LITR 4326 Early American Literature

lecture notes

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) & Benjamin Franklin (1706-1786)

Two of America's greatest minds representing

distinct but entertwined paths for modern North America

Edwards revives or upholds religious motivations of Puritan settlement of New England; attempts to restore covenant community of people committed to God and each other.

Franklin uses capitalism, science, and politics to develop and advance material wellbeing that motivated most European settlement of North America (including Puritans).

cf 17c > Enlightenment:

17c as period of religious intensity / divisiveness

18c Enlightenment as "cooling off" period for religion, progress of "worldly" ways incl. science, business, health, hygiene, constitutional representative governments




These two paths correspond to two main sources of Western Civilization:

1. Humanism and Empiricism of Classical Greece and Rome: art, architecture, democracy, theater

2. Judeo-Christianity: religious narratives, moral codes and values, family structures (esp. nuclear family)


Two separate strands of cultural development meet or cross repeatedly

  • New Testament written in Greek, Paul a Roman citizen

  • 313 AD Roman Empire permits Christianity, emperor Constantine converts

  • Dark Ages, Middle Ages (400-1400 AD): Fall of Roman Empire, decline of classical learning and empirical progress, maintenance of some classical learning through Roman Catholic Church

  • Renaissance (1400s-1600s): "re-birth" of classical learning > Christian Humanism

  • 17c: Advances of Renaissance empower Reformation and Counter-Reformation, intensification of religious feeling and conflict

  • Enlightenment (late 1600s-1700s): de-emphasis of religious state > secular governments, constitutional monarchies

  • but also First & Second Great Awakening: revival of popular religion



Franklin and literature

development of autobiography, esp. behind-the-scenes life of great public figure

development of satire genre--Remarks concerning the Savages of North America: use of wit, irony to humorously criticize social or political attitudes




Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (N 331-343)


2 Israelites, Godís visible people

2 chosen for my text, ďTheir foot shall slide in due timeĒ

4 Always exposed to destruction

6 Godís appointed time

6 On the edge of a pit [cf. Poe, Pit & Pendulum] gothic

7 Mere pleasure of God, arbitrary will

8 Cast wicked men into hell

10 Already under a sentence of condemnation to hell

10 Every unconverted man . . . > hell

11 Anger and wrath of God

11 Now in this congregation

11 God is not altogether such a one as themselves

11 Wrath burns against them

11 Pit is prepared, fire made ready

11 Furnace now hot, flames rage and glow

12 Devil stands ready to fall on them

12 devils like greedy hungry lions

12 Old serpent gaping for them

13 Very nature of carnal men a foundation for torments of hell [original sin]

Sin the ruin and misery of the soul

13 Corruption of heart of men immoderate and boundless [extreme; sublime; romantic rhetoric]

13 fire and brimstone

14 No security

14 Next step into another world [Romanticism]

14 Arrows of death fly unseen at noonday

15 menís own wisdom no security from death

16 Flatters himself

17 Foolish children of men delude themselves

17 Confidence in their own strength and wisdom

18 Covenant of grace

18 No interest if not children of covenant

20 natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked gothic

20 uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance


21 Use of this awful [sublime] subject > awakening unconverted in congregation

23 Wickedness makes you heavy as lead

23 Spiderís web x fallen rock [imagination] [cf. creative writing] Romanticism

23 Sovereign pleasure of God

23 black clouds of Godís wrath hanging directly over your heads sublime

24 Wrath of God like great waters dammed for the present [sublime]

24 Increase more and more [romantic rhetoric]

24 Your guilt constantly increasing

24 Strength 10,000 times greater [romantic rhetoric]

25 Bow of Godís wrath is bent [romantic rhetoric; imaginative, creative writing; metaphor]

25 Drunk with your blood

26 God holds you over pit of hell, cf. spider, insect gothic

26 10,000 times more abominable romantic rhetoric

27 O sinner!

26 Wrath of the infinite God romantic rhetoric

28 Despicable worms of dust x great and almighty King and Creator of heaven and earth [extremes] romantic rhetoric

29 who can utter or conceive sublime

29 To what a dreadful, inexpressible, inconceivable depth sublime

[cf. Poe, Romantic rhetoric]

30 Ineffable extremity of your case

30 Infinite gloom, no compassion  gothic

33 no end to this exquisite horrible misery

33 Millions and millions of ages  sublime

34 Every soul in this congregation who has not been born again

35 Here you are . . . opportunity to obtain salvation romance

35 Extraordinary opportunity

35 Christ hath flung the door of mercy wide open  metaphor

35 a happy state, hearts filled with love

36 Born again?

36 Aliens from commonwealth of Israel? [typology; commonwealth of MS]

36 And you, children, who are unconverted, do not you know that you are going down to hell

37 God hastily gathering in his elect

37 as in days of John the Baptist [typology]

38 Fly out of Sodom



Edwards, Personal Narrative (1740)

1 seasons of awakening   [revival]

1 a time of remarkable awakening in my fatherís congregation. [revival]

1 Pray five times a day in secret, and to spend much time in religious talk with other boys and used to meet with them to pray together

1 With some of my schoolmates, joined together and built a booth in a swamp, in a very secret and retired place, for a place of prayer  Romanticism

1 A particular secret places of my own in the woods, where I used to retire by myself, and used to be from time to time much affected.. My affections seemed to be lively and easily moved Romanticism

2 Brought me night to the grave, and shook me over the pit of hell

2 I made seeking my salvation the main business of my life   romance

2 I felt a spirit to part with all things in the world for an interest in Christ

3 Objections against the doctrine of Godís sovereignty

3 a delightful conviction. The doctrine of Godís sovereignty has very often appeared an exceeding pleasant bright and sweet doctrine to me

4 There came into my soul, and was as it were diffused through it, a sense of the glory of the Divine Being, a new sense  sublime

5 Be rapt up to God in heaven, and be as it were swallowed up in Him  sublime

5 An inward sweet sense of these things,, that at times came into my heart, and my soul was led away in pleasant views and contemplations of them.

5 An inward, sweet sense of these things. Romanticism

5 Canticles 2.1 . . . ďI am the Rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.Ē The words seemed to me, sweetly to represent the loveliness and beauty of Jesus Christ.

6 an account to my father . . . I was pretty much affected by the discourse we had together

6 I walked abroad alone

6 A sweet sense of the glorious majesty and grace of God that I know not how to express. I seemed to see them both in a sweet communion, majesty and meekness joined together . . . a majestic meekness, an awful sweetness . . .  sublime

7 My sense of divine things gradually increased

7 His wisdom, His purity and love, seemed to appear in everything: in the sun, moon and stars, in the clouds, and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, trees,; in the water, and all nature; which used greatly to fix my mind. I often used to sit and view the moon for a long time . . . singing forth with a low voice my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer

7 I felt God at the first appearance of a thunderstorm . . . the majestic and awful voice of Godís thunder, which often times was exceeding entertaining  sublime

8 vehement longings of soul after God and Christ, and after more holiness, wherewith my heart seemed to be full, and ready to break

8 A mourning and lamenting in my heart that I had not turned to God sooner

8 used to spend abundance of my time in walking alone in the woods and solitary places for meditation, soliloquy and prayer, and converse with God   Romanticism

8 A more inward, pure, soul-animating and refreshing nature

9 My sense of divine things seemed gradually to increase, Ďtil I went to preach at New York . . .    [almost realism]

9 A burning desire to be in everything a complete Christian, and conformed to the blessed image of Christ

9 Too great a dependence on my own strength, which afterwards proved a great damage to me

11 holiness . . . ravishingly lovely . . . the highest beauty and amiableness, above all other beauties, that it was a divine beauty, far purer than anything here upon earth   sublime

12 Peacefulness and ravishment to the soul, and that it made the soul  like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers. . . . The soul of a true Christian, as I then wrote in my meditations, appeared like such a little white flower as we see in the spring of the year, low and humble, on the ground . . .  Romanticism

12 a calm rapture

12 humility, brokenness of heart, and poverty of spirit

15 I had then abundance of sweet religious conversation in the family where I lived, with Mr. John Smith, and his pious mother. My heart was knit in affection to those in whom were appearances of true piety [cf. Winthrop but more private]

15 I used to be earnest to read public newsletters, mainly for that end, to see if I could not find some news favorable to the interest of religion in the world

15 & 16 The advancement of Christís kingdom in the world, and the glorious things that God would accomplish for His church in the latter days

17 From New York to Weathersfield by water

18 These persons that appear so lovely in this world will really be inexpressibly more lovely, and full of love to us. And how sweetly will the mutual lovers join together to sing the praises of God and the Lamb!

22 I have loved the doctrines of the gospel; they have been to my soul like green pastures.   Romanticism

23 I love to think of coming to Christ, to receive salvation of Him, poor in spirit, and quite empty of self; humbly exalting Him alone, cut entirely off from my own root, and to grow into and out of Christ, to have God in Christ to be all in all; and to live by faith on the Son of God, a life of humble, unfeigned confidence in Him.

26 To be emptied of myself and swallowed up in Christ.   sublime

27 having lit from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer.

27 An excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception, which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour, which kept me, the bigger part of the time, in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. I felt withal an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, than to be emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust, and to be full of Christ alone; to love Him with a holy and pure love; to trust in Him . . .

28 A sense of the glory of the third person in the Trinity in His office of sanctifier

28 An infinite fountain of divine glory and sweetness [extreme romantic rhetoric]   sublime

30 my wickedness . . . infinitely swallowing up all thought and imagination, like an infinite deluge or infinite mountains over my head. .  . . heaping infinite upon infinite [extreme romantic rhetoric]   sublime

30 x-moderation

30 multiplying infinite by infinite  [extreme romantic rhetoric]   sublime

30 An abyss infinitely deeper than hell  [extreme romantic rhetoric]   sublime

30 My sins infinitely below hell itself, far beyond sight of everything

33 On one Saturday night in particular, had a particular discovery of the excellency of the gospel of Christ, above all other doctrines



310 [Sarah Pierrepont] [1723]

There she is to dwell with Him, and to be ravished with His love, and delight forever

She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections

She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her.

[Romantic notion of person too good for earth]




Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 1784


1 Savages, we call them . . . they think the same [irony]

2 government council of sages

no Force there are no Prisons, no Officers to compel Obedience, or inflict Punishment

3 Indian Women till the Ground, dress the Food, nurse and bring up the Children, & preserve & hand down to Posterity the Memory of public Transactions. [realism, empiricism]

4 Few artificial wants > leisure improvement by conversation  [social observation]

4 Our laborious manner of life, learning > slavish, base, frivolous, useless

5 Williamsburg, fund for educating Indian youth

5 Six Nations

5 All the learning of the white people

6 Indian rules of politeness not to answer same day

7b Experience of it  [empiricism]

7b Ignorant of living in woods . . . totally good for nothing

7c If Virginia will send us a dozen of her sons . . . make men of them [irony]

8 Public councils: order and decency

8 Business of women to take exact notice of what passes

8 memories; no writing; preserve traditions

9 x-interrupt, cf. British House of Commons [irony > satire]

10 avoid disputes [contrast Trump]

10 missionaries . . . mere civility

11 Swedish minister

11a [origin stories] Adam, apple

11c Plants never seen before

12 Sacred truths x fable, fiction, falsehood [irony]

12a Why do you refuse to believe ours?

13 Conrad Weiser

14 once in 7 days;

15 Doubt the truth [>experience, empiricism]

17 Man in black . . . very angrily

20 How to cheat Indians

[skepticism expressed via storytelling, less direct challenge, not disputatious, pleasure with learning]




Franklin's discussions of literature

[3] Pilgrim's Progress + religious controversies

[4-6] printing, booksellers, ballads

[10] father's writing advice [> realism]

[11] Spectator

[15] vegetarian book > diet > thrift

[17] intellectual autobiography, growth of a mind

[18] Socrates > application to life, Socratic method

[19] books on Deism


Franklin, Autobiography

1 candle-making

1 I should break away and get to sea, as his son Josiah had done,

3 child fond of reading

3 Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan's works; Plutarch's Lives, Defoe, Mather

4 bookish inclination > a printer

5 access to better books

6 a fancy to poetry

7 verse-makers generally beggars

7 prose-writing career, how gained ability

8 bookish lad in town, argumentative, from reading father's books on religion

9 propriety of educating the female sex in learning, and their abilities for study

10 father talked about the manner of my writing

11 the Spectator

12 prose-poetry exercises

13 teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts [rational, not impassioned]

14 exercises on Sunday, avoiding public worship

15 vegetable diet > an additional fund for buying books

16 the rest of the time till their return for study, in which I made the greater progress

17 books on arithmetic, navigation, + Locke on Human Understanding, Art of Thinking Port-Royal

18 English grammar + rhetoric and logic

18 dropped my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter

19 Shaftesbury & Collins, Deism, a real doubter

21 as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition,

23 my old favorite author, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, in Dutch

24 translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the Bible

24 mixed narration and dialogue [fiction]

25 fish episode, smelt admirably well

25 big fish, little fish; irony on reason

27 self-description entering Philadelphia

28 three great puffy rolls

29 passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father; when she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance.

30 great meeting-house of the Quakers,  first house I slept in

32 15 yrs old, doubt Revelation, books against Deism

33 I began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful. . . .

36 Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that he made the world, and governed it by his Providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter.

37 the essentials of every religion; and, being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them all, though with different degrees of respect,  Deism

38 their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens. . . .

39 contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired

40 thirteen names of virtues

42 Temperance first

43 break a habit I was getting into of prattling [chattering], punning, and joking,

44 Pythagoras in his Golden Verses

46 surprised to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish

48 something, that pretended to be reason, was every now and then suggesting to me that such extreme nicety [particularity] as I exacted of myself might be a kind of foppery [dandyism, affectedness] in morals, which, if it were known, would make me ridiculous; that a perfect character might be attended with the inconvenience of being envied and hated; and that a benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance

49 though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it;


Jemison, concluding chapters

[4.2] I had then been with the Indians four summers and four winters, and had become so far accustomed to their mode of living, habits and dispositions, that my anxiety to get away, to be set at liberty, and leave them, had almost subsided. With them was my home; my family was there, and there I had many friends . . .

Our labor was not severe; and that of one year was exactly similar, in almost every respect, to that of the others, without that endless variety that is to be observed in the common labor of the white people.   cf Franklin 4 Our laborious manner of life, learning > slavish, base, frivolous, useless

4.3 Indian women have all the fuel and bread to procure, and the cooking to perform, their task is probably not harder than that of white women, who have those articles provided for them; and their cares certainly are not half as numerous, nor as great.

4.5 [4.5] Spinning, weaving, sewing, stocking knitting, and the like, are arts which have never been practiced in the Indian tribes generally. After the revolutionary war, I learned to sew, so that I could make my own clothing after a poor fashion [Rowlandson]

[4.7] The use of ardent spirits amongst the Indians, and the attempts which have been made to civilize and Christianize them by the white people, has constantly made them worse and worse; increased their vices, and robbed them of many of their virtues; and will ultimately produce their extermination.

effects of education upon some of our Indians, who were taken when young, from their families, and placed at school before they had had an opportunity to contract many Indian habits, and there kept till they arrived to manhood; but I have never seen one of those but what was an Indian in every respect after he returned. Indians must and will be Indians,

4.8 a fact that they are naturally kind, tender and peaceable towards their friends, and strictly honest; and that those cruelties have been practiced, only upon their enemies, according to their idea of justice.

5.3 a day of feasting and frolicking, at the expense of the lives of their two unfortunate prisoners

5.4 I received intelligence [information] that soon after he left me at Yiskahwana he was taken sick and died

5.6 the chiefs in council having learned the cause of my elopement [escape], gave orders that I should not be taken to any military post without my consent; and that as it was my choice to stay, I should live amongst them quietly and undisturbed. . . .

[5.7] When my son Thomas was three or four years old, I was married to an Indian, whose name was Hiokatoo, commonly called Gardow, by whom I had four daughters and two sons. I named my children, principally, after my relatives, from whom I was parted, by calling my girls Jane, Nancy, Betsey and Polly, and the boys John and Jesse.

6.1 mimic warfare

6.3 little labor

[6.4] No people can live more happy than the Indians did in times of peace, before the introduction of spirituous liquors amongst them.

Their wants were few, and easily satisfied

6.10 chiefs join British, receive kettles, knives, etc.

7.1 a large and powerful army of the rebels*, under the command of General Sullivan, was making rapid progress towards our settlement, burning and destroying

[7.8] Our corn was good that year

7.9 They burnt our houses, killed what few cattle and horses they could find, destroyed our fruit trees, and left nothing but the bare soil and timber. [cf. Indians as terrorists]

7.11 I immediately resolved to take my children and look out for myself, without delay.

7.12 two negroes, who had run away from their masters sometime before

7.13 laughed a thousand times to myself when I have thought of the good old negro, who hired me, who fearing that I should get taken or injured by the Indians, stood by me constantly when I was husking, with a loaded gun in his hand, in order to keep off the enemy

7.15 having found from the short acquaintance which I had had with the negroes, that they were kind and friendly, I concluded, at their request, to take up my residence with them for a while in their cabin, till I should be able to provide a hut for myself.

7.18 Corn Planter revenge expedition

7.22 son-father reunion

9.3 one reason for my resolving to stay; but another, more powerful, if possible, was, that I had got a large family of Indian children, that I must take with me; and that if I should be so fortunate as to find my relatives, they would despise them, if not myself; and treat us as enemies; or, at least with a degree of cold indifference

9.4 as that was my choice, I should have a piece of land that I could call my own, where I could live unmolested, and have something at my decease to leave for the benefit of my children. . . .

9.5 great Council was held at Big Tree, in 1797, when Farmer's Brother, whose Indian name is Ho-na-ye-wus, sent for me to attend the council.

9.6 <classic description of Indian oratory / politics]

9.10 Mr. Parrish, with the consent of the chiefs, gave me liberty to lease or my land to white people to till on shares.


10.2 my son Thomas, from some cause unknown to me, from the time he was a small lad, always called his brother John, a witch, which was the cause, as they grew towards manhood, of frequent and severe quarrels

John got two wives, with whom he lived till the time of his death. Although polygamy was tolerated in our tribe, Thomas considered it a violation of good and wholesome rules in society

they never quarreled, unless Thomas was intoxicated.

[10.3] In his fits of drunkenness, Thomas seemed to lose all his natural reason, and to conduct like a wild or crazy man, without regard to relatives, decency or propriety. At such times he often threatened to take my life for having raised a witch

10.5 He caught Thomas by the hair of his head, dragged him out at the door and there killed him, by a blow which he gave him on the head with his tomahawk!

[10.9] The Chiefs soon assembled in council on the trial of John, and after having seriously examined the matter according to their laws, justified his conduct, and acquitted him. They considered Thomas to have been the first transgressor

[10.11] Thomas had four wives, by whom he had eight children. Jacob Jemison, his second son by his last wife, who is at this time twenty-seven or twenty-eight years of age, went to Dartmouth college, in the spring of 1816, for the purpose of receiving a good education, where it was said that he was an industrious scholar

he contemplates commencing the study of medicine, as a profession.

[11.1] In the month of November 1811, my husband Hiokatoo, who had been sick four years of the consumption, died at the advanced age of one hundred and three years, . . . last that remained to me of our family connection, or rather of my old friends with whom I was adopted


[14.1] . . . My son John, was a doctor, considerably celebrated amongst the Indians of various tribes, for his skill in curing their diseases, by the administration of roots and herbs, which he gathered in the forests

14.2 he observed the Great Slide [avalanche] of the bank of Genesee river, a short distance above my house, which had taken place during his absence; and conceiving that circumstance to be ominous of his own death

14.3 company of two Squawky Hill Indians, whose names were Doctor and Jack, with whom he drank freely, and in the afternoon had a desperate quarrel

agreed to kill him

14.6 I had now buried my three sons, who had been snatched from me by the hands of violence, when I least expected it.

14.7 on a second thought, I could not mourn for him as I had for my other sons, because I knew that his death was just . . . .

14.9 From his childhood, he carried something in his features indicative of an evil disposition

dreamed that he had killed Thomas

14.11 His children are tolerably white, and have got light-colored hair.

[14.12] Doctor and Jack, having finished their murderous design, fled before they could be apprehended, and lay six weeks in the woods . . . . They then returned and sent me some wampum by Chongo, (my son-in-law,) and Sun-ge-waw (that is Big Kettle) expecting that I would pardon them, and suffer them to live as they had done with their tribe. I however, would not accept their wampum, but returned it with a request, that, rather than have them killed, they would run away and keep out of danger.

14.14 Tall Chief: When the Great Spirit made Indians, he made them all good, and gave them good corn-fields; good rivers, well stored with fish; good forests, filled with game and good bows and arrows. But very soon each wanted more than his share, and Indians quarreled with Indians,

14.16 Offer to the Great Spirit your best wampum, and try to be good Indians! And, if those whom you have bereaved shall claim your lives as their only satisfaction, surrender them cheerfully, and die like good Indians.

Jack, highly incensed, interrupted the old man, and bade him stop speaking or he would take his life.

14.18 that act would make us bad, and deprive us of our share of the good hunting in the land where our fathers have gone!

14.20 finally, rather than leave his old home, he ate a large quantity of muskrat root, and died in 10 or 12 hours


16.1 Spirits and tobacco I have never used,

When I was taken prisoner, and for sometime after that, spirits was not known; . . . a long time before the Indian women begun to even taste it.

16.2 send to Niagara and get two or three kegs of rum, (in all six or eight gallons,) and hold a frolic as long as it lasted

[16.6] The first cow that I ever owned, I bought of a squaw sometime after the revolution. It had been stolen from the enemy. . . .

16.7 believed for a long time, by some of our people, that I was a great witch

Some of my children had light brown hair, and tolerable fair skin, which used to make some say that I stole them . . . .

16.12 lay down in peace a life that has been checked in almost every hour, with troubles of a deeper dye, than are commonly experienced by mortals.

Tiffany Robinson Email on Jemison presentation

Good morning Professor,

   I just wanted to touch basis with you prior to the presentation to see if I have what I need.  I reviewed the remaining chapters of Mary Jemison. 

I plan on highlighting several parts of the selection to comment on and compare to previous captivity text. 

4.2- Mary compares the Indians life to those of  the white settlers. 

4.19- compares her love for her deceased family to that of her Indian family. 

5.6- I will compare Marys description of the Indians to that of Cabezas and smith's description, and question er motives for staying with her captives. 

5.7- Marys need to old onto to some form of her heritage (all her children given American names. 

10.5- Mary witnesses the deaths of her second family.  

16.5- Mary is still referring to herself as a prisoner.

Let me know if I am missing any relevant  parts or if you have any comments or suggestions.  thank you.

gothic & "the other"

go to gothic in Rowlandson and Smith, preview Edgar Huntly

3. . . . How do Rowlandson's stylings anticipate "the gothic," especially descriptions of Indians and the wilderness?

[1.1a] This was the dolefulest [most dreadful] night that ever my eyes saw. Oh the roaring, and singing and dancing, and yelling of those black creatures in the night, which made the place a lively resemblance of hell.

7.1 The swamp by which we lay was, as it were, a deep dungeon

[8.1d] Then my heart began to fail: and I fell aweeping, which was the first time to my remembrance, that I wept before them

all this while in a maze

19.3h the Powaw [priest] that kneeled upon the deer-skin came home (I may say, without abuse) as black as the devil. . . . [<gothic color & moral code]



15 Powhatan, more like a devil than a man, with some two hundred more as black as himself,



[1] The New-Englanders are a people of God settled in those, which were once the Devil's territories

4 All those Attempts of Hell . . . Devil is now making one attempt more

as the People of God have in the other Hemisphere [reference to witch-persecutions in Europe]

5 A Horrible PLOT against the Country by WITCHCRAFT


23 the Black man (as the Witches call the Devil; and they generally say he resembles an Indian)

28 by the assistance of the Black Man

10.2 my son Thomas, from some cause unknown to me, from the time he was a small lad, always called his brother John, a witch, which was the cause, as they grew towards manhood, of frequent and severe quarrels

John got two wives, with whom he lived till the time of his death. Although polygamy was tolerated in our tribe, Thomas considered it a violation of good and wholesome rules in society

they never quarreled, unless Thomas was intoxicated.

[14.1] . . . My son John, was a doctor, considerably celebrated amongst the Indians of various tribes, for his skill in curing their diseases, by the administration of roots and herbs, which he gathered in the forests

14.2 he observed the Great Slide [avalanche] of the bank of Genesee river, a short distance above my house, which had taken place during his absence; and conceiving that circumstance to be ominous of his own death