Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 3 of Colonial Month

This week I tried just going through the volume of Annals of America. It's full of short pieces, so I got several read even though I didn't spend much time on it.

On the Value of Colonies to England is a tract published anonymously (probably in 1607), listing reasons to establish colonies and proposing that public companies be created to sponsor colonizing groups. Much of it boils down to "everyone else is doing it and we've got to keep up."

Starving Time in Virginia is a selection from John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia. Parts are reports from various people, and parts are from Smith himself--though apparently he was not always strictly truthful. It starts with the 'starving time' in 1607 and continues through 1614. This account is where we get the story of Pocahontas saving Smith's life.

A Sermon Encouraging Prospective Colonists by William Symonds. This sermon justifies England's colonial ambitions. (1609)

Another piece from John Smith, describing the colonies as a profitable choice, where a colonist may earn a comfortable living if he works at it. (1616)

The Mayflower Compact (1620). Only a few paragraphs long, this compact was supposed to serve as an interim arrangement whereby the Puritans agreed to govern themselves until a charter could be drawn up. The charter never materialized and the Compact remained in force until the Plymouth colony was folded into the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1691.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Well, I had good intentions to start on time, but I'm reading now to catch up. Thank you for starting this blog and the links!