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American Passages: A Literary Survey

Utopian Promise – Timeline

This timeline places literary publications (in black) in their historical contexts (in red).

1620s

1618-48

Thirty Years Wars of religion across Europe

1620

Mayflower Compact
Plymouth Colony

[5214] Anonymous, IROQUOIS WAMPUM BELT courtesy of, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

1630s

1630

John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity
Massachusetts Bay Colony

1630-50

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation (pub 1868)

1635-37

Antinomian Controversy

1637

Thomas Morton, New English Canaan 
Pequot War 

1640s

1642

Anne Bradstreet, poetry (1642-69)
English Civil War (1642-48)

1649

Revolution, Charles I executed (1649)
Cromwell’s Puritan Commonwealth (1649-61)

1650s

1650

The Tenth Muse
First Quakers to New England

[3297]Violet Oakley, GEORGE FOX ON THE MOUNT OF VISION – THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS (ca. 1911) courtesy of, Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee & Hunt Commercial Photography.

1657

Halfway Covenant on problem of unconverted youth (1657-62)

1659

Boston authorities hang four Quakers (1659-60)

1660s

1660

Charles II made king

1664

War with Duch; English annex New Netherland (New York)

1670s

1674

Edward Taylor poetry (1674-98)

[1219]Anonymous, THE MASON CHILDREN: DAVID, JOANNA, ABIGAIL (1670) courtesy of, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd, 1979.7.3.

1675

King Philip’s War (1675)

1680s

1681

William Penn, “Letter to the Lenni Lenape [Delaware] Indians” (1681)
Pennyslvania founded (1681-82)

 

1682

Mary Rowlandson, Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration (1682)

1688

Glorious Revolution removes Catholic James II;
John Locke asserts principle of consent of governed (1688)

1689

War with France (1689-97)

1690s

1692

Salem witchcraft trials & executions (1692-93)
Judge Samuel Sewall openly prays for forgiveness for Salem trials

1693

Cotton Mather, The Wonders of the Invisible World (1693)

1700s

1700

Samuel Sewall, The Selling of Joseph, first American anti-slavery tract (1700)
Eighteenth-century secularization of New England, growth of liberal philosophies, deism, scientific rationalism, imperial trade and mercantilism

1702

War with France (1702-13)

1704

Sarah Kemble Knight, Journal (written 1704-05, pub. 1825)

1720

Peak years of British slave trade, involving New England shipping, southern colonies, Caribbean (1720-80)

1730s

1735

Jonathan Edwards, revivalist writings (1735-40s)
“Great Awakening,” a revitalization of piety and enthusiastic religion that swept the British American colonies (1735-40s)

1740s

1744

War with France (1744-48)

1750s

1754

John Woolman, Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes (1745 [pub. 1754])
Emergence of organized religious anti-slavery in England (1750s)
War with France (1754-63)

1760s

1763

French cede Canada and claims to Indian lands east of Mississippi River to British (1763)

1768

Samson Occom, Narrative (1768 [pub. 1982])
Briton Hammon, Narrative first ex-slave narrative

1770s

1774

John Woolman, “Journal” (1774)

1775

American Revolution (1775-83)

1776

Declaration of Independence (1776)

Units