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With this, the second in the Nelson series of colonial histories (previously Colonial New York, p. 307, J-109), a pattern begins to emerge: in contrast to the brief Hawthorn dramatizations and the erratic Crowell-Collier entries, which do attend generally to political currents and daily life, these tend to be diligent, highly particularized accounts of happenings with neither intimacy nor overview. As such, they seem best suited to the state concerned. Colonial Pennsylvania is seen in terms of Swedish and Dutch settlement and rule; the role of William Penn (including his early and later life) and his unlike, unlikable children; successive waves of immigration; trouble with the Indians on the frontier; boundary disputes with other colonies; the French and Indian War; the steps toward independence. Particularly useful is the delineation of such groups as the Welsh Quakers, the diverse ""Plain People"" (Mennonites. Church of the Brethren, Amish, Ephrata Cloister, Moravians, Schwenckfelders), the German Church People, and the Scotch-Irish; references to the Negro, on the other hand, are rather fuzzy (to the point, sometimes, of appearing indulgent of slavery). Whereas the Crowell-Collier series seems to overstress the singularity of each colony, this does little for the ""holy experiment"" per se. But it does offer a full chronology.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1969
Publisher: Nelson