Cover image for Colonial America : a history in documents
Colonial America : a history in documents
Gray, Edward G., 1964-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
191 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm.
England expands -- New lands, new lives -- Colonists confront first nations -- Who built the colonies? -- Ties that bind -- A spiritual people -- Gentlewomen and gentlemen -- A world of things.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E187 .G73 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Colonial America is an extraordinary collection of original documents that show what life in the American colonies was really like for colonists, Native Americans, and slaves. From Georgia to Maine, diaries, letters, newspaper clippings, posters, and a multitude of primary sources providelively insight. Some examples include: *Prenuptial agreements for women, child-rearing manuals, a letter from a father to his daughter explaining why inequality was beneficial for both men and women *Native American land deeds, the creation story, captivity narratives *Laws regulating slaves, advertisements for runaways, a letter justifying a wife's harsh treatment of a house servant *A poem from a boy sent to the colonies for bad behavior, an expose of German immigrant indenture From wooden spoons to imported china, from adversarial relations between Indians and whites to colonial advocacy of native land protection, and from "limb of England" to a new sense of identity, Colonial America is a fascinating, oftentimes intimate, look at life in the colonies.

Author Notes

Edward G. Gray is Assistant Professor of History at Florida State University. His previous works include New World Babel: Languages and Nations in Early America (Princeton, 1999) and The Language Encounter in the Americas, 1492-1800: A Collection of Essays(Berghahn, 2000).

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 9^-12. The latest volumes in the Pages from History series spotlight topics from American history, featuring excerpts from source documents, which are introduced, occasionally explained, and put into context by Gray and Patrick's discussions. The large pages are divided into wide inner columns, which carry the main text, and narrow outer columns, in which short quotations, brief commentaries, and definitions sometimes appear. Reproductions of period documents, maps, art, and artifacts illustrate the texts. Colonial America presents a wide variety of documents thematically arranged in chapters discussing topics such as colonial confrontations with Native Americans and slavery. One chapter uses photos and texts to spotlight colonial American homes and artifacts. Beginning with English common law, The Bill of Rights covers not only the British and colonial background but also issues, actions, and court cases challenging and clarifying the rights, from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to a 2000 Supreme Court decision involving prayer before a public school football game. One unusual chapter commenting on both the right to bear arms and the right to free expression looks at gun control through the medium of political cartoons. Both books offer broad, varied representations of their topics through well-chosen selections of original documents supported by solid background information. Each volume concludes with a time line and a bibliography. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-This excellent series addition presents excerpts from printed and pictorial primary sources that together form a compact portrait of the Colonial era in America, from the late 15th century through 1763. Eight thematic chapters treat English and European expansion, the process of settlement, Native Americans and the colonists, indenture and slavery, family life, religion, the genteel classes, and common material goods and luxuries. Each chapter begins with concise introductory remarks that create a clear context for the lists, letters, drawings, maps, portraits, ads, diagrams, news stories, diary entries, poems, and other documentation that follow. Additional cogent commentary and analysis by Gray appears in boldface type between the primary documents. Short sidebar quotations and black-and-white illustrations enhance both the content and the attractive layout. Text and picture credits are given in a separate appendix. Useful appended material also includes a time line, suggestions for further reading subdivided by topic, and an adequate index. A fine source for reports about this period.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.