A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony (John Demos)

If you’re familiar with major works on 17th-century New England history, Edmund Morgan’s The Puritan Family looms rather large.  A Little Commonwealth is very much like that book – only a few decades later and using a bit different approach to the data. Demos tries to be self-consciously “quantitative” in A Little Commonwealth – i.e., … Continue reading A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony (John Demos)

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The Sabbath in Puritan New England (Alice Morse Earle)

If you ever go looking for reading material about New England history, Alice Morse Earle will eventually come up. I didn’t know initially whether this was due to her merit as a historian, or just nostalgia for old books. The Sabbath in Puritan New England was first published in 1891, and while the old-fashioned writing … Continue reading The Sabbath in Puritan New England (Alice Morse Earle)

King Philip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict (Eric Schultz and Michael Tougias)

I said this blog would cover New England topics, so here’s the first…and it’s a biggie. If you’ve never heard of King Philip’s War (1675-76), unfortunately, you’re not alone. Despite the fact that it was the bloodiest war in American history (by percentage of the population killed; more on that later), it’s not all that … Continue reading King Philip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict (Eric Schultz and Michael Tougias)

Raking Leaves

Bible leaves! Bible leaves! This is the invariable cry from the mates to the mincer. It enjoins him to be careful, and cut his work into as thin slices as possible, inasmuch as by so doing the business of boiling out the oil is much accelerated, and its quantity considerably increased, besides perhaps improving it in quality.