Puritanism and the Wilderness: The Intellectual Significance of the New England Frontier, 1629-1700

By Peter N. Carroll | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
"A New World"

ON June 19, 1629, after endless weeks of long waiting upon the rolling decks of the Talbot, Francis Higginson reported, no doubt with a sigh of relief, that "some went up to the top of the mast, and affirmed . . . they saw land." But five days lapsed before he noted that his fellow passengers had "a clear and comfortable sight of America." As the three-hundred-ton Talbot sailed slowly along the New England coast, the weary travelers gazed anxiously at the land which would become their home. "We saw every hill and dale," related Higginson, "and every island full of gay woods and high trees." The "fine woods and green trees by land" and the yellow flowers which painted the sea, he continued, "made us all desirous to see our new paradise of New England, whence we saw such forerunning signals of fertility afar off." As the vessel slipped into the harbor at Cape Ann, four men disembarked for a nearby island and returned with "ripe strawberries, gooseberries, and sweet single roses." "Thus," proclaimed Higginson, "God was merciful to us in giving us a taste and smell of the sweet fruit . . . to welcome us at our first arrival.""And as we passed along," he added, "it was wonderful to behold so many islands, replenished with thick wood and high trees, and many fair, green pastures."1

____________________
1
Higginson, "A True Relation," pp. 230-34.

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Puritanism and the Wilderness: The Intellectual Significance of the New England Frontier, 1629-1700
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Two Worlds 5
  • Chapter I - The Good Land 7
  • Chapter II - Sad Stormes and Wearisom Dayes 27
  • Chapter III - A New World 45
  • Part II - The Symbolic Wilderness 61
  • Chapter IV - A Sorrowful Estate 65
  • Chapter V - A Place of Safetie 87
  • Chapter VI - The Pleasant Gardens of Christ 109
  • Part III - A Wilderness Society 127
  • Chapter VII - The Welfare of This Commonwealth 131
  • Chapter VIII - The Unity of the English Colonyes 161
  • Chapter IX - The Further Improvement of the Wildernes 181
  • Chapter X - A Smart Rod and Severe Scourge 199
  • Epilogue 223
  • Selected Bibliography 225
  • Index 241
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