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Top 10 Books About Early Colonial History


In 1607, Jamestown was founded by the Virginia Company. In 1620, the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts. The books that have been collected here detail the history of these and other early English colonists in America. Learn more about early colonial history through these excellent resources.

1. A New World: An Epic of Colonial America

If you want a different sort of history book, read this volume by Arthur Quinn. He tells the tale of Colonial America by focusing on 12 central characters from different settlements. Gripping throughout, this book is a must read.
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2. Indian New England 1524-1674: A Compendium of Eyewitness Accounts

Read the modernized accounts of the first contacts between the English and the Native Americans in New England. Editor Ronald Dale Karr has gathered together over 20 sources to take a historical look at the Indians during these formative years.
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3. Big Chief Elizabeth

This book takes a look the first English colonists who came to America ranging from Cabot to the founding of Jamestown. Readable and interesting, Giles Milton has written an entertaining book based on sound scholarship.
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4. Plymouth Colony: Its History and Its People

Take an in-depth look at Plymouth Colony with this excellent resource from Eugene Aubrey Stratton. Included are over 300 biographical sketches of the colony's inhabitants.
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5. Home Life in Colonial Days

This excellent description of colonial life by Alice Morse Earle provides great detail along with numerous illustrations that help bring this era of American History to life.
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6. New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians 1620-1675

First written in 1965, this revealing account of European and Indian relations is very even-handed. Alden T. Vaughn argues that the Puritans were not hostile towards the Native Americans at first. In fact, he claims that relations did not deteriorate until 1675.
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7. First Generations: Women in Colonial America

This excellent women's history book portrays colonial american women from all segments of society. Carol Berkin tells the stories of women through various essays which provide interesting reading and insights into colonial life.
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8. New Worlds for All

This book examines the Indian contribution to Colonial America. Colin Calloway takes an balanced look at the relations between the colonists and the Native Americans through a series of essays.
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9. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England

Want a different perspective on Colonial America? William Cronon examines impact of the colonists on the New World from an ecological point of view. This exceptional book moves beyond the 'normal' realm of historiography, providing an original look at this era.
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10. Asylum for Mankind: America, 1607-1800

Marilyn C. Baseler examines the immigration patterns from Europe to the New World. We cannot study Colonial life without studying the background to the settlers themselves. This book is an important reminder of the colonists' experiences both before and after the crossing.
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