An experienced teacher of reading and writing and an award-winning historian, E. Jennifer Monaghan brings to vibrant life the process of learning to read and write in colonial America. Ranging throughout the colonies from New Hampshire to Georgia, she examines the instruction of girls and boys, Native Americans and enslaved Africans, the privileged and the poor, revealing the sometimes wrenching impact of literacy acquisition on the lives of learners. For the most part, religious motives underlie reading instruction in colonial America, while secular motives led to writing instruction. deeply researched and readable case studies. An Anglican missionary battles mosquitoes and loneliness to teach the New York Mohawks to write in their own tongue. Puritan fathers model scriptural reading for their children as they struggle with bereavement. Boys in writings schools, preparing for careers in counting houses, wield their quill pens in the difficult task of mastering a good hand. Benjamin Franklin learns how to compose essays with no teacher but himself. Young orphans in Georgia write precocious letters to their benefactor, George Whitfield, while schools in South Carolina teach enslaved black children to read but never to write. colonial literacy. She pioneers in the exploration of the implications of the separation of reading and writing instruction, a topic that still resonates in today's classrooms. Her close examination of reading methodology yields fresh insights into the colonial mind. Her discussion of instructional texts, particularly spelling books, adds an important and previously neglected element to the study of colonial literacy. Monaghan's wide-ranging study confirms a break with tradition that began in some circles around the 1750s. Thereafter, a gentler vision of childhood arose, portraying children as more malleable than sinful. It promoted and even commercialized a new kind of children's book designed to amuse instead of convert, laying the groundwork for the reading revolution of the new republic.
For 350 years Governor John Winthrop's journal has been recognized as the central source for the history of Massachusetts in the 1630s and 1640s. Winthrop reported events--especially religious and political events--more fully and more candidly than any other contemporary observer. The governor's journal has been edited and published three times since 1790, but these editions are long outmoded. Richard Dunn and Laetitia Yeandle have now prepared a long-awaited scholarly edition, complete with introduction, notes, and appendices. This full-scale, unabridged edition uses the manuscript volumes of the first and third notebooks (both carefully preserved at the Massachusetts Historical Society), retaining their spelling and punctuation, and James Savage's transcription of the middle notebook (accidentally destroyed in 1825). Winthrop's narrative began as a journal and evolved into a history. As a dedicated Puritan convert, Winthrop decided to emigrate to America in 1630 with members of the Massachusetts Bay Company, who had chosen him as their governor. Just before sailing, he began a day-to-day account of his voyage. He continued his journal when he reached Massachusetts, at first making brief and irregular entries, followed by more frequent writing sessions and contemporaneous reporting, and finally, from 1643 onward, engaging in only irregular writing sessions and retrospective reporting. Naturally he found little good to say about such outright adversaries as Thomas Morton, Roger Williams, and Anne Hutchinson. Yet he was also adept at thrusting barbs at most of the other prominent players: John Endecott, Henry Vane, and Richard Saltonstall, among others. Winthrop built lasting significance into the seemingly small-scale actions of a few thousand colonists in early New England, which is why his journal will remain an important historical source.
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