lake Serpent, the Otneyarheh (Stonish Giants), the snake with the human head, the Oyalkquoher or Oyalquarkeror (the Big Bear), the great musqueto, Kaistowanea (the serpent with two heads), the great Lizard, and the witches introduced by the Skaunyatohatihawk or Nanticokes.
Important figures in the history include Atotarho I, first king of the Five Nations, his successors Atotarho II–XIII, the war chiefs Shorihowane and Thoyenogea, Sauwanoo, Queen Yagowanea, and the allied or friendly Dog Tail Nation and the Kauwetseka.
Cusick gives particular attention to geographical details, including the Kanawage or St. Lawrence River, Yenonanatche or Mohawk River, Shawnaytawty or Hudson River, Ouauweyoka or Mississippi River, Onyakarra or Niagara River, Kaunsehwatauyea or Susquehanna River, Kuskehsawkich or Oswego Falls, Jenneatowake or Canandaigua Lake, Kauhagwarahka or Lake Erie, Goyogoh or Cayuga Lake, Geatahgweah or Chatatique Lake, and the forts at Kedauyerkawau (now Tonewanta plains), Kauhanauka, and the village of Kaunehsuntahkeh.
Cusick’s Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations has been proposed as a possible source for or influence on the Book of Mormon; it has also been advanced as evidence for the existence of Bigfoot and the Lake Champlain monster.
David Cusick was born around 1780, probably on the Oneida reservation in upstate New York. He served in the War of 1812, during which his village was burned by the British. He was a physician and painter and student of Iroquois oral tradition. He published the first edition of Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations as a 28-page pamphlet at Lewiston, NY, in 1827. He re-issued it the following year with additional text and four of his own engravings, and that edition provides the text and illustrations reprinted here. Cusick is thought to have died around 1840. The Sketches was republished in 1848 (Lockport, NY) and again in 1892 (Fayetteville, NY).
The Life and Spiritual Sufferings of That Faithful Servant of Christ Jane Hoskens, a Public Preacher among the People Called Quakers
Jane Fenn Hoskens
In 1712, nineteen-year-old Jane Fenn left her home, family, and friends in London to obey an inner voice that said ——“Go to Pennsylvania! ” Arrived in Philadelphia, she was soon cast into debtors’ prison for refusing to sign an indenture dictated by the man who had arranged her passage. Redeemed by a group of Quakers from Plymouth County who wished to employ her as a schoolteacher, she spent three years in their community and began to absorb their teachings and their ways.
Her narrative chronicles her inward struggles with her own sense of unworthiness, the temptations of Satan, her distaste of being noticed, and her resistance to speaking in meetings. In 1716, she moved to the Quaker community of Haverford, and in 1718 to Chester, where she became the housekeeper and protege of David Lloyd, a leading Quaker and the chief justice of Pennsylvania. In 1721, she began to travel locally as a minister, in company with Elizabeth Levis. In 1722, the women extended their ministry to Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 1725, they journeyed to Barbados, Rhode Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. In 1727, with Abigail Bowles, she took the ministry to England and Ireland. Over the next thirty years, she continued to travel the eastern seaboard, speaking in Friends’ meetings and also preaching in public venues.
Hoskens’ narrative is considered the first spiritual autobiography by a Quaker woman published in America. It documents not only her own religious experience, but also the practices of the Quaker communities of early Pennsylvania, and, especially, the importance of the networks of female relationships around which women’s lives revolved.
Hoskens’ Life is presented here in an ebook based on the first edition of 1771, which was prepared from a manuscript left at her death in 1764. This earliest version of the work has not previously been generally available; and later editions (notably the 1837 version published in The Friends Library) have undergone substantial editorial alterations. The 1771 text, which brings the reader much closer to Hoskens’ own usage and language, is presented in a format that closely emulates the first edition published in Philadelphia. Some explanatory notes have been added at the end, and a brief note on the text describes and lists the obvious printer’s errors corrected.
The Negro Christianized. An Essay to Excite and Assist that Good Work, the Instruction of Negro- Servants in Christianity
There were Negro slaves in New England before there were Puritans there, and by 1700 they numbered about 1,000 out of a total population of 90,000. Roughly half of them lived in Massachusetts, and were concentrated in Boston and the coastal towns. Puritans actively participated in the colonial slave trade, importing them from the West Indies and sometimes selling Indian prisoners into overseas slavery.
Cotton Mather was a slave-owner, and his congregation at the Second (or North) Church included both slave merchants and Negroes. The pamphlet reprinted here appeared in 1706 without his name, but his authorship of it was generally known. It calls on slave owners to educate their Negro servants in the Christian religion, to treat them justly and kindly, and to accept them as spiritual brethren. It includes two catechisms and other instructional materials. It advances both spiritual and pragmatic arguments: the Christian has a moral responsibility for the souls of those in danger, and the Christianized servant is more profitable to his master.
Mather’s style in this work is unusually (for him) plain-spoken and direct. He quotes only one church father (Chrysostom), one classical philosopher (Cato), and one modern historian (Acosta). Moreover, his language seems particularly fresh, almost contemporary: “Man, Thy Negro is thy Neighbour. … Yea, if thou dost grant, That God hath made of one Blood, all Nations of men, he is thy Brother too.”—and, at another point, “… say of it, as it is.”
The ebook text presented here was transcribed from the first edition, printed at Boston in 1706. A very few notes have been included, as has also a list of typographical errors corrected.
Phaenomena quaedam Apocalyptica ad aspectum Novi Orbis configurata. Or, some few lines towards a description of the New Heaven
Samuel Sewall and Reiner Smolinski
SAMUEL SEWALL (1652-1730) is best remembered as a colonial judge during the Salem Witchcraft trials, as a significant diarist, and as an ardent millenarian, who published a number of eschatological tracts on his favorite obsession. Apart from his political achievements in the colonial judicature, Sewall published a number of significant works. The Selling of Joseph (1700) is one of the earliest abolitionist documents in American history. His famous Diary of Samuel Sewall, 1674-1729 (1878-82) is a Puritan document par excellence and a window on a crucial period in the development of the colony. His millenarian tract Proposals Touching the Accomplishment of Prophesies Humbly Offered (1713) highlights Sewall’s eschatological theories amplified in his earlier Phænomena quædam Apocalyptica . . . Or, some few Lines towards a description of the New Heaven (1697, second ed. 1727). Reprinted here in an online electronic text edition (based on an original copy held by the American Antiquarian Society), Phænomena is something of an exegetical conundrum that encapsulates the most significant eschatological theories of the day. Writing in defense of America’s place in Christ’s cosmography of the millennium, Sewall responds to Joseph Mede’s legerdemain denigration of the New World as the location of Hell. More significantly, Sewall writes the equivalent of an American martyrology, advocates the conversion of the Indians as remnants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and reaffirms America’s future place in Christ’s millennial kingdom, at a time when the Mathers and many of their colleagues looked toward Europe and the Holy Land for the fulfillment of their fondest hopes. Often misunderstood, Phænomena illustrates the intricate connection between prophetic exegesis and New England politics, between eschatological speculations and self-representation and policies toward the Indian populations of North America.
This ebook represents a new edition of Increase Mather’s influential contemporary account of King Philip’s War, between the English colonists in New England (and their Native allies) and the Wampanoag, Naragansett, and other Indian nations of the region, beginning in 1675. Mather’s account runs through August of 1676, when hostilities in southern, central, and western New England ended; fighting continued in the region of Maine until 1678. The war was disastrous for both sides, but particularly for the hostile Native Americans, who were brought very close to extermination.
Mather describes his history as “brief” (its 30,00 words run to 89 pages in this edition) and “impartial”—a claim that may ring false to modern ears. Mather was not a direct participant, but was an associate of most of the colonial leadership and a spiritual advisor to the war effort. His History has the advantage of being freshly written during the conflict, and reflects the alternating hopes and disappointments that accompanied each bit of news that arrived in Boston. He argues that the United Colonies (Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut) waged a defensive war against a treacherous enemy who assaulted their settlements and plantations without provocation. He does, however, blame the English colonists for their neglect of religion (including insufficient efforts to Christianize the natives) and for the sins of apostacy, inordinate pride of apparel and hair, drunkenness, and swearing—all of which gave God adequate cause to raise enemies against them as a “Scourge” to punish them and motivate them to repentence and reformation.
The Brief History does deliver many telling truths about the conflict: that the English conducted search-and-destroy campaigns against both persons and provisions, slaughtered (Mather’s word) large numbers of women and children as well as men, executed captured leaders by firing squad (on Boston Common and at Stonington, Ct.); and that their “armies” were on several occasions routed or entirely wiped out by Native fighters.
This ebook edition is based on the first printed edition published at Boston in 1676, and it retains the spelling, punctuation, and orthography of the original. Some explanatory notes have been added (at the end), along with a bibliography, and a note on the textual history of the work, the editorial rationale employed, and a list of all emendations.
Samuel Danforth’s election sermon of 1670 is a classic example of the New England jeremiad. Addressed to the assembled delegates on the occasion of the election of officers for the Massachusetts General Court, it asks the very pointed question: “What is it that distinguisheth New-England from other Colonies and Plantations in America?” The answer, of course, is that the Puritan colonies (Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven) were founded for the pursuit of religious ends by the reformed Protestant churches of England:
“You have solemnly professed before God, Angels and Men, that the Cause of your leaving your Country, Kindred and Fathers houses, and transporting your selves with your Wives, Little Ones and Substance over the vast Ocean into this waste and howling Wilderness, was your Liberty to walk in the Faith of the Gospel with all good Conscience according to the Order of the Gospel, and your enjoyment of the pure Worship of God according to his Institution, without humane Mixtures and Impositions.”
Danforth’s sermon is an eloquent and extended meditation on the words of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 11, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see?”—concerning the character and function of John the Baptist, both as prophet and as harbinger or forerunner of the Messiah. While Danforth excoriates those who have put worldly concerns above New England’s religious mission, and enumerates examples of God’s special punishments and trials directed at the colony, he also holds out the “promise of divine Protection and Preservation” and the opportunity to “choose this for our Portion, To sit at Christ’s feet and hear his word; and whosoever complain against us, the Lord Jesus will plead for us ... and say. They have chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from them.”
Samuel Danforth (1626-1674) was pastor of the church in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was a graduate of Harvard College, a poet, almanac-maker, and astronomer, and an associate of the Rev. John Eliot, the missionary.
Milk for Babes. Drawn Out of the Breasts of Both Testaments. Chiefly, for the Spirituall Nourishment of Boston Babes in Either England: But May Be of Like Use for Any Children
John Cotton’s Milk for Babes (also known as Spiritual Milk for Babes), a beginning catechism for children and young Christians, was first published in the 1640s and remained in print continuously for over 200 years. In a series of 64 questions and answers, it rehearses sin and the law, the ten commandments, the role of the Church, the nature of grace, the covenant, salvation, the sacraments, and the last judgment. It is annotated with 203 marginal Bible references on which Cotton based his statement of the fundamental Puritan credo. In its 13 small pages, Cotton’s catechism encompasses the Reformed Protestant faith in simple, succinct, and eloquent language that passed into general usage and, ultimately, into the New England subconscious.
The oldest surviving copy of Milk for Babes was published in London in 1646. It was reprinted many times on both sides of the Atlantic, and at least eight editions from the seventeenth century are known. Between 1690 and 1701, it was first incorporated into The New-England Primer, and it remained an essential component of that work and an integral part of American religious education for the next 150 years.
John Cotton (1584–1652) was by most accounts the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was educated at Cambridge and was a leader of the Independents or Puritans in England. In 1633, to avoid prosecution for nonconformity, he came to Massachusetts, where he served as “Teacher” for the church in Boston until his death.
This ebook edition of Milk for Babes contains the entire text of the earliest known printing from 1646. It also includes a brief textual history and an added appendix giving the text of all 203 Bible passages cited, keyed to the questions and answers to which Cotton applied them.
John Smith (1580-1631) made one voyage to the coast of Massachusetts and Maine in 1614, and attempted a second one the following year, only to be captured by French pirates and detained for several months near the Azores before escaping and making his way back to England. This book is the story of these two voyages.
Smith went to the coasts of America north of Virginia to explore the opportunities for fisheries, fur trading, and settlement. Smith was a veteran soldier, sailor, traveller, explorer, cartographer, and colonist: he had fought the Spanish in France and Italy, the Turks in Hungary and Transylvania, and the Algonkians in Virginia; he had sailed the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and the Caribbean; he had been a prisoner of the Ottomans and a slave in Constantinople, had journeyed through Russia, Europe, and North Africa; he had been both a president and a prisoner in the Jamestown colony, and had explored the Potomac River and mapped the Chesapeake Bay.
His Description of New England describes the fishing, soils, inhabitants, fauna, flora, and climate of the coastal region from Cape Cod to Penobscot. This work is the first to apply the term “New England” to that portion of the North America from Long Island Sound to Newfoundland. At that time it held a few trading and fishing stations, and French traders from the north and Dutch from the south carried on commerce in furs with the natives. There was a prosperous fishery to the north, where cod were taken by ships from Portugal, Holland, and Spain. To Smith, these were evidence of the richness of commodities to be had, and signs of the strategic importance to England of securing permanent settlements in the region. Smith had departed Virginia in 1609 under a cloud of accusations and had quarrelled with the leaders of the privately-held Virginia Company. Seeking a new arena for colonial opportunities in the new world, Smith saw New England as a place where English life could be transplanted to America, and this work is an extended advertisement and prospectus for investors and settlers, with Smith to provide the expertise and leadership.
This ebook edition is based on the London edition of 1616, and preserves the spelling and punctuation of that original. Some explanatory notes have been added, along with a discussion of the text and a list of typographical errors corrected.
This is an ebook edition of the first book published by an English colonist in America. Its author, Thomas Hariot or Harriot, was a cartographer, mathematician, astronomer, linguist, and philosopher, who was a participant in Sir Walter Ralegh’s first attempt to establish a colony in “Virginia,” on Roanoke Island in modern-day North Carolina, from June 1585 until June 1586. Hariot had learned the rudiments of the Algonkian language from two natives brought back to England from an earlier exploratory voyage, and he served as interpreter and liaison with the native peoples of the surrounding region. His Brief and True Report focuses largely upon the native inhabitants, giving much valuable information on their food sources, agricultural methods, living arrangements, political organization, and religion. Published in 1588, with Ralegh’s support, to help incite both investment and settlement, Hariot’s 13,000-word account also gives many details of the “merchantable commodities,” plants, animals, and economic opportunities to be found there. Written by an ethnographer and natural scientist who was an integral part of the first English attempt at American colonization, the Brief and True Report is by far the most important early English account of North America. This ebook edition contains some essential annotations, a textual note, and links to other important online materials relating to the Roanoke colony.
Most of these works have been previously issued in the "Electronic Texts in American Studies" series at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/etas/ They are re-issued here for the opportunity to feature them as e-books and to display their graphic covers.
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