Mary Ann Radzinowicz's volume comprises texts from the American colonial period, which bear witness to the extraordinary diversity of writing at this time. All the texts are permeated by a strong historical consciousness. Indeed five of the ten writers selected called their writing 'histories'. What we see emerging from the writers is a particular American identity, full of idealism and a strong emotional commitment to ideas, culminating in the Declaration of Independence and the metamorphosis of America from colony to nation. Professor Radzinowicz has written a substantial introduction to the volume in which she provides a history of the thirteen colonies, exploring the social, theological, intellectual and political expectations of the early settlers. This volume will be indispensable reading for students of American literature and history.
Table of Contents
1. Captain John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles - the third booke; 2. Governor William Bradford, The History of Plimmoth Plantation; 3. Mary Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson; 4. Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana: or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England from its first planting in the year 1620 until the year of our Lord 1698; 5. Sarah Kemble Knight, The Private Journal of a Journey from Boston to New York, in the year 1704; 6. William Byrd II, History of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina Run in the Year of our Lord 1728; 7. Jonathan Edwards, Personal Narrative; 8. Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Part One; 9. Patrick Tailfer, Hugh Anderson and David Douglas, A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia in America, Dedication, preface and selections; 10. Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, The Declaration of Independence.