First Founders: American Puritans and Puritanism in an Atlantic World

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UPNE, 2012 - History - 282 pages
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Francis J. Bremer has spent his entire career broadening our understanding of America’s colonial founders. Now, in this eminently readable collection of biographies, Bremer brings us a surprisingly varied and dynamic group of characters who continue to guide and influence America today. With its cast of magistrates, women, clergy, merchants, and Native Americans, First Founders underscores the breadth of early American experience and the profound transatlantic roots of our country’s forebears. Bremer succeeds in bringing little-known figures out of the shadows, while allowing us to appreciate better known figures in an entirely new light.

This is a truly fascinating look at the Puritans with keenly drawn portraits and the insight that only a lifetime of scholarship can achieve. It should become the standard introduction to the field. Written in the mold of Joseph Ellis’s Founding Brothers and Gordon Wood’s Revolutionary Characters, the book will appeal to general readers, students, and scholars alike.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
John Winthrop and the Struggle to Lead a Godly Life
11
John Endecott
29
John Wilson
45
Thomas Dudley and Thomas Shepard
63
Four Strong Women
79
The Troubled Keaynes
99
Stephen Winthrop
113
Samuel Winthrop
169
John Sassamon
195
John Leverett
213
Anne Bradstreet
233
Samuel Sewall
249
Conclusion
269
Sources and Further Readings
273
Index
279

Hugh Peter
131
John Davenport and the Middle Advent
147

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About the author (2012)

FRANCIS J. BREMER is emeritus professor of history at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. A leading authority on Puritanism, he is the author of numerous books, including The Puritan Experiment and the award-winning biography John Winthrop: America's Forgotten Founding Father.

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