Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony

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Overview

As a well-planned and well-financed failure, Providence Island offers historians a standard by which to judge other colonies. Examination of its failure reveals the common characteristics in successful settlements, without which a colony's economy could not thrive.

"Thoroughly researched account of attempt by English Protestants to establish colony on Old Providence Island (Santa Catalina, off the coast of Nicaragua). Planted in 1630, colony failed to prosper for reasons author develops with clarity and erudition, and was wiped out by the Spanish in 1641. Failure, of course, did not end British interest in the Caribbean or in the Central American coast. Major work"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kupperman's examination of Providence Island thus presents an unusual and hitherto largely hidden case in the wide-ranging experimentation of the English in the early settlement of the Americas. It will contribute to fresh assessments of Puritanism, slavery and the burgeoning market economy, and the English political situation to the process. This is a model work of scholarship built not only on wide ranging primary sources but also a sure and unpretentious grasp of a number of specialized secondary literatures." American Historical Review

"Kupperman's study sparkles in its attention to the comparative aspects of colonization and to the context of English political, religious, economic, and diplomatic circumstances that shaped patterns of colonial life in the West Indies. ... In resurrecting the story and articulating the significance of Providence Island, Kupperman has crafted a richly contextualized and noteworthy study for those interested in Puritanism and English colonization in the Atlantic." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"...well written, both scholarly and readable....This excellent book will give you a new slant on early colonial history." Stephanie Martin, Wilson Library Bulletin

"[A] pioneering and energetic book....This is a marvelous work, an example of the study of great ideas and processes in a very small place. For this reason, if no other, Providence Island should be read with widened eyes by those in search either of West Indianness or of New England exceptionalism." Hilary McD. Beckles, William and Mary Quarterly

"Kupperman has effectively rescued Providence Island from obscurity and used its story to shed new light on the process of English colonization that we thought we knew so well." Virginia deJohn Anderson, The Journal of American History

"This is an extremely interesting and frequently thought-provoking book, and it is as revealing about English society on the eve of its Civil War as it is about the assumptions and circumstances of English colonization." Helena M. Wall, Reviews in American History

"...this account of Providence Island makes a valuable correction to the course of colonial history -- one that no historian of seventeenth-century America or England can afford to ignore." Virginia Bernhard, The Journal of Southern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521352055
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Preface
Author's Note
1 The Providence Island Company and Its Colony: The Program 1
2 Founding a Colony on Providence Island 24
3 Contested Authority: The Governorship of Captain Philip Bell 50
4 Frustrated Hopes for Economic Development 81
5 Land and Society: The Middling Planters 118
6 Servants into Slaves 149
7 Military Requirements and the People's Response 181
8 The Turbulent Religious Life of Providence Island 221
9 Governing Puritan Privateers: The Governorships of Robert Hunt and Nathaniel Butler 267
10 The Business History of the Providence Island Company 295
11 The End and Persistence of Providence Island 320
App. I: Providence Island Company Members 357
App. II: Creditors of the Providence Island Company 361
App. III: William Jessop's Final Reckoning of Investors' Debts 369
Bibliographical Essay 371
Index 379
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