“The author of seven previous history books draws a portrait of the hardships and mysteries that were a part of the early settlers’ everyday lives” (CoastalMags.com). The New World was full of unusual occurrences and strange trials for the early colonists of New England. Devastating plagues, violent conflicts with Native Americans, and freak weather ravaged whole communities. When settlers saw an array of colors dancing through the night sky, they thought the Northern Lights were a sign that their end was near. Violators of public drunkenness were forced to wear large, red embroidered “D’s” around their necks for a year under the strict laws of the colonies. Through the letters, diaries, and journals of influential figures of the time, historian Robert A. Geake uncovers the oddities and wonders that amazed New England’s pioneers. Includes photos!
Many of the leaders and heroes of the Revolutionary War are well known to most Americans. Lesser known are those unsung heroes or citizen soldiers who first enlisted with local militias before being assigned to units of the Continental Line and sent away to fight in states and regions far removed from their homes and families. In New England, these also included men of the sea who signed aboard privateers or became part of the Mariner brigades that became indispensable in navigating waterways and ferrying troops into position. It is also the larger story of their struggle to maintain their loyalty to their home states, property and family. Author and historian Robert Geake uncovers the untold story of ordinary citizens who became united in the cause for freedom.
This book considers the impact of slavery and Atlantic trade on British economic development in the generations between the restoration of the Stuart monarchy and the era of the Younger Pitt. During this period Britain's trade became 'Americanised' and industrialisation began to occur in the domestic economy. The slave trade and the broader patterns of Atlantic commerce contributed important dimensions of British economic growth although they were more significant for their indirect, qualitative contribution than for direct quantitative gains. Kenneth Morgan investigates five key areas within the topic that have been subject to historical debate: the profits of the slave trade; slavery, capital accumulation and British economic development; exports and transatlantic markets; the role of business institutions; and the contribution of Atlantic trade to the growth of British ports. This stimulating and accessible book provides essential reading for students of slavery and the slave trade, and British economic history.
Though the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, it does not specify what counts as a religion. From its founding in the 1830s, Mormonism, a homegrown American faith, drew thousands of converts but far more critics. In "A Peculiar People", J. Spencer Fluhman offers a comprehensive history of anti-Mormon thought and the associated passionate debates about religious authenticity in nineteenth-century America. He argues that understanding anti-Mormonism provides critical insight into the American psyche because Mormonism became a potent symbol around which ideas about religion and the state took shape. Fluhman documents how Mormonism was defamed, with attacks often aimed at polygamy, and shows how the new faith supplied a social enemy for a public agitated by the popular press and wracked with social and economic instability. Taking the story to the turn of the century, Fluhman demonstrates how Mormonism's own transformations, the result of both choice and outside force, sapped the strength of the worst anti-Mormon vitriol, triggering the acceptance of Utah into the Union in 1896 and also paving the way for the dramatic, yet still grudging, acceptance of Mormonism as an American religion.
Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World
Author: Susan Scott Parrish
Pubpsher: UNC Press Books
Colonial America presented a new world of natural curiosities for settlers as well as the London-based scientific community. In American Curiosity, Susan Scott Parrish examines how various peoples in the British colonies understood and represented the natural world around them from the late sixteenth century through the eighteenth. Parrish shows how scientific knowledge about America, rather than flowing strictly from metropole to colony, emerged from a horizontal exchange of information across the Atlantic. Delving into an understudied archive of letters, Parrish uncovers early descriptions of American natural phenomena as well as clues to how people in the colonies construed their own identities through the natural world. Although hierarchies of gender, class, institutional learning, place of birth or residence, and race persisted within the natural history community, the contributions of any participant were considered valuable as long as they supplied novel data or specimens from the American side of the Atlantic. Thus Anglo-American nonelites, women, Indians, and enslaved Africans all played crucial roles in gathering and relaying new information to Europe. Recognizing a significant tradition of nature writing and representation in North America well before the Transcendentalists, American Curiosity also enlarges our notions of the scientific Enlightenment by looking beyond European centers to find a socially inclusive American base to a true transatlantic expansion of knowledge.