The Conquest of New England by the Immigrant

By Daniel Chauncey Brewer | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER V
THE EVOLUTION OF THE YANKEE

I HAVE in turn visualized the tough and resisting qualities of physical New England, and the sturdy men and women who set themselves to the winning of it. The Norsemen had tried their hand at the task and failed. The Adventurers as such had been no more successful. The Pilgrim and the Puritan made a trial of the job, and succeeded. One cannot estimate nor understand the pioneers of this same New England without giving weight to this fact, and first marking the reactions which followed the joinder of battle between mind and matter--each at their best. The sword has shape and quality before it is tempered by fire. It needs a baptismal experience before it cuts.

Let us investigate the character of this hardening experience. People who read know of the physical discomforts which the Pilgrim encountered in his first winter at Plymouth, and which later accompanied the beginnings of Puritan immigration. Few I think realize the super terrors

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