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Chapter 5 - Caribbean

from Part I - Places

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Kristina Bross
Affiliation:
Washington University, St Louis
Abram Van Engen
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
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Summary

This chapter seeks to reconnect American puritan literary histories with the Caribbean, to show that we cannot fully understand seventeenth-century American literature without taking into account the fact that the Caribbean was a place in which and through which American puritan literature was written. The chapter traces the entanglement of the Caribbean with New England through the circulation and exchange of goods, bodies, citizens, texts, and ideas. The chapter considers, in particular, two historical examples of New England puritan engagement with the Caribbean – the slave trade and Quaker dissent – and two examples of literary engagement – A Continuation of the State of New England (a pamphlet describing King Philip’s War in New England and a thwarted slave rebellion in Barbados) and records from the Salem witch trials. This chapter argues that the both the material reality and the idea of the Caribbean shaped the American puritan imaginary. On the one hand, the islands were key trading partners, and the continued existence of a puritan “New England Way” depended on this trade as a source of steady income. On the other, New Englanders sought to distance themselves from the islands and represent themselves as singularly “godly” English settlers.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Caribbean
  • Edited by Kristina Bross, Washington University, St Louis, Abram Van Engen, Purdue University, Indiana
  • Book: A History of American Puritan Literature
  • Online publication: 24 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108878425.008
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  • Caribbean
  • Edited by Kristina Bross, Washington University, St Louis, Abram Van Engen, Purdue University, Indiana
  • Book: A History of American Puritan Literature
  • Online publication: 24 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108878425.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Caribbean
  • Edited by Kristina Bross, Washington University, St Louis, Abram Van Engen, Purdue University, Indiana
  • Book: A History of American Puritan Literature
  • Online publication: 24 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108878425.008
Available formats
×