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An Annotated Bibliography for an Introduction to:

PLEASANT HISTORY
Publications of special interest for teachers and parents

PRIMARY SOURCE MATERIAL

 

OF PLYMOUTH PLANTATION,
by William Bradford.
Samuel Eliot Morison, Editor.
Knopf.
Bradford’s Journal is the single most important source for Pilgrim history. This transcription in contemporary English makes the work readily accessible. Morison describes the loss and rediscovery of the manuscript itself.

     
MOURT’S RELATION: A JOURNAL OF THE PILGRIMS AT PLYMOUTH.
Introduction by Dwight B. Heath. Applewood.
Next in importance to Bradford’s account is this short eyewitness report of the landing and the first months of the Plymouth community. The writing is believed to be a joint effort by Edward Winslow and William Bradford.
 
THREE VISITORS TO EARLY PLYMOUTH.
Sydney V. James, Jr., Editor. Applewood.
In the decade after the 1620 landing, three letter writers penned vivid descriptions of their impressions of Plymouth Colony, including an account of Governor Bradford’s wedding and the crafts and customs of the Native People.
 

JOHN JOSSELYN, COLONIAL TRAVELER, a critical edition of Two Voyages to New England, edited by Paul J. Lindholdt. University Press of New England. Josselyn’s life and colonial observations are seen from his experiences in New England.
Also available: NEW-ENGLANDS RARITIES DISCOVERED, John Josselyn’s description of "New World" flora and fauna. A Massachusetts Historical Society reprint of the 1672 edition.

 
GOOD NEWES FROM NEW ENGLAND,
by Edward Winslow. Applewood.
This important 1624 document, at long last available, provides vivid first-hand descriptions of important Native American and Pilgrim leaders, including Winslow’s dosing the ill Massasoit and Standish scouring the pleasure loving English settlement of Merry Mount. Rich in adventure and revealing detail, this is an essential primary source.

SECONDARY SOURCE MATERIAL
 
 

PLYMOUTH COLONY:
ITS HISTORY & PEOPLE,

by Eugene A. Stratton.
Ancestry.

Recent and readable, this study integrates a variety of primary sources. Period documents and extensive biographical data on the early settlers are included.

 
NAVIGATION IN THE AGE OF DISCOVERY: AN INTRODUCTION,
by Duane A. Cline. Montfleury.
Precise drawings and little known details of early voyaging add interest and understanding to the Mayflower adventure.
 
 

THE WAMPANOAG,
by Laurie Weinstein-Farson.
Indians of North America series.
Chelsea.

The long history of the rich cultures of the Plymouth-area Native Americans is well presented. Picture material is clear and striking.

     
WAMPANOAG COOKERY,
by various contributors from New England tribes. American Science and Engineering.
In this small booklet, readers can hear authentic recipes, food customs and the seasonal calendar told as handed down the generations and celebrated as part of the bounty of the land.
     
 

A LITTLE COMMONWEALTH:
FAMILY LIFE IN PLYMOUTH COLONY,

by John Demos.
Oxford.

Although sometimes superseded by more recent research, this durable and delightful classic reveals the human complexities of the first settlers.

     
ARMS & ARMOR OF THE PILGRIMS,
by Harold L. Peterson. Reprinted by the Pilgrim Society.
A succinct text and early prints illustrate Pilgrim-era weapons and their use.
     
 

INDIAN NEW ENGLAND BEFORE THE MAYFLOWER,
by Howard S. Russell.
University Press of New England.
A rich and detailed study of the regional native people both before and after contact with Europeans, this provides many insights and a balanced understanding of our early history

     
COMING OVER: MIGRATION & COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ENGLAND & NEW ENGLAND IN THE 17TH CENTURY,
by David Cressy. Cambridge University Press.
Why did a great wave of English people brave a "vast and furious ocean" and settle in an unknown wilderness? An enormous variety of primary source material skillfully collated reveals motives and much else about the Great Migration. Recommended for high school and college students.
     
 

THE NEW ENGLAND INDIANS,
by C. Keith Wilbur.
Globe/Pequot.
Bold line drawings and an informative text make this volume an invaluable source of Native American life and lore.
Another book, The Woodland Indians, by C. Keith Wilbur, is also available.

     
FOOTNOTES: A BIOGRAPHY OF PENELOPE PELHAM WINSLOW, 1633-1703,
by Pene Behrens. Spentpenny Press.
Few accounts and fewer still portraits depict 17th century women. One exception is New England-born Penelope Pelham Winslow, whose portrait (with her husband's) and a treasured slipper, delight Pilgrim Hall visitors. The details of her life appear in this tiny volume.
     
 

THE NAME OF WAR: KING PHILIP'S WAR & THE ORIGINS OF AMERICAN IDENTITY,
by Jill Lepore. Knopf.
Scarcely more than a footnote in traditional history text books, the 17th century conflict known as King Philip's War (1675-1676) devastated more lives and property than any other in our history. Speculating from contemporary accounts, the author of this thought-provoking volume reinterprets the issues with modern sensibility. Perhaps most intriguing is a coda on the Native American warrior as he was played in the 19th century theater.

     

DEBTS HOPEFUL AND DESPERATE,
by Ruth McIntyre.
Plimoth Plantation. Bradford's history is fraught with his anxiety over the Pilgrims' precarious entangled finances. This slim volume recreates the economic climate and the long struggle for the settlement of the Colony's debt.


ESPECIALLY FOR THE YOUNG
     
 

THREE YOUNG PILGRIMS,
by Cheryl Harness.
Bradbury.
Rollicking illustrations and a carefully researched text make this publication a real find. An entertaining introduction to history and highly recommended for young readers.

     

INDIANS OF THE NEW ENGLAND COAST.
Cobblestone Magazine, November 1994 reprint.
This issue features high interest Native American customs (sports, legends, cookery, crafts). Also included are reading and media lists and places to visit.

 

CORN IS MAIZE: THE GIFT OF THE INDIANS,
written and illustrated by Aliki.
A Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science Book, Harper Trophy. Good illustrations and a light but learned text show how Native Americans cultivated corn and shared their knowledge with the early settlers. For ages 5-9.

 
TURKEYS, PILGRIMS, AND INDIAN CORN: THE STORY OF THE THANKSGIVING SYMBOLS,
by Edna Barth, illustrated by Ursula Arndt. Clarion.
Elementary teachers will like this pumpkin-bright booklet which provides a full helping of information, some familiar, some surprising.
     
SARAH MORTON’S DAY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PILGRIM GIRL,
by Kate Waters, color photographs by Russ Kendall. Scholastic.
The camera follows a Plimoth Plantation costumed interpreter on her rounds. Two companion books,
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SAMUEL EATON and TAPENUM'S DAY: A WAMPANOAG BOY IN PILGRIM TIMES, are also available.
     
MOLLY’S PILGRIM,
by Barbara Cohen, illustrated by Michael Deraney. Bantam Skylark.
Classmates jeer at Molly’s Thanksgiving doll dressed in Russian clothes. An understanding teacher explains that the Pilgrim story is still happening. This small book has become a much-loved classic.
 
PILGRIM VOICES: OUR FIRST YEAR IN THE NEW WORLD,
edited by Connie and Peter Roop, illustrated by Shelley Pritchett. Walker.
This collage of original eyewitness reports is balanced by strong picture material. This book will challenge as well as entertain young readers. Recommended as a good transition from the "Pilgrim Story" approach to primary source historical study.
 
STRANDED AT PLIMOTH PLANTATION -- 1626,
written and illustrated by Gary Bowen. Harper Collins, 1994.
Woodcuts and a fictional journal provide a new look at the Pilgrim community through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old passenger on the ill-fated Sparrow-Hawk. The story is based on Bradford’s journal and the ship’s remains are on display in Pilgrim Hall. The young artist’s point of view offers new perspectives and opportunities for discussion.
 
STRAWBERRY THANKSGIVING,
by Paula Jennings, illustrated by Ramona Peters. Modern Curriculum Press / Boston Children’s Museum.
For Native Americans, the strawberry season is a time of celebration, like Thanksgiving. This heartwarming yet realistic story brings together traditions past and present -- and a family as well. Highly recommended for elementary grades.
 
THE WAMPANOAG AND THE FIRST THANKSGIVING.
Story Path Series, Everyday Learning Corporation.
Preschoolers and kindergartners will add ecological awareness throughout the seasons.
 
THE PILGRIMS AT PLYMOUTH,
by Lucille Recht Penner. Illustrated by S.D. Schindler. Random House, Picture Landmark Books.
Crammed almost off its pages by captivating details -- some serious, some comic -- this Pilgrim story could lure lagging middle schoolers to want to discover more.

These recommended books should be available through your school library or public library. Many (although not all) are still in print and available for purchase. Many of these books, along with other reference materials, are available from the Pilgrim Hall Museum Shop.

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