We’re off to a good start in creating our own history of Colonial America for our year-long focus on American literature and American literary culture. The following authors present important points about coming to terms with understanding a history of America and North America. What influence or beginning story captures your interest the most? Again, realize that we did not have you purchase Volume A of our Norton Anthology, yet we will come back to that site for resources: http://wwnorton.com/college/english/naal8/section/volA/overview.aspx But taking time to think on the larger design of this project and how it is evolving, realize that you will be writing one segment of our own version of a Volume A. Besides key players, immigration groups, imperial forces, feel free to explore other large themes that are essential to create a more expansive collective history.
Homework will be to consider our two authors, this film on Anne Hutchinson as well as the walking tour of the colonial Dutch influence on New York. Then compose a 3-5 sentence intellectual takeaway for one idea that strikes you as imperative for our large, sweeping history of Colonial America. Compose your ideas in a word document so that you can revise it several times before you paste it in the comment thread below.
We’ll look to be inspired by Tony Horwitz and his thesis, as a journalist and history major, of how little he and most Americans know about the time period between 1492 and the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620. How can we channel his enthusiasm for the sixteenth century for our work? Or do you think one of these figures, topics, themes belongs in our work? https://www.amazon.com/Voyage-Long-Strange-Conquistadors-Adventurers/dp/0312428324/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442148629&sr=1-1&keywords=a+voyage+long+and+strange We will also enjoy Nathaniel Philbrick’s insightful examination of the Pilgrims that will help us go beyond our grammar school days of choosing to be a Pilgrim or Indian the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We’ll also note well his praise for “William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantaion as the greatest text written in seventeenth century America” (7). https://www.amazon.com/Mayflower-Story-Courage-Community-War/dp/0143111973
Let’s have fun tracing Anne Hutchinson’s great conflicts and follow her history in order to learn more about John Winthrop, Roger Williams, and the more regliously tolerant Dutch colonly.
Did you know about this dramatic trial in colonial history? Did you know that Anne Hutchinson left to go to the Colony and Plantation of Rhode Island because other thinkers (perhaps more tolerant than John Winthrop) there, such as Roger Williams (who would also spend time learning languages of Native tribe and composing a translation dictionary) would welcome her? Did you know that she had to leave Providence and settle in New Amsterdam (Now New York, where the Hutchinson Parkway begins) because the Dutch were the most tolerant east coast colony? Does anyone know the reason she was killed? That could be a fun topic to explain imperial forces and native cultures in the New York area at the time. Have fun looking into one of these aspects of Anne Hutchinson’s life as it may help you become a more informed American literary critic. How will this historical work help us understand Ann Bradstreet’s poetry? You don’t have time and space to cover all of her interesting life!
Viewing instructions: First, click here: http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/view/ Feel free to check more out on this site. Then select the first video, “A New Adam” and click forward to around minute 12, which is titled a conflict in the Puritan faith. Keep viewing for twenty more minutes and learn about Anne Hutchinson’s conflict, which ends around minute 32. These twenty minutes of this video may help reenforce the different sects of religions during early America. Do you see how these Puritans are different from the Pilgrims, who were separtists? This video will also help us realize the urgency these early colonists felt arriving on the shores on North America (knowing that Jamestown was a struggle and their New England chances were slim) and asking new questions in this new land. This video also captures the feminists struggles (she was the first female defendant in a Massachusetts court) that Anne Hutchinson makes within the colony of Boston. We also have to take time and creative power to image the severity of what banishment meant in 1638. What path did she take to Providence? Would you risk so much for your beliefs?
Speaking of which, who is up for a walking field trip? http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tqpeiffer/Documents/Ancestral%20Migration%20Archives/Migration%20Webpage%20Folder/Northeast%20U.S.%20Migration%20Routes.htm
Or more close to home? https://sites.google.com/site/oldconnecticutpath/
Also look at another colonial region that we discussed, New York City. Everyone should have viewed part one already; those more interested in this topic can keep going deeper. Russell Shorto’s four part video highlights key passages of his great book, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America. Enjoy part one to help you launch into this project more as you begin to understand that the influence of Dutch colonial culture is a “blind spot” that Americans have about their early history. I recommend all four parts if you are interested in this part of colonial history. In part four, you can also learn how Long Islanders may have developed their unique way of saying, “Long Island.” You can also appreciate Shorto’s thesis about how immigrants coming to New York and spreading an early form of multicultural American capitalism west is another realization that they were actually experiencing Dutch sensibilities of the New Amsterdam colony that did not change that much with its new name, New York.