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SETTLERS ON THE EASTERN SHORE, 1607-1750 by John Anthony Scott Kirkus Star



Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Knopf

Heavily documented with excerpts from the contemporary journals of settlers, this explores many of the conflicts in colonial America and points to the emergence of early traditions and living patterns. Pioneers, impressed by the abundance of wildlife and willing to endure hardships (in preference to persecution or in the hope of increasing their fortune), faced a manpower shortage from the beginning. The Indians preferred the hardships of a neolithic culture (recorded by a woman who lived, captive, with them for three months) to submission, and continued waves of settlers, pushing westward, aroused ""the hatred of the Indians who found themselves dispossessed and driven back."" Indentured servitude (there's an explanation and excerpts from a contract) was a harsh way of life, especially in the South, and tobacco aristocrat reached to Africa for slaves (often traded by native chieftains), although ""slaves were brought to all, not just southern colonies."" Also included are the first trial concerning freedom of the press (Zenger); the turn to religion, especially in Sparsely populated communities (with passages from Jonathan Edwards' sermons); the observations of a new arrival in 1750, dramatically contrasting urban life with earlier accounts of wilderness; and a chapter on still-popular colonial songs. From the author of the well-received adult Ballad of America and Diary of the American Revolution, this is a fascinating, well-integrated documentary look at lesser-known aspects of colonial life.