November 18, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

First Founders: American Puritans and Puritanism in an Atlantic World (New England in the World)

First Founders: American Puritans and Puritanism in an Atlantic World (New England in the World)

Francis J. Bremer

Language: English

Pages: 296

ISBN: 1584659599

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Francis J. Bremer has spent his entire career broadening our understanding of America’s colonial founders. Now, in this eminently readable collection of biographies, Bremer brings us a surprisingly varied and dynamic group of characters who continue to guide and influence America today. With its cast of magistrates, women, clergy, merchants, and Native Americans, First Founders underscores the breadth of early American experience and the profound transatlantic roots of our country’s forebears. Bremer succeeds in bringing little-known figures out of the shadows, while allowing us to appreciate better known figures in an entirely new light.

This is a truly fascinating look at the Puritans with keenly drawn portraits and the insight that only a lifetime of scholarship can achieve. It should become the standard introduction to the field. Written in the mold of Joseph Ellis’s Founding Brothers and Gordon Wood’s Revolutionary Characters, the book will appeal to general readers, students, and scholars alike.

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they had previously encountered. All of this was anathema to Thomas Shepard, and it was he who first sought to brand some of those views as heterodox. The Newtown clergyman took it upon himself to act the part of heresy hunter in attacking what he was convinced were the false teachings of Cotton and the erroneous beliefs of his disciples. By doing so he initiated a process of polarization where individuals of various opinions gradually abandoned dialogue and began to hurl negative labels at one

marriage, and his aged mother. Counting servants, including two African slaves, up to thirty individuals resided in the governor’s home. Managing such a large household would have been difficult under any circumstances. For Anne Eaton the situation would have been made more difficult because of the presence of her mother-in-law, who had been accustomed to running Theophilus’s household between the death of his first wife and his marriage to Anne. Anne’s relationship with her step-daughter Mary,

also reflected on the troubles of the times. He regretted that Hugh Peter 145 “many more polemics and disputes are printed than profitable, every party striving [for] their own advancement,” and he wished that more men and women would be content to rest in the fundamentals of faith. Too many people had been misled into changing their beliefs, while he at least could rest content knowing that it was “my very great mercy that temptation never led me from that honest, old, godly, puritan

could save, but in doing so he transformed the elect in ways that could be discerned. Pastors and authors increasingly set forth elaborate guidance on identifying behavior that could be seen as evidence of a saving transformation. There were a number of dangers to this approach that were debated in the broader puritan community. One concern was that in practice some individuals were likely to misapprehend their godly acts as the cause rather than the result of salvation and drift toward

“that holds lands from Oliver’s governor,” Samuel was fearful of what the change of regime might mean. Resigning his official position was a way to disassociate himself somewhat from his support of the previous governor. Charles II appointed John Bunkley as the new governor of Antigua. One of Bunkley’s first acts was to crack down on Quakers. Jonas Langford and two other Quakers were imprisoned, and Bunkley pursued a law that would have made Quaker meetings illegal. Before he could achieve that

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