previous next

[24] dependent on relations with the mother country, this phase of history had no relation to England. It opened, naturally, with treatments of the most striking incidents of the day, Indian wars and internal disorders. Here were struggles calling for the best efforts of the settlers, struggles in which horrors and signal victories had followed one another in dramatic swiftness. Historians arose to write about them with marked ability; and their books were read far and wide. Then a generation followed during which the colonies grew in wealth and refinement. A leisure class was developed, the struggles of the assemblies against the king's prerogative gradually caused the formation of colony parties with colony ideals and aspirations, and in due time men appeared who undertook to tell the stories of colony development. These men belong to the later colonial period. In reflection and the power of dealing with materials, they are superior to the mere depicters of episodes. If their works are less readable, it must be remembered that their tasks are more difficult. It is easier to describe the Deerfield raid and the fate of the captured inhabitants than to trace the development of a political unit.

New England did not have the only Indian wars in America, but she alone had worthy historians of them. The struggles of 1622 and 1642 in Virginia, the Tuscarora War in North Carolina, and the Yemassee War in South Carolina, to say nothing of the wars of the Iroquois in New York, were as worthy of historical description as the struggle known as King Philip's War in New England, but they found no pen to describe them for the contemporary public. Bacon's rebellion in Virginia was well narrated for posterity, but the narratives long remained in manuscript; and the important struggles between South Carolina and Georgia on the one side and Spanish Florida on the other have not to this day been made the subjects of adequate treatment in a readable form.

In New England, on the other hand, historical effort for popular information was fairly abundant. Seven men appeared to describe the horrors of savage warfare, filling their pages with thrilling stories which the public read with eagerness. The first was Captain John Mason, whose History of the Pequot War, based upon his own experience, was published in 1677. It is written in cold-blooded indifference to the feelings of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Mason (1)
Historians (1)
Spanish Florida (1)
Nathaniel Bacon (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1677 AD (1)
1642 AD (1)
1622 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: