Following is a list of works useful for studying the period covered in this volume. It is meant to help the reader who may wish to pursue further some of the topics I discuss, to suggest the kinds of material on which I have relied in my research, and to indicate my heavy debt to other scholars. But it is not a complete bibliography of any aspect of the subject, nor does it include all the works I have used. After a General section, the bibliography is arranged into thirteen Parts, corresponding with the grouping of topics in my chapters. In each Part, I have begun by mentioning works of general interest and easiest accessibility, and I have then proceeded toward the more “primary” and more esoteric materials.


The last thirty years have probably produced more useful books about the colonial period than were written in the preceding century-and-a-half. But, with few exceptions, recent scholarship has aimed at clarifying and amplifying details rather than at reinterpreting the sweep of colonial history, much less at discovering the special character of American civilization. The reader who wonders what it all adds up to will still have to return to George Bancroft’s History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent (10 vols., 1834-75), to Francis Parkman’s France and England in North America (9 vols., 1865-92) and The Conspiracy of Pontiac (2 vols., 1851), or to the works of one of the few great interpretive historians who wrote earlier in our century—Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier in American History (1920), Charles A. and Mary R. Beard’s Rise of American Civilization (4 vols., 1927-42), or Vernon L. Parrington’s Main Currents in American Thought (3 vols., 1927-30).

For particular aspects of the colonial period there are monumental works. For example, Herbert L. Osgood’s American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century (3 vols., 1904-7) and his sequel on the 18th century (4 vols., 1924) provide an admirably clear and readable survey of constitutional history; and Charles M. Andrews’ Colonial Period of American History (4 vols., 1934-38) is a comprehensive, if dull, survey of political history, with an occasional look at the social history. For important surveys of the more traditional topics see: Moses Coit Tyler’s pioneer History of American Literature, 1607-1765 (2 vols., 1878; reprinted, 1949) and The Literary History of the American Revolution (1897); William P. Trent and others (eds.), The Cambridge History of American Literature (3 vols., 1917; several times reprinted), Vol. I; Robert E. Spiller and others (eds.), Literary History of the United States (2 vols. and a 3rd vol. of bibliography, 1946); Clinton Rossiter’s comprehensive and readable survey of colonial political thought, Seedtime of the Republic (1953); Louis B. Wright, The Cultural Life of the American Colonies (1957); L. H. Gipson, The British Empire before the American Revolution (7 vols., 1936-49).

Despite the rise of the so-called “New History” with its emphasis on the life of the common man, we still have few comprehensive works on non-political and non-belles-lettres aspects of the colonial period. The first three volumes of A History of American Life(Arthur M. Schlesinger and Dixon Ryan Fox, eds.; 1927-48) make a systematic but not very imaginative effort to cover social history. There are a few important intensive studies of particular topics, for example: Carl Bridenbaugh’s Cities in the Wilderness: The First Century of Urban Life in America, 1625-1742 (2d. ed., 1955), Cities in Revolt: Urban Life in America, 1743-1776 (1955), and The Colonial Craftsman (1950); Marcus L. Jernegan, Laboring and Dependent Classes in Colonial America (1931); Michael Kraus, Intercolonial Aspects of American Culture (1928); Richard B. Morris’ pathbreaking Government and Labor in Early America (1946); A. E. Smith, Colonists in Bondage (1947); Anthony N. B. Garvan, Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial Connecticut (1951); S. Fiske Kimball, Domestic Architecture of the American Colonies (1927); Percy W. Bid well and John I. Falconer, History of Agriculture in the Northern United States, 1620-1860 (1941); Lewis C. Gray, History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860 (2 vols., 1941); and A. W. Calhoun, A Social History of the American Family (3 vols., 1917-19).

Among the more important recent efforts at synthesis and interpretation are: the volumes in A History of the South (Wendell H. Stephenson and E. Merton Coulter, eds.), Wesley Frank Craven on the 17th Century (1949) and John Alden on the South in the Revolution (1957), to be supplemented by a volume by Clarence Ver Steeg on the 18th century; Michael Kraus, The Atlantic Civilization: Eighteenth Century Origins (1949); Leonard W. Labaree, Conservatism in Early American History (1948); Anson Phelps Stokes, Church and State in the United States (3 vols., 1950); William W. Sweet, Religion in Colonial America (1942). The best recent multivolume survey which aims to include all aspects of the period is Thomas J. Wertenbaker, The Founding of American Civilization (3 vols., 1938-47); an excellent brief survey is Curtis P. Nettels, The Roots of American Civilization (1938).

For a microcosm of the problems faced by a society there is no substitute for biography. And there are a number of monumental but readable ones which throw light on colonial life in general: Albert J. Beveridge, Life of John Marshall (4 vols., 1916-19); Douglas Southall Freeman, George Washington (6 vols., 1948-54); David John Mays, Edmund Pendleton (2 vols., 1952); Dumas Malone, Jefferson and His Time (4 vols., 1948—–); and Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin (3 vols. in one; 1938). Unfortunately, there are few brief lives of these or other major figures. This lack is beginning to be repaired by the admirable Library of American Biography (Oscar Handlin, ed.), a collection of concise biographical essays, of which a few colonial volumes—for example, Frederick B. Tolles on James Logan (1957), Edmund S. Morgan on John Winthrop (1958), and Verner Crane on Benjamin Franklin (1956)—have already appeared, and are noted under particular topics below. A valuable reference tool, full of readable brief essays and deserving of wider use is the Dictionary of American Biography (Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., 22 vols., 1928-44 and supplements).

For the geography, Charles O. Paullin’s Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932), though in need of amplification and revision, is invaluable. Also useful are chapters I-X of Ralph H. Brown’s Historical Geography of the United States(1948) and his Mirror for Americans (1943). The best guide to population figures is Herman R. Friis, A Series of Population Maps of the Colonies and the United States, 1625-1790 (American Geographical Society. Mimeographed Publication no. 3, New York, 1940), supplemented by Evarts B. Greene and Virginia D. Harrington, American Population before the Federal Census of 1790 (1932) and Stella H. Sutherland, Population Distribution in Colonial America (1936).

Among the more readable and stimulating accounts of the European background in the age of settlement are George Kitson Clark’s brilliant The English Inheritance (1950); Eli F. Heckscher’s classic Mercantilism (tr. Mendel Shapiro, 2 vols., 1935); Paul Hazard, The European Mind: The Critical Years (1953); Wallace Notestein, The English People on the Eve of Colonization (1954); Sir Leslie Stephen, History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (2 vols., 1876); George M. Trevelyan, Illustrated English Social History (4 vols., 1949-52); and Basil Willey, The Seventeenth Century Background (1934) and The Eighteenth Century Background (1940). The delightful illustrations in A. S. Turberville, English Men and Manners in the Eighteenth Century (2d. ed., 1929) and in Roger Ingpen’s edition (Boston, 1925) of Boswell’s Life of Johnson add much that does not show up in print.

There is no better way to discover the questions which trouble colonial historians nowadays and to glimpse what scholars consider the frontier of their subject, than by occasionally reading The William and Mary Quarterly (published jointly by William & Mary College and the Institute of Early American History & Culture at Williamsburg), which offers learned and readable articles. Valuable articles on the colonial age are found in The New England Quarterly, The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, and The Southern Historical Review; in the journals and other publications of local historical associations—for example, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the publications of the American Antiquarian Society, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Historical Society (with a recent invaluable index), among others. American Heritage, under the brilliant editorship of Bruce Catton, offers the general reader lively and attractively illustrated essays.

More and more primary sources are coming into print. But the colonial records, statutes, and legislative proceedings (printed mostly in the colonial period and early 19th century and specifically referred to below) are basic. The best brief selection of sources is edited by Merrill Jensen, American Colonial Documents to 1776 (“English Historical Documents, IX,” 1955). A more extensive collection is the series of 19 volumes (still in print) edited with introductions under the supervision of J. Franklin Jameson, entitled Original Narratives of Early American History (1906-1917; reprinted, 1952); each of these volumes collects documents for particular colonies or topics, such as witchcraft or the colonial rebellions. Justin Winsor’s Narrative and Critical History of America (8 vols., 1889) collects representative documents with still-valuable discussions of the sources by many authors; it remains one of the best introductions to the primary materials. Peter Force earlier in the 19th century transcribed and reprinted—in Tracts and Other Papers Relating Principally to the Colonies in North America (4 vols., 1836-46; reprinted, 1947) and American Archives (9 vols., 1837-53)—many valuable pamphlets and public documents which, thanks to him, are now available in numerous libraries. Many of the state and local historical societies have reprinted important documents rare in the original. There are numerous collections of colonial documents on special subjects, for example the early volumes of John R. Commons (ed.), A Documentary History of American Industrial Society (11 Vols., 1910-11) and Edgar W. Knight (ed.), A Documentary History of Education in the South Before 1860 (5 vols., 1949-53).

The writings of leading figures of the colonial age are every year becoming more generally accessible in more complete and better-edited form. The model for these new editions is the magnificent Papers of Thomas Jefferson being published by the Princeton University Press (1950—–) under the general editorship of Julian P. Boyd. The collection will eventually run to fifty-odd volumes; it includes a generous selection of letters to Jefferson, and is illuminated by copious but sensible notes. These volumes give the student who does not have access to manuscript collections an unprecedented opportunity to witness daily life in that age. Comparable editions are now in preparation of the writings of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and other leaders. These editions, complementing one another, will render obsolete all earlier editions. The expansion of microfilm and microcard facilities, and especially the preparation in Readex Microprint by the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, Mass. 1955-) of every item in Evans’ bibliography and the American Culture Series of microfilms (University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1941—–), puts many scarce items within reach of every good research library in the country.

The writings of travelers are of special value for the colonial period; but of course they must always be read with due regard to the prejudices and competence of the observer. Especially useful in this area is Thomas D. Clark, Travels in the Old South, a bibliography, (2 vols., 1956); and important reprints are R. G. Thwaites (ed.) Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, 1610-1791 (73 vols., 1896-1901) and Early Western Travels, 1748-1846 (32 vols., 1904-07). Newton D. Mereness (ed.) Travels in the American Colonies (1916) and Allan Nevins (ed.), America through British Eyes (1948) are useful selections. The travel-books of the greatest general interest for the period include: Andrew Burnaby, Travels through the Middle Settlements in North America in the Years 1759 and 1760 (3d ed., 1798); Francois Jean de Chastellux, Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781, and 1782 (2 vols., 1787); Jonathan Carver, Travels through the Interior Parts of North America, 1766-68 (1778); Nicholas Cresswell, The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell 1774-1777 (1924); M. G. St. Jean de Crevèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (1782; reprinted, Everyman Paperback, 1957); Durand, Un François en Virginie (1687) [trans, and ed. by Fairfax Harrison, A Frenchman in Virginia, Being the Memoirs of a Huguenot Refugee in 1686 (1923)]; Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York (4 vols., 1821-22); William Eddis, Letters from America … from 1769, to 1777 (1792); Christopher Gist, Journal (1750-53; ed. Wm. Darlington, 1893); the journals of Alexander Hamilton, a Scottish-trained physician who traveled in New England and New York in 1744 (ed. Carl Bridenbaugh as Gentleman’s Progress, 1948); Hugh Jones, The Present State of Virginia (1724) (Sabin’s Reprints, V, 1865; also ed. Richard L. Morton, 1956); The America of 1750: Peter Kalm’s Travels in North America (1770) (ed. Adolph Benson, 2 vols., 1937); Sarah Knight, Journal of a trip from Boston to New York in 1704 (1824); Johann D. Schoepf, Travels in the Confederation (ed. and translated from the German ed. of 1788 by Alfred J. Morrison, 2 vols., 1911).

Important contemporary surveys which sum up tendencies and compare trends in different parts of the country are William Douglass, A Summary … of the British Settlements in North America (2 vols., 1747-52); Tench Coxe, A View of the United States of America (1795); and Samuel Miller, A Brief Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century (2 vols., 1803).

The basic bibliographic tools are the two monumental works: Joseph Sabin and others (eds.), Dictionary of Books Relating to America from its Discovery to the Present Time (29 vols., 1868-92; reprinted, 1928-36) and Charles Evans (ed.), American Bibliography: a Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States … 1639-1820 (12 vols., 1903-34).






The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay

When Parrington published the first volume of his Main Currents in American Thought in 1927, he painted the Puritans as joyless people, unusually bigoted even by the standards of their age. The only humane and lively spirits, we were told, were the Anne Hutchinsons and the Roger Williamses, whom the Puritans harried into the wilderness. A special butt of his attack was Kenneth B. Murdock’s life of Increase Mather, which Parrington called “a somewhat meticulous defense … unhappily conceived in the dark of the moon, a season congenial to strange quirks of fancy.” In the thirty years since, the scholarly portrait has been radically revised. This revision has been most effectively accomplished by several scholars at the old Puritan stronghold, Harvard College. Their work has inspired a wider reexamination of the Puritans—their mind, body, and soul. Samuel Eliot Morison has done more perhaps than anyone else to humanize the Puritans, to remind us that they liked colorful clothing, enjoyed good beer, and had passions much like those of the people of other ages. Any student can profitably start his study of the Puritans with Morison’s Builders of the Bay Colony (1930), go on to The Puritan Pronaos (1936; reprinted as The Intellectual Life of Colonial New England, 1956), and his three sprightly volumes on Harvard College (the founding, 1935; the 17th century, 2 vols., 1936), supplemented for the 18th century by Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936 (1936). The monumental studies by Perry Miller—especially his New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (1936; reprinted, 1954); his New England Mind: From Colony to Province (1953); Orthodoxy in Massachusetts (1933); and a valuable collection of his essays, Errand into the Wilderness (1956)—have given the subtleties of Puritan theology a serious examination by a mind worthy of them for the first time since Jonathan Edwards. No one who works through Miller’s volumes, following his reconstruction and dissection of the more sophisticated American Puritans, can fail to respect them and to see a human plausibility in their thinking. The main peril of Miller’s approach is that he may sometimes take their distinctions more seriously and more precisely than 17th-century Puritans saw them to be. He is more interested in the intricacy of their philosophy than in the social consequences of their ways of thinking and he is not much concerned with the vagueness and fluidity which ideas seem to acquire when they touch the confusing world of action. Puritan literature has been reéxamined in several further works by Kenneth B. Murdock, especially in his Literature and Theology in Colonial New England (1949) and his admirably discriminating little volume, Selections from Cotton Mather (American Authors Series, 1926), which helps Mather tell us about himself with a cogency which Mather himself lacked.

A less sympathetic view of the Puritans is found in James Truslow Adams, Founding of New England (1921) and Revolutionary New England (1923); and in Brooks Adams’ incisive and bitter Emancipation of Massachusetts (1887).

Considering the extent of the literature, there are surprisingly few readable and authentic biographies of leading Puritans; by reading Barrett Wendell’s Cotton Mather, The Puritan Priest (1891; reprinted, 1926) we see some of the prejudices which have obstructed our understanding of the Puritans as living individuals. A brilliant recent exception is Edmund S. Morgan’s sprightly and perceptive biographical essay, The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop (1958).

Many particular aspects of Puritan life have been treated in useful monographs. The best survey in its field remains William B. Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England, 1620-1789 (2 vols., 1891), which needs correction in many details. The following are valuable on topics in social history: E. A. J. Johnson, American Economic Thought in the Seventeenth Century (1932); Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization, 1606-1865 (2 vols., 1946), Volume I; Bernard Bailyn, The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century (1955); Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Family (1944); Noah Porter, The New England Meeting House (1933); and Babette Levy, Preaching in the First Half-Century of New England History (1945). On witchcraft, a subject which in my opinion has exaggerated significance in the popular image of New England, see Charles W. Upham, Salem Witchcraft (2 vols., 1867) and George Lyman Kittredge, Witchcraft in Old and New England (1929).

Despite the copious literature, many topics still need comprehensive treatment. One of these is the legal history which the general student now has to glean from miscellaneous monographs such as William DeLoss Love’s Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England (1895); Charles J. Hilkey’s inadequate Legal Development in Colonial Massachusetts, 1630-1686 (1910); from several excellent articles by Julius Goebel Jr., for example, “King’s Law and Local Custom in Seventeenth Century New England,” Columbia Law Review, XXXI (1931), Mark DeWoIfe Howe and Louis F. Eaton Jr.’s valuable “The Supreme Judicial Power in … Massachusetts Bay,” N.E.Q., XX (1947), 291-316; and Richard B. Morris’ pioneer monographs, Studies in the History of American Law (1930) and Government and Labor in Early America (1946). The best survey of the spirit and practice of the laws of Massachusetts Bay is found in Zechariah Chafee Jr.’s brilliant introduction to the Records of the Suffolk County Court, 1671-1680, in the Colonial Society of Massachusetts Publications, Vol. XXIX.

Regional and family pride have combined to produce a great deal of valuable local history (together with many less valuable antiquarian and genealogical studies) and to make it accessible by reprinting many of the more important early documents. These are found, among other places, in the publications of the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, Mass.), The Colonial Society of Massachusetts (Boston), The Essex Institute (Salem), The Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston), The Narragansett Society (Providence), and The Prince Society (Boston).

English Puritanism is a much more extensive and complicated subject than American Puritanism. The English background can be glimpsed in William Haller, The Rise of Puritanism … 1570-1643 (1938); M. M. Knappen, Tudor Puritanism (1939); Wallace Notestein, The English People on the Eve of Colonization (1954); and Alan Simpson, Puritanism in Old & New England (1955). The amateur in English history who wants to start with a sampling of documents on the English side would do well to read in the earlier volumes of the Winthrop Papers, reprinted by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Especially interesting for contrasts with New England Puritanism is A. S. P. Woodhouse’s admirably edited Puritanism and Liberty: Being the Army Debates (1647-49) from the Clarke Manuscripts (1951).

Early New Englanders left remarkably full and eloquent records of themselves and of their age. For the casual student, Perry Miller has provided a discriminating brief selection in The American Puritans (Anchor Books, 1956); and for the more serious student (with Thomas H. Johnson), The Puritans (1938) which, in addition to brilliant introductions and notes, has what is still the best bibliography. Everyone interested in the Puritans should read in their entirety (nor can he resist if he once starts): William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantations (most recent edition, by Samuel Eliot Morison, 1952; and many earlier editions); and John Winthrop, Journal (sometimes called The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, best read in ed. James Savage, 2 vols., 1853, also found in J. F. Jameson’s “Original Narratives” series, and other editions). Too little read is Cotton Mather’s magnificent Magnolia Christi Americana (2 vols., 1853) which, despite its pedantry, remains the greatest literary monument to the classic age of New England Puritanism. If the reader once becomes accustomed to Mather’s conceits and ceases to try to translate the ornamental phrases of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, he will find himself stirred by a characteristically American epic.

From the later 18th century, Governor Thomas Hutchinson left us a readable and surprisingly comprehensive account, The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay (Vols. I-II covering 1628-1750, first pub. 1764-1767; Vol. III covering 1750-1774, first pub. 1828. New ed., by Lawrence S. Mayo, 3 vols., 1936), which has a peculiar value because of the destruction of many of the documents from which it was written in the burning of Hutchinson’s mansion during the Stamp Act riots of 1765. Also valuable are The Hutchinson Papers (1769), Prince Society Pub.,Vols. II-III (1865).

The Puritans were inveterate diarists. The most vivid and detailed of these are Cotton Mather’s (published in Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 7th Series, Vols. VII-VIII; reprinted, 2 vols., 1957) and Samuel Sewall’s (Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 5th series, Vols. V-VII).

Among the more accessible and more interesting collections of documents on particular topics are: Charles Francis Adams (ed.), Antinomianism in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1636-1638; George L. Burr (ed.), Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706 (“Original Narratives” series, 1914); Daniel Gookin, “Historical Collections of the Indians in New England,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., I, 141-226, and “An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New England in … 1675, 1676, 1677,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Coll., II (Trans., 1836), 423-534; William Hubbard, “A General History of New-England from the Discovery to 1680,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 2d Series, V-VI; Edward Johnson, Wonder-Working Providence of Sions Savior in New England, 1628-1651 (“Original Narratives” Series, 1910); John Josselyn, “An Account of Two Voyages to New England” (1674), Mass. Hist. Soc., Proc., 3d Series, III, 211-354, and “New-Englands Rarities Discovered: in Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, and Plants of that Country” (1672), Am. Antiq. Soc., Coll., IV (Trans., 1860), 105-238; Increase Mather, Remarkable Providences … (1856); Nathaniel Morton, New Englands Memoriall (1669) (fac reprod., ed. Howard J. Hall, 1937); Michael Wigglesworth, The Day of Doom (1662) (ed. Kenneth B. Murdock, 1929); “Winthrop Papers,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 3d Series, IX; 4th Series, VI, VII; 5th Series, I, II, IV, VIII; 6th Series, III, V; William Wood, New Englands Prospect (1634; University Microfilms, American Culture Series, No. 31, Roll 4).

The most available collection of basic documents in the history of Congregationalism in New England including such items as the “Cambridge Platform” of 1648, is Williston Walker, The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism (1893). Some of the works most useful for the Puritan theology and attitudes toward religion are: William Ames, The Marrow of Sacred Divinity (1638) and Conscience with the Power and Cases thereof (1639); The Bay Psalm Book (ed., Zoltan Haraszti, 2 vols., 1956); John Cotton, A Briefe Exposition of the Whole Book of Canticles (1648); Cotton Mather, The Wonders of the Invisible World (1693) and The Christian Philosopher (1721; University Microfilms, American Culture Series, No. 110, Roll 10); Increase Mather, Cases of Conscience(1693), Remarkable Providences (1684; reprinted, 1856), and An Historical Discourse Concerning the Prevalency of Prayer (1677); John Norton, The Orthodox Evangelist (1654), one of the most popular handbooks of theology; William Perkins, “The Art of Prophecying” (1592) in Perkins’ Works (London, 1631), II, 643-673; Thomas Shepard, Works (3 vols., 1853); Nathaniel Ward, The Simpler Cobler of Aggawam (5th ed., London, 1647); Michael Wigglesworth, “God’s Controversy with New England …,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Proc., XII (1871-73), 83-93; John Wise, A Vindication of the Government of New-England Churches (1717; reprinted, 1772).

Among the more accessible and more useful legal records are; William Brigham (ed.), The Compact; with the Charter and Laws of the Colony of New Plymouth (Boston, 1836); Zechariah Chafee, Jr. (ed.), “Records of the Suffolk County Court, 1671-1680),” Col. Soc., Mass., Pub., XXIXXXX; George Francis Dow (ed.), Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts, 1636-1692 (8 vols., 1911-21); Max Farrand (ed.), The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts; Reprinted from the copy of the 1648 Edition in the … Huntington Library (1929); The General Laws and Liberties of The Massachusetts Colony (revised and reprinted, Cambridge, Mass., 1672; University Microfilms, American Culture Series, No. 70, roll 7); John Noble (ed,), Records of the Court of Assistants of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, 1630-1692 (3 vols., 1901-28); The Records of the Town of Cambridge (Formerly Newtowne) Massachusetts, 1630-1703 (1901); “The Royal Charter of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, March 4, 1628/29,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Proc., LXII (1928-29), 251-273; Nathaniel B. Shurtleff (ed.), Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England (5 vols., 1853-54); Nathaniel Ward, The Body of Liberties, 1641 (Old South Leaflets, General Series, Vol. 7; No. 164; Boston, 1905); William H. Whitmore (ed.), The Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, Reprinted from the Edition of 1672, with the Supplements through 1686, together with the Body of Liberties of 1641 and the Records of the Court of Assistants, 1641-44 (1890). Thomas Lechford’s contemporary comments on the working of the legal system are found in “Note-Book Kept in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, from June 27, 1638, to July 29, 1641,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Coll., VII, and “Plain Dealing: or Newes from New England …” (1642), Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 3d Series, III, 55-128.

Basic bibliographical tools—worth looking at, if only for some notion of the scope and productivity of Puritans as authors—are Thomas J. Holmes’ monumental Mather bibliographies: Increase Mather, A Bibliography of his Works (2 vols., 1931), and Cotton Mather, A Bibliography of his Works (3 vols., 1940).



The Quakers of Pennsylvania

Quaker historians have shown a remarkable ability to discover the shortcomings of their fellow-Quakers while holding firm to their own Friendly convictions. Rufus M. Jones, perhaps the leading American Quaker of this century, was effective in pleading for the humane treatment of Quaker (and other) conscientious objectors in the two World Wars, yet he was incisive in his description of the dangers of Quaker obstinacy in earlier American history. A good place to start is his sensible and simply-written Quakers in the American Colonies (1911); then to The Later Periods of Quakerism (2 vols., 1921). Today the leading historian of American Quakers (also a prominent Quaker) is Frederick B. Tolles, whose writings, more than those of Jones, relate the special culture of the Quakers to American civilization as a whole. Tolles’s profound and suggestive essays are perhaps the best path into further reading on the problems of Part II: The Atlantic Community of the Early Friends (Friends’ Historical Society, London, 1952); “The Transatlantic Quaker Community in the Seventeeth Century,” Huntington Library Quarterly, XIV (May, 1951), 239-258; Quakerism and Politics (The Ward Lecture, 1956, published by Guilford College, N. C., 1956); and “The Culture of Early Pennsylvania,” Penn. Mag. Hist. Biog., LXXXI (1957), 119-37; from these one should go on to his Meeting House and Counting House; The Quaker Merchants of Colonial Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill, N. C., 1948); then to his attractive biographies of two of the most prominent (and most American) of the early American Quakers: James Logan and the Culture of Provincial America (1957) and George Logan of Philadelphia (1953). Besides these, the most readable studies of the environment of early American Quakerism are Carl Van Doren’s Benjamin Franklin (New York, 1938) and Carl and Jessica Bridenbaugh’s Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin (New York, 1942).

For the trials of Quaker pacifism see Robert L. D. Davidson’s War Comes to Quaker Pennsylvania, 1682-1756 (1957), which did not come to my attention until these chapters were going to press. Davidson gives more decisive significance than I would to the conflict between mercantile interests and religious principles, and he is less inclined than I to see the Quaker withdrawal as the climax of a conflict between mystic absolutism and perfectionism on the one hand and the world of political and economic conflict on the other. Other valuable general studies are: James Bowden, The History of the Society of Friends in America (2 vols., 1850-54); Howard H. Brinton, Friends for 300 Years (1952); George S. Brookes, Friend Anthony Benezet (1937); William Charles Braithwaite, The Second Period of Quakerism (1919); Solon J. and Elizabeth Buck, The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania (1939); Maxwell S. Burt, Philadelphia, Holy Experiment (1945); Henry J. Cadbury, “Intercolonial Solidarity of American Quakerism,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., LX (1936), 362-74; Verner W. Crane, Benjamin Franklin and a Rising People(1956); Thomas F. Gordon, The History of Pennsylvania from its Discovery by Europeans to … 1776 (1829); Guy F. Hershberger, “The Pennsylvania Quaker Experiment in Politics, 1682-1756,” Mennonite Quarterly Review, X (1936), 187-221, and “Pacifism and the State in Colonial Pennsylvania,” Church History, VIII (1939), 54-74; Samuel M. Janney, Life of William Penn (1852); Rayner W. Kelsey, Friends and the Indians, 1655-1917 (1917); Mrs. Ethyn Kirby, George Keith (1638-1716) (1942); Arnold Lloyd, Quaker Social History, 1669-1738 (1950); Albert C. J. Myers, Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750 (1902); Samuel Parrish, Some Chapters in the History of the Friendly Association for Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures (1877); John P. Selsam, The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776(1936); Isaac Sharpless, Political Leaders of Provincial Pennsylvania (1919), A History of Quaker Government in Pennsylvania (2 vols., 1899), Quakerism and Politics (1905), A Quaker Experiment in Government (1898); William T. Shore, John Woolman (1913); Charles J. Stillé, The Life and Times of John Dickinson, 1732-1808 (1891), and (ed.) “The Attitude of the Quakers in the Provincial Wars,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., X (1886), 283-315; and Theodore Thayer, Israel Pemberton, King of the Quakers (1943).

The best introductions to the writings of the early Quakers are John Woolman, Journal and Other Writings (Everyman’s Library, 1952), supplemented by The Works of John Woolman (1774), and George Fox, An Autobiography (an edition of what is more commonly called Fox’s Journal;ed. Rufus M. Jones, 1919). A handy selection is Frederick B. Tolles and E. Gordon Alderfer, The Witness of William Penn (1957). Penn’s more important works are found at length in A Collection of the Works of William Penn(ed. Joseph Besse, 2 vols., 1726), or William Penn, The Rise and Progress of the People Called Quakers (1695; reprinted, 1886). A useful contemporary history of 18th-century Quakerism is Robert B. Proud, History of Pennsylvania (2 vols., 1797-98); and William Smith, A Brief View of the Conduct of Pennsylvania for the Year 1755 (1756). Some valuable documents on particular topics are: Thomas Balch (ed.), Letters and Papers Relating Chiefly to the Provincial History of Pennsylvania (1855); Anthony Benezet, The Mighty Destroyer Displayed, in … the Dreadful Havock Made by … Spirituous Liquors (1774), and Serious Considerations on Several Important Subjects (1778); William Bradford, An Enquiry How Far the Punishment of Death is Necessary in Pennsylvania (1793); Gerard Croese, The General History of the Quakers (1696); Albert C. Myers (ed.), Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware, 1630-1707 (“Original Narratives” series, 1912); and William Smith, A Brief View of the Conduct of Pennsylvania for the Year 1755 (1756). A particularly valuable collection of early Quaker writings is Ezra Michener (ed.), A Retrospect of Early Quakerism (1860).

Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography with a selection of his other writings is available in a Modern Library edition (ed. Nathan G. Goodman, 1932). The best edition of his Writings (until the definitive edition being prepared at Yale under the editorship of Lyman Butterfield) is that by Albert H. Smyth (10 vols., 1907).

The acts of the early Quaker martyrs are recounted in George Bishop, New-England Judged, by the Spirit of the Lord (London, 1703), and Humphrey Norton, New England’s Ensigne (London, 1659; University Microfilms, American Culture Series, No. 63, Roll 6). A useful introduction to contemporary documents on Quaker-Indian relations is Indian Treaties Printed by Benjamin Franklin 1736-1762 (ed. Julian P. Boyd, intro. by Carl Van Doren, 1938), and Charles Thomas, An Enquiry into the Cause of Alienation of the Indians (1789; reprinted, 1867).

Among the more valuable reprinted documents bearing on Quaker politics are: “The Correspondence of James Logan and Thomas Story, 1724-41,” Bull, of Friends Historical Assn., XV (Autumn, 1926), 1-92; “James Logan on Defensive War, or Pennsylvania Politics in 1741,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., VI (1882), 402-411; and “Correspondence between William Penn and James Logan, Secretary of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Others, 1700-1750,” Hist. Soc. Penn., Memoirs, IX-X.

Some of the more interesting accounts by itinerant Quaker missionaries are those by Samuel Bownas (1756), John Churchman (1779), Thomas Chalkley (2d ed., 1751), Samuel Fothergill (ed. George Crosfield, 1844), John Fothergill (1754), William Reckitt (1776), and Daniel Stanton (1799). See also the controversial George Keith’s Journal of Travels … on the Continent of North America (1706; University Microfilms, American Culture Series, No. 101, Roll 9).

Important sources for the legal and legislative history are: “The Fundamental Constitutions of Pennsylvania,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., X (1896), 283-301; Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1700-1810) (4 vols., 1810); Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, especially, “Petition of Hugh Pugh …” Vol. III (1717-1736), and petitions of Quakers at Vol. VII (1756-1758), 311-312, 638-647; “Papers of the Governors,” ed. G. E. Reed, Pennsylvania Archives, 4th Series, I-XII; William Penn, The Excellent Priviledge of Liberty and Property … a Reprint and Facsimile of the First American Edition of Magna Charta (1797); Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, (1636-1792), ed. John R. Bartlett (10 vols., 1856-65); The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801, ed. James T. Mitchell and Henry Flanders (16 vols., 1896-1908); and “Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Province of Pennsylvania, Dec. 4, 1682-Sept. 26, 1776,” Pennsylvania Archives, 8th Series, Vols. I-VIII.



The Settlers of Georgia

Much of the popular historical writing about early Georgia has aimed to defend the colony against the slanderous traditional rumor that it was settled mostly by bankrupts and by refugees from the London jails. Albert B. Saye’s readable New Viewpoints in Georgia History (1943) uses careful scholarship to scotch this rumor, and is the most suggestive starting point for reading in early Georgia history. The best recent history of the state is E. Merton Coulter, Georgia, A Short History (1947); for an older view see Charles C. Jones Jr., The History of Georgia (2 vols., 1883). Some of the most useful studies have centered around the biography of Oglethorpe, for example: Amos A. Ettinger’s full and lively James Edward Oglethorpe, Imperial Idealist (1936) and Leslie F. Church’s valuable Oglethorpe: A Study of Philanthropy in England and Georgia (London, 1932). See also Thaddeus M. Harris, Biographical Memorials of … Oglethorpe (Boston, 1841), which reprints some documents, and Robert Wright, A Memoir of General James Oglethorpe. Sidelights on Oglethorpe are found here and there in Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1791).

Readable accounts of the English background are: Rosamond Payne-Powell, Eighteenth Century London Life (1938); Arthur S. Turberville, English Men and Manners in the Eighteenth Century (1929; reprinted, Galaxy Books, 1957), and (ed.) Johnson’s England (2 vols., 1933).

Important studies of special topics include: James D. Butler, “British Convicts Shipped to American Colonies,” Am. Hist. Rev., II (1896), 12-33; John P. Corry, Indian Affairs in Georgia, 1732-1756 (1936); E. Merton Coulter and Albert B. Saye (eds.), A List of the Early Settlers of Georgia(1949); Verner W. Crane, “The Promotion Literature of Georgia,” in Bibliographical Essays: A Tribute to Wilberforce Eames (1924) and The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732 (1929; reprinted, Ann Arbor Paperbacks no. 4, 1956); H. B. Fant, “The Labor Policy of the Trustees for Establishing the Colony of Georgia in America,” Georgia Historical Quarterly, XVI (1932), 1-16; Wesley M. Gewehr, The Great Awakening in Virginia, 1740-1790 (1930), incidentally touching Georgia; James R. McCain, The Executive in Proprietary Georgia, 1732-1752 (1914) and Georgia as a Proprietary Province (1917); David M. Potter Jr., “The Rise of the Plantation System in Georgia,” Ga. Hist. Q., XVI (1932), 114-135; and Reba C. Strickland, Religion and the State in Georgia in the Eighteenth Century (1939).

There is no better first-hand introduction to the life of the upper classes in mid-18th-century London than John Percival Egmont, Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont. Diary of Viscount Percival afterwards first Earl of Egmont (3 vols., 1920-23), which does for this period much of what Pepys’ diary does for London a half-century earlier. Egmont lacks some of Pepys’ amiable vices, but he has peccadillos of his own which are almost as interesting and no less salacious. For few enterprises in American history do we possess so full, so frank, and so affable an account as Egmont has left us of the Georgia project. Additional light comes from the correspondence between Egmont and Bishop Berkeley (the philosopher and promoter of a missionary college in Bermuda), edited by Benjamin Rand, Berkeley and Percival … The Correspondence of George Berkeley, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, and Sir John Percival, afterwards Earl of Egmont (1914).

The full flavor of the Georgia controversy can be sensed only from contemporary pamphlets, for example: Francis Moore, “A Voyage to Georgia Begun in the Year 1735” (1744), Ga. Hist. Soc., Coll., I, 79-152; Robert Montgomery, “A Discourse Concerning the Design’d Establishment of a New Colony to the South of Carolina” (1717), in Force, Tracts, Vol. I, No. 1; “Reasons for Establishing the Colony of Georgia, with Regard to the Trade of Great Britain” (1733), Ga. Hist. Soc., Coll., I, 203-38; Thomas Stephens, A Brief Account of the Causes that Have Retarded the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America (1743); Pat Tailfer and others, “A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia in America” (1741), Ga. Hist. Soc., Coll., II, 163-263. Many other valuable documents are reprinted in the Georgia Historical Society Collections, published since 1840 (except for 1917-51). Another useful collection is George White (ed.), Historical Collections of Georgia (1854). The problems of one of the most famous Methodist missionaries to Georgia in 1738 are recounted in George Whitefield, Journal of a Voyage from London to Savannah in Georgia (1826) and in his Works (ed. J. Gillies, 6 vols., 1771-72).

Materials for the legal and administrative history are found in The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia (ed. Allen D. Candler; 26 vols., 1904-16).



The Virginians

For Virginia where, as in New England, regional, local, and family pride have been strong, we have a voluminous historical literature which is, on the whole, of high quality and of considerable general interest. But Virginia, unlike Massachusetts Bay, has not been the center of “revisionist” controversies. The New England Puritans have been blamed for nearly every kind of social crime—from “witch-burning” to Prohibition. They have had rough handling from their own disgruntled great-great-grandchildren, as well as from newcomers. The Virginians have been more gently treated, not only by local historians but by the American people generally. No offensive catch-phrase like “Puritanism” misleads us into thinking that we have grasped the complexity of their life. Nearly all the writing about the Virginians—with the trivial exception of an occasional “debunking” biography like W. E. Woodward’s life of Washington—has been friendly, and almost none has been as antagonistic as Brooks Adams, James Truslow Adams, or V. L. Parrington were in their writing about “Puritanism.”

Still the public mind has had difficulty in catching the flavor of early Virginia life. Here, too, a large “organizing” concept has been the enemy of our understanding, but for the Virginians the tag-idea has been a favorable one. While “Puritanism,” with which we have tagged early New Englanders has dark overtones of provincialism, bigotry, persecution, and narrowness, the cliché for the Virginians has been “The Enlightenment” or “The Age of Reason”—expressions bright with eulogistic overtones. In both areas the clichés have concealed the real character of colonial life.

To begin to understand the ways of living and of thinking of these Virginians one must look to the minutiae of daily living in particular places. Fortunately, much of the writing about the Virginians took a local (or even antiquarian) point of view from the very beginning; we now possess a wealth of detail, skillfully interpreted. A masterpiece of such interpretation is Colonial Williamsburg, at Williamsburg, Virginia, which everyone interested in our past should visit. I have commented on its peculiarly American character as a kind of historical document in “Past and Present in America,” Commentary, XXV (1958). But life in Williamsburg was only one aspect of life in colonial Virginia; a comparable model of a going plantation community would add still more to our understanding.

The foundations for our knowledge of the social history of early Virginia were laid by Philip A. Bruce (1856-1933); his Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., 1895; reprinted, 1935), Institutional History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., 1910), Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (1907), and The Virginia Plutarch (1929) are still the best treatments of many topics. Bruce wrote with a fluent but not eloquent style, he was prodigiously industrious, and he had the imagination to let the facts lead him into many corners which might have seemed unimportant on a priori grounds. His work is, however, marred by patriotic bias: whenever the facts are ambiguous, he chooses the interpretation most “favorable” to the Virginians. But without his warm affection for the early Virginians, his work might not have been done at all.

The most important recent books on early Virginia history are in the Bruce tradition: they gather and organize the details of daily life, usually in a sympathetic spirit, but they excel Bruce in their literary flair and in interpretive penetration. A good starting point for the general reader is Louis B. Wright’s urbane and sprightly First Gentlemen of Virginia (1940), to which I am deeply indebted. Also suggestive is his Culture on the Moving Frontier (1955), esp. Ch. 1. A different emphasis is found in Carl Bridenbaugh’s stimulating Myths and Realities: Societies of the Colonial South (1952) and Seat of Empire: The Political Role of Eighteenth Century Williamsburg (1950), which underline the special characteristics of Virginia’s rural life. Among the most valuable studies of the social history are Thomas J. Wertenbaker’s Patrician and Plebeian in Virginia (1910), The Planters of Colonial Virginia (1922), and Virginia under the Stuarts, 1607-1688 (1914), brought together in a single volume under the title, The Shaping of Colonial Virginia (1958). Wertenbaker’s theses about the social origins of the early Virginia settlers and the size of their landholdings have been challenged in detail but still seem to me substantially correct.

For particular topics in the social and economic history there are a number of valuable special studies: John S. Bassett, “The Relation between the Virginia Planter and the London Merchant,” Am. Hist. Assn. Annual Report (1901), I, 551-575; Julian P. Boyd, The Murder of George Wythe(1949); Avery O. Craven, Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia and Maryland, 1606-1860 (1926); Wesley F. Craven, The Dissolution of the Virginia Company: The Failure of a Colonial Experiment(1932); Rutherfoord Goodwin, A Brief and True Report Concerning Williamsburg in Virginia (3d. ed., 1940); Oscar and Mary Handlin, “Origins of the Southern Labor System,” Wm. & Mary Q., 3d Ser., VII (1950), 199-222; Fairfax Harrison, “Western Explorations in Virginia Between Lederer and Spots-wood,” Va. Mag. Hist. & Biog., XXX (1922) 323-341; Chester Kirby, The English Country Gentleman, a Study of Nineteenth Century Types (1937); Arthur P. Middleton, Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era (1953); Edmund S. Morgan, Virginians at Home: Family Life in the Eighteenth Century (1952) and (with Helen M. Morgan) The Stamp Act Crisis (1953); Fernando Ortiz, Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar (1927) for an interesting comparison with a Caribbean economy; Joseph C. Robert, The Story of Tobacco in America (1949); Mary (Newton) Stanard, Colonial Virginia, its People and Customs (1917); and Lyon G. Tyler, Williamsburg, The Old Colonial Capital (1907).

An amusing and scholarly brief introduction to Virginia politics is Charles S. Sydnor’s Gentleman Freeholders (1952). Political, legislative, and legal history are explored also in: Julian C. Chandler, The History of Suffrage in Virginia (Johns Hopkins University Studies in History & Political Science, 19th Ser., VI-VII, 1901) and Representation in Virginia (J.H.U., Studies, 14th Ser., VI-VII, 1896); Oliver P. Chitwood, Justice in Colonial Virginia (J.H.U. Studies, 23rd Ser., VII-VIII, 1905); Percy S. Flippin, The Financial Administration of the Colony of Virginia (J.H.U. Studies, 33rd Ser., II, 1915) and The Royal Government in Virginia, 1624-1775 (1919); Evarts B. Greene, The Provincial Governor in the English Colonies of North America (1898); Fairfax Harrison, VirginiaLand Grants: A Study of Conveyancing in Relation to Colonial Politics (1925); Albert E. McKinley, The Suffrage Franchise in the Thirteen English Colonies in America (1905); Elmer I. Miller, The Legislature of the Province of Virginia; Its Internal Development (1907); William Z. Ripley, The Financial History of Virginia, 1609-1776 (1893); Arthur P. Scott, Criminal Law in Colonial Virginia (1930); St. George L. Sioussat, “Virginia and the English Commercial System,” Am. Hist. Assn., Annual Report(1906), I, 71-97; and Wilcomb E. Washburn, The Governor and the Rebel: A History of Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (1957). Thomas J. Wertenbaker’s Give Me Liberty: The Struggle for Self-government in Virginia (1958) came to my attention as this book was going to press.

On religion in Virginia, the leading work is George M. Brydon, Virginia’s Mother Church and the Political Conditions under Which it Grew (2 vols., 1947-52), which despite its strong bias in favor of the Church, is the best picture on a broad canvas, and one of the most solid studies of any of Virginia’s early institutions. Moreover, it is a useful corrective to the popular caricature of religion in Virginia—usually drawn from crude notions of the American “Enlightenment.” An essential monograph is Arthur L. Cross, The Anglican Episcopate in the American Colonies (Harvard Historical Studies, IX, 1902). Other important studies dealing with the Virginia church are: James S. Anderson, The History of the Church of England in the Colonies (3 vols., 1845-56); Simeon E. Baldwin, “The American Jurisdiction of the Bishop of London in Colonial Times,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., New Series, XIII (1899-1900), 179-221; Elizabeth H. Davidson, The Establishment of the English Church in Continental American Colonies (1936); Hamilton J. Eckenrode, Separation of Church and State in Virginia; A Study in the Development of the Revolution (1910); Wesley M. Gewehr, The Great Awakening in Virginia, 1740-1790 (1930); Edward L. Goodwin, The Colonial Church in Virginia (1927); Evarts B. Greene, “The Anglican Outlook on the American Colonies in the Eighteenth Century,” Am. Hist. Rev., XX (1914-15), 64-85; William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia (2 vols., 1857); Perry Miller, “The Religious Impulse in the Founding of Virginia: Religion and Society in the Early Literature,” Wm. & Mary Q., 3rd Series, V (1948), 492-522, and “Religion and Society in the Early Literature: The Religious Impulse in the Founding of Virginia,” VI (1949), 24-41; Daniel E. Motley, Life of Commissary James Blair … (J.H.U. Studies, 19th Series, X, 1901); William S. Perry, The History of the American Episcopal Church, 1587-1883 (2 vols., 1885); and William H. Seiler, “The Church of England as the Established Church in Seventeenth-Century Virginia,” Journal of Southern History, XV (1949), 478-508.

For a rounded picture of the planter and his problems we must look to biographies such as: Richmond C. Beatty, William Byrd of Westover (1932); Irving Brant, James Madison (3 vols., 1941-50); Leonidas Dodson, Alexander Spotswood, Governor of Colonial Virginia, 1710-1722 (1932); Douglas Southall Freeman’s monumental George Washington (6 vols., 1948-54; completed in Vol. 7 by John A. Carroll and Mary W. Ash worth, 1958); Marie Kimball, Jefferson: The Road to Glory, 1743-1776 (1943), Jefferson: War and Peace, 1776-1784 (1947), and Jefferson: The Scene of Europe, 1784-1789 (1950); Dumas Malone’s definitive Jefferson and His Time (4 vols., 1948—–); David John Mays’ searching Edmund Pendleton, 1721-1803 (2 vols., 1952); Robert D. Meade, Patrick Henry (2 vols., 1957—–); Louis Morton, Robert Carter of Nomini Hall: A Virginia Tobacco Planter of the Eighteenth Century (1941); and Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of George Mason, 1725-1792 (2 vols., 1892). A useful reference work is Lyon G. Tyler (ed.), Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography (5 vols., 1915).

Many of the writings of colonial Virginia have been reprinted. Perhaps the most attractive and the most frank, witty, and informative of the early Virginia writers is William Byrd II (1674-1744), who is too little known. There is no easily available and fully representative selection of his works, nor even a satisfactory complete edition of his writings, although one is now in preparation by Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling. The best collection remains The Writings of Colonel William Byrd of Westover in Virginia(ed. John S. Bassett, 1901), which includes his main works in unabridged form. For a more intimate portrait of Byrd and his family life, see The Secret Diary of William Byrd … 1709-1712 (ed. Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling, 1941) and Another Secret Diary of William Byrd … 1739-1741; with Letters and Literary Exercises, 1696-1726 (ed. Maude H. Woodfin and Marion Tinling, 1942), and especially William Byrd of Virginia: The London Diary (1717-1721) and Other Writings (ed. Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling, 1958) with Wright’s admirable brief biographical introduction. For Byrd as a natural historian, see William Byrd’s Natural History of Virginia: or The Newly Discovered Eden (ed. R. C. Beatty and W. J. Mulloy, 1940). No historian has yet discovered a satisfactory record of the lives, thoughts, and feelings of the lower classes in colonial Virginia.

The lives and characters of other great Virginians can be best explored through their own writings, which every reader should sample. Besides the multivolume’ editions (see General section above) of the writings of Jefferson and Washington, there are handy briefer selections, such as The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson (ed. Adrienne Koch and William Peden, Modern Library, 1944) and Basic Writings of George Washington (ed. Saxe Commins, 1948).

Contemporary surveys, histories, and chronicles by Virginians, while lacking the grandeur of the works of Bradford, Winthrop, and Cotton Mather, possess some more amiable virtues, including greater attention to the beauties of the landscape. Among the more valuable of these are: for the earliest settlements, Travels and Works of Captain John Smith (ed. Edward Arber, 2 vols., 1910); Robert Beverley, The History and Present State of Virginia (1705; ed. Louis B. Wright, 1947); Joseph Doddridge, Notes, on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and of Pennsylvania from 1763 to 1783 (1824; reprinted with Kercheval [below], 1883; and 1912); Henry Hartwell, James Blair, and Edward Chilton, The Present State of Virginia, and the College(1727; ed. Hunter D. Farish, 1940); Devereux Jarratt, A Brief Narrative of the Revival of Religion in Virginia (1778); Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1788; ed. William Peden, 1955); Hugh Jones, The Present State of Virginia (1724; Sabin’s Reprints, V, 1865; also ed. Richard L. Morton, 1956); William Keith, The History of the British Plantations in America (1738); Samuel Kercheval, A History of the Valley of Virginia (1833); and William Stith, The History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia (1747; reprinted, N. Y., 1865). A collection of some of the contemporary accounts of Bacon’s Rebellion is Charles M. Andrews (ed.), Narratives of the Insurrections, 1675-1690 (“Original Narratives” series, 1915).

The best summary introduction to the contemporary travel-literature is Thomas D. Clark, Travels in the Old South, a bibliography (2 vols., 1956). Of the dozens of travel-books which touch on Virginia, the more useful include: Andrew Burnaby, Travels through the Middle Settlements in North America in the Years 1759 and 1760 (3rd ed., 1798); Gilbert Chinard (ed.), A Huguenot Exile in Virginia (1687; reprinted, 1934); Francis Michel, “Report of the Journey of Francis Louis Michel from Berne, Switzerland to Virginia, October 2, 1701—December 1, 1702,” trans. William J. Hunke, Va. Mag. Hist. & Biog., XXIV (1916), 1-43, 113-141, 275-303; and Charles Woodmason, The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution; The Journal and Other Writings of Charles Woodmason, Anglican Itinerant (ed. Richard Hooker, 1953).

An invaluable guide into one of the most valuable sources, especially for social history, is Lester J. Cappon and Stella Duff, Virginia Gazette Index, 1736-1780 (2 vols., Williamsburg, 1950), a prodigious and meticulous work helpful for finding items on any conceivable topic in The Virginia Gazettes 1736-1780 (reproduced by photostat in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, 1925). Some of the more accessible contemporary letters, diaries, and records of less well-known figures, which throw light On social history are: Letters of Robert Carter, 1720-1727; the Commercial Interests of a Virginia Gentleman (ed. Louis B. Wright, 1940); Journal and Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, 1773-1774: A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion (ed. Hunter D. Farish, 1943); “Diary of John Harrower, 1773-1776,” Am. Hist. Rev., VI (1900-1901), 65-107; William Keith, A Collection of Papers and other Tracts (1740); and John Norton and Sons, Merchants of London and Virginia, Being the Papers from their Counting House for the Years 1750 to 1795 (ed. Francis N. Mason, 1937).

Materials for the religious history are found in: Samuel Davies, Sermons on Important Subjects (3 vols., 1841); Francis L. Hawks, Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of the United States (2 vols., 1836-39); Devereux Jarratt, Sermons on Various and Important Subjects in Practical Divinity adapted to the Plainest Capacities and Suited to the Family and Closet (1805); William S. Perry (ed.), Historical Collections Relating to the American Colonial Church (5 vols 1870-78); and “Virginia’s Cure: or an Advisive Narrative Concerning Virginia, Discovering the True Ground of that Churches Unhappiness and the Only True Remedy” (1662), in Force, Tracts, Vol. III.

The basic collections of sources for the legal, legislative, and administrative history are: Executive Journal of the Council of Colonial Virginia, 1680-1739 (ed. Henry R. McIlwaine, 1925-30); Legislative Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (ed. Henry R. McIlwaine, 3 vols., 1918-19); Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1619-1776 (ed. Henry R. McIlwaine, 13 vols., 1905-15); The Statutes at Large; being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619 (ed. William W. Hening, 13 vols., 1810-23); and Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts Preserved in the Captiol at Richmond, 1652-1869 (ed. W. P. Palmer and others, 11 vols., 1875-93). See also Joseph H. Smith’s monograph, Appeals to the Privy Council from the American Plantations (1950).

Items of special interest for legal and legislative topics include: Richard Starke, The Office and Authority of a Justice of the Peace (Williamsburg, 1774) and William W. Hening, The New Virginia Justice (Richmond, Va., 1799), examples of the widely-used guides for justices of the peace; The Commonplace Book of Thomas Jefferson: A Repertory of His Ideas on Government (ed. Gilbert Chinard, 1926), an intimate view of Jefferson’s reading on legal subjects; The Official Letters of Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1710-1722 (1882-85); and An Essay upon Government of the English Plantations … An Anonymous Virginian’s Proposals for Liberty under the British Crown, with Two Memoranda by William Byrd (1701, ed. Louis B. Wright, 1945). For a glimpse of problems of a colonial governor, see “Instructions to Francis Nicholson,” Va. Mag. Hist. & Biog., IV (1896-97), 49-54; “Governor Nicholson to the Council of Trade and Plantations, December 2, 1701,” Great Britain, Calendar of State Papers. Colonial Series. America and the West Indies, 1701, 640-655; and “Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Nicholson, November 4, 1702,” the same series, 1702, 700-702.





It is peculiarly inappropriate, and can even be misleading, to try to sum up American thinking—much less American culture—through great philosophic systems or the literary and philosophic works of great men. For an American tendency to fuse the “high” and the “low” cultures which have been traditionally polarized in Western Europe, and an ineptitude at systematic philosophy and at monumental works of belles-lettres, have been striking features of our culture. In my Genius of American Politics (1953; Phoenix paperback, 1958) I have explored the characteristic American lack of political theory. “The Place of Thought in American Life,” The American Scholar, XXV (1956), 137-50, is a more general article.

Some of my ablest and most learned colleagues think my view of American culture perverse, and even dangerous. For the most part, writers have assumed that the categories of European philosophy and literature, and the approach by way of “systems” (“Puritanism,” “Rationalism,” “Romanticism,” “Transcendentalism,” etc.) are adequate to the examination of American culture. Pioneer and highly readable work of this kind was done by I. Woodbridge Riley in his American Philosophy; the Early Schools(1907) and American Thought from Puritanism to Pragmatism and Beyond (1923). Among the more important recent works in the same tradition are Herbert W. Schneider, A History of American Philosophy (1946) and Stow Persons, American Minds: A History of Ideas (1958). Especially notable in this tradition are the writings of Perry Miller (see Part I, above).

Some influential historians, while sharing the traditional emphasis on dominant systems of thought (sometimes described as “Climates of Opinion”) and on the works of great thinkers, are more inclined to trace these ideas into the popular literature, and to write (as Merle Curti has) “a social history of American thought.” But these writers, too, tend to give the seminal significance to such abstract, systematized, and cosmopolitan notions as “The Enlightenment,” “Natural Law,” etc. See, for example, Carl Becker’s attractive essays, The Declaration of Independence (1922; reprinted 1933; Vintage paperback, 1957) and The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932); and Merle Curti’s compact and comprehensive survey, The Growth of American Thought(1943).

For the context in European sophisticated thinking of some of the ideas discussed in Part V, see Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925) and Adventures of Ideas (1933), and J. B. Bury, The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry into its Origin and Growth (1932; Beacon paperback, 1956). And for a set of revealing American reactions to some of the European ideas of progress, see Zoltan Haraszti, John Adams and the Prophets of Progress (1952), which collects and skillfully interprets Adams’ marginalia on his personal copies of several writers of the European “Enlightenment.” One can follow the revisions of the text of the Declaration of Independence in the facsimiles reproduced in Julian P. Boyd, The Declaration of Independence, The Evolution of the Text(1945).

The shortest way to the geographic ideas of the colonial period is to look at contemporary maps, some of which are conveniently reproduced in Charles O. Paullin’s Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932); then one should examine Jedidiah Morse, American Geography (London, 1794) or The American Universal Geography (2 vols., Boston, 1793). Especially useful are the works of Ralph H. Brown, Historical Geography of the United States (1948); and Mirror for Americans: Likeness of the Eastern Seaboard, 1810 (1943), which contains an excellent brief introduction on the state of the geographic knowledge of America in the later 18th century. Valuable special studies include: Thomas D. Cope, “Collecting Source Materials about Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon,” Am. Philos. Soc., Proc., XCII (1948), 111-114; and Fulmer Mood, “The English Geographers and the Anglo-American Frontier in the Seventeenth Century,” U. of Cal. Pub. in Geography, VI, no. 9.

In distinguishing different approaches to science and in defining the natural-history emphasis, I have found Stephen E. Toulmin’s Philosophy of Science: An Introduction (1953) helpful. An adequate full-length history of natural history in America remains to be written, although William H. and Mabel Smallwood, Natural History and the American Mind (1941) is a useful exploratory monograph. Several years ago I tried to describe common American attitudes to science in the colonial period in The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson (1948), but that volume has many crudities of definition and gives too systematic a character to the thinking of American scientists. Yet I am still impressed by a distinctively American—a “natural-history”—flavor in the scientific writing of the era. For a valuable collection of writings on the borderlands of philosophy, including some early items otherwise difficult to find, see Joseph L. Blau, American Philosophic Addresses: 1700-1900 (1946).

The best monograph on a period of colonial science is Brooke Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735-1789 (1956), which gives particular attention to the social organization of scientific activity. Valuable special studies include: Ernest Earnest, John and William Bartram, Botanists and Explorers 1699-1777, 1739-1823 (1940); George B. Goode, “The Beginnings of Natural History in America,” Smithsonian Institution, Annual Report (1897), in U. S. National Museum, II (Washington, 1901), 357-407; Josephine Herbst, New Green World (1954); Brooke Hindle, “Cadwallader Colden’s Extension of the Newtonian Principles,” Wm. & Mary Q., 3rd Series, XIII (1956), 459-475; and Conway Zirkle, The Beginnings of Plant Hybridization (1935).

Representative colonial writings on natural history, found either in correspondence, in works on special topics, or in regional histories and surveys (in addition to the writings by Josselyn, Wood, Cotton Mather, and others mentioned in Part I above; and those by William Byrd, Jefferson, and others in Part IV above) include: Benjamin S. Barton, “Memorandums of the Life and Writings of Mr. John Clayton, the Celebrated Botanist of Virginia,” The Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal, II (1806), 139-145; John Bartram, Observations on the Inhabitants, Climate, Soil, Rivers, Productions, Animals and other Matters worthy of Notice. Made … in his travels from Pensilvania to Onandago, Oswego and Lake Ontario in Canada … (1751); William Bartram, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida (1791; abridged, ed., Carl Van Doren, 1940); Jeremy Belknap, “The Belknap Papers,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 5th Series, II-III, 6th Ser., IV, and The History of New Hampshire (3 vols., 1791-92); John Brickell, The Natural History of North-Carolina (1737; reprinted, 1911); Andrew Burnaby, Travels … in the Years 1759 and 1760 (3rd ed., London, 1798); William Byrd, Natural History of Virginia … (1737; ed. R. C. Beatty and W. J. Mulloy, 1940); Mark Catesby, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (2 vols., 1731-43); Francois Jean de Chastellux, Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781, and 1782 (2 vols., Dublin, 1787); John Clayton’s work, incorporated into Johannes F. Gronovius, Flora Virginica (Leyden, 1739-43; 1762); Cadwallader Colden, The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada (1727; 2 vols., N.Y., 1902) and The Principles of Action in Matter (London, 1751), “The Colden Letter Books,” N.Y. Hist. Soc., Coll., IX-X (1876-77) and “The Letters and Papers of Cad-wallader Colden, 1711-1775,” N. Y. Hist. Soc., Coll., L-LVI (1917-1923), LXVII-LXVIII (1934-35); William Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall with Notices of their Botanical Contemporaries (1849); William Douglass, A Summary, Historical and Political of the … British Settlements in North America (2 vols., Boston, 1747-52); “Governor Thomas Dudley’s Letter to the Countess of Lincoln, March 1631,” in Force, Tracts, II, No. 4; John D. Godman, American Natural History, Part 1, Mastology (3 vols., 1826-28); Peter Kalm, The America of 1750: Peter Kalm’s Travels in North America (1770; ed. Adolph B. Benson, 2 vols., 1937) and “The Passenger Pigeon … accounts by Pehr Kalm (1759) and John James Audubon (1831),” Smithsonian Inst., Annual Report (1911), 407-424; Turhand Kirtland, Diary … from 1798-1800 While Surveying and Laying Out the Western Reserve for the Connecticut Land Company (1903); James E. Smith (ed.), A Selection of the Correspondence of Linnaeus and Other Naturalists, from the Original Manuscripts (2 vols., 1821); Thomas Smith and Samuel Deane, Journals … (1849); Earl Gregg Swem (ed.), Brothers of the Spade: Correspondence of Peter Collinson of London, and of John Custis, of Williamsburg, Virginia, 1734-1746(1957); Samuel Williams, The Natural and Civil History of Vermont (2d ed., 2 vols., 1809); and Alexander Wilson, American Ornithology (9 vols., 1808-14).



Although education has lately become one of our most talked-about subjects, the history of American education has until recently been much neglected. More historical study has gone into minor works of American literature than into the development of the major educational institutions. We still lack an adequate general history of higher education in the colonial period—much less a general history of American education.

As might have been expected from the fact that the roots of American higher education are in regional loyalties, some of the best works have been stimulated by affection for a particular college or university. A readable, brief introduction to colonial higher education is contained in the first seven chapters of Samuel Eliot Morison’s brilliant Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936 (1936). Morison’s Founding of Harvard College (1935) offers a detailed study of the continental and English background of 17th-century Harvard and a comparison with earlier European institutions; his Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., 1936) adds valuable details of the curriculum and of student life. Thomas J. Wertenbaker’s Princeton, 1746-1896 (1946) is also very readable. A work which throws much light on the peculiar features of American higher education is Richard Hofstadter and Walter P. Metzger, The Development of Academic Freedom in the United States (1955); incidental to an acute treatment of its special subject it gives us a better general account of colonial institutions of higher education than any other book. See also George P. Schmidt, The Liberal Arts College: A Chapter in American Cultural History (1957), esp. Ch. v on “The Old-Time College President.”

Valuable specialized studies and contemporary records of particular aspects of college-founding, of student life, and of the government of colonial colleges are: Herbert B. Adams, The College of William and Mary (1887); Sadie Bell, The Church, The State, and Education in Virginia(1930); Walter C. Bronson, The History of Brown University, 1764-1914 (1914); Samuel W. Brown, The Secularization of American Education (1912); Bailey B. Burritt, Professional Distribution of College and University Graduates(1912); Lyman H. Butterfield (ed.), John Witherspoon Comes to America (1953); Frederick Chase, A History of Dartmouth College (2 vols., 1891-1913); E. P. Cheyney, History of the University of Pennsylvania (1940); Edwin Grant Dexter, A History of Education in the United States (1922); Franklin B. Dexter (ed.), Documentary History of Yale University Under the Original Charter of the Collegiate School of Connecticut, 1701-1745 (1916) and Sketch of the History of Yale University (1887); Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York (4 vols., 1821-22); Edward C. Elliot and M. M. Chambers (ed.), Charters and Basic Laws of Selected American Universities and Colleges (1932); Allen O. Hansen, Liberalism and American Education in the Eighteenth Century (1926); “Harvard College Records: Corporation Records, 1636-1750,” Col. Soc., Mass., Pub. (Colls. 1925), XV-XVI: A History of Columbia University, 1754-1904 (1904); John W. Hoyt, Memorial in Regard to a National University (1892); William L. Kingsley, Yale College: A Sketch of its History (2 vols., 1879); John E. Kirkpatrick, The Rise of Non-Resident Government in Harvard University (1925); Edgar W. Knight (ed.), A Documentary History of Education in the South Before 1860 (5 vols., 1949-53); Beverly McAnear, “College Founding in the American Colonies, 1745-1775,” Mississippi Valley Hist. Rev., XLII (1955), 24-44, and “The Selection of an Alma Mater by Pre-Revolutionary Students,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., LXXIII (1949), 429-40; Robert L. McCaul, “Whitefield’s Bethesda College Project and other major attempts to found Colonial Colleges,” in two parts, to be published in Ga. Hist. Q. in 1959, and “Education in Georgia During the Period of Royal Control, 1752-1776: Financial Support of Schools and Schoolmasters,” Ga. Hist. Q., XL (1956), 103-12, 248-59; John MacLean, History of the College of New Jersey (2 vols., 1877); Thomas H. Montgomery, A History of the University of Pennsylvania from its Foundation to A.D. 1770 (1900); Forrest Morgan (ed.), Connecticut as a Colony and as a State (4 vols., 1904); Samuel Eliot Morison, “Precedence at Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., XLII (1932), 371-431; The Original Charter of Columbia College … with the Acts … Relating to the College (1836); Edwin Oviatt, Beginnings of Yale (1701-1726) (1916); Elsie W. Parsons, Educational Legislation and Administration of the Colonial Government (1899); Leon B. Richardson, History of Dartmouth College (2 vols., 1932); Herbert and Carol Schneider (eds.), Samuel Johnson, President of King’s College (4 vols., 1929); Louis Shores, Origins of the American College Library, 1638-1800 (1934); Richard H. Shryock, “The Academic Profession in the United States,” Am. Assn. of U. Profs., Bull., XXXVIII (1952), 32-70; The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles (ed. Franklin B. Dexter, 3 vols., 1901); Extracts from the Itineraries and Other Miscellanies of Ezra Stiles (ed. Franklin B. Dexter, 1916); Donald Tewksbury, The Founding ofAmerican Colleges and Universities Before the Civil War with Particular Reference to the Religious Influences Bearing Upon the College Movement (1932), an especially valuable monograph; Charles F. Thwing, A History of Higher Education in America(1906); Leonard J. Trinterud, The Forming of An American Tradition: A Re-examination of Colonial Presbyterianism (1954); Oscar M. Voorhees, The History of Phi Beta Kappa (1945); The Works of John Witherspoon (2d ed., 4 vols., 1802); George B. Wood, Early History of the University of Pennsylvania (3d ed., 1896); and Thomas Woody, A History of Women’s Education in the United States (2 vols., 1929). An important reference work is J. L. Sibley’s biographical dictionary, Harvard Graduates (continued by C. K. Shipton, 8 vols., 1873-1951).

To understand the peculiarities of American higher education one must grasp some of the large features of the great European institutions and traditions. A brilliant essay is Charles H. Haskins’ little classic, The Rise of Universities (1923; reprinted, Gold Seal paperback, 1957); with ideas that can be pursued in the relevant chapters of H. O. Taylor, The Medieval Mind (2 vols., 1925-27). Hastings Rashdall, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages (2 vols., 1895) is a readable full-length study. A lively brief study which includes the more recent period is Sydney C. Roberts, British Universities (1947). George Kitson Clark, The English Inheritance (1950), explores the foundations of British culture, including those that were laid in the Universities. On special topics see: The Government of Oxford (1931); Herbert McLachlan, English Education under the Test Acts: Being the History of the Nonconformist Academies, 1662-1820 (1931); Charles E. Mallet, A History of the University of Oxford (3 vols., 1924-28); Albert Mansbridge, The Older Universities of England: Oxford and Cambridge (1923); John A. R. Marriott, Oxford: Its Place in National History (1933); James B. Mullinger, A History of the University of Cambridge (1888); Irene Parker, Dissenting Academies in England (1914); Denys A. Winstanley, The University of Cambridge in the Eighteenth Century (1922); and Christopher Wordsworth, Scholae Academicae: Some Account of the Studies at the English Universities in the Eighteenth Century (1877). Edward Gibbon’s Autobiography gives an acid and unforgettable, but probably unfair, portrait of 18th-century Oxford.

Some of the peculiarities of the legal history of the corporation in the American colonies which affected the history of colleges and universities are discussed in: Joseph S. Davis, Essays in the Earlier History of American Corporations (2 vols., 1917); E. Merrick Dodd, American Business Corporations until 1860 (1954); and Shaw Livermore, Early American Land Companies: Their Influence on Corporate Development (1939).

For the position of American women in colonial business, public, and private life, see Mary S. Benson, Women in Eighteenth-Century America; A Study of Opinion and Social Usage (1935); Clarence S. Brigham, Journals and Journeymen: A Contribution to the History of Early American Newspapers (1950); Elizabeth W. (Anthony) Dexter, Colonial Women of Affairs; A Study of Women in Business and the Professions in America Before 1776 (1924); Alice (Morse) Earle, Home Life in Colonial Days (1898); Richard B. Morris, Studies in the History of American Law: With Special Reference to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1930); and Julia C. Spruill, Women’s Life and Work in the Southern Colonies (1938).



One of the most striking facts about the literature of American history is the scarcity of works on the development of American law. Although we live by a common-law system based on custom and history and although we have the most prosperous law schools and the most influential (and probably the most liberally educated) legal profession in the Western World, our legal history remains a Dark Continent. It is hard to explain why this is true: some say it is because the materials of our legal history are too scanty, others because they are too voluminous, but none can deny that we are ignoramuses about America’s legal past. Moreover, there is little prospect that this will cease to be so within the next half-century; even the wealthiest and most “interdisciplinary” of our law schools pay little or no attention to American legal history. Only the history of the Supreme Court and of constitutional law have been treated extensively. Lawyers insist that mere historians are not qualified to chronicle their subject, and historians find other less technical subjects more rewarding.

Among the few important works on the history of American lawyers and of American private law which are competent both from a technical legal and a historical point of view are: Julius Goebel, Jr. and T. Raymond Naughton, Law Enforcement in Colonial New York; A Study in Criminal Procedure (1664-1776) (1944); Readings in American Legal History (ed. Mark deWolfe Howe, planograph, Harvard U. Press, 1949); Mark deWolfe Howe, and Louis F. Eaton, Jr., “The Supreme Judicial Power in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay,” N.E.Q., XX (1947), 291-316; James Willard Hurst, The Growth of American Law: The Law Makers (1950); Eldon R. James, “A List of Legal Treatises Printed in the British Colonies and the American States before 1801,” in Harvard Legal Essays (1934); Frank H. Miller, “Legal Qualifications for Office in America, 1619-1899,” Am. Hist. Assn., Ann. Report (1899), I, 87-153; Richard B. Morris, Studies in the History of American Law: With Special Reference to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1930) and “Legalism Versus Revolutionary Doctrine in New England,” N.E.Q., IV (1931), 195-215; Hubert Phillips, Development of a Residential Qualification for Representatives in Colonial Legislatures (1921); Roscoe Pound, The Formative Era of American Law (1938); Max Radin, Handbook of Anglo-American Legal History (1936); Paul S. Reinsch, English Common Law in the Early American Colonies (1899), also found in Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History (ed. Assn. of Am. Law Schools; 3 vols., 1907); Two Centuries’ Growth of American Law, 1701-1901 (1902).

We have a larger, though still surprisingly small, number of useful books on the history of the legal profession and legal education. The only general guide is Charles Warren, A History of the American Bar (1912). For the colonial period the following are especially helpful: George Dexter (ed.), “Record Book of the Suffolk Bar, 1770-1805,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Proc., XIX (1881-82), 141-179; Samuel H. Fisher, Litchfield Law School, 1774-1833: Bibliographical Catalogue of Students (Yale Law Library, Pub. No. 11; 1946) and the collection of manuscript notebooks which early students of the Litchfield Law School made from the lectures of Judge Tapping Reeve, which now are in the Yale Law Library; Frank W. Grinnell, “The Bench and Bar in Colony and Province (1630-1776),” in Albert B. Hart (ed.), Commonwealth History of Massachusetts (1928), II, 156-191; Paul M. Hamlin, Legal Education in Colonial New York (1939); E. Alfred Jones, American Members of the Inns of Court (1924); “Lawyers of the Seventeenth Century,” Wm. & Mary Q., VIII (1899), 228-30; William Draper Lewis (ed.), Great American Lawyers (8 vols., 1907-09); Joel Parker, The Law School of Harvard College (1871); Josef Redlich, The Common Law and the Case Method in American University Law Schools (1914); Alfred Z. Reed, Training for the Public Profession of the Law (1921), an especially useful study for the origins of American professional standards (in this connection see also, Esther Lucile Brown, Lawyers and the Promotion of Justice, 1938); Charles Warren, History of the Harvard Law School and of Early Legal Conditions in America (3 vols., 1908); and Emory Washburn, Sketches of the Judicial History of Massachusetts from 1630 to the Revolution in 1775 (1840).

Miscellaneous biographical materials, and the notebooks, correspondence, and other writings of early American lawyers help us piece together a picture of their daily work. For example, the papers of John Adams (ed. Charles F. Adams; 10 vols., 1850-56) and of Jefferson (ed. Julian P. Boyd) shed some light on the subject. To define Jefferson’s view of the law, I have tried to make use of the materials in the Jefferson Papers in my reviews in Wm. & Mary Q., 3rd Series VII (1950), 596-609, VIII (1951), 283-285, and X (1953), 126-130; see also H. Trevor Colbourn, “Thomas Jefferson’s Use of the Past,” Wm. & Mary Q., 3rd Series, XV (1958), 35-56, and Marie Kimball, Jefferson: The Road to Glory, 1743-1776 (1943). Most important of all is Jefferson’s Commonplace Book, with his notes on his legal reading (ed. Gilbert Chinard, 1926); see also the Literary Bible of Thomas Jefferson (ed. Gilbert Chinard, 1928). Other valuable biographical material is found in Charles P. Smith, James Wilson, Founding Father: 1742-1798 (1956); Robert D. Meade, Patrick Henry: Patriot in the Making (1957), esp. chs. v-x; David J. Mays, Edmund Pendleton (1952); Samuel G. Heiskell, Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History (1918); and Marquis James, Andrew Jackson, The Border Captain(1933). I have examined several sets of manuscript notebooks kept by lawyers and judges during the colonial period (now in the possession of the Harvard Law Library) in order to provide themselves with records of precedents for use in practice; some of these are included in my Delaware Cases: 1792-1830 (3 Vols., 1943).

Some of the significance of Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (4 vols., 1765-1769), which was the Bible and the Correspondence School for generations of American lawyers, can be grasped by surveying the number and variety of American editions of his work; see Catherine S. Eller, The William Blackstone Collection in the Yale Law Library (Yale Law Lib., Pub. No. 6; 1938). For the drift of Blackstone’s work and some of the features which made it especially appealing see my Mysterious Science of the Law: An Essay on Blackstone’s Commentaries (1941; Beacon paperback, 1958).

A valuable general history of the learned occupations in England is A. M. Carr-Saunders and P. A. Wilson, The Professions (1933). There is yet no comparable work for the history of the professions in America. An indispensable reference work for English legal history (which tells us more than any other single work about the laws of the colonies) is Sir William Holdsworth’s monumental History of English Law (12 vols., 1922-38). A lively history of English thinking about the sources of the common law is Sir Carleton K. Allen, Law in the Making (1930 and later editions). The Littleton-Griswold Fund of the Association of American Law Schools has supported the publication of several volumes of early American legal records, with valuable introductions; for example, The Burlington Court Book: A Record of Quaker Jurisprudence in West New Jersey, 1680-1709 (ed. H. Clay Reed and George J. Miller, 1944).



The best starting point for studying the history of medicine in America is a good local history which avoids irrelevant abstractions. There is no better way to begin than through Dr. Wyndham S, Blanton’s comprehensive, careful, and readable Medicine in Virginia (3 vols.: 17th century, 1930; 18th century, 1931; 19th century, 1933). At present there is no other local history of medicine of comparable quality, but John Duffy will soon publish his full-length history of medicine in Louisiana. On a less ambitious scale, Henry R. Viets, Brief History of Medicine in Massachusetts(1930) is valuable. Until we have more local studies of the quality of the Blanton and Viets works it will be hard for anyone to write a comprehensive history of medicine in this country; regional differences of climate, public health, and disease have been great, and local problems have tended to dominate writing in the field. Dr. Henry E. Sigerist’s American Medicine (1934) is a concise and highly readable pioneer essay—valuable for its insights and its hints for future research, but sketchy in its facts.

Dr. Richard H. Shryock has come closer than anyone else to comprehending this large and varied subject. His works are remarkable, not only for their ability to organize a mass of intractable detail, but even more for their success in pointing the way from this technical subject to other, and more familiar, problems of social history. See his Development of Modern Medicine: An Interpretation of the Social and Scientific Factors Involved (1947) and American Medical Research Past and Present (1947). Dr. Shryock’s brief studies include: “Eighteenth Century Medicine in America,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc. (Oct., 1949), 1-20; “Women in American Medicine,” Journal of Am. Women’s Med. Assn., V (1950), 371-379; “The Interplay of Social and Internal Factors in the History of Modern Medicine,” Scientific Monthly, LXXVI (1953), 221-230. Francis R. Packard, History of Medicine in the United States (2 vols., 1931), although disorganized and sometimes inaccurate, is occasionally helpful. An especially interesting collection of essays are the papers in the “Symposium on Colonial Medicine in Commemoration of the 350th Anniversary of the Settlement of Virginia,” Bull. Hist. Med., XXXI (Sept.-Oct. 1957), which came to my attention only after these chapters had gone to press.

Some valuable special studies on medicine, medical practice, and medical education are: Malcolm S. Beinfield, “The Early New England Doctor: An Adaptation to a Provincial Environment,” Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, XV (1942-43), 99-132; Carl Bridenbaugh (ed.), Dr. Thomas Bond’s clinical lectures (1776) in Journal of the History of Medicine, II (1947), 12 ff., and (with Jessica Bridenbaugh) Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin (1942), on the profession in Philadelphia; A. M. Carr-Saunders and P. A. Wilson, The Professions (1933) for the English side; Joseph Carson, History of the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania (1869); R. Hingston Fox, Dr. John Fothergill and His Friends (1919); H. Fielding Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1924); James E. Gibson, Dr. Bodo Otto and the Medical Background of the American Revolution (1937); Thomas F. Harrington, The Harvard Medical School: A History (3 vols., 1905); Claude E. Heaton, “Medicine in New York during the English Colonial Period,” Bull. Hist. Med., XVII (1945), No. 1; Frederick P. Henry, Standard History of the Medical Profession of Philadelphia (1897); Brooke Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735-1789 (1956); Oliver Wendell Holmes, Medical Essays, 1842-1882 (1883); John B. Langstaff, Doctor Bard of Hyde Park: The Famous Physician of Revolutionary Times (1942); Henry F. Long, “The Physicians of Topsfield, with Some Account of Early Medical Practice,” Essex Institute, Hist. Coll., XLVII (1911), 197-229; William Macmichael, The Gold-Headed Cane (2d ed., 1828), for social aspects of the English medical professions; Albert Matthews, “Notes on Early Autopsies and Anatomical Lectures,” Col. Soc. Mass., Pub., XIX (Trans., 1916-17), 273-89; Thomas G. Morton and Frank Woodbury, History of the Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751-1895 (1895); William F. Norwood, Medical Education in the United States Before the Civil War (1944); William Pepper, The Medical Side of Benjamin Franklin (1911); Eric Stone, Medicine among the American Indians (1932); Joseph Toner, Contributions to the Annals of Medical Progress and Medical Education in the United States Before and During the War of Independence (1874); James J. Walsh, History of Medicine in New York (5 vols., 1919); Edward Warren, Life of John Warren, M. D., Surgeon-General During the War of the Revolution (1874); William Welch, “English Influence on American Medicine in the Formative Period of American History,” in Contributions to Medical and Biological Research dedicated to Sir William Osier (2 vols., 1919); and Stephen Wickes, History of Medicine in New Jersey … from the Settlement … to … 1800 (1879).

Reprints of major writings in early American medical history with useful introductions are available in the Bibliotheca Medica Americana (Institute of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University), which includes, for example, Dr. John Morgan’s Discourse Upon the Institution of Medical Schools in America (1765; reprinted, 1937) and Daniel Drake’s Practical Essays on Medical Education and the Medical Profession in the United States (1832; reprinted, 1952). A basic document for understanding early New England medicine is the abridged edition of Cotton Mather’s manuscript, “The Angel of Bethesda,” edited with an interesting introduction by Richard H. Shryock and Otho T. Beall in Cotton Mather, First Significant Figure in American Medicine (1954); but see the criticism of the editors’ interpretations by Donald Fleming in his review, Isis, XLVI (1955), 374-76. Other important contemporary medical writings include: Benjamin Smith Barton, Collections for an Essay Towards a Materia Medica of the United States (1801-4); Benjamin Rush, Medical Inquiries and Observations (4th ed., 4 vols., 1815); Johann D. Schoepf, The Climate and Diseases of America (tr. from German by James R. Chadwick, 1875); James E. Smith (comp.), A Selection of the Correspondence of Linnaeus and other Naturalists (2 vols., 1821); John Tennent, Every Man His Own Doctor: Or, The Poor Planter’s Physician (2d ed., Williamsburg, Va., 1734); James Thacher, American Medical Biography (1828); and Joseph B. Walker (ed.), “Diaries of the Rev. Timothy Walker … 1730 to … 1782,” New Hampshire Hist. Soc., Coll., IX (1889), 123-191.

A number of the more important travel-books and historical and geographical surveys of the 18th and early 19th century were written by physicians and therefore include medical information; for example: Dr. William Douglass’ Summary (1749-51); Dr. Alexander Hamilton’s Itinerarium(1744; ed. Carl Bridenbaugh, 1948); Dr. David Ramsay’s History of South Carolina (2 vols., 1809) and History of the Revolution in South Carolina (2 vols., 1785). For lively comments on many aspects of medicine and society, see The Letters of Benjamin Rush (ed. Lyman Butterfield; 2 vols., Princeton, 1951).

On colonial epidemics (and especially on smallpox) there is a more extensive literature than on any other topic. The literature is still very controversial; some of the ablest recent scholars have continued the debate between Dr. Douglass and Cotton Mather mentioned in Ch. 35. Valuable general discussions of the relation of epidemics to the rise of civilization are: Percy M. Ashburn, The Ranks of Death: A Medical History of the Conquest of America (1947) and Henry Sigerist, Civilization and Disease (1943). The best introduction to colonial problems is John Duffy’s scholarly and readable Epidemics in Colonial America (1953). The best technical study of a particular epidemic is Dr. Ernest Caulfield’s brilliant examination of a diphtheria outbreak, A True History of the Terrible Epidemic Vulgarly Called the Throat Distemper … in … New England Colonies Between … 1735 and 1740 (1939). Perry Miller discusses the New England smallpox controversy in The New England Mind: from Colony to Province (1953), ch. 21; his sympathy lies on the side of traditional learning championed by Dr. William Douglass. The more useful special studies include: John I. Barrett, “The Inoculation Controversy in Puritan New England,” Bull. Hist. Med., XII (1942), 169-190; H. D. Behnke, “Colonial theories concerning the cause of disease,” Medical Life, XLI (1934), 59-74; John B. Blake, Benjamin Waterhouse and the Introduction of Vaccination (1957); Edgar M. Crookshank, History and Pathology of Vaccination (2 vols., 1889); Reginald H. Fitz, “Zabdiel Boylston, Inoculation, and the Epidemic of Smallpox in Boston in 1721,” Johns Hopkins Hospital, Bull., XXII (1911), 315-327; George Lyman Kittredge, “Cotton Mather’s Election to the Royal Society,” Col. Soc. Mass., Pub., XIV (Trans., 1911-1913), 81-114, and “Further Notes on Cotton Mather and the Royal Society,” 281-292, also “Cotton Mather’s Scientific Communications to the Royal Society,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., XXVI (1916), 18-57, and “Some Lost Works of Cotton Mather,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Proc., XLV (1911-12), 418-479; Arnold C. Klebs, “The Historic Evolution of Variolation,” J. H. Hospital, Bull., XXIV (1913), 69-83; Morris C. Leikind, “Variolation in Europe and America,” Ciba Symposia, III (1941-19-42), 1090-1101, 1124, “Vaccination in Europe,” 1102-1113, “The Introduction of Vaccination into the United States,” 1114-1124; Genevieve Miller, “Smallpox Inoculation in England and America: A Reappraisal,” Wm. & Mary Q., 3rd Ser., XIII (1956), 476-92, and The Adoption of Inoculation for Smallpox in England and France (1957); Hugh Thursfield, “Smallpox in the American War of Independence,” Annals of Med. Hist., 3rd Ser., II (1940), 312-318; and Joseph Waring, “James Killpatrick and Smallpox Inoculation in Charlestown,” Annals of Med. Hist., N.S., X (1938), 301-308.

A facsimile reproduction of Thomas Thacher’s broadside, A Brief Rule to Guide the Common-People of New England … in the Small Pocks or Measles (1677-78) is found in Bibliotheca Medica Americana (Inst. Hist. Med., J.H.U., No. 1, 1937). The communication about inoculation that started the controversy between Mather and Douglass was Emanuel Timonius, “An Account, or History of the Procuring the Small Pox by Incision, or Inoculation; as it has for some time been Practiced at Constantinople,” Royal Soc., Phil. Trans., XXIX (1714-16), 72-82. Some of the more interesting contemporary writings on colonial diseases and epidemics are: William Currie, An Historical Account of the Climates and Diseases of the United States (1792), Memoirs of the Yellow Fever (1798), A View of the Diseases Most Prevalent in the United States … at Different Seasons of the Year (1811), and (with Isaac Cathrall) Facts and Observations Relative to the Origins, Progress, and Nature of the Fever … in … Philadelphia (1802); William Douglass, A Practical Essay Concerning the Small Pox (Boston, 1730), The Practical History of a New Epidemical Eruptive Miliary Fever … in the Years 1735 and 1736 (Boston, 1736); Dr. Fancher, “Progress of Vaccination in America,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 2d Ser., IV (1816), 97; Benjamin Gale, “Historical Memoirs, Relating to the Practice of Inoculation for the Small Pox in the American Provinces, Particularly in New England,” Royal Soc., Phil. Trans., LV (1765), 193-204; James Kirkpatrick, A Full and Clear Reply to Doct. Thomas Dale Wherein the Real Impropriety of Blistering with Catharides in the … Small Pox is Plainly Demonstrated (Charleston, 1739), The Analysis of Inoculation (2d ed., London, 1761), An Essay on Inoculation, Occasioned by the Smallpox being Brought into South Carolina in the Year 1738 (London, 1743); “Extracts of two Letters from Dr. John Lining, Physician at Charles-Town in South Carolina … Giving an Account of Statical Experiments Made Several Times in a Day Upon Himself, for One Whole Year,” Royal Soc., Phil. Trans., XLII (1742-43), 491-509; “An Extract of Several Letters from Cotton Mather D.D. to John Woodward, M.D….” Royal Soc., Phil. Trans., XXIX (1714-16), 61-72; Increase Mather, Several Reasons Proving the Inoculating or Transplanting the Small Pox is a Lawful Practice and that it has been Blessed by God for the Saving of Many a Life, with Cotton Mather, Sentiments on the Small Pox Inoculated (1721; reprinted with intro. by George Lyman Kittredge, 1921); Richard Mead, A Discourse on the Small Pox and Measles (1747); “Account of the Yellow Fever which Prevailed in Virginia in the Years 1737, 1741 and 1742, in a Letter to the Late Cadwallader Colden, esq. of New York, from the Late John Mitchell, M.D., F.R.S., of Virginia,” American Medical and Philosophical Register, IV (1814; on microfilm in Amer. Periodical Series, Ser. 2.); Henry Newman. “The Way of Proceeding in the Small Pox Inoculated in New England,” Royal Soc., Phil. Trans., XXXII (1722-23), 33-35; Thomas Nettleton, “A letter from Dr. Nettleton, Physician at Halifax in Yorkshire, to Dr. Whitaker, Concerning the Inoculation of the Small Pox,” Royal Soc., Phil. Trans., XXXII (1722-23), 35-48, and another letter at 49-52; Noah Webster, A Collection of Papers on the Subject of Bilious Fevers, Prevalent in the United States for a Few Years Past (1796) and A Brief History of Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases (2 vols., 1799).



We do not yet possess a comprehensive history of science or technology in colonial America, or for any other era of our history. The closest approach to it is Brooke Hindle’s Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735-1789 (1956). Donald Fleming will soon publish his three-volume history of American science and technology which should provide a much needed general guide. An admirable survey of the present state of the subject, with references to the most important printed works and to promising areas of research, is Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., Early American Science: Needs and Opportunities for Study (1955), the first of a valuable series of prospectuses published by the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Va.

One must rely heavily on periodical literature: especially on the publications of the American Philosophical Society and of the Royal Society of London; on Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences (Cambridge, Mass., 1913 to date), the beneficiary of the masterful editing of George Sarton, and now of I. Bernard Cohen; on Osiris: Studies on the History and Philosophy of Science and on the History of Learning and Culture (Bruges, 1936 to date); and on the professional and historical journals of different scientific specialties.

Among the more valuable items which touch on colonial science in general are: Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., “The Scientific Environment of Philadelphia, 1775-1790,” A.P.S., Proc., XCII (1948), 6-14; Frederick E. Brasch, “The Newtonian Epoch in the American Colonies (1680-1783),” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., XLIX (1939), 314-32, and “The Royal Society of London and its Influence upon Scientific Thought in the American Colonies,” Scientific Monthly, XXXIII (1931), 336-55, 448-69; C. A. Browne, “Scientific Notes from the Books and Letters of John Winthrop, Jr.,” Isis, XI (1928), 325-42; Roger Burlingame, March of the Iron Men: A Social History of Union Through Invention (1949); I. Bernard Cohen, Some Early Tools of American Science (1950); Margaret Denny, “The Royal Society and American Scholars,” Scientific Monthly, LXV (1947), 415-27; Courtney R. Hall, A Scientist in the Early Republic; Samuel Latham Mitchell, 1764-1831 (1934); Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, Cal., Science and the New World: an Exhibition to Illustrate the Scientific Contributions of the New World and the Spread of Scientific Ideas in America (1937); Brooke Hindle, “The Quaker Background and Science in Colonial Philadelphia,” Isis, XLVI (1955), 243-50; Theodore Hornberger, “The Scientific Ideas of John Mitchell,” Huntington Lib. Q., X (1946-47), 277-296, “Samuel Lee (1625-1691), A Clerical Channel for the Flow of New Ideas to Seventeenth-Century New England,” Osiris, I (1936), 341-55, “The Science of Thomas Prince,” N.E.Q., IX (1936), 26-42, Scientific Thought in the American Colleges, 1638-1800 (1948); Hornberger’s edition of Charles Morton’s Compendium Physicae (1687) (Col. Soc. Mass., Pub., XXXIII) which, with an introduction by Samuel Eliot Morison, is invaluable for its glimpse of what Harvard students were learning at the end of the 17th century; Frederick G. Kilgour, “Rise of Scientific Thought in Colonial New England,” Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, XXII (1949), 123-130; Flora Masson, Robert Boyle (1914); Robert H. Murray, Dublin University and the New World (1921); John W. Oliver, History of American Technology (1956); Richard H. Shryock, “The Need for Studies in the History of American Science,” Isis, XXXV (1944), 10-13; Raymond P. Stearns, “Colonial Fellows of the Royal Society of London, 1661-1778,” Osiris, VIII (1948), 73-121; Dirk J. Struik, Yankee Science in the Making (1948), an elementary interpretation of the history of technology from a Marxist point of view; “Symposium on the Early History of Science and Learning in America,” A.P.S., Proc., LXXXVI (1942), 1-204; Charles O. Thompson, “Robert Boyle: A Study in Biography,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., II (1882-83), 54-79; Lyon G. Tyler, “Virginia’s Contribution to Science,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., XXV (1915), 358-374; Charles R. Weld, A History of the Royal Society (2 vols., 1848); A. Wolf’s two-volume reference work on the history of science, technology, and philosophy (16th and 17th centuries, 1935; 18th century, 1939).

Lacking a good general history of colonial astronomy, our best approach is through the work of one of the leading colonial astronomers like John Winthrop IV (1714-1779) or David Rittenhouse (1732-1796). On Winthrop see Frederick E. Brasch, “John Winthrop (1714-1779), America’s First Astronomer, and the Science of His Period,” Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Pub., XXVIII (1916), 153-170, and “Newton’s First Critical Disciple in the American Colonies—John Winthrop,” in Sir Isaac Newton, 1727-1927. A Bicentenary Evaluation (1928), 301-338; Frederick G. Kilgour, “Professor John Winthrop’s Notes on Sun Spot Observations (1739),” Isis., XXIX (1938), 355-361. Winthrop’s own writings are scarce, but the more available are: Two Lectures on Comets (reprinted, Boston, 1811; in John Crerar Library, Chicago); A Lecture on Earthquakes(Boston, 1750; U. of Ill. microfilm); Relation of a Voyage from Boston to Newfoundland, for the Observation of the Transit of Venus, June 6, 1761 (Boston, 1761; in Brown U. Library); Two Lectures on the Parallax and Distance of the Sun as Deductible from the Transit of Venus (Boston, 1769; in John Crerar Library, Chicago); “Extract of a Letter from John Winthrop … to B. Franklin …” Royal Soc., Phil. Trans., LX (1770), 358-362, and the correspondence between Winthrop and John Adams, Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., 5th Series, IV (1878), 289-313.

The best introduction to Rittenhouse is through Howard C. Rice Jr., The Rittenhouse Orrery: Princeton’s Eighteenth-Century Planetarium, 1767, 1954; A Commentary on an Exhibition held in the Princeton University Library (Princeton U. Library, 1954), which offers a great deal more than its limited title would suggest. William Barton, Memoirs of the Life of David Rittenhouse (1813), is still the best biographical source, and reprints items by Rittenhouse. See also: Maurice J. Babb, “David Rittenhouse,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., LVI (1932), 193-224; Thomas D. Cope, “David Rittenhouse—Physicist,” Journal of the Franklin Institute, CCXV (1933), 287-297; Edward Ford, David Rittenhouse: Astronomer Patriot, 1732-1796 (1946). Brooke Hindle is writing a full-length biography of Rittenhouse. The history of American surveying in which Rittenhouse played a leading role also needs treatment. For some interesting suggestions, see: Lloyd A. Brown, The Story of Maps (1949); Thomas D. Cope, “Collecting Source Material about Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon,” A.P.S., Proc., XCII (1948), 111-114; William D. Pattison, Beginnings of the American Rectangular Land Survey System, 1784-1800 (Research Paper, No. 50, Dept. of Geography, University of Chicago, 1958).

Colonial writings on astronomy and mathematics which are of special interest include: Cadwallader Colden, The Principles of Action in Matter, the Gravitation of Bodies, and the Motion of the Planets, Explained from those Principles (London, 1751); Samuel Danforth, An Astronomical Description of the Late Comet or Blazing Star as it Appeared in New England in … 1664 (Cambridge, Mass., 1665); Increase Mather, Kometographia, or A Discourse Concerning Comets (Boston, 1683; Univ. Microfilms, Am. Culture Series, No. 83, Roll 8); and the valuable collection, “Mathematical and Astronomical Papers,” American Philosophical Society, Trans., I (1771), 1-180. A good source for popular astronomy is the colonial almanac (see Part XII, below). For a suggestive essay on one aspect of this history see Andrew D. White, A History of the Doctrine of Comets (1887).

For our knowledge of colonial physics, electricity, and the place of Franklin in the history of physical science, we owe most to the scholarly and readable works of I. Bernard Cohen. The basic book for this subject is Cohen’s edition (with an introduction) of Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments and Observations on Electricity (1941). Cohen offers books for any taste: a brief anthology and commentary for the general reader, Benjamin Franklin: His Contribution to the American Tradition (1953) or a massive monograph, Franklin and Newton: An Inquiry into Speculative Newtonian Experimental Science and Franklin’s Work in Electricity as an Example Thereof (in Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. XLIII, 1956). I incline toward the emphasis found in Cohen’s earlier rather than in his later works. Although Cohen seems to draw other morals from the voluminous data collected in his latest study (1956), in my opinion he does not succeed in disproving his earlier suggestions that Franklin’s important contributions owed much to his independent naiveté. In Cohen’s six-hundred-odd pages of fascinating detail, the reader still finds strikingly little evidence of any direct influence of Newton’s writings on Franklin—much less of Franklin’s understanding of the subtleties of Newton’s theories. From it all, I still have the picture of Franklin as a brilliant amateur.

On Franklin’s knowledge of science, on electricity, lightning-rods, and the history of their introduction, the following are valuable: I. Bernard Cohen, “How Practical was Benjamin Franklin’s Science?” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., LXIX (1945), 284-93, and “Prejudice against the Introduction of Lightning Rods,” Franklin Inst., Journal, CCLIII (1952), 393-440; Austin K. Gray, Benjamin Franklin’s Library (1936); Zoltan Haraszti, “Young John Adams on Franklin’s Iron Points,” Isis, XLI (1950), 11-14; Basil F. J. Schonland, The Flight of Thunderbolts (1950); Eleanor M. Tilton, “Lightning Rods and the Earthquake of 1755,” N.E.Q., XIII (1940), 85-97; Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin (1938). For a sidelight on the lightning-rod controversy, see Thomas Prince, Earthquakes, The Works of God (Boston, 1755).

For colonial agriculture, useful surveys are found in the works by Bidwell and Falconer, and by Gray listed in the General section above. Many little-known facts and some stimulating generalizations are in Lyman Carrier, The Beginnings of Agriculture in America (1923). A still very suggestive pioneer monograph on the relation between agricultural technology and social history is Avery O. Craven, Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia and Maryland, 1606-1860 (1926). In the Columbia University Studies in the History of American Agriculture we have excellent reprint editions with valuable introductions of basic works of the colonial era: Jared Eliot, Essays Upon Field Husbandry in New England, And Other Papers, 1748-1762 (ed. Harry J. Carman and Rexford G. Tugwell, 1935); and American Husbandry (1775), the most comprehensive and detailed 18th-century survey (ed. Harry J. Carman, 1939). These are surprisingly readable works, which even the non-specialist can enjoy. An especially valuable description of the problems of one part of the country is Robert R. Walcott, “Husbandry in Colonial New England,” N.E.Q., IX (1936), 218-252.

Some items which give glimpses of different sides of this varied and complex subject are: E. Alexander Bergstrom, “English Game Laws and Colonial Food Shortages,” N.E.Q., XII (1939), 681-690; Beverly W. Bond, The Quit-Rent System in the American Colonies (1919); Thomas S. Brewer, “Agricultural Conditions in Colonial Pennsylvania” (unpublished Master’s Thesis, Dept. of History, University of Chicago, 1915); Kathleen Bruce, “Materials for Virginia Agricultural History,” Agricultural History, IV (1930), 10-14; S. J. and E. H. Buck, The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania (1939); Jesse Buel: Agricultural Reformer; Selections from his Writings (ed. Harry J. Carman, 1947); David Doar, Rice and Rice Planting in the South Carolina Low Country (1936); Everett E. Edwards (ed.) Jefferson and Agriculture (U. S. Dept. of Agric., 1943); Amelia Clewley Ford, Colonial Precedents of our National Land System (1910); W. Neil Franklin, “Agriculture in Colonial North Carolina,” No. Car. Hist. Rev., III (1926), 539-47; Norman S. B. Gras, History of Agriculture in Europe and America (1940); Ulysses P. Hedrick, A History of Agriculture in the State of New York (1933); Duncan C. Heyward, Seed from Madagascar (1937), a discussion of the origins of rice-culture in South Carolina; Arthur H. Hirsch, “French Influence on American Agriculture in the Colonial Period …,” Agric. Hist., IV (1930), 1-9; Edward H. Jenkins, Connecticut Agriculture (1926); W. A. Low, “The Farmer in Post Revolutionary Virginia, 1783-1789,” Agric. Hist., XXV (1951), 122-27; Thomas Mairs, Some Pennsylvania Pioneers in Agricultural Science (1928); Deane Phillips, Horse Raising in Colonial New England (1922); U. B. Phillips, American Negro Slavery (1918); Aaron M. Sakolski, Land Tenure and Land Taxation in America (1957); Carl O. Sauer, “The Settlement of the Humid East,” Climate and Man (U.S. Dept. Agric., Yearbook, 1941), 157-166; Joseph Schafer, The Social History of American Agriculture (1936); Richard H. Shryock, “British Versus German Traditions in Colonial Agriculture,” Mississippi Valley Hist. Rev., XXVI (1939-40), 39-54; Carl R. Woodward, Ploughs and Politicks: Charles Read of New Jersey and His Notes on Agriculture, 1715-1774 (1941), The Development of Agriculture in New Jersey, 1640-1880 (1927), and “Agricultural Legislation in Colonial New Jersey,” Agric. Hist., III (1929), 15-28; Harry A. Wright, “The Technique of Seventeenth Century Indian-Land Purchasers,” Essex Inst., Hist. Coll., LXXVII (1941), 185-97.

Especially valuable early American writings on agriculture include: John Beale Bordley, Essays and Notes on Husbandry and Rural Affairs (2d ed., Phila., 1801), Sketches on Rotations of Crops and Other Rural Matters (Phila., 1796); Samuel Deane, The New England Farmer (2d ed. Worcester, Mass., 1797); J. D. B. De Bow, “Indian Corn,” De Bow’s Review, I (1846), 465-497; William Erving, “Premiums Offered by the Committee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Appointed for Promoting Agriculture,” American Museum, II (1787), 355-56; Joseph Greenleaf, “Experiments for Raising Indian Corn in Poor Land,” Am. Mus., I (1787), 39-40; Thomas Nairn, Letter from South Carolina (2d ed., London, 1732); Benjamin Rush, “An Account of the Manners of the German Inhabitants of Pennsylvania” (ed. Theodore E. Schmauk, in Penn.-German Soc., Proc., XIX, 1908); James Tilton, “Queries on the Present State of Husbandry and Agriculture in the State of Delaware,” Am. Mus., V (1789), 375-82; J. Warren, “Observations on Agriculture—its Advantages—and the Causes that have in America Prevented Improvements in Husbandry,” Am. Mus., II (1787), 344-348; and the revealing Letters on Agriculture from … George Washington … to Arthur Young … and Sir John Sinclair, ed. Franklin Knight (1847).





Although our language, like our law, is one of the most characteristic developments of American culture, its history also has been neglected by general students of American history. But the history of the American language has been the object of comprehensive and intensive recent study by specialists, who have been among the wittiest and most literate of our social historians. The absence of any adequate contemporary system of phonetics for recording the actual sounds as spoken in the early days has left this field open for speculation.

The starting-point is a work of national piety, likely to be the most durable—and ironical—literary remain of H. L. Mencken: The American Language (1937), The American Language: Supplement One (1945; chs. 1-6), The American Language: Supplement Two (1948; chs. 7-11). A new combined edition of these volumes is in preparation by Raven I. McDavid, Jr. Another basic work is George Philip Krapp, The English Language in America (2 vols., 1925), less witty than Mencken, but still highly readable. He is less inclined than Mencken to note novelties in the American language. But he, too, is at home in the history of our culture, and his vision is sometimes broader than Mencken’s. An indispensable reference work is Mitford M. Mathews’ prodigious Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles (2 vols., 1951; one-volume edition, 1956) which should be on the desk of every serious student of American history, and which is now available in a moderately priced one-volume edition. Mathews’ work, which aims to trace the history of all words or expressions originating in the United States, builds on Sir William A. Craigie and J. R. Hulbert, Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles (4 vols., 1938-44).

Two delightful, suggestive, and brief recent surveys, admirably suited for the non-specialist are Thomas Pyles, Words and Ways of American English (1952) and Albert Marckwardt, American English (1958). A stimulating application of a developmental approach to language is Donald J. Lloyd and Harry R. Warfel, American English in its Cultural Setting (1956), a college textbook.

Here too, anyone seriously interested must get into the periodical literature, especially into such journals as American Speech, Dialect Notes, and Publications of the Modern Language Association. Some of the best articles for the non-specialist have been written by Allen Walker Read: “The Spelling Bee: A Linguistic Institution of the American Folk,” P.M.L.A., LVI (1941), 495-512, “British Recognition of American Speech in the Eighteenth Century,” Dialect Notes, VI (1928-39), 313-334, and “Dunglison’s Glossary, 1829-1830,” Dialect Notes, V (1918-1927), 422-32. Some other valuable articles of interest to the non-specialist are: Henry Alexander, “The Language of the Salem Witchcraft Trials,” American Speech, III (1927-1928), 390-400; Frank E. Bryant, “On the Conservatism of Language in a New Country,” P.M.L.A., XXII (1907), 277-90; J. H. Combs, “Old, Early and Elizabethan English in the Southern Mountains,” Dialect Notes, IV (1913-1917), 283-97; “Colonial and Early Pioneer Words,” Dialect Notes, IV, 375-385; A. R. Dunlap, “‘Vicious’ Pronunciations in Eighteenth-Century English,” Am. Speech, XV (1940), 364-67; C. H. Grandgent, “From Franklin to Lowell: A Century of New England Pronunciation,” P.M.L.A., XIV (1899), 207-39; Leon Howard, “A Historical Note on American English,” Am. Speech, II (1926-1927), 497-99, and “Toward a Historical Aspect of American Speech Consciousness,” Am. Speech, V (1929-1930), 301-5; George H. Mc-Knight, “Conservatism in American Speech,” Am. Speech, I (1925-1926), 1-17; Albert Mathews, “The Term State-House,” Dialect Notes, II (1900-1904), 199-224; Louise Pound, “Research in American English,” Am. Speech, V (1929-1930), 359-65; Evan T. Sage, “Classical Place-Names in America,” Am. Speech, IV (1928-1929), 261-71; Charles W. Townsend, “Concerning Briticisms,” Am. Speech, VII (1931-1932), 219-222; Harold Whitehall, “The Quality of the Front Reduction Vowel in Early American English,” Am. Speech, XV (1940), 136-43, and “An Elusive Development of ‘Short O’ in Early American English,” Am. Speech, XVI (1941), 192-203; William H. Whitmore, “Origin of the Names of Towns in Massachusetts,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Proc., XII (1871-1873), 393-419.

Monographs of particular interest include: Richard M. Dorson, Jonathan Draws the Long Bow (1946), on early New England folklore; Gordon V. Carey, American into English: A Handbook for Translators (London, 1953); Henry Cabot Lodge, “The Decline of Colonialism,” in Studies in History (1884); Mitford M. Mathews, Some Sources of Southernisms (1948) and (ed.) The Beginnings of American English: Essays and Comments (1931); Anders Orbeck, Early New England Pronunciation, as Reflected in Some Seventeenth Century Town Records of Eastern Massachusetts(1927), which ingeniously uses the naive spellings of early scribes to help discover their pronunciation; Robert E. Spiller, Fenimore Cooper, Critic of His Time (1931); G. R. Stewart, Names on the Land (1945), a popular study of place-names; Richard H. Thornton, An American Glossary (3 vols., 1912-1939); Jacob H. Wild, Glimpses of the American Language and Civilization (Bern, Switzerland, 1945). See Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin (1938), for Franklin’s attitude toward style and for his efforts at spelling-reform.

In one sense, of course, every work written in America illustrates the history of the American language. Some of the writings which explicitly discuss the early condition of the language include: James Fenimore Cooper, “Home as Found,” in Complete Works (N.Y., 1893, Vol. XIV) and Notions of the Americans (2 vols., 1828); Nicholas Cresswell, Journal, 1774-1777 (reprinted, 1924); Jacob Duché, Caspipina’s Letters (1774), sometimes known as Observations; Journal and Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, 1773-1774 (ed. Hunter D. Farish, 1943); Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography (Modern Library ed., 1932); Bret Harte, “The Spelling Bee at Angels,” in Writings (1910), XII, 183-188; Hugh Jones, An Accidence to the English Tongue … Considering the True Manner of Reading, Writing and Talking Proper English (London, 1724) and The Present State of Virginia (1724; ed. Richard L. Morton, 1956); James Kirke Paulding, “A Sketch of Old New England, by a New England Man,” in Richard Phillips (ed.), New Voyages and Travels (9 vols., 1820-1823, Vol. VIII) and The Bulls and Jonathans (1867, reprinting two earlier works comparing Englishmen and Americans); John Pickering, A Vocabulary … of Words and Phrases … Peculiar to the United States (Boston, 1816); John Witherspoon, Works (2d ed., 4 vols., 1802), which includes the important Druid papers.

The comments of English and other travelers and essayists are of varying reliability on the actual state of the language, but they are expressed with an almost uniform dogmatism. Some of the more interesting of these which touch on the American language are: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Essays on His Own Times, forming a Second Series of The Friend (3 vols., 1850); William Eddis, Letters from America … from 1769 to 1777 (London, 1792); Basil Hall, Travels in North America in … 1827 and 1828 (3 vols., Edinburgh, 1829); Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America(2 vols., ed. Phillips Bradley, 1945).

The best introduction to Noah Webster is his own introduction to his American Dictionary of the English Language (2 vols., N.Y., 1828); then one should read his Dissertations on the English Language (1789; facsimile with intro. by Harry R. Warfel, 1951). Other important works by Webster are: A Grammatical Institute, of the English Language (3 vols., Hartford, Conn., 1783-1785), the first part of which became his famous blue-back speller; Compendious Dictionary of the English Language (1806), the earlier form of his more famous American Dictionary; An American Selection of Lessons in Reading and Speaking (Phila., 1807); and his Letters (ed. Harry R. Warfel, 1953). The best biographies are Harry R. Warfel, Noah Webster, Schoolmaster to America (1936) and Ervin C. Shoemaker, Noah Webster, Pioneer of Learning (1936).

An interesting analogy to American linguistic conservatism, and an opportunity to compare the problems in a field where difficulties of transportation were more important, is the story of the log-cabin in America. On the Atlantic seaboard, despite the greater cost and inferior durability of the clapboard house, the early settlers clung to the English-type dwellings. The story is delightfully told and copiously illustrated in Harold R. Shurtleff, The Log Cabin Myth (1939), which every student of the emergence of American (or other colonial) culture should read.



The student of the history of reading habits will soon discover how little we know about what people actually read in the past. Literary historians have devoted themselves mostly to chronicling what was written, or rather what has been printed. Intellectual historians tend to be preoccupied with the mere presence of a book in a certain place. Social historians have given some attention to the composition of libraries and to the books sold or bought. But what people actually read is a fact almost as private and inaccessible as what they thought. We do not have even an approximate record of the actual reading—as contrasted with the book-buying, or book-ownership—of any major figure in our past. We might be astonished at the meagreness of a full and accurate list of the reading, say of Washington. In a few instances—such as the Commonplace Books (edited by Gilbert Chinard, 1926, 1928) in which Jefferson transcribed passages and made notes of some of his reading for certain years; or John Adams’ library marginalia (edited and interpreted by Zoltan Haraszti, under the title John Adams and the Prophets of Progress, 1952)—we have first-hand evidence of actual reading habits. Occasionally accidents and odd facts help us. For example, the fire which destroyed the collection of the Library Company of Providence, R. I., on Christmas Eve, 1758, but which left unharmed the Register Book and the books actually in the hands of borrowers, gives us a tantalizing glimpse of the pattern of library-circulation—although not necessarily of reading. See Jesse H. Shera, Foundations of the Public Library (1949), 117 ff.

Historians have tended to be satisfied with mere circumstantial evidence. But everyone knows from his personal experience that the purchase of a book is sometimes a substitute for the reading of it; we would all be flattered to think that the contents of our libraries had got into our heads. Many volumes from the 17th and 18th centuries survive with uncut pages or in mint condition. While seldom admitting it, we have been inclined to study the literary furnishings of past houses as if they were the furnishings of past minds. Partly because of the special difficulties of the subject, and partly because of the bias of our literary scholars, I, too, have in Part XI come at reading habits indirectly—mainly through the contents of libraries and the character of the book-trade.

The most important evidence of everyday reading habits sometimes is self-destroying. Hornbooks, primers, and newspapers tend to be used up, and the items best preserved (and hence often most prominent in scholars’ lists) are often preserved because they were not much used.

For general social history, for urban life, and for the differences between different parts of the colonies, many of the most valuable items will be found in the bibliographical notes above, especially the General section, and Parts I-IV. For the paths from social history to the history of reading habits, the writings of Carl Bridenbaugh, Louis B. Wright, and Lawrence C. Wroth are especially valuable. All Bridenbaugh’s works throw light on the context of the literary culture: for urban life in general his work is definitive; for the South, see his Myths and Realities: Societies of the Colonial South; for Philadelphia (with Jessica Bridenbaugh) his Rebels and Gentlemen (1942); and see his “The Press and Book in Eighteenth Century Philadelphia,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., LXV (1941), 1-30. Wright’s First Gentlemen of Virginia: Intellectual Qualities of the Early Colonial Ruling Class (1940) is indispensable for its wealth of detail and its judicious generalizations; see also his important article, “The Purposeful Reading of Our Colonial Ancestors,” ELH: A Journal of English Literary History, IV (1937), 85-111, “The Classical Tradition in Colonial Virginia,” Bibliographical Society of America, Papers, XXXIII (1939), 85-97, and “The ‘Gentleman’s Library’ in Early Virginia,” Huntington Lib. Q., I (1937-1938), 3-61. Lawrence C. Wroth, An American Bookshelf, 1755 (1934), is an urbane, ingenious, and scholarly reconstruction of the “typical” library of a hypothetical mid-18th-century gentleman, and Thomas G. Wright, Literary Culture in Early New England, 1620-1730 (1920), is the most thorough monograph for any region. See also the relevant parts of several of Frederick B. Tolles’ books (Part II, above), and Frederick P. Bowes, The Culture of Early Charleston (1942). For minutiae of books in Virginia see the writings of Philip A. Bruce (Part IV, above).

On colonial libraries, especially valuable are: George M. Abbott, A Short History of the Library Company of Philadelphia (1913); Clarence S. Brigham, “Harvard College Library Duplicates, 1682,” Col. Soc. Mass., Pub., XVIII (Trans. 1915-1916), 407-17; Austin K. Gray, Benjamin Franklin’s Library (1936); J. Katherine Jackson, Outlines of the Literary History of Colonial Pennsylvania (1906); E. V. Lamberton, “Colonial Libraries of Philadelphia,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., XLII (1918), 193-234; Samuel Eliot Morison’s volumes on Harvard College describe its library (see Part I, above); James W. Phillips, “The Sources of the Original Dickinson College Library,” Penn. History, XIV (1947), 108-117; A. S. W. Rosenbach, Early American Children’s Books (1933); Jesse H. Shera, Foundations of the Public Library: The Origins of the Public Library Movement in New England, 1629-1855 (1949); Louis Shores, Origins of the American College Library, 1638-1800 (1934); William Sloane, Children’s Books in England and America in the Seventeenth Century: A History and Checklist (1955); George K. Smart, “Private Libraries in Colonial Virginia,” American Literature, X (1938-39), 24-52, a particularly helpful interpretation with many useful statistics; E. Millicent Sowerby (ed.), Catalog of the Library of Thomas Jefferson (1952——); Mary Mann Page Stanard, Colonial Virginia, Its People and Customs (1917); Frederick B. Tolles, “A Literary Quaker: John Smith of Burlington and Philadelphia,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., LXV (1941), 300-333; Andrew W. Tuer, History of the Horn Book (2 vols., 1896); Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin (1938) for Franklin’s library-founding activities; Stephen B. Weeks, “Libraries and Literature in North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century,” Am. Hist. Assn., Ann. Report (1895), 171-267; J. T. Wheeler, “Reading Interests in Colonial Maryland,” Md. Hist. Mag., XXXVI (1941), 281-2, XXXVII (1942), 26-7, 291, XXX-VIII (1943), 37-8, 167-8, 273-4; Lawrence C. Wroth, The First Century of the John Carter Brown Library (1946); and A Catalogue of Books Belonging to the Library Company of Philadelphia: A Facsimile of the Edition of 1741 Printed by Benjamin Franklin (1956; intro. by Edwin Wolf 2nd).

For the history of colonial book-buying and book-selling we have two admirable works of general interest: Frank Luther Mott, Golden Multitudes: The Story of Best Sellers in the United States (1947) and James D. Hart, The Popular Book: A History of America’s Literary Taste (1950). Useful specialized studies include: Henry W. Boynton, Annals of American Bookselling, 1636-1850 (1932); Carl L. Cannon, American Book Collectors and Collecting From Colonial Times to the Present (1941); Paul L. Ford (ed.), The New-England Primer; a History of its Origin and Development; with a reprint of the Unique copy of the Earliest Known Edition (1897); Worthington C. Ford, The Boston Book Market, 1679-1700 (1917); Howard Mumford Jones, “The Importation of French Books in Philadelphia, 1750-1800,” Modern Philology, XXXII (1934-1935), 157-177 with much valuable detail, and America and French Culture, 1750-1848 (1927); Michael Kraus, Intercolonial Aspects of American Culture (1928); George E. Littlefield, Early Boston Booksellers 1642-1711 (1900) and Early Schools and School-Books of New England (1904); George L. McKay, American Book Auction Catalogues, 1713-1934; A Union List (1937) and “Early American Book Auctions,” Colophon(1939).

Contemporary items of special interest include: Bibliotheca Americana; or A Chronological Catalogue of the most curious and interesting books, pamphlets, state papers, etc. upon the subject of North and South America, from the earliest period to the Present, in Print and Manuscript(London, 1789), sometimes listed as by Arthur or Henry Homer, but for another view of the authorship, see S. C. Sherman, “L. T. Rede,” Wm. & Mary Q., 3d Series, IV (1947), 340; Jacob Duché, Caspipina’s Letters or Observations(Phila., 1774); John Dunton, Letters from New England, 1686, in Prince Soc., Pub., IV (1867), and see Chester N. Greenough, “John Dunton’s Letters from New England,” Col. Soc. Mass., Pub., XIV (Trans. 1911-13), 213-57 and “John Dunton Again,” XXI (Trans., 1919), 232-51; Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York (4 vols., New Haven, Conn., 1821-22); Benjamin Franklin, Writings, ed. Albert H. Smyth (10 vols., 1907), and Autobiography (Modern Lib. ed., 1932); Sarah (Kemble) Knight, The Journal of Madam Knight (1704; reprinted, 1935); John Norton and Sons, Merchants of London and Virginia … Papers from their Counting House … 1750 to 1795 (ed. Frances N. Mason, 1937).



The tendency to deal with the history of the printed word in America in the categories of European belles-lettres (lyric poem, epic, essay, etc.) has been misleading and has made difficult the discovery of some obvious features of our culture. It is in our special ways of using the printing press more than in our ways of producing works in the traditional European literary genres that characteristics of American civilization are revealed.

For the history of printing in the colonial years, the leading work is Lawrence C. Wroth, The Colonial Printer (1938), which includes many helpful illustrations. Other works by Wroth also lead from the details of printing into the largest questions of social history: Typographic Heritage, Selected Essays (1949) on the background of American typography, type-founding, and book-design; A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland, 1686-1776 (1922), the best regional monograph for this period, valuable for its copious details concerning the publication of statutes and for its light on the relation of the “Publick Printer” to the newspaper and to the postal services; and William Parks, Printer and Journalist of England and Colonial America (1926). A valuable modern survey which includes the colonial period is Douglas C. McMurtrie, The History of Printing in the United States (1929).

Through the life and works of Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831), a printer of Worcester, Mass., who has never been given the prominence he deserves in our history, we can glimpse the versatility of many American printers; their fame has been overshadowed by that of Benjamin Franklin, who was only the most famous of numerous printer-statesmen. If for no other reason, Thomas should be known as a historian. His readable History of Printing in America with a Biography of Printers, and an Account of Newspapers (2 vols., 1810; 2d ed., Am. Antiq. Soc., Trans., V-VI, 1874), is one of the earliest and most satisfactory works of American social and cultural history. But Thomas was also an editor, publisher, and pamphleteer. In his day he was widely known for almanacs, hymnals, Bibles, and magazines, and for his violently pro-Revolutionary newspaper, Massachusetts Spy, which carried the motto “Open to all Parties, but Influenced by None” (1770-1904, Boston and Worcester). He founded the American Antiquarian Society in 1812. Thomas deserves a full-length biography to bring to life the long and active career of a self-educated boy who became one of the nation’s leading shapers of opinion. For an amplification of his history, see “William McCulloch’s Additions to Thomas’s History of Printing,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., XXXI (1921), 89-247.

Other valuable items for special topics in the history of printing include: W. H. Allnutt, “English Provincial Presses,” Bibliographica, Papers on Books, Their History and Art, II, 23-46, 150-80, 276-308, and III, 481-3; Arthur B. Berthold, “American Colonial Printing as Determined by Contemporary Cultural Forces, 1693-1763” (unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Chicago, 1934); Earl L. Bradsher, Mathew Carey, Editor, Author and Publisher: A Study in American Literary Development (1912); Paul L. Ford (ed.) The New England Primer (1897); Worthington C. Ford, “Broadsides, Ballads, Etc. Printed in Massachusetts, 1639-1800,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., LXXV (1922) and “The Isaiah Thomas Collection of Ballads,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., XXXIII (1923), 34-112; Zoltan Haraszti, The Enigma of the Bay Psalm Book (1956; companion volume to a facsimile reprint of the Bay Psalm Book, University of Chicago Press, 1956); Charles S. R. Hildeburn, A Century of Printing, The Issues of the Press in Pennsylvania, 1685-1784 (2 vols., 1885) and Sketches of Printers and Printing in Colonial New York (1895); Eldon R. James, “A List of Legal Treatises Printed in the British Colonies and the American States before 1801,” in Harvard Legal Essays (1934); Helmut Lehmann-Haupt, The Book in America (2d ed., 1951), including a valuable brief survey of the early period by Lawrence C. Wroth, and Bookbinding in America(1941); William E. Lingelbach, “B. Franklin, Printer—New Source Materials,” Am. Philos. Soc., Proc., XCII (1948), 79-100; George E. Littlefield, The Early Massachusetts Press, 1638-1711 (2 vols., 1907); Douglas C. McMurtrie, Beginnings of Printing in Virginia (1935) and “The Beginnings of Printing in New Hampshire,” The Library, 4th Ser., XV (1935), 340-63; James Bennett Nolan, Printer Strahan’s Book Account: A Colonial Controversy (1939); John C. Oswald, Benjamin Franklin, Printer (1917); Robert A. Peddie, Printing: A Short History of the Art (1927), including an excellent brief survey of American printing by Lawrence C. Wroth; John H. Powell, Books of a New Nation: U. S. Government Publications, 1774-1814 (1957); Robert Roden, The Cambridge Press, 1638-1692 (1905); A. S. Salley, Jr., “The First Presses of South Carolina,” Bibl. Soc. Am., Proc., II (1907-08), 28-69; Margaret B. Stillwell, Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: A Key to Bibliographical Study (1931); Lyman H. Weeks, A History of Paper-Manufacturing in the United States, 1640-1916 (1916); Stephen B. Weeks, The Press of North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century (1891); George P. Winship, The Cambridge Press, 1638-1692 (1945); John T. Winterich, Early American Books & Printing (1935); Richardson L. Wright, Hawkers and Walkers in Early America (1927). The writings of Franklin contain many valuable items: a guide to the relevant passages is Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin (1938); see also, “Letters from James Parker to Benjamin Franklin,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Proc., 2d Series, XVI (1902), 186-232. An important early survey which includes printing, among other aspects of American culture, is Samuel Miller, A Brief Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century (N.Y., 1803).

For an introduction to the history of American newspapers and magazines, we are fortunate to have the up-to-date, readable, and reliable books by Frank Luther Mott: his American Journalism … 1690-1940 (1941) is less detailed than his monumental History of American Magazines (4 vols., 1930-57) which covers the early period in Vol. I; both these works should be on the shelves of any serious student of American civilization. A basic tool for the early period is Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820 (2 vols., 1947); see also his suggestive Journals and Journeymen: A Contribution to the History of Early American Newspapers (1950). A pioneer monograph, full of fascinating detail on the development of the American newspaper and its relation to politics is Arthur M. Schlesinger, Prelude to Independence: The Newspaper War on Britain, 1764-1776 (1958), which came to my attention only after my chapters had gone to press.

For other aspects of the early history of American newspapers and magazines, see: Willard G. Bleyer, Main Currents in the History of American Journalism (1927); Hennig Cohen, The South Carolina Gazette, 1732-1775 (1953); Bernard Fay, L’Esprit Revolutionnaire en France et Aux états-Unis à la Fin du XVIIIe Siècle (1925) and Notes on the American Press at the End of the Eighteenth Century (1927); Sidney Kobre, The Development of the Colonial Newspaper (1944); James R. Sutherland, “The Circulation of Newspapers and Literary Periodicals, 1700-30,” The Library, 4th Ser., XV (1935), 110-124; Reuben G. Thwaites, The Ohio Valley Press Before the War of 1812-15 (1909); Virginia Gazette (see Part IV, above); J. B. Williams, “The. Beginnings of English Journalism,” in Camb. Hist. Eng. Lit. Vol. VII (1932), and A History of English Journalism to the Foundation of the Gazette (1908).

The best introduction to the almanacs is George Lyman Kittredge, The Old Farmer and His Almanack (1904), although he deals mostly with a later period. The almanacs themselves are now quite rare, but the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, Mass. possesses an excellent collection; photostats of those for 1647-1700 are in The Newberry Library, Chicago. See also Charles L. Nichols, “Notes on the Almanacs of Massachusetts,” Am. Antiq. Soc., Proc., N.S., XXII (1912), 15-134, and Chester N. Greenough, “New England Almanacs, 1776-1775, and the American Revolution,” ibid., XLV (1935), 288-316.

On the little-understood subject of the freedom of the press, for which we still need a good general history, see: Zechariah Chafee, Jr., Free Speech in the United States (1941), the leading work in its area, but emphasizing legal aspects; Clyde A. Duniway, The Development of Freedom of the Press in Massachusetts (1906); Giles J. Patterson, Free Speech and a Free Press (1939); and Livingston R. Schuyler, Liberty of the Press in the American Colonies before the Revolutionary War with Particular Reference to … New York (1905); The Trial of John Peter Zenger (1752; 1765 ed., reprinted Cal. State Library, 1940).

The best work on the early history of the post office is Wesley E. Rich, The History of the United States Post Office to the Year 1829 (1924). See also Ruth L. Butler, Doctor Franklin, Postmaster General (1928); Victor H. Paltsits, “John Holt, Printer and Postmaster …,” N.Y. Pub. Lib., Bull., XXIV (1920), 483-99; William Smith, “The Colonial Post-Office,” Am. Hist. Rev., XXI (1915-16), 258-75.





Much of the writing of our military history has centered on battles and other dramatic episodes, and on the lives of military commanders. Although our military institutions and our attitudes toward war have been decisively shaped in times of peace, relatively little has been done to describe these developments. We have no general military history of the colonial wars, but a great deal has been written about the Revolution itself.

The best recent history of the relation between our military ways and our civilization as a whole is Walter Millis’ brilliant Arms and Men: A Study of American Military History (1956), which begins with the colonial period and is an admirable book for the non-specialist. Other useful works of a general nature are: Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr., The Civilian and the Military: A History of the American Antimilitarist Tradition (1956); Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (1957); John U. Nef, War and Human Progress (1950); Robert Osgood, Limited War (1957); Lynn Montross, War Through the Ages (1944), a popular survey; and Quincy Wright’s monumental Study of War (2 vols., 1942).

One of the best places to savor the military experience of the colonial era and to see some of its wider significance for American life is in the vivid pages of Francis Parkman, France and England in North America (9 vols., 1865-92) supplemented by The Conspiracy of Pontiac (2 vols., 1851), where the military conflict between the British and French becomes the connecting thread of a broad, spectacular narrative. Another dramatic introduction to the colonial wars is found in Douglas Freeman’s brilliant chapters on Washington’s activities as aide to General Braddock, on the defeat at the Battle of the Monongahela (July, 1755) and the aftermath for Washington’s military career; see his George Washington, Vol. II (1948), chs. i-xv.

The most important special studies of colonial warfare are the readable and definitive works by Stanley Pargellis, Lord Loudoun in North America (1933), Military Affairs in North America, 1748-1765: Selected Documents from the Cumberland Papers in Windsor Castle (1936), and “The Four Independent Companies of New York,” in Essays in Colonial History (1931); these are models of their kind. Other valuable items touching colonial military life are: Arthur A. Buffinton, “The Puritan View of War,” Col. Soc. Mass., Pub., XXVIII (Trans. 1930-33), 67-86; David Cole, An Outline of British Military History, 1660-1936 (1936); John W. Fortescue, A History of the British Army (13 vols., 1899-1930) and The County Lieutenancies and the Army, 1803-1814 (1909); John Hope Franklin, The Militant South, 1800-1861 (1956), esp. ch. 1; Wilbur R. Jacobs, Diplomacy and Indian Gifts: Anglo-French Rivalry along the Ohio and Northwest Frontiers, 1748-1763 (1950); Douglas E. Leach, Flintlock and Tomahawk: New England in King Philip’s War (1958), and “The Military System of Plymouth Colony,” N.E.Q., XXIV (1951), 342-64, an especially valuable article; William C. MacLeod, The American Indian Frontier (1928); Samuel E. Morison, “Harvard in the Colonial Wars, 1675-1743,” Harvard Graduates’ Mag. XXVI (1917-18), 554-74; Louis Morton, “The End of Formalized Warfare,” Am. Heritage, VI (1955), 12-19, 95; R. W. G, Vail, The Voice of the Old Frontier (1949), a full bibliography of frontier literature; and Wilcomb E. Washburn, The Governor and the Rebel: A History of Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (1957), an important new interpretation.

On the history of weapons in colonial America there is a considerable literature, though much of it is antiquarian or designed for the gun-collector. The development of the American rifle is an especially suggestive topic on which much of the best writing has been done. The most useful works of general interest are Harold L. Peterson, Arms and Armor in Colonial America: 1526-1783 (1956), copiously illustrated, reliable, and up-to-date in its scholarship, and Capt. John G. W. Dillin, The Kentucky Rifle: A Study of the origin and development of a purely American type of firearm (1924), with many valuable details, but imperfectly documented; and Roger Burlingame, March of the Iron Men (1938), which places the history of firearms in the context of social history. Other valuable items are: Ezekiel Baker, Remarks on Rifle Guns … (11th ed., London, 1835); W. Y. Carmen, A History of Firearms from Earliest Times to 1914 (1955); Carl W. Drepperd, Pioneer America, Its First Three Centuries (1949), valuable for its history of folk-technology; Charles Ffoulkes, Arms and Armament: An Historical Survey of the British Army (1945); William W. Greener, The Gun and its Development (1885); George Hanger, To All Sportsmen, and Particularly to Farmers, and Gamekeepers (London, 1814); H. J. Kauffman, Early American Gunsmiths, 1650-1850 (1942); Horace Kephart, “The Rifle in Colonial Times,” Mag. of Am. Hist., XXIV (1890), 179-191, an extremely suggestive article; Felix Reichmann, “The Pennsylvania Rifle: A Social Interpretation of Changing Military Techniques,” Penn. Mag. Hist. & Biog., LXIX (1945), 3-14; Q. D. Satterlee and Arcadi Gluckman, American Gun Makers (1940); Charles W. Sawyer, Firearms in American History: 1600 to 1800 (1910) and Our Rifles(1946); Philip B. Sharpe, The Rifle in America (1938); E. C. Wilford, Three Lectures upon the Rifle (2d ed., London, 1860), an apology for the late (1857) introduction of the (Enfield, Whitworth) rifle as the standard infantry weapon of the British army; Major Townsend Whelen, The American Rifle (1918); John W. Wright, “The Rifle in the American Revolution,” Am. Hist. Rev., XXIV (1924), 293-99.

The military history of the American Revolution has recently been the subject of many volumes which should appeal to the general reader. Two compact, up-to-date works giving the context for the military events are: John R. Alden, The American Revolution, 1775-1783 (1954) and Edmund S. Morgan, The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 (1956). The best brief treatments of the military history are Howard H. Peckham, The War for Independence, A Military History (1958) and Willard M. Wallace, Appeal to Arms(1951). More detailed narratives attractive to the non-specialist include: Lynn Montross, The Reluctant Rebels: The Story of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (1950) and Rag, Tag and Bobtail: The Story of the Continental Army, 1775-1783 (1952); and George F. Sheer and Hugh F. Rankin (eds.), Rebels and Redcoats (1957), a discriminating selection of eyewitness accounts and other original records, with lively introductions.

A still more detailed account, for the armchair strategist or specialist in military history, is Christopher Ward, The War of the Revolution (ed. John R. Alden, 2 vols., 1952). Eric Robson’s The American Revolution in its Political and Military Aspects: 1763-1783(1955) is a strikingly original study, suggesting intriguing connections between military and non-military affairs. On the problems of the revolutionary army, Louis C. Hatch, The Administration of the American Revolutionary Army (1904) is still basic.

Of the vast literature on the Revolution in general, the following are especially relevant to Part XIII: Thomas P. Abernethy, Western Lands and the American Revolution (1937); John R. Alden, The South in the Revolution, 1763-1789 (1957) and General Gage in America (1948); Keith B. Berwick, “Prudence and Patriotism: The Backgrounds of Allegiance in Revolutionary Virginia” (unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Chicago, 1957); Charles K. Bolton, The Private Soldier Under Washington (1902); Robert E. Brown, Middle-Class Democracy and the Revolution in Massachusetts, 1691-1780 (1955); Edmund C. Burnett, The Continental Congress (1941); Edward E. Curtis, The Organization of the British Army in the American Revolution (1926); Philip Davidson, Propaganda and the American Revolution, 1763-1783 (1941); Wallace E. Davies, “The Society of the Cincinnati in New England, 1783-1800,” Wm. & Mary Q., 3rd Ser., V (1948), 3-25; Elisha P. Douglass, Rebels and Democrats: The Struggle for Equal Rights and Majority Rule During the American Revolution (1955); Louis C. Duncan, Medical Men in the American Revolution, 1775-1783 (1931); Max von Eelking, The German Allied Troops in the North American War of Independence, 1776-1783 (1893); John C. Fitzpatrick, The Spirit of the Revolution (1924), including some valuable essays on the common soldier and other military topics; Evarts B. Greene, The Revolutionary Generation (“History of American Life” series, 1943) and “Some Educational Values of the American Revolution,” Am. Philos. Soc., Proc., LXVIII (1929), 185-194; Freeman H. Hart, The Valley of Virginia in the American Revolution, 1763-1789 (1942); Brooke Hindle, “American Culture and the Migrations of the Revolutionary Era,” in “John and Mary’s College” (1956); J. Franklin Jameson, The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement (1925; reprinted, 1956); Merrill Jensen, The Articles of Confederation (1948) and The New Nation, 1781-1789 (1950); Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780 (1901) and … 1780-1783 (1902); Richard B. Morris (ed.), The Era of the American Revolution (1939); David Schenck, North Carolina, 1780-81 (1889); Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution, 1763-1776 (1917; reprinted, 1957); Frederick C. Stoll, “George Washington and the Society of the Cincinnati” (unpublished M.A. thesis, Dept. of History, University of Chicago, 1949); William W. Sweet, “The Role of the Anglicans in the American Revolution,” Hunt. Lib. Q., XI (1947-48), 51-70; Clarence L. Ver Steeg, “The American Revolution considered as an Economic Movement,” Hunt. Lib. Q., XX (1957), 361-372, and Robert Morris: Revolutionary Financier (1954); Winslow Warren, The Society of the Cincinnati: A History (1929); and William B. Willcox, “British Strategy in America, 1778,” Journal of Mod. Hist., XIX (1947), 97-121.

Many of the most valuable contemporary records are to be found in the collected writings of Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and other military and political leaders of the age (mentioned in various notes above). Of special interest for their relevance to the topics of Part XIII are: Warren-Adams Letters … a correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Warren, Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., LXXII (1917) and LXXIII (1925); Familiar Letters of John Adams and his Wife Abigail Adams during the Revolution (ed. Charles F. Adams, 1875); Charles M. Andrews (ed.), Narratives of the Insurrections, 1675-1690 (“Original Narratives” series, 1915); E. C. Burnett (ed.), Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols., 1921-38); Sir Henry Clinton, The American Rebellion (ed. William B. Willcox, 1954), the British commander-in-chiefs own narrative of his campaigns, 1775-1782; Cadwallader Colden, The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada (reprinted, 2 vols., 1902), for a colonial view of Indian warfare; Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (Everyman Lib., 1940), with many incidental comments on colonial warfare; Daniel Defoe, “An Essay upon Projects” (1697), in Henry Morley (ed.), Earlier Life and the Chief Earlier Works of Daniel Defoe (1889), for a cogent characterization of the European style of warfare at the end of the 17th century; Joseph Doddridge, Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, in Samuel Kercheval, A History of the Valley of Virginia (Winchester, Va., 1833; and later eds.); Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York (4 vols., 1821-22); Memoirs of the Life and Character of Rev. John Eliot, Apostle of the North American Indians (ed. Martin Moore, Boston, 1822), for some of the problems of praying with (and fighting against) the Indians in early New England; William Gordon, History of the … Establishment of the Independence of the United States (4 vols., London, 1788); William Hubbard, A Narrative of the Indian Wars in New-England from … 1607, to the Year 1677 (Boston, 1677; reprinted, 1801); J. Franklin Jameson (ed.), Narratives of New Netherlands, 1609-1664 (“Original Narratives” series: 1909); Hugh Jones, Present State of Virginia (1724), for valuable sidelights on the military as well as other institutions; Diary of Frederick Mackenzie: Giving a Daily Narrative of his Military Service as an Officer of the Regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers During the Years 1775-1781 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York (2 vols., 1930); Cotton Mather, Magnolia Christi Americana (2 vols., 1702; reprinted, 1853), esp. Vol. II, Bk. VII, “The Wars of the Lord”; Dr. David Ramsay, The History of the American Revolution (2 vols., Phila., 1789) and The History of South Carolina from … 1670 to 1808 (2 vols., 1809); James Thacher, A Military Journal During the American Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783 (Boston, 1823); Mercy (Otis) Warren, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (3 vols., Boston, 1805), one of the few important contemporary histories of the Revolution.

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