William Apess and Paul Royster (ed.)
In the heart of New England, on the doorstep of the Pilgrim founding fathers, William Apess delivered this eulogy honoring their greatest enemy, Metacomet of the Wampanoags, known as King Philip, who led a coalition of Native peoples that came close to destroying the whole English colonial enterprise in 1675–76. In 1836, one hundred sixty years later, Apess chose to re-examine the circumstances of King Philip’s life and death, and pronounced him equal to or even greater than Washington in love for his country, military skill, and personal honor. While redeeming the memory of Philip as a martyr for his people, Apes takes opportunity to indict white Christian Americans for the false promises, broken treaties, murders, enslavements, and other oppressions visited upon the Native inhabitants by the European invaders.
“We say, therefore, let every man of color wrap himself in mourning, for the 22d of December and the 4th of July are days of mourning and not of joy.… the prayers, preaching, and examples of those pretended pious, has been the foundation of all the slavery and degradation in the American colonies, towards colored people.”
Apess’ was a brave voice amid the prejudice and Indian Removal policies dominant in the United States. His Eulogy is an early cry by a Native author for equity, for recognition, for common humanity, and for reconciliation: “you and I have to rejoice that we have not to answer for our fathers’ crimes, neither shall we do right to charge them one to another.”
William Apess (1798–1839) was born to Pequot parents, grew up among whites as an indentured servant before running away to join the militia in the War of 1812. He became a Methodist minister, preacher, author, and publisher, advocating for Native rights and for anti-slavery causes.
Lydia Maria Child
The roots of white supremacy lie in the institution of negro slavery. From the 15th through the 19th century, white Europeans trafficked in abducted and enslaved Africans and justified the practice with excuses that seemed somehow to reconcile the injustice with their professed Christianity. The United States was neither the first nor the last nation to abolish slavery, but its proclaimed principles of freedom and equality were made ironic by the nation’s reluctance to extend recognition to all Americans.
“Americans” is what Mrs. Child calls those fellow countrymen of African ancestry; citizenship and equality are what she proposed beyond simple abolition. While Mrs. Child expected the Appeal to offend and alienate a significant portion of her large audience, she wrote “it has been strongly impressed upon my mind that it was a duty to fulfil this task; and earthly considerations should never stifle the voice of conscience.” Thirty years before Abraham Lincoln’s Emanicipation Proclamation, she assembled the evidence for liberation and placed it before a large national audience. Her work helped push national emancipation into the mainstream, and her research supplied a generation of later essayists and pamphleteers with essential background for the continuing debate on the most vital issue in American history.
Frederick Douglass based this story on the real-life heroism of Madison Washington, who led the largest successful slave revolt in U.S. history in 1841. His story is told through the eyes and words of two white men. First, Mr. Listwell from Ohio sees Madison enslaved in Virginia, then a fugitive in Ohio, and finally a recaptured returnee bound from Richmond to the slave markets of New Orleans. Lastly, Tom Grant, the mate on the slave transport Creole, describes the ship’s takeover by its human cargo and its passage to the British Bahamas, where 128 men and women stepped out of bondage and into freedom. Douglass contributed the story in 1853 to a book of collected pieces by anti-slavery writers and reformers. It is his only known work of “fiction,” and it is interesting especially for its prismatic point of view: a black writer’s account of white men describing a black hero. What makes a person heroic? And what possibilities for heroism even exist under slavery—for whites or blacks? Could they act together to lift the the great national curse? The work is brief, dramatic, and compelling, showing the gift for expression that made Douglass such a powerful figure on the anti-slavery platform.
Louisa May Alcott
In November 1862, Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) signed up as a volunteer nurse for the Sanitary Commission charged with caring for the Civil War’s mounting casualties. From 13 December 1862 until 21 January 1863, Miss Alcott served at the Union Hotel Hospital in Georgetown in the District of Columbia, where she ultimately contracted typhoid and pneumonia and very nearly died. This book is her account of her journey south from Concord and her six weeks in the nation’s wartime capital. Styling herself by the fanciful name “Tribulation Periwinkle,” she brought humor as well as pathos to her subject, making this first-hand account of the absolute horrors of a 19th-century war hospital seem less shocking and more appreciative of the sacrifices being made by the wounded warriors and their families.
Roxanne Harde and Lindsay Yakimyshyn
Legacy books in colonial America were instruments for the transmission of cultural values between generations: the dying mother (usually) instructing and advising children on the path to salvation and heavenly reunions. They were a popular and influential form of women’s discourse that distilled the ideologies of the religious establishment into practical and emotional lessons for lay persons, especially the young.
This collection draws together legacy texts written by colonial American women and girls: five mother’s legacy books and two legacies by children, organized here chronologically. These legacies were written in anticipation of dying, making awareness of death central to the texts. All are highly personal, revealing the thought processes and emotive patterns of their authors, and all are meant for the comfort and instruction of the loved ones these dying women and girls were leaving behind. Published between 1664 and 1792, these texts provide insight into early New England culture through to the first years of the republic. Included are: • Anne Bradstreet, To My Dear Children (1664) • Susanna Bell, The Legacy of a Dying Mother to Her Mourning Children (1673) • Sarah Goodhue, The Copy of a Valedictory and Monitory Writing (1681) • Grace Smith, The Dying Mother’s Legacy (1712) • Sarah Demick, Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Sarah Demick (1792) • Hannah Hill, A Legacy for Children (1714) • Jane Sumner, Warning to Little Children (1792) • Benjamin Colman, A Devout Contemplation on … the Early Death of Pious & Lovely Children (1714) • A Late Letter from a Solicitous Mother To Her Only Son (1746) • Memoirs of Eliza Thornton (1821)
"The unchast Touches and Gesticulations used by Dancers, have a palpable tendency to that which is evil."
When a dancing master arrived in Boston in 1685 and offered lessons and classes for both sexes during times normally reserved for church meetings, the Puritan ministers went to court to suppress the practice. Increase Mather (1639-1723) took the leading part, writing and publishing this tract, which compiles arguments and precedents for the prohibition of “Gynecandrical Dancing, [i.e.] Mixt or Promiscuous Dancing, viz. of Men and Women … together.” These justifications were certainly shared with the court, which found the dancing master guilty, fined him £100, and allowed him to skip town.
Mather’s tract on dancing is an overwhelming compendium of sources and authorities: from the Bible, classical authors, Christian Church Fathers, medieval philosophers, and Reformed theologians both Continental and English. None of them, it appears, approved of mixed dancing—because it leads to adultery and worse. The vilest sins and the direst disasters lie only a short step from the dance floor.
The Arrow is remarkable for two things (at least): for how much allusion and citation are packed into its brief 30 pages, and for how quickly it escalates the issue into life-or-death scenarios, all vividly painted to emphasize the mortal danger of men and women dancing together.
The Wonders of the Invisible World. OBSERVATIONS As well Historical as Theological, upon the NATURE, the NUMBER, and the OPERATIONS of the DEVILS.
Cotton Mather and Reiner Smolinski , Editor
Cotton Mather’s mythic image rests largely on his involvement in the Salem witchcraft debacle (1692–93) and on his Wonders of the Invisible World (1693). The work aims at several purposes. On the one hand, Wonders is New England’s official defense of the court’s verdict and testimony to the power of Satan and his minions; on the other, it is Mather’s contribution to pneumatology, with John Gaul, Matthew Hale, John Dee, William Perkins, Joseph Glanville, and Richard Baxter in the lead. Before Mather excerpts the six most notorious cases of Salem witchcraft, he buttresses his account with the official endorsement of Lt. Governor William Stoughton, with a disquisition on the devil’s machinations described by the best authorities that the subject affords, with a previously delivered sermon at Andover, and with his own experimentations. Mather’s Wonders, however, does not end without a due note of caution. While exposing Satan’s plot to overthrow New England’s churches, Mather also recommends his father’s caveat Cases of Conscience (1693), thus effectively rejecting the use of “spectral evidence” as grounds for conviction and condemning confessions extracted under torture. What ties the various parts together is Mather’s millenarian theme of Christ’s imminence, of which Satan’s plot is the best evidence. Robert Calef ’s accusation that Mather and his ilk incited the hysteria is, perhaps, unfounded, but Calef ’s charge of Mather’s ambidextrous disposition seems warranted. For while Mather defends the court’s verdict and justifies the government’s position, he also voices his great discomfort with the court’s procedure in the matter. Wonders appeared in print just when the trials were halting, but it remains, in his own words, “that reviled Book,” a bane to his name.
Kenneth B. Murdock
The classic biography of preeminent colonial Massachusetts minister and President of Harvard College, Increase Mather (1639-1723). This is the work that re-started Puritan studies in America.
“A book which will be indispensable to students of early American history.” —Times Literary Supplement
“It is a book to welcome and appreciate.” —American Historical Review
“The available sources have been used carefully, and the story is told with great literary skill.” —The Sewanee Review
“[Murdock’s book] opened the sluice gates to powerful streams of scholarship that in the next two decades revised our understanding of American Puritanism.” —Philip F. Gura, in A Concise Companion to American Studies
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
Henry Highland Garnet
Henry Highland Garnet’s 1848 address to the Female Benevolent Society of Troy, New York, published that year, is an eloquent survey and reclaiming for the race of its share in the Western intellectual tradition. That the ancient Egyptians were Africans, that the Song of Solomon was addressed to an African woman, that the Ethiopians warriors were celebrated by Homer, that Moses’ wife was Ethiopian, that Hannibal, Terence, Euclid, Cyprian, Origen, and Augustine all were of African ancestry—these facts are adduced by Garnet to suggest both the heritage and the potential achievements of the Africans in America. Gar-net surveys the origin and histoy of the slave trade, and especially the late events surrounding its abolition and the end of slavery in the British empire, Mexico, Haiti, and the possessions of France and Sweden. He describes the horrors of slavery in America, the heroism of Cinque and the Armistad affair, and the martyrdom of the Cuban poet Placido. He challenges his own people to eschew the debates over whether to call themselves “Africans,” “colored,” “African-American,” or “black”; and to pursue education instead of showy and expensive pageants and demonstrations. He reviews the late annexation of Texas, and the increase in slave territory produced by the Mexican War. He describes a destiny in which the so-called races are blended—“This western world is destined to be filled with a mixed race.”—and he opposes colonization, out of patriotic attachment—“America is my home, my country, and I have no other. I love whatever of good there may be in her institutions. I hate her sins. I loathe her slavery, and I pray Heaven that ere long she may wash away her guilt in tears of repentance.”Garnet’s was an important early and radical voice in the black antislavery movement, and this address was made at an especially critical moment both in his career and in the nation’s careening slide towards secession and war.
A Synopsis of the Indian Tribes Within the United States East of the Rocky Mountains, and in the British and Russian Possessions in North America
Published in the American Antiquarian Society's Archaeologia Americana, vol. 2, (1836), pp. 1-422.
A 208-page geographical, historical, and cultural introduction is followed by 214 pages of appendices of linguistic materials.
Sect. I. Indian Tribes north of the United States
Kinai, Koluschen, &c., on the Pacific Ocean
Athapascas, (Northern, Cheppeyans, Copper Mine, &c., Sussees, Tacullies)
Sect. II. Algonkin-Lenape and Iroquois,
Northern (Knistinaux, Algonkins, Chippeways, Ottowas, Potowotamies, Mississagues)
Northeastern (Labrador, Micmacs, Etchemins, Abenakis)
Eastern (New England, Mohicans, Manhattans, Long Island, Delawares and Minsi, Nanticokes, Susquehannocks, Conoys, Powhatans, Mannahoks, Pamlicoes)
Western, (Menomonies, Sauks, Foxes, Kickapoos and Mascoutins, Miamis and Piankishaws, Illinois, Shawnoes)
Northern (Wyandots or Hurons, Extinct Tribes, Five Nations)
Southern (Tuteloes, Nottoways, Tuscaroras)
Sect. III. Southern Indians, (east of the Mississippi and in Louisiana)
Extinct Tribes of Carolina
Catawbas; Cherokees (Guess's alphabet)
Muskhogees (proper, Seminoles, Hitchittees,)
Alibamons and Coosadas
Choctaws and Chicasas
Southern Indians at the time of De Soto's expedition, Their social state (division into clans, worship of the sun, monarchical government; Natchez)
Tribes of Lower Louisiana, east and west of the Mississippi (great diversity of languages)
Sect. IV. Indians west of the Mississippi,
East of the Rocky Mountains
Sioux (Winebagoes, Dahcotas and Assiniboins, Shyennes, Minetares, Mandares, Crows, Quappas, Osages, Kansaws, Ioways, Missouris, Ottoes, Omahaws, Puncas,)
Pawnees and Ricaras; habits of western Indians
Black Feet, Rapid Indians, other erratic tribes
West of the Rocky Mountains: Want of vocabularies; Salish, Atnahs, Shoshonees, Chinooks
Sect. V. General Observations.
Climate; forests and prairies; geographical notices
Conjectures (Asiatic origin; semi-civilization of Mexico; ancient works in United States,)
Means of subsistence (hunter state; agricultural labor confined to women,)
Labor the only means of preserving and civilizing the Indians, (Cherokee civilization,)
Sect. VI. Indian Languages.
Diversity of vocabularies and similarity of grammatical forms; gender and number
Substantive verb; conversion of nouns, &c. into verbs, reciprocal; pronouns
Tenses and moods, compound words, multiplied forms, defective information
Suggestions respecting highly inflected languages
Grammatical forms in the earliest stages of society,
No. 1. Grammatical Notices.
Algonkin-Lenape, (Massachusetts, Delaware, Chippeway, Micmac,)
Iroquois (Onondago, Huron or Wyandot,)
No.2. Specimens of Conjugations and Transitions
Notes to the Tables of Transitions, &c.
No. 3. Note by the Publishing Committee, respecting Tribes on Northwest Coast of America
No.1. Comparative Vocabulary for Fifty-three Tribes
No. 2. Do. Sixteen Tribes
No. 3. Umfreville's Vocabulary
No.4. Miscellaneous Vocabularies
No. 5. Supplementary Vocabulary, (Muskhogee, Choctaw, Caddo, Mohawk, Seneca, Cherokee,)
Short Comparative Vocabulary of the Choctaw and Muskhogee
Muskhogee, Choctaw, Caddo
Ojibway, Cherokee, Seneca,
Supplementary Cherokee Transitions
The Lord's Prayer in Cherokee, Muskhogee, Choctaw, and Dahcota
Albert Gallatin (1761–1849) immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in the 1780s. He was U.S. Senator 1793, U.S. Representative 1795-1801, Secretary of the Treasury 1802-1814, Ambassador to France 1816-1823, Ambassador to Great Britain 1826-1827, co-founder New York University 1831, President of the Bank of the United States 1831-1839, co-founder American Ethnological Society 1842.
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).
Furman’s work is one of the earliest compilations of historical documents (with commentary) about an American city, in this case his native Brooklyn. It is an invaluable source of information on the early Dutch and English settlements of Brooklyn, Flatbush, Bushwick, New Lotts, Canarsie, Bedford, New Utrecht, Jamaica, and New Amsterdam, and their controversies with one another and with the Governors of New York and the crown of England. Included are original documents relative to the Indian purchases, original boundaries, water rights, ferry rights, wood rights, and forms of town government. Sections include: Situation of the Town of Brooklyn, Ancient Names and Remains, Soil and Climate, Ancient Grants and Patents, Town Rights and Ferries, Roads and Public Landing Places, Common Lands, and the Division thereof, Differences as to Bounds, Revolutionary Incidents, Ancient Government, Present Government, Public Buildings and Institutions, Schools, Newspapers and Moral Character, and Fire Department.
Gabriel Furman (1800-1854) was a lawyer, judge, and state senator, and an eminent scholar, book collector, compiler, and antiquarian. He led an eccentric and solitary life, and died in poverty, the victim, some said, of an opium addiction. His only other work published during his life was an 1845 edition of Daniel Denton’s 1670 tract, A Brief Description of New York, Formerly Called New-Netherlands.
This online electronic edition is transcribed from a facsimile of the original, produced by RENASCENCE in Brooklyn in 1968. The table of contents has been moved to the beginning of the volume, and a small number of typographical errors corrected, but otherwise the pagination and the language, style, spelling, and punctuation are those of the original.
The Notes was re-issued after Furman’s death, in 1865 in a edition prepared for the Faust Club of Brooklyn, compiled (according to some catalogers) by A.J. Spooner, and containing two biographical sketches of Furman. These sketches can bee seen at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/28/ and Furman’s “Introduction” and “Notes” to Denton’s Brief Description can be seen at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/23/
An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade; Delivered in the African Church in the City of New-York, January 1, 1808
Peter Williams Jr
The United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, prohibited Congress from banning the importation of slaves until the year 1808. A bill to do this was first introduced in Congress by Senator Stephen Roe Bradley of Vermont in December 1805, and its passage was recommended by President Jefferson in his annual message to Congress in December 1806. In March 1807, Congress passed the legislation, and President Thomas Jefferson signed it into law on March 3, 1807. Subsequently, on March 25, 1807, the British Parliament also passed an act banning the slave trade aboard British ships. The effective date of the new federal law (January 1, 1808) was celebrated in New York City by the oration and program reprinted here. The state of New York had banned the importation of slaves in 1788; and it pursued a policy of gradual abolition that freed all slaves in New York by 1827, although outsiders were legally entitled to hold slaves temporarily under a “nine-months” law in effect until 1841. The 1807 Act applied only to the importation of slaves from abroad, and did not end the domestic slave trade, which remained legal until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 (for the seceded states) or the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 (for the slave states that remained in the Union). The text of the 1807 Act is online at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/statutes/slavery/sl004.htm The Oration by Peter Williams, Jr., is among the earliest publications by an African American on the subject of abolition. Williams (c.1780–1840) was born in Brunswick, New Jersey, and attended the African Free School in New York. His mother was an indentured servant from St. Kitts, and his father was a veteran of the Revolutionary War who had helped establish the first African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1796. Williams, Jr., later organized St. Philip’s African Church in Harlem in 1818, and in 1826 he became an Episcopal clergyman. He was active in the New York African Society for Mutual Relief and the American Anti-Slavery Society. A brief biography of him is online at the New-York Historical Society: http://www.slaveryinnewyork.org/PDFs/Life_Stories.pdf
'Farewell' Address to the People of the United States, Announcing His Intention of Retiring from Public Life at the Expiration of the Present Constitutional Term of Presidency
President George Washington’s farewell address “To the People of the United States” was delivered to the public through the medium of the Philadelphia Daily Advertiser newspaper and was immediately reprinted in other newspapers and in pamphlet form throughout the country, and in England, Ireland, and Scotland as well. All contemporary editions derived directly or indirectly from the Daily Advertiser newspaper source.
The composition of the address was a collaborative effort, with James Madison co-authoring with Washington an early draft that was reviewed and revised at least twice to incorporate suggestions by Alexander Hamilton. The final draft, in Washington’s handwriting, was submitted to Timothy Pickering and others in the Cabinet before being given to the printer.
Washington’s “farewell address” emphasizes the importance of Union, the danger of partisanship, the threat of parties allied to foreign countries or interests, the accomplishment of a national government, the precedence of national over sectional interests, the maintenance of the public credit, the avoidance of large military establishments, and the overall momentousness of the American experiment in democracy. Throughout the address Washington demonstrates the restraint, modesty, and humility that—combined with his personal judgment, honesty, steadfastness, commitment to the republic, and devotion to the idea of liberty—made him so deeply reverenced by his contemporaries and by fellow-citizens for centuries to come.
Hammon’s Address, published in New York and Philadelphia in 1787, is a simple but eloquent set of Christian advice and reflections. To his fellow Negroes who are enslaved, Hammon advises obedience to masters, honesty and faithfulness, and the avoidance of profaneness. Among his strongest recommendations is that Negroes make every effort learn to read and use that knowledge to study the Bible. Hammon’s focus is on eternity, judgment, redemption, and God’s governance of the world.
Yet Hammon’s appeal is no apology for the slave system, but rather a modulated and astute assessment of the social and power relations between blacks and whites in the early republic: “That liberty is a great thing we may know from our own feelings, and we may likewise judge so from the conduct of the white-people, in the late war. How much money has been spent, and how many lives has been lost, to defend their liberty. I must say that I have hoped that God would open their eyes, when they were so much engaged for liberty, to think of the state of the poor blacks, and to pity us.” Even Hammon’s overtly Christian message contains a very equalitarian strain: there is only one Heaven for whites and blacks, and only one Hell; and “God hath not chosen the rich of this world. Not many rich, not many noble are called, but God hath chosen the weak things of this world, and things which are not, to confound the things that are.”
If Hammon’s address is less radical than some later appeals, it nonetheless embodies a consciousness of racial inequality and a refusal to accept the current situation of Negroes in America as just or as representing God’s will. That his call for change is couched in Christian language and interwoven with a pietistic non-violent ideology, only links his revolutionary message more strongly to a long tradition of black protest that includes, among many others, Dr. Martin Luther King and Cornel West.
Containing a Concise History of the Origin of Printing; Also an examination of the Superficies, Gradation, and Properties of the Different Sizes of Types cast by Letter Founders; Various Tables of Calculation; Models of Letter Cases; Schemes for Casting off Copy and Imposing; and many other Requisites for attaining a perfect Knowledge both in the Theory and Practice of the Art of Printing. With Directions to Authors, Compilers, &c. How to Prepare Copy, and to Correct their own Proofs. Chiefly collected from [John] Smith's Edition. To which are added Directions for Pressmen, &c. The whole calculated for the Service of All who have any Concern in the Letter Press.
This is an open-access electronic text edition of Filson’s seminal work on the early history of Kentucky, including the first published account of the life and adventures of Daniel Boone. Filson’s work was an unabashedly optimistic account of the western territory, where Filson had acquired large land claims, whose value he sought to enhance by the publication of this advertisement and incitement for further settlement. Scarcely two years after the violent and tragic British and Indian invasion of 1782, Filson portrayed Kentucky as a natural paradise, where peace, plenty, and security reigned. Of some significance is Filson’s recognition that the territory would be economically tied to the West, and especially the river ports of Natchez and New Orleans, rather than the Eastern seaboard. His reflections on the interests of the United States in acquiring and securing the western regions of North America predate the Louisiana Purchase by 18 years. The work, and especially the narrative of Daniel Boone, proved extremely popular, and was frequently reprinted and translated into French and German. It proved to be the first in a long tradition of rousing Western adventures associated with the westward migration of the Americans. This edition includes the complete text of the first edition, some notes, a biographical sketch of John Filson, and a discussion of the editorial procedures. It also includes the “Map of Kentucke” published in 1784 along with the book.
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.
In October of 1753, George Washington, a 21-year-old major in the Virginia militia, volunteered to carry a letter from the governor of Virginia to the French commander of the forts recently built on the headwaters of the Ohio River in northwestern Pennsylvania. The French had recently expanded their military operations from the Great Lakes into the Ohio country, and had spent the summer of 1753 building forts and roads along the Allegheny River, with the design of linking their trade routes and sphere of influence down the Ohio to the Mississippi. Virginia governor Robert Dinwiddie believed them to be in violation of treaties and claims that made those territories part of Virginia and Pennsylvania, as granted by the British Crown, and his letter to the French commander instructed him to cease, desist, and depart from those regions.
Washington left Williamsburg, Virginia on October 31, 1753, and completed the round trip of more than 1,000 miles by horse, foot, canoe, and raft in about ten weeks. He was accompanied by Christopher Gist, an explorer and surveyor employed by the Ohio Company, by Jacob Van Braam, a French Interpreter, four Indian traders and baggage-men, and various Indian delegations and guards, including Tanacharison, known as the “Half-King.” Washington accomplished far more than the mere delivery of a letter: he practiced diplomacy to keep the Native leaders allied to the English cause; he interviewed French deserters and reported on the extent of French military posts between New Orleans and the Great Lakes; he reconnoitered the Forks of the Ohio with an eye to the proper site for building a fort; and he inspected and reported on the construction of the new French forts and made estimates of their strength and preparations for the following year’s expeditions.
When Washington arrived back in Williamsburg on January 16, 1754, Governor Dinwiddie immediately asked him to prepare a written report for the House of Burgesses. Dinwiddie then had this report printed, and it became very popular reading. The Virginia legislature was so pleased with his mission and his report that they voted him a £50 reward. The Journal of Major George Washington was reprinted in various colonial newspapers as far away as Boston, and a British edition was issued in London later that same year, for which Washington sent materials for the preparation of a map.
This online electronic text edition of the Journal is based on the first American edition published at Williamsburg in February 1754. It includes some annotations for the nonspecialist reader and a note on the text discussing the sources and the few emendations made.
It is accompanied by 2 maps, attached as supplementary PDF files: one is a copy of the map that appeared with the London edition, showing the whole region from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, based on materials furnished by Washington; the other is a detail derived from the map accompanying Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), showing the frontier region through which Washington travelled, between Cumberland (Md.) and Lake Erie. Of the two, the Jefferson map shows the geography with somewhat greater accuracy.
Georg Wilhelm Steller
Steller’s classic work, published in Latin in 1751 and in German in 1753, contains the only scientific description from life of the Steller’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), as well as the first scientific descriptions of the fur seal or “sea bear” (Callorhinus ursinus), Steller’s sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), and the sea otter (Enhydra lutris).
Steller’s sea cow was a sirenian, or manatee, inhabiting the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. It was first discovered by Europeans in 1741 and rendered extinct by 1768. It was a 30-foot long, plant-eating aquatic mammal, weighing up to 12 tons, that lived in large herds on the coasts of Alaska and Kamchatka.
Steller made his observations as part of Vitus Bering’s second voyage, during which the crew was shipwrecked for 9 months on Bering Island, from November 1741 to August 1742. This voyage was undertaken as part of the Great Northern Expedition, commissioned by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, to prosecute the exploration of the North Pacific and western North America.
This English translation originally appeared in 1899, in an appendix to The Fur Seals and Fur-Seal Islands of the North Pacific Ocean, edited by David Starr Jordan, Part 3 (Washington, 1899), pp. 179–218.
A brief bibliography, links to online works and sites, and illustrations have been added by the present editor.
A Discourse concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers: With some Reflections on the Resistance made to King Charles I. And on the Anniversary of his Death: In which the Mysterious Doctrine of that Prince’s Saintship and Martyrdom is Unriddled
After the Restoration of the English monarchy in the person of Charles II in 1660, the new king and his first Parliament declared the anniversary of the beheading of his father Charles I (January 30, 1649) a religious holiday with a special commemoration in the Book of Common Prayer, naming the late monarch a saint and martyr. This holiday was not generally celebrated in Massachusetts until the emergence of several Anglican churches there in the early eighteenth century. In 1750, Jonathan Mayhew, the twenty-nine-yearold pastor of the West (Congregational) Church in Boston, took occasion to dispute the first Charles’ credentials to saintship, martyrdom, and even his kingship as well. Mayhew’s Discourse is an extremely interesting bridge between the radical Puritan past and the American Revolutionary future. His sermon contains the language, rhetoric, symbolism, typology, and religious and philosophical arguments that would be used extensively in the agitation for American independence twenty-five years later. Mayhew would subsequently take a leading role in the resistance to the Stamp Act of 1765, and his sermons and writings had an enormous impact on the evolution of New England Puritanism into American republican ideology. This online electronic edition contains the full, unabridged text of his sermon, as published at Boston in 1750 (other online and reprint versions contain only excerpts).
James Anderson and Benjamin Franklin
This is an online electronic edition of the the first Masonic book printed in America, which was produced in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin in 1734, and was a reprint of a work by James Anderson (who is identified as the author in an appendix) printed in London in 1723. This is the seminal work of American Masonry, edited and published by one of the founding fathers, and of great importance to the development of colonial society and the formation of the Republic. The work contains a 40-page history of Masonry: from Adam to the reign of King George I, including, among others, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Hiram Abif, Nebuchadnezzar, Augustus Caesar, Vitruvius, King Athelstan the Saxon, Inigo Jones, and James I of England. There are extended descriptions of the Seven Wonders of the World, viz. 1) the Great Pyramid, 2) Solomon’s Temple, 3) the City and Hanging-Gardens of Babylon, 4) the Mausoleum or Tomb of Mausolus, King of Caria, 5) the Lighthouse of Pharos at Alexandria, 6) Phidias’s statue of Jupiter Olympius in Achaia, and 7) the Colossus at Rhodes (although some maintain the 5th is the Obelisk of Semiramis). It is a celebration of the science of Geometry and the Royal Art of Architecture, as practiced from ancient times until the then-current revival of the Roman or Augustan Style. “The Charges of a Free- Mason” and the “General Regulations” concern rules of conduct for individuals and of governance for Lodges and their officers. The work also includes five songs to be sung at meetings, one of which—“A New Song”—appears in print for the first time and may have been composed by Franklin. The document suggests that Masonry, in its modern Anglo-American form, was rooted in Old Testament exegesis (“So that the Israelites, at their leaving Egypt, were a whole Kingdom of Masons, … under the Conduct of their GRAND MASTER MOSES”) and in contemporary Protestant ideals of morality, merit, and political equality.
The Negro Christianized. An Essay to Excite and Assist that Good Work, the Instruction of Negro- Servants in Christianity
There were enslaved Negroes 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.
Old Mens TEARS For their own DECLENSIONS, Mixed with FEARS Of their and Posterities further falling off from New-England’s PRIMITIVE CONSTITUTION
This is an online edition of Scottow’s popular tract, published in Boston in 1691, based on the first edition. Later editions were published in Boston in 1715, 1733, and 1749, and in New London in 1769. It is a searchable PDF document. The characteristics of Scottow’s original text (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, italics, etc.) have been retained. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected, and a list of emendations is included at the end. Its typographic design is based on that of the original. The work decries the falling off of New England from the purity and purpose of its original founding, and ascribes the recent series of misfortunes to God’s displeasure over the worldliness of the colonial churches and society. Scottow’s tract is an important example of the jeremiad formulation of punishment and promise, and it provides a wealth of typological imagery and Biblical allusion connecting the Puritan enterprise to the Israel of the Old Testament and to the anticipated Kingdom of God in 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.
This is a well-known execution sermon from seventeenth-century Massachusetts, delivered on the occasion of the sentencing to death of a young man convicted of bestiality—specifically of copulation with a mare, in which he was discovered in the open in broad daylight. Samuel Danforth, who wrote and delivered the sermon, would have known the condemned young man very well. Benjamin Goad had been born into Danforth’s congregation at Roxbury and had grown up under his pastoral care. Danforth was also familiar with the anguish of a parent over the death of a child, having suffered the deaths of eight of his own children; he would himself be dead within the year.
Danforth’s discourse describes the various practices associated with the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, including self-pollution (masturbation), whoredome (prostitution), adultery, fornication, incest, sodomy, buggery, and bestiality, and his text is replete with biblical examples. He defends the sentence of death as necessary for the preservation of the church and society. He applies the example made of the condemned to the need for general reformation among all the spectators, who share in man’s fallen and immoral nature: “The gross and flagitious practises of the worst of men, are but Comments upon our Nature. Who can say, I have made my heart clean ? The holiest man hath as vile and filthy a Nature, as the Sod-omites, or the men of Gibeah.” (p. 14) The sins and abominations of “uncleanness” offer false promises of pleasure, secrecy, impunity, and the possibility of future repentance. As means of preservation, Danforth recommends the audience to beware of pride, gluttony, drunkenness, sloth and idleness, disobedience to parents and masters, evil company, irreligion, and profaneness.
The sermon is a fascinating and valuable document. Though the case of Benjamin Goad was by no means unique in colonial New England, Danforth’s open and public discussion provides illuminating insights into Puritan moral attitudes and social practices. The work is known largely by reputation; it is the first so-called “execution sermon” but has never been reprinted or anthologized. It has previously been available only on microfilm (of a partially defective copy) or in a facsimile compilation with limited distribution.
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.
Denton’s work was the first English account intended to promote settlement of the region recently seized from the Dutch. It is of particular interest for 1) its description of the geographic and topographic features of the region from Albany in the north to the mouth of the Delaware Bay in the south, and from the eastern tip of Long Island to the interior of modern-day New Jersey; 2) its enumeration of the plants, animals, and commodities of the area; 3) its impressive and extended account of the customs and livelihood of the Indians of the region; 4) its early suggestion of “manifest destiny,” whereby the Indians are providentially removed by a “Divine hand”; 5) its depiction of the region as a “terrestrial paradise” for English settlement and agriculture—“a land flowing with milk and honey”; and 6) its invocation of an early form of the “rags-to-riches” potential of American life. Rather than depict the rigors of colonial life, Denton focuses on the richness and opportunities of the New World, describing an almost carefree and sensually suggestive existence in a land rich in all sorts of fruits, including “Strawberries, of which last is such abundance in June, that the Fields and Woods are died red : Which the Countrey-people perceiving, instantly arm themselves with bottles of Wine, Cream, and Sugar, and instead of a Coat of Male, every one takes a Female upon his Horse behind him, and so rushing violently into the fields, never leave till they have disrob’d them of their red colours, and turned them into the old habit.” Denton (c.1626–1703) was born in Yorkshire, England, and emigrated to Massachusetts in the 1640s. He was the son of the Reverend Richard Denton, considered the first Presbyterian minister in America. He became a town official and land developer in Long Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. His tract was published during his only return trip to England in 1670–72, and is a lively and unabashedly promotional picture of an Anglo-American agrarian paradise, including such examples as the following: “How many poor people in the world would think themselves happy, had they an Acre or two of Land, whilst here is hundreds, nay thousands of Acres, that would invite inhabitants. … I may say, and say truly, that if there be any terrestrial happiness to be had by people of all ranks, especially of an inferior rank, it must certainly be here : here any one may furnish himself with land, and live rent-free, yea, with such a quantity of land, that he may weary himself with walking over his fields of Corn, and all sorts of Grain. … Here those which Fortune hath frown’d upon in England, to deny them an inheritance amongst their Brethren, or such as by their utmost labors can scarcely procure a living, I say such may procure here inheritances of land, and possessions, stock themselves with all sorts of Cattel, enjoy the benefit of them whilst they live, and leave them to the benefit of their children when they die. … I must needs say, that if there be any terrestrial Canaan, ‘tis surely here, where the Land floweth with milk and honey.”
A Declaration of the Sad and Great Persecution and Martyrdom of the People of God, called Quakers, in New-England, for the Worshipping of God
From 1656 through 1661, the Massachusetts Bay Colony experienced an “invasion” of Quaker missionaries, who were not deterred by the increasingly severe punishments enacted and inflicted by the colonial authorities. In October 1659, two (William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson) were hanged at Boston; in June 1660, Mary Dyar (or Dyer) became the third; in March 1661, William Leddra became the fourth (and last) to suffer capital punishment or “mar-tyrdom” for their Quaker beliefs.While members of the Society of Friends rushed to Massachu-setts to test the harsh sentences under the newly enacted laws, other Friends in England simultaneously petitioned Parliament and the newly restored king for relief from this official persecu-tion. When the Massachusetts General Court sent a petition to King Charles II explaining and defending their actions, Edward Burrough, a leading Quaker writer and controversialist, answered it with the publication that follows. Its first part is a point-by-point refutation of the Massachusetts claims; its second part is a detailed list of the punishments, cruelties, and indignities suffered by Friends at the hands of the colonial authorities; its third section is a narrative description of the three executions of 1659 and 1660, including the public statements of the condemned. Burrough’s publication (and a subsequent audience with the king) led to Charles’ issuance of an order halting the punishments in the fall of 1661, although they were resumed, in only slightly less severe form, the following year.
John Eliot (1604-1690), the Puritan missionary to the New England Indians, developed this plan of political organization for the Christianized tribes that he converted. In the late 1640s, he adapted it for English use and sent a manuscript copy to England, where it appeared in print 10 years later, in 1659, following the death of Cromwell and before the accession of Charles II.
Eliot’s “Preface” to the work was far more radical and troublesome than the utopian theocracy described in the main body. “Much is spoken of the rightful Heir of the Crown of England, and the unjustice of casting out the right Heir: but Christ is the only right Heir of the Crown of England, and of all other Nations also.” He proposed to the English nation, “That you would now set the Crown of England upon the head of Christ, whose only true inheritance it is,” and set their “civil polity” on the model given by God to Moses in the wilderness (in Exodus 18), so that “then shall the will of God be done on earth, as it is done in heaven.” The work throughout anticipates an imminent start of the millennium.
Within three years the book had been banned, and Eliot was forced to issue a public retraction and apology. His unique and fascinating work has been called the first book of political theory written by an American and also the first book to be banned by an American government.This online edition reproduces the full text of the original, including the contemporary spellings and punctuation. A few typographic errors have been corrected and are noted.
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.
P. Vincentius, John Underhill, Lion Gardener, and John Mason
P. Vincentius, A True Relation of the Late Battell fought in New England, between the English, and the Salvages : With the present state of things there (1637)
John Underhill, Newes From America; or, A New and Experimentall Discoverie of New England; Containing, a Trve Relation of Their War-like proceedings these two yeares last past, with a Figure of the Indian Fort, or Palizado (1638)
Lion Gardener, Relation of the Pequot Warres 
John Mason, A Brief History of the Pequot War: Especially of the memorable Taking of their Fort at Mistick in Connecticut in 1637 (1736)
The work reprinted here, in an online electronic text edition, is Cotton’s famous farewell sermon preached at the departure of the Winthrop fleet in Southampton in 1630. Gods Promise to His Plantation (1630)—courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society—is an ideological justification for engaging in such a risky venture, a promotional tract to encourage emigration, and a typological argument for possessing the wilderness. Like Winthrop’s famous A Model of Christian Charity (1630), John Cotton’s sermon is central to the Puritan experiment in the New World.
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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