John Smith’s map which accompanied “A Description of New England” (1616). “Here every man may be master of his own labor and land, and by industry grow rich.”
The mythic image: “The First Thanksgiving 1621” (1899) by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. The colonists are clean, neatly dressed, and show none of the signs of starvation conditions; the Wampanoags are dressed in the clothing of Plains Indians.
The mythic image II: “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe. A more somber portrayal that focuses on Puritan piety while the Wampanoags and a few colonists (children, and perhaps servants in the background?) are onlookers.
An assortment of 17th-century Puritan figures.
High fashion of the 17th century. The Puritans decried colorful, heavily ornamental clothing like this as immodest and sinful
William Laud as painted in 1636 by Sir Anthony van Dyck. As Archbishop, Laud tried to use the Anglican Church to enforce orthodoxy and the authority of King Charles.
King Charles I appears here in another van Dyck portrait from 1636. Charles sought to reconcile with English Catholics while purging Puritan ministers. His autocratic policies would lead to civil war and his own execution in 1649.
The juryless Court of Star Chamber in London, where political and religious dissidents alike were tried. Thomas Shepard had his memorable encounter with William Laud in this room.
The Dutch city of Leiden, as it appeared circa 1630 in an engraving by Adriaen van de Venne. The original congregation of Pilgrims lived here between 1609 and 1620.
William Bradford, first governor of Plymouth Colony. “What could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men? … The whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue.”
John Winthrop, Sr., who envisioned New England as a “City on a Hill.” “We must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection, we must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities…”
Myles Standish, commander of Plymouth’s militia.
William Bradford’s sketch of the first settlement at Plymouth, 1620.
Matchlock muskets like these were the standard armament for New English militia (as well as professional European armies) until superceded by the flintlock in the late 17th / early 18th centuries.
“The First Muster” (2011) by Don Troiani. Salem militiamen receive instruction in the manual of arms.
This engraving, based on a drawing by Samuel de Champlain from 1613, depicts a battle between Huron (assisted by French musketeers) and Iroquois. The warriors fight with pre-contact tactics: in formation, exchanging volleys of arrows. John Underhill would decry this type of fighting as “more for pastime, then to conquer and subdue enemies.” The spread of fireams and experiences like the Pequot War would put a permanent end to tactics like these.
A 1591 engraving of an Algonquian village: fruitful fields, wide streets – a far cry from Bradford’s “savage and brutish men who range up and down, little otherwise than the wild beasts.”
Statue of John Endicott (1937), near the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Endecott led the botched expedition against the Block Islanders and the Pequots in 1636. “We must have the heads of those persons that have slain ours, or we will fight you.”
The trial of Anne Hutchinson, one of the Antinomian leaders, as depicted by Edwin Austin in 1900. “If any come to my house to be instructed in the ways of God, what rule have I to put them away?”
Artists’ recreation (2010) of the Pequot Fort near the Mystic River, as it would have appeared at the outset of the Pequot War.
Depiction of the massacre at the Pequot fort which accompanied Captain Underhill’s “Newes from America” (1638). Three concentric rings: the palisade, the militia, and the Narragansett and Mohegan allies. “Great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of young soldiers that never had been in war, to see so many souls lie gasping on the ground, so thick, in some places, that you could hardly pass along.”