Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recreating 17th-Century America

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Plimoth Plantation 1627 Massachusettes

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1640 History of the Founding of Harvard College

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New England's First Fruits 1640, for Men Only, Of Course...

The History of the Founding of Harvard College


AFTER GOD HAD carried us safe to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship, and led the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust. 

And as we were thinking and consulting how to effect this great work, it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard (a godly gentleman and a lover of learning, there living among us) to give the one-half of his estate (it being in all about £700) toward the ing of a college, and all his library. After him, another gave £300; others after them cast in more; and the public hand of the state added the rest.

The college was, by common consent, appointed to be at Cambridge (a place very pleasant and accommodate) and is called (according to the name of the first founder) Harvard College. The edifice is very fair and comely within and without, having in it a spacious hall where they daily meet at commons, lectures, and exercises; and a large library with some books to it, the gifts of diverse of our friends, their chambers and studies also fitted for and possessed by the students, and all other rooms of office necessary and convenient with all needful offices thereto belonging. And by the side of the college, a fair grammar school, for the training up of young scholars and fitting of them for academical learning, that still as they are judged ripe they may be received into the college of this school.

Master Corlet is the master who has very well approved himself for his abilities, dexterity, and painfulness in teaching and education of the youths under him.

Over the college is Master Dunster placed as president, a learned, a conscionable, and industrious man, who has so trained up his pupils in the tongues and arts, and so seasoned them with the principles of divinity and Christianity, that we have to our great comfort (and in truth) beyond our hopes, beheld their progress in learning and godliness also. The former of these has appeared in their public declamations in Latin and Greek, and disputations logic and philosophy which they have been wonted (besides their ordinary exercises in the college hall) in the audience of the magistrates, ministers, and other scholars for the probation of their growth in learning, upon set days, constantly once every month to make and uphold. The latter has been manifested in sundry of them by the savory things of their spirits in their godly versation; insomuch that we are confident, if these early blossoms may be cherished and warmed with the influence of the friends of learning and lovers of this pious work, they will, by the help of God, come to happy maturity in a short time.

Over the college are twelve overseers chosen by the General Court, six of them are of the magistrates, the other six of the ministers, who are to promote the best good of it and (having a power of influence into all persons in it) are to see that everyone be diligent and proficient in his proper place.
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Recreating 17th-Century America

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Plimoth Plantation 1627 Massachusettes

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1642 Education - Massachusetts Bay School Law

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Massachusetts Bay School Law

Forasmuch as the good education of children is of singular behoof and benefit to any Common-wealth; and wheras many parents & masters are too indulgent and negligent of their duty in that kinde.

It is therfore ordered that the Select men of everie town, in the severall precincts and quarters where they dwell, shall have a vigilant eye over their brethren & neighbours, to see, first that none of them shall suffer so much barbarism in any of their families as not to indeavour to teach by themselves or others, their children & apprentices so much learning as may inable them perfectly to read the english tongue, & knowledge of the Capital Lawes: upon penaltie of twentie shillings for each neglect therin.

Also that all masters of families doe once a week (at the least) catechize their children and servants in the grounds & principles of Religion, & if any be unable to doe so much: that then at the least they procure such children or apprentices to learn some short orthodox catechism without book, that they may be able to answer unto the questions that shall be propounded to them out of such catechism by their parents or masters or any of the Select men when they shall call them to a tryall of what they have learned of this kinde.

And further that all parents and masters do breed & bring up their children & apprentices in some honest lawful calling, labour or imployment, either in husbandry, or some other trade profitable for themselves, and the Common-wealth if they will not or cannot train them up in learning to fit them for higher imployments.

And if any of the Select men after admonition by them given to such masters of families shal finde them still negligent of their dutie in the particulars aforementioned, wherby children and servants become rude, stubborn & unruly; the said Select men with the help of two Magistrates, or the next County court for that Shire, shall take such children or apprentices from them & place them with some masters for years (boyes till they come to twenty one, and girls eighteen years of age compleat) which will more strictly look unto, and force them to submit unto government according to the rules of this order, if by fair means and former instructions they will not be drawn into it.
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Recreating 17th-Century America

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Plimoth Plantation 1627 Massachusettes

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1642 Laws and Statutes for Students of Harvard College - No Women Allowed

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Harvard College Lawes of 1642 (from New England's First Fruits)

1. When any Schollar is able to Read Tully or such like classicall Latine Author ex tempore, and make and speake true Latin in verse and prose suo (ut aiunt) Marte, and decline perfectly the paradigmes of Nounes and verbes in the Greeke tongue, then may hee bee admitted into the College, nor shall any claime admission before such qualifications.

2. Every one shall consider the mayne End of his life and studyes, to know God and Jesus Christ which is Eternall life. Joh. 17.3.

3. Seeing the Lord giveth wisdome, every one shall seriously by prayer in secret, seeke wisdome of him.

4. Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day that they bee ready to give an account of their proficiency therein, both in theoreticall observations of Language and Logicke, and in practicall and spirituall truthes as their tutor shall require according to their severall abilities respectively, seeing the Entrance of the word giveth light etc. psal. 119, 130.

5. In the publicke Church assembly they shall carefully shunne all gestures that shew any contempt or neglect of Gods ordinances and bee ready to give an account to their tutors of their profiting and to use the helpes of Storing themselves with knowledge, as their tutours shall direct them, and all Sophisters and Bachellors (until themselves make common place) shall publiquely repeate Sermons in the Hall whenver they are called forth.

6. They shall eschew all prophanation of Gods holy name, attributes, word, ordinances, and times of worship, and study with Reverence and love carefully to reteine God and his truth in their minds.

7. They shall honour as their parents, Magistrates, Elders, tutours and aged persons, by beeing silent in their presence (except they bee called on to answer) not gainesaying shewing all those laudable expressions of honour and Reverence in their presence, that are in uses as bowing before them standing uncovered or the like.

8. They shall be slow to speake, and eschew not onely oathes, Lies, and uncertaine Rumours, but likewise all idle, foolish, bitter scoffing, frothy wanton words and offensive gestures.
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Africans in Maryland - Slave & Free - Men & Women

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Africans in Maryland - Slave & Free - Men & Women

Soon after the settlement of Marylandcxin the seventeenth century, British ships with Africans for sale as slaves began to appear in the Chesapeake. The Atlantic Ocean route between Africa and the Americas was called the Middle Passage. Planters looking for a cheap labor force were interested in using Africans as forced laborers on their tobacco plantations. For example, Governor Leonard Calvert negotiated with a ship captain as early as 1642 for the purchase of thirteen Africans to work on his St. Mary's property. Africans were in rising demand by the colonists and British merchants continued to bring them in large numbers. Between 1675 and 1695 about 3,000 Africans entered the Chesapeake region to be put to work mostly on the tobacco plantations of Maryland and Virginia.

In the seventeenth century, British ships with Africans for sale as slaves began to appear in the Chesapeake. The Atlantic Ocean route between Africa and the Americas was called the Middle Passage. Planters looking for a cheap labor force were interested in using Africans as forced laborers on their tobacco plantations. For example, Governor Leonard Calvert negotiated with a ship captain as early as 1642 for the purchase of thirteen Africans to work on his St. Mary's property. Africans were in rising demand by the colonists and British merchants continued to bring them in large numbers. Between 1675 and 1695 about 3,000 Africans entered the Chesapeake region to be put to work mostly on the tobacco plantations of Maryland and Virginia.

These Africans came from various West African ethnic groups from the region of the Gambia River around the coast of present day Nigeria. Men and women, whose complexions ranged from brown to black, brought with them numerous languages and customs, including their own African religious beliefs. Occasionally Muslims were among them, and sometimes Africans came from regions as far away as Madagascar. The Africans wore little clothing, sometimes only strings of beads. Many had filed teeth. Some had hair plaited in elaborate styles, while others had shaven heads. Slave owners often commented on the scarification—slave owners called them "country markings"—the Africans had on their bodies. These markings might be on their faces, arms, or torso and had a variety of distinctive designs, sometimes for ethnic identity and also for body ornamentation. African music, drums, and singing frightened whites who soon outlawed many African practices—especially drumming. After a time an Africanized English became the language that the Africans and their owners all understood. The Africans received new names and learned their work and the stringent boundaries within which slave life was confined. Owners wanted to break the Africans' rebellious spirits and restrict their movements.

Early accounts of Maryland history provide glimpses of the lives of some of the Africans. Ayubva Suleiman Dially was a well-educated Muslim merchant who was born about 1700 in an area located in an area that is now in Mali. He was captured and sold after he had traded two other Africans to a British merchant. He was taken to Annapolis where he was sold. He worked on a tobacco plantation for two years before he was rescued, taken to England and then finally allowed to return to his home.

Charles Ball, a slave sold into the cotton kingdom from the state of Maryland, wrote that after the sale of his mother, his master also decided to sell his father to a southern slave dealer. Ball said that his grandfather, an African, secretly went to his son's cabin, gave him some cider and parched corn, prayed "to the god of his native country" to protect his son, and told him to run away. Ball never saw his father again. His grandfather was originally enslaved in Charles County, Maryland, in about 1730.

By the eighteenth century, Maryland was beginning to get a new generation of Africans, born in America, who did not know their parents' African homeland first hand. In Tobacco and Slaves (1998) Allan Kulikoff uses records of several Maryland plantations to show the gradual changes in the fertility of the enslaved population. On the Edmond Jennings plantation in 1712 almost all the workers were Africans. By 1730, nine out of ten black men and almost all of the black women working on the Robert Carter estates were born in Africa, but beginning in the 1730s the enslaved population began to grow naturally and was composed of both Africans and African Americans. In a few generations Africa became simply a distant misunderstood land to most African Americans.

Written by Debra Newman Ham for the Maryland Online Encyclopedia.
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