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not only to newcomers who sought to join them, but to those members of their own company who developed independent ways of thinking. The list of motives for emigration ran the whole gamut, from missionary fervor for converting the savages, down through a commendable desire for gain, to the perhaps no less praiseworthy wish to escape a debtor's prison or the pillory. A few of the colonists were rich. Some were beggars or indentured servants. Most of them belonged to the middle class. John Harvard was the son of a butcher; Thomas Shepard, the son of a grocer; Roger Williams, the son of a tailor. But all three were university bred and were natural leaders of men. Once arrived in the wilderness, the pioneer life common to all of the colonists began instantly to exert its slow, irresistible pressure upon their minds and to mould them into certain ways of thinking and feeling. Without some perception of these modes of thought and emotion a knowledge of the spirit of our litera
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 2: the first colonial literature (search)
ck Veil and The Scarlet letter. Yet it must be said that men like Hooker and Cotton, Shepard and Norton, had every instinct and capacity for leadership. With the notable exception of Hooker, such men were aristocrats, holding John Winthrop's opinion that Democracy is, among most civil nations, accounted the meanest and worst form of government. They were fiercely intolerant. The precise reason for the Hooker migration from Cambridge to Hartford in 1636-the very year of the founding of Harvard -was prudently withheld, but it is now thought to be the instinct of escape from the clerical architects of the Cambridge Platform. Yet no one would today call Thomas Hooker a liberal in religion, pioneer in political liberty though he proved to be. His extant sermons have the steady stroke of a great hammer, smiting at the mind and heart. Others because they have felt the heavy hand of God . . . upon these grounds they build their hopes: I have had my hell in this life, and I hope to ha
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 7: romance, poetry, and history (search)
ng My books and My study windows, and an occasional book of verse. Again he made a long sojourn in Europe, resigned his Harvard professorship, and in 1877 was appointed Minister to Spain. After three years he was transferred to the most important Library of American biography, wrote lives of Franklin and Gouverneur Morris, was professor of history and President of Harvard, and lived to be seventy-seven. As editor of the writings of Franklin and Washington, he took what we now consider unpaiding sage, at ninety-one, inherited from his clergyman father a taste for history. He studied in Germany after leaving Harvard, turned schoolmaster, Democratic politician and office-holder, served as Secretary of the Navy, Minister to England and Boston Brahmin, born in the year of Prescott's graduation from college. IHe attended George Bancroft's school, went to Harvard in due course, where he knew Holmes, Sumner, and Wendell Phillips, and at Gottingen became a warm friend of a dog-lover
ret, 119, 140-41 Garrison, W. L., 89-90, 137, 159, 208, 217-18 Gettysburg address, Lincoln 230-231 Gilded age, the, Clemens 237-238 God glorified in man's Dependence, Edwards 50 Gold Bug, the, Poe 193 Gookin, Daniel, 38 Greeley, Horace, 217-18 Greenslet, Ferris, 169 Hale, E. E., 224 Half-century of conflict, a, Parkman 185 Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 107 Hamilton, Alexander, 76-77 Hanging of the Crane, the, Longfellow 156 Harris, J. C., 246 Harte, Bret, 240-42 Harvard, John, 16 Harvard College, 62 Haunted Palace, the, Poe 192 Hawthorne, Nathaniel, in 1826, 89; opinion of Bryant, 105; opinion of Transcendentalism, 143; life and writings, 144-52; typically American, 265 Hayne, Paul, 225 Hazard of New Fortunes, a, Howells 251 Hearn, Lafcadio, 248 Hecker, Father, 141 Henry, Patrick, 72, 209 Herons of Elmwood, the, Longfellow 156 Hiawatha, Longfellow 155 Higginson, T. W., 142, 262 Holmes, O. W., in 1826, 89; attitude toward Transcendent