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For the newly established New England colonies, the war with the Indians of 1675–77 was a catastrophe that pushed the settlements perilously close to worldly ruin. Moreover, it seemed to call into question the religious mission and spiritual status of a group that considered itself a Chosen People, carrying out a divinely inspired "errand into the wilderness." Seven texts reprinted here reveal efforts of Puritan writers to make sense of King Philip’s War. Largely unavailable since the 19th century, they represent the various divisions of Puritan society and literary forms typical of Puritan writing, from which emerged some of the most vital genres of American popular writing. Thoroughly annotated, the book contains a general introduction and introductions to each text.
Increase Mather: Puritan Mythologist
Benjamin Thompson: First American Epic Poet
Thomas Wheeler: The Christian Hero
Samuel Nowell: Prophet of Preparedness
Mary Rowlandson: Captive Witness
Benjamin Church: King of the Wild Frontier