Colonial America: A History in Documents by Edward G. Gray

By Edward G. Gray

Colonial America is a rare selection of unique files that convey what existence within the American colonies was once particularly like for colonists, local american citizens, and slaves. From Georgia to Maine, diaries, letters, newspaper clippings, posters, and a large number of fundamental resources supply vigorous perception. a few examples comprise:
*Prenuptial agreements for ladies, child-rearing manuals, a letter from a father to his daughter explaining why inequality used to be priceless for either women and men
*Native American land deeds, the production tale, captivity narratives
*Laws regulating slaves, ads for runaways, a letter justifying a wife's harsh remedy of a home servant
*A poem from a boy despatched to the colonies for undesirable habit, an exposé of German immigrant indenture
From wood spoons to imported china, from opposed family members among Indians and whites to colonial advocacy of place of birth security, and from "limb of britain" to a brand new experience of identification, Colonial America is an engaging, often intimate, examine existence within the colonies

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So as there died some times two or three of a day in the foresaid time, that of 100 and odd persons, scarce fifty remained. And of these, in the time of most distress, there was but six or seven sound persons who to their great commendations, be it spoken, spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their own health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them. In a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least, showing herein their true love unto their friends and brethren; a rare example and worthy to be remembered.

Desperate, on edge, and often starving, those colonists that did survive found themselves in a state of almost ceaseless turmoil. As food grew scarce and treasure proved even scarcer, people’s fuses shortened, and the colony found itself plagued by infighting. Part of the problem was simply that the young gentlemen who settled Virginia were a particularly quarrelsome lot. As sons of privilege, they expected to give orders, not receive them from the colonial council and a series of elected presidents of the colony.

Commend my blessing to my son John. I cannot now write to him; but tell him I have committed thee and thine to him. Labor to draw him yet nearer to God, and he will be the surer staff of comfort to thee. I cannot name the rest of my good friends, but thou canst supply it. I wrote, a week since, to thee and Mr. Leigh, and divers others. Thine wheresover, Jo. Winthrop One of the more striking qualities of the Great Migration is that it was mostly composed not of the poor, the downtrodden, or the wretched, but rather of people with means, people with comfortable levels of wealth, stable livelihoods, families, and homes.

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