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[This site contains ressources on Puritanism in both Old and New England, and more particularly in early seventeenth-century Massachusetts. Lots of primary sources have been made available from these pages, as well as a selection of the most useful links on Puritan studies.]


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What's here?

AUG 02: New and not yet sorted:
Colonial Connecticut Records:
searchable, browsable, and edited by the University of Connecticut (i.e. reliable)
160 Wills (Essex Co.)
Essex Records Office (England), because the settlers were Englishmen (see the SEAX catalog: very useful!)
FamilySearch: the Mormons' site - handle with care, it is error-ridden. But still, it's a good starting point.
1895 Maps (including Massachusetts, and the counties)
-- Edward Johnson,
Wonder Working Providence of Sions Saviour in New England 1628-1651 (1910 ed.)
-- 1610
Mirror for Magistrates
-- Charles E. Banks, The Winthrop Fleet of 1630

JUL 02: Another stack of documents we all need (all plain text, zipped, all taken from the Memory of America e-library, copyright theirs, if any...):
-- John Winthrop's Journal, edited by Savage, in two volumes, with Savage's interesting notes.
Vol. 1 - Vol. 2

-- Robert C. Winthrop, The Life and Letters of John Winthrop, Vol. 2 (1630-1649), contains a good number of useful letters written by the famous governor.

-- Local histories: Sewall's History of Woburn (1868), Lewis' History of Lynn (1865) and Clap's History of Dorchester (1859)

-- Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana (1855 edition, first published 1702)

MAY 02: New documents freshly added (fac simile):
New Englands Jonas Cast up at London (1647), about Robert Child's Remonstrance (pdf file, 1.44Mo) 

-- The Planters Plea, 1630, anon. (attributed to John White, of Dorchester), 56p, html format. See title page.

-- The Simple Cobler of Agawam, by Rev. Nathaniel Ward (1647, huge pdf file: 4.9Mo!!)

-- John Winthrop's Arbitrary Government Described and the Government of the Massachusetts Vindicated of that Aspersion (1644, pdf file, 2Mo)

-- James Savage's Genealogical Dictionary of the First Planters of New England, in 4 volumes, plain text files, between 1.5Mo and 2.0Mo)

Read this first!

This is a history site, not a religious site! I am not religious, I 'only' study New England Puritanism and provide research material. Therefore this site does not contain "pro-puritan" propaganda. The aim is scientific and consequently I try to be as objective and reliable as possible, so that these pages can be helpful for other students of puritanism both in Old and New England, and mostly in the Seventeenth century, but also in the Sixteenth. I have tried to make available primary documents that can help you make your own opinion about this subject. Secondary material should be mistrusted a priori, till it proves 'sound'.

The risk is of course that of 'filiopietistic' interpretation of the past, a sort of uncritical celebration of the feats of one's ancestors. This is why I give you links towards academic projects, which can be expected to be reliable (or else what should??) and to sites I found useful for my own research.

I give you access to my own research as well, at least what I have been able to put online, that is for the time being my MA Thesis, which is a good place to start! ;-)


  Primary Sources
On this page I have tried to list ALL the texts I could find on the Web written by New Englanders in the 17th century or related to Puritan New England, before or after immigration. I have tried to make this page as exhaustive as possible and to centralize all the sources available. If you find texts NOT listed on my page, please drop me a note here.


Calvinist theology and political philosophy
This page is designed as an E-Library of political philosophical texts, mostly related to American colonial history, but there are a few texts written in the 16th century, at a time when theologians and political philosophers were often the same men.
As for Calvinist texts, you will find works of men like John Ponet, Calvin, Goodman, John Knox, John Foxe, Beza, Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards


Theocracy, Aristocracy and Democracy in Early New England
This is my MA Thesis (2000). Starting with an analysis of the Charters and the Covenants as influential fouding "tools", I have discussed the parameters that could help determine whether or not Massachusetts was a theocracy, and I have tried to reassess the concepts of democracy, aristocracy and oligarchy in a detailed analysis of the evolution of the franchise. I have also used legal and judicial documents.
You can also read a summary of this work in French.


The English Reformation 
Sources and links, with a special effort on translations of the Bible into English, and a special section with numerous texts by John Knox


Local History: Massachusetts Earliest Towns
An in-progress page where you can find a list of all the towns founded in Massachusetts in the first two decades, with links to pages, local historical societies, to online books (or not online, for that matter!), contacts, plus the usual stuff: useful sites, mailing lists...


Of William Bradford; Of Plymouth Plantation: a short, in-progress selection of links pointing to online ressources on the work and its author, part of a project aiming at the first French edition of Bradford's narrative.


Locate Books on Puritanism (in progress)
Buy them easily from Amazon, or locate them in some libraries in France and Great Britain (in Paris but also in other towns, at the British Library, at the  Cambridge University Library...)
-- Bibliographical research on line:
a special page to help you locate  books in many European libraries via online catalogues. (The page is in French, as it is destined mainly to French students)


Puritan Studies Research Group: Join us and discuss topics related to Puritanism, from a historical point of view. This Yahoo! discussion group is open to all students and academics interested in Politics, Religion and Society from Old to New England in the 16th and 17th centuries. This will not only be a place for theologians, but also for, say, students of justice in Jacobean Essex, the General Court of early Massachusetts, social relations in Elizabethan Lancashire, resistance in Zurich and Geneva, and Grace ... everywhere!



To view the following files, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader (free). Download it!

- Calling and resistance: Huldrych Zwingli’s (1484-1531) political theology and his legacy of resistance to tyranny, by Andries Raath and Shaun de Freitas [.pdf]

- Heinrich Bullinger and the Marian Exiles: The Political Foundations of Puritanism by  Andries Raath and Shaun de Freitas [.pdf]

- The Origins of Defensive Natural Law in Huldrych Zwingli’s Covenant Theology by Andries Raath [.pdf]



Detailed Chronology of political evolution (1630-1665) 
(actually, no)


Evolution of the Distribution of Political Powers: a Diagram (be patient)


Images and Maps 
The images will be mostly portraits, and the maps will be scanned from books, therefore subject to copyright! [more to come] [perhaps]



Links to sites and research centers 

Yale Law School's Avalon Project  offers a great number of texts covering an incredible timespan, and obviously including seventeenth century history. This is the one place to find charters, grants etc.

The Hanover Historical Texts Project is another site where useful texts pertaining to puritanism on BOTH sides of the Atlantic can be found.

A Hypertext on American History from the colonial period until Modern Times  contains original texts and analysis on American history in general. Their comments are reliable, on the whole, but the site is most interesting for the texts it has that cannot be found elsewhere.

The American Colonist's Library (formerly the
Universitylake Web Directory)
is an impressive collection of texts relative to American colonial history, but they include texts from Europe which influenced the men and events that made Colonial history what it is.

The Winthrop Society  (their Links page) is a genealogical society which proposes a list of texts from the early decades of settlement in the Bay. These texts usually contain introductions and explanations on context, which can be useful though I personally don't agree with their interpretation. But the texts are still very useful as such, and their links page is also interesting.

The Mayflower Pages, by Caleb Johnson is an impressive site devoted to the Pilgrim Fathers and early Plymouth. As such it is quite useful in so far as Plymouth is a neglected colony compared to Massachusetts Bay. This site has extremely detailed genealogical information and a very wide scope of original texts, with useful commentaries and insight.

The Plymouth Colony Archive Project, University of Virginia is another site devoted to Plymouth, with an impressive quantity of secondary information (essays...). Their search facility makes research quite fast and easy, and it is not hard to find your way among their pages.

Plimoth-on-Web: the site of the Plimoth Plantation Museum; it has a good deal of interesting information on the Pilgrims, their life before immigration, the myths that were created around them and lots of other useful things

Other sites of potential interest:
By order of arrival... Newest at bottom!

The Puritan Tradition and American Memory : an excellent scholarly article by Scott Atkins (University of Virginia), which focuses on reinterpretations of the Puritan past throughout American history. Very clear and well documented, it opens fascinating perspectives.

Fire and Ice: Puritan Sermons : the name is eloquent: a site which contains a lot of sermons and guides you to sites of interest (especially on specific divines).

A Puritan Mind : a large puritan site, by a Puritan, for Puritans: handle with care!

Christian Classics Ethereal Library : one of the best places to find texts by the Fathers of the Church or by a great number of churchmen.

Encyclopaedia Catholica : has interesting and not too biased articles on religion. Useful if you need a clear text on a precise (or general) point of theology or religious history. Their treatment of Protestantism is surprisingly objective.

The Voice of the Shuttle: their Renaissance Page Used to be a great site, but it is being refurbished, and many links seem to have disappeared...

Luminarium : devoted to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature in particular, it offers articles and texts on divines of the times (Foxe, Hooker).

Premise: archives. This page lists all the articles of all the back issues of the Premise review. Many of them are on the Reformation and politics and/or religious issues. Historic Church Documents page, featuring Creeds, Confessions of Faith (Dordt, Westminster), Catechisms, Sermons (Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield), and other documents, including the notes from the 1599 Geneva Bible: a most valuable primary sources page. The Confessions referred to above can be compared to the Cambridge Platform, stating the New England Way (1649)

NEQ Links Page: proposes links to New England's historical societies and major libraries. Could be useful for researchers, all the more so as they are centralized on one page.

Red, White, Blue and Brimstone: Online exhibition at the Library of the University of Virginia, on the Book of Revelations. Very comprehensive, and fully documented with dozens of beautiful pictures, mainly covers/pages.

CRIME, LAW and DISORDER in EARLY MODERN ENGLAND: a handy selection of websites, but more useful, two impressive bibliographies: one on the theme of 'Honour, Reputation and Defamation', the other, more general, entitled 'Crime, Law, and Order'


Created by Lauric Henneton for Le Projet Albion© Lauric Henneton, 2000-2003
Last update: 30/11/2003

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